JavaOne children grow up fast

JavaOne Y.A.T.R. (Yet Another Trip Report)

I just got back (to the office) from the 4th of July holiday and vacation. Prior to this time-off, I attended the JavaOne conference. I eventually made it back to ORD from SFO (Note to self, don't travel the Friday before a long holiday weekend).

Java is ten ... Happy Birthday. While sitting in one of the General Sessions (someone was talking about Java's beginning) I realized that my oldest son had his first birthday when Java was released. Children grow up fast. You probably don't notice all their changes over the years when you're with them every day. You might not notice the advances they've made over the years until you take a look back. Hearing people talk about Java, relative to where it came from, is a lot like looking at the photo album of your children or noticing the growth marks you've put on the door-way each birthday ... you realize they've come a long way.

I remember evangelizing Java back in its beginning. I was giving Java presentations all the time. We talked to people that accepted Java full-force and saw the value in adopting the technology. We also talked to people that said NO. I remember very clearly one customer that said (I quote) "Java ... it doesn't have thick of the market" ... "we'll stay with our PowerBuilder strategy" (is PowerBuilder still around). The evolution of Java seems to have followed the technology adoption theories discussed in the book Crossing The Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore. I'd say that Java has definitely crossed the chasm and is in the "Early Majority" and "Late Majority" phases. I can't remember the last time I give a presentation where I had to "sell" Java. Well, there was a little bit when .Net first made an appearance. There were some people that tried to compare Java to .Net.

At the end of the week I looked back at the sessions I attended. I thought about the how this years conference was different then the ones I attended before, especially the early ones. The first JavaOne conference I attended was the second one. Back then, the General Sessions and break-out sessions had an overall theme around "what could be done" with Java and "what features are still needed". This years conference, from my perspective, highlighted three key topics:

  • Java is solving real business problems today.
  • Tools are here (or soon to be here) to solve complexity.
  • Interoperability is the focus moving forward, can you say SOA.

JavaOne Information
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Scott Fehrman

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