Java Spotlight 10

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Roger Brinkley: Welcome to the tenth edition of the Java spotlight podcast. I'm Roger Brinkley.
Terrance Barr: And I'm Terrance Barr.
Roger: And in this edition of the podcast, the feature interview is with the Java Duchess program and then we'll do some news segments and some What's Cool segments. So let's go into the news segment. Alexis, what do we have?
Alexis: What I have for you is a new Milestone for GlassFish. That would be Milestone 7, which is the hardcode freeze milestone. We've passed the feature freeze a while back and this is, you know, really stabilizing the bits in the developments. You're welcome and encouraged to test this one out and we'll have an address in the show notes.
Roger: Now, you guys had a webinar while we were over in China. How did that end up going?
Alexis: This was Arun delivering a Java EE and Eclipse webinar. I think we had some technical difficulties, which were at least in part due to the number of people attending the webinar. So to kind of make up for that, we have a replay. A 50-minute, five-zero minute replay, that Arun did, which you can watch, as well as a Q&A session that we'll be conducting, I think, sometime in very early January to talk about these same topics, which are JAVA EE6 Glassfish, and Eclipse specifically. And again the links will be in the show notes.
Roger: Sounds good. Let's turn our attention then to the feature interview. And I had an opportunity, when we were out at Java 1, to speak to a couple of the people who were the founding members of the Java Duchesses. So let's go into that interview right away. So I'm here with Clara Ko and Regina Ten Bruggencate.

Regina, you're actually from the Netherlands. And Clara, you're from San Francisco but you're living in the Netherlands now. You guys are both involved in a program called Java Duchess.

Clara Ko: Duchess is a global network for connecting women and Java technology. We try to provide a platform for women to get to know each other and find out about each other. And share knowledge and help each other out.
Regina Ten Bruggencate: It's a social networking site. We have different groups, chapters, for different countries. And they can have their own blogs there. For instance, we have a French group that's really active and they blog everything in French.
Clara: So we basically provided a website so that women from different countries can start their own blog in their own languages. And everything gets aggregated and consolidated onto the front page, so we can track the activity across all the networks.
Regina: We actually use WordPress because that's like the fastest way I know how to make a website. And we use an add on to WordPress called Buddy Press, which is actually the social network component of it.
Roger: All Right. So tell me about the logo. This is a very cute logo. I have to describe this for people. You have to think of Duke, only as Duke is pulled up, just imagine Duke is a girl and her hair is pulled straight up and she has a red bow on top of that. So who came up with the logo?
Regina: It's one of our members, she's called Elisa. She's also from Netherlands and she designed it one day, when just in the beginning of Duchess.
Clara: Yeah, she was one of the co-founders. A group of three of us have met at the Masters of Java competition. And from there we thought we should get together and create an organization. So we grew from there, and we first started out quick and dirty with a Yahoo group. But pretty soon we wanted to have our own presence on the web. So we worked on a website that was just a plain kind of publish- only blog website. And that was the first version of our website and through that people could join up as members and we gathered a bunch of our members that way.

Since we started the website, and also before that, we always had a global reach, because it's a virtual community and people can just join us from anywhere.

Regina: And like a year ago, we changed it to the site that is more like Facebook and LinkedIn and all those things. Very social, like you can become friends with each other and send each other messages. And you have the forum and the blog and things like that.
Roger: One of the women that I spoke to at one point, she says, yeah, it would be good to join a women's group like this, but when I want to talk about technical issues, I want to talk about technical issues to engineers. So what's the advantage, what's the draw for women to come to this site?
Clara: It's not about us versus them. Because we definitely agree that we need men to be part of the conversation, to change the way that the world works in terms of engineering and the male-dominated aspect of it. So actually we do two things. One is that we, in the Netherlands, we've had some events that allow a majority of women to come together for technical or non-technical events. So we also do social events.

And at the same time, for example, like our French chapter does, they just get very involved in their existing JUG. They go and they plan together with them and they join their events and sometimes they speak at them. And after the events they would go and blog about it.

Regina: And something that also helps is like you meet people in real life or online and you can say, OK, I want to go to that conference or to that JUG meeting, and you can say, hey, let's go together, and at least you know one other person there. And you'll know that you're not the only female person there. That's also sometimes that stops people from going to jugs. Like I'm the only girl there or I'm going to be the only girl there.
Clara: Another advantage of joining an organization such as ours is the fact that we have a global reach and we're trying to build up a global network, whereas as most of the jugs are technology and regionally based. We see that as a way to bridge between worlds.
Roger: Is there a technical discussions on the site as well, in addition to the social aspect?
Regina: Yes. For instance, we had a coding dojo in the Netherlands a couple of weeks ago. So that's technical. And the French also have a lot of technical -- they had a summer camp, they call it. So they had all kinds of technical sessions and they had both male and female speakers. And they blogged. Every session, they had an entry on the blog about the subject that was talked about.
Clara: And that really helped, also, for the people that could not attend. They were really happy to get to that content.
Roger: So how many members? How many Duchesses are there?
Clara: I'm not sure. We haven't checked on the website lately, but I think it is between 150 and 200 at the moment.
Roger: Are there any Grand Duchesses yet?
Clara: There are not. [laughs] But we will be definitely be looking for Grand Duchesses to join our organization and support us and advise us on how a woman can make a great career in IT.
Roger: If you were to speak to a young woman who is just beginning to think about going into the career, what is the one thing or two things that you would tell her?
Regina: That she really should do it. It is a great career. Lots of fun. But also that she should talk to other people about it and not think that, "Oh, I am the only girl."
Clara: I would say to a young woman to build their network and refine their skills and build up their confidence. It is confidence that is going to get you further.
Roger: So you think confidence is one of the major issues for women when they enter the field?
Clara: I think it is one of the issues for women in general and it probably has something to do with it. Because traditionally in many cultures women are not taught to be assertive. Sometimes they get overridden by guys who are being louder or think that they know better. So what I would say to women is know what you are talking about and stick to your ground.
Regina: Everybody can see that you are a girl. So you don't have to show them anyway. But just be good at what you do and keep going. Seek help from other women in your surroundings or on the Internet or anywhere. Also come and talk to us. I will help you if you ask questions because she is asking me anyway. So I will help you if you have questions about stuff like what do you do if somebody does something.
Roger: Yes. All right, website?
Clara: Jduchess.org.
Roger: Thank you so much for the time and it's a great program.
Clara: Thank you Roger.
Regina: Thank you very much for having us.
Terrance: What the Java Duchesses are doing I think is cool. I definitely appreciate the fact that we need more women in technology and in the IT space. So it's great that they are joining forces and putting together this worldwide program. Their website is also pretty cool. It has a nice number of social networking features. So definitely check it out and I hope to hear more from them going forward.
Roger: I think, Terrance, the thing that interested me was -- I don't know maybe it was just my background and the fact that my dad in his construction business actually hired, was known as someone that would come in and hire women. His philosophy was, hey, if you can put on your tool belt and you can work, you can be hired. It didn't matter who you were. I guess maybe for me it is a little more personal since I have a daughter who is an engineer. I do applaud them like you do in the work that they are doing.
Terrance: Plus, if women in IT are like other areas of society that I have come to know over the years, I'm sure there are lots of women out there that work in the IT space who either don't know about things like Java Duchesses or just haven't felt the need to sort of get organized at that level. So I'm hoping that more and more women just join this program, come out of the woodwork, get involved and join the forces. That will just mushroom over time. That is certainly a good thing.
Alexis: So we actually also have a local chapter in Paris of the Java Duchess group and they are pretty active here in Paris. They gather before the JUG every month and they comment on what they heard. I think they are probably one of the most active after the one that was initially created in the Netherlands.
Roger: You have seen the local chapter of the Java Duchesses in use with the local JUG program there. Have you seen that be a really strong positive influence in the local JUG?
Alexis: Oh yeah, I think actually, I think it helps both the JUG as well as the Java Duchess group. I think it is just very interesting to both groups. They have their own thing they talk about and getting together only makes both stronger.
Roger: Let's turn our attention to the What's Cool section. So maybe we can do a little back-looking and forward-looking. So 2010, Alexis, what was exciting and 2011, what looks cool going forward?
Alexis: Well, 2010 was challenging obviously for a lot of folks coming from Sun. I think it was also exciting. On the GlassFish side we put out a roadmap pretty early. That was back in March. We have delivered a 3.0.1 release, which was the Oracle branded release. We have delivered seven milestones of the forthcoming 3.1 release. So that was the exciting part. Looking out to 2011 I think obviously we will have a final release of 3.1, which will have all the centralized admin clustering features that we promised in the roadmap. But I think we will also see some important progress in Initial but important progress on the Java EE side of things.

So Java EE7, and I know we have an interview lined up with Roberto Chinnici on that topic. I think we will see a lot of progress. So I am very excited about what will come there in terms of cloud and virtualization support beyond the prototype that we have put out with GlassFish and how this fits into the more general standard work.

Roger: So I think what is cool is in 2010 when you go back and look at the SE side, we actually finally saw some real movement and direction as far as what the roadmap was going to be. I am looking forward to 2011 when it looks like we will execute on the Java SE seven side of the house. Things look like they are moving forward there. I am also interested to see how things move forward with the desktop piece and looking forward to seeing the beta version of their next release that they are going to be doing there and the 2.0 release. So I think that is kind of what is cool on this side.

Let's turn our attention to the mailbox. Terrance, we have got a couple of feedbacks today or this week in the mailbox. What have we got there?

Terrance: John Heery sent us a nice mail. He liked our Christmas episode from the Great Wall of China. So that was a nice comment.
Roger: Then we have got a question. So, J.C. Nanook is "having trouble with my Java applets from the server". So any help. So any idea here?
Terrance: Well he doesn't provide much detail so I would encourage him to send us some more feedback with some of the details on the error messages and the trouble he is encountering and we will certainly have a look into it. [music]
Roger: So thanks for listening to the 10th Edition of the Java Spotlight Podcast. I'm Roger Brinkley.
Terrance: And I'm Terrance Barr.
Roger: And send your feedback to feedback@javaspotlight.org.


Transcript by CastingWords