QCon day 2: meet the community
By Patrick Curran on Mar 14, 2008
My second (and last) day at QCon was also informative and enjoyable. In the evening I hosted an informal BOF which we billed as an opportunity for spec leads, members of the Java User Group community, and Java Champions to meet and discuss how people can get involved in the JCP and what it takes to develop a successful API for Java.
The Java Champions program was created to recognize outstanding members of the Java Community. Currently there are about 100 members of this select group. You can read about them here. Java User Groups (JUGs) are local communities of Java users who get together to share information, resources, and solutions and to network together. Here's a nifty Google map that allows you to view JUG locations, leaders, and web sites.
In addition to Rod Johnson, Peter Pilgrim, and Stephen Colbourne (all Java Champions, and all participants in the previous day's panel) we were joined by Werner Keil (Spec Lead of JSR-275 (Units of Measure), Antonio Goncalves (founder of the Paris Java User's Group) and Filippo Diotalevi (founder of the Milan Java User's Group).
The discussion ranged over a variety of topics, but the primary focus was on how individuals and JUGs could get involved in the JCP. Several people expressed concern about what they saw as obstacles to entry (for example, the legal "participation agreement" that members must sign and which many people find intimidating, and we all recognized that it is more difficult for an individual to get involved than for someone whose activity is sponsored by their employer. However, since we call our organization the Java Community Process I am determined to do whatever I can to encourage and enable individuals to participate. My primary reason for attending QCon was to meet with a broad cross-section of Java community members and I'm glad to report that I was able to do so. I'd like to thank the QCon organizers for giving us this opportunity, and of course I also want to thank everyone who attended our sessions.
I hope I'll have an opportunity to meet with other community members at similar events in the future.