Why bother nominating a peer, yourself or your company for a Duke's Choice Award? I asked Duke's Choice Award winner Fabiane Nardon, whose team won in 2005 for the Healthcare Information System they created for the Brazilian government, what it was like winning the award and if it had any impact on her career. Here's what she told me:
1) What was it like to win a Duke's Choice Award?
For me it was like winning an Oscar or a Grammy :-) I think that for a Java developer, a Duke's Choice Award is probably the highest award you can get, so it was really an honor. We had an amazing team working on that project and the team really deserved it. We were all very happy when we got that email with the announcement. That moment was one of the most important moments of my career.
2) What benefits have you gotten from being a "Duke's Choice Award Winner?"
I think the most important benefit you get from winning a Duke is the fact that you become known by your peers. This opens many doors, since you are approached by more people, get invitations to speak in more conferences, you meet people with the same technical interests you have and so on. I certainly benefited a lot from it. We were lucky that in 2005, when we got our award, the winners were featured in the JavaOne keynote, with short documentaries produced about each one. So, we could be on the stage and talk a little about the project. We got lots of press at the time. We see today's winners benefiting a lot from the press coverage.
3) How is the the Brazilian Healthcare Information System project doing today?
Still running and getting new features every year. I'm not involved on the project anymore, but there are good people taking care of it. We opened the code since the beginning, so different cities could use and add features to it. There are many new developers working on that code base right now and I hope they can take the whole system to a new level.
4) What are you up to these days?
I worked in the healthcare field for many years and a few years ago I decided that it was time to move on and take the experience I got designing large scale and mission critical systems to other fields. Since then I have been working with high access internet applications. I also co-founded ToolsCloud, a company that provides a development environment with open source tools in the cloud. We just launched ToolsCloud in USA, so other companies can get the same bundle of tools, hassle free, that several companies are successfully using in Brazil. Besides that, right now I'm personally working on the coolest project I ever worked on. It combines several technical challenges with a good dose of social impact. We should launch it in the second semester and I should keep it as a secret for now. Hopefully it will be useful to many people and disruptive enough to maybe get us a new Duke's Choice Award. Who knows?
The Duke's Choice Awards celebrate extreme innovation in the world of Java technology. Nominate an individual, a group or company who show the best in Java innovation. Nominate via the easy online form at www.Java.net/dukeschoice. Nominations are open until June 15, 2012.