Name Nicholas Stephen
Age 39 years old
Nationality British
Place of residence Grenoble, France


Nick Stephen is a software architect with over 17 year's experience, and is responsible for several Java-based management technologies at Sun Microsystems, where he has been working for the past 8 years. Prior to that, he worked for the Open Software Foundation Research Institute where he developed MkLinux on PowerMacs, and worked on the Mach microkernel and on Java middleware amongst other things. Before even that he worked on Operating System internals for massively parallel systems at Inmos Ltd.


September 1999 to
present day
Senior Staff Engineer at Sun Microsystems, Grenoble, France.

Current activities:

Software Architect responsible for:

  • xVM Ops Center and xVM Server - Member of the architecture team responsible for a large systems management solution from Sun, with specific responsibility for the management daemons, communications, and data model infrastructure.
  • Common Agent Container - a Java SE and Java ME management services technology delivered as part of Solaris and used across approximately 20 product lines from Sun, with a team of 8 engineers.
Day to day work goes from specification and evaluation of requirements, to architectural discussions, write-ups and presentations to coordinating development across team boundaries, guiding engineers, developing code, evaluating and fixing bugs, and generally ensuring that the team is pulling together in the right direction and delivering quality product on time.

Previous activities include:

Joint Architect for SunSMART and N1 System Manager, with a team of 20 engineers.

Architect of the team who redesigned the Sun Cluster Management console (SunPlex Manager) and underlying agent infrastructure.

Manager of a team of 8 engineers developing management technology for the HA telecoms industry

Architect of Netra HA Suite management agentry

September 1994 to
August 1999
Senior Research Engineer at the Open Software Foundation Research Institute, Grenoble, France.

Project manager, Technical Lead, and individual contributor for a Java-based printing product for one of our clients, with a team of 3-6 engineers.

Project manager and technical lead for ANIMA, a European Esprit project (budget : 2.2 MECU, as Prime Contractor).

Technical lead and individual contributor for MkLinux an open-source project to port Linux and the OSF MK microkernel to the PowerMac (large user community, precursor to Darwin used in MacOS X)

During this time, the Open Software Foundation merged with The Open Group, and then the Grenoble Research Institute was purchased by Silicomp RI to become Silicomp Research Institute.

February 1993 to
July 1994 
Senior Software Engineer at Archipel S.A., Annecy, France.
I worked on Archipel's distributed operating system technology as one of a team of three programmers/developers. My activities were centered around the Chorus technology (microkernel and Unix subsystem), developing a single system image operating system for parallel architecture machines based on transputers and i860s.
September 1991 to
February 1993 
Design Engineer at Inmos / ST Microelectronics., Bristol, UK.
Working in operating systems and TCP networking on Transputers

July 1990 to
September 1991 
A year's travel sabbatical
Immediately after graduating, I traveled solo with a backpack for a year. Amongst other places visited, I spent four months in East Africa, mountain climbing and walking in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. I also backpacked through parts of Eastern Asia, Australia, Central and North America.

Undergraduate trainee at INMOS Ltd. (which became part of ST) for one year, which convinced them to sponsor me through my University studies, and gained experience across a variety of INMOS's departments in my summer vacations.

Publications and Patents

June 2007
SUN070776 - not yet publicly disclosed
May 2007
SUN070775 - not yet publicly disclosed
May 2006 SUN060706 - Build-time and run-time mapping of CIM to JMX
April 2006 SUN060845 - Facilicating strongly-typed atomic access to Managed Objects
March 2006 SUN060480 - Population of Sparse Information Model Hierarchies Managed Objects
March 2006 SUN060478 - System and Method for Mapping Between Instrumentation and Information Model
June 2004 SUN041464 - Selective synchronous garbage collection
May 2004 SUN040918 - Session Management in a JMX-based Framework
March 2004 SUN040208 - Scalability, performance, atomicity in remote management APIs
February 1996 Linux on the OSF Mach3 Microkernel, presented at FSF conference in Boston


Proven software architect, project management and tech-leading skills

Excellent communication and presentation skills

Strong technical contributor and background in system management, Java, C, Operating system internals, assembly

Formal Qualifications

October 1987 to
July 1990 
First Class Honours, Bachelor of Science, University of Southampton, Computer Science department. Awarded the final year prize for management, presentation and communication skills. Final year project : port of GNU CC to the Transputer. 
July 1987  British Representative at the "High School Supercomputer Honors Program", an intensive lecture and hands-on training course on Cray X-MP and Y-MP supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Livermore, California, USA. 
Secondary schooling  Straight 'A's (maximum possible) obtained at 'Advanced' Level Examinations in pure mathematics, applied mathematics and physics.
'Ordinary' Level Examinations - 5 grade A, 5 grade B, 1 grade C. 


Native English speaker, bilingual French.

Last updated: June 2007


I realize this is a spot to post your resumé, not a travel blog. However, I would like to ask you some questions about your year-long travels, as I am graduating soon and plan to take on a similar trip. Please email me if you have the time. E.Lee

Posted by E.Lee Hammett on October 25, 2006 at 12:52 PM CEST #

Hi E.Lee, I've sent you some email. My travels were, to me, the most formative year I spent before starting full-time work, much more so than my formal studies. Not so much in computer science of course but in learning about myself whilst learning about the people and the world around me. And if I'd not gone off around the world I don't think I'd have ended up in the French alps where I live now, either.

Posted by Nick on October 30, 2006 at 01:06 AM CET #

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