News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Solaris operating system

People coming and going at Sun

Alan Coopersmith
Senior Principal Software Engineer

Going: Richard Giles

Sad to see Richard Giles leaving Sun. I got to meet Richard in person in 2000 when he came to the US Sun offices. At the time, he was one of the first people in the field to spend much time with the then-new Xinerama feature in Xsun, and he stopped by to talk to the engineering team. He also created an internal Xinerama FAQ that helped save us from having to re-answer commonly asked questions from early users and helped everyone keep track of the various patches needed to Xsun and to other Sun applications to get everything working well together with Xinerama on. His enthusiasm will be missed at Sun, but I'm sure it will serve him well on his new projects and wish him luck there.

I almost wrote that Richard was Sun's first podcaster, for his I/O Podcast, but I suppose first external podcaster would be a better description, because Scott McNealy has been doing the internal equivalent of a podcast since before anyone hooked them to RSS and called them podcasts. About once a month for years now, Scott has recorded The McNealy Report to update people inside Sun on what's going on inside the company. Styled as a radio show, it often includes interviews with partners, customers, Sun executives, or internal project leaders. It's been going so long that it was once available for subscription as cassette tapes for listening in the car - now it's mainly distributed inside Sun as online audio. (Personally, I prefer to read the transcripts, since I can read faster and my brain just seems to absorb printed text better than listening - which drives my wife crazy sometimes.)

Coming: Thomas Haynes

I was amused to see a new Sun employee posting how much he liked the strict processes employed in his group at Sun compared to his previous employer. Especially when compared to another Sun blogger posting "Why I don't believe in code review", it makes for interesting food for thought. Of course both of these make the same mistake, talking about the "Sun" process, when it's really just the process used in their groups, and different parts of Sun have different standards for code review. Not even all of Solaris operates under the same rules, and our group is even learning to deal with the very different processes of the open source X.Org source tree vs. our Solaris X source trees. Somehow I don't see us all coming to agreement on how much code review is needed anytime soon.

(The other thing that drew me to the post was the title "Ex-NetApp and Damn Proud of It." It struck me that while I used to know lots of NetApp employees, I actually know a lot more Ex-NetApp'ers now than the few people I know still at NetApp. It's not that NetApp is a bad place to work - Fortune clearly thinks it's a good place - it's just that most of the people I used to know at NetApp were in the customer support groups, and when NetApp decided to move it's main support center from California to North Carolina - they chose staying with their families, homes, and Bay Area lifestyle over following their job across the country. A bunch of them ended up at TCP acceleration startup RiverBed.)

Coming Soon: More X hackers?

The posting for the job opening in our group was supposed to be posted last week to the Sun jobs site, so I went looking to see if I could find it to post here. I found a couple that could be our groups, but wasn't sure, so asked before posting. (You can still contact me directly if you're interested and I can pass on your resume.) I was surprised to see how many of the other groups we work with also have job openings for engineers to work on X & related technologies. For instance, the Project Looking Glass team is looking for someone to, among other things "Add 3D extensions to X server." The Sun Ray group is looking for someone with Audio & Video knowledge, including if possible experience with the XVideo extension. Someone to work on graphics drivers is being looked for by the SPARC graphics group. And for those who prefer working higher up the stack, Glynn recently posted an opening in the GNOME group.

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