Oracle is more than 2 years now 'parent' of our beloved Java Technology and is trying to make its way in the Java community/ developer world along with all the technology and product shipment details. They true acknowledge the fact that the Java developer ecosystem is quite different from their existing user community (we are mostly developers we create things rather than users). Towards the above point, Oracle is trying to bridge these two communities and of course try to prove that indeed was the right choice when it comes parenting the Java world. Despite the fact that still lots of people are afraid or Oracle (let's be honest) we can clearly see that is a far more organized and product oriented company comparing to beloved Sun Microsystems. They really do have a plan and they are making their way of sticking to a plan - shipping new versions of the Java language and the JVM.
This mini conference was mostly around the relationship of Oracle and the developer communities and how we can both learn from each other and live along. Oracle clearly sees the potential and power behind the huge java developer community and the do work towards building trust.
During this meeting I had the chance to meet again with some eu based JUG leader and friends, like Stephan from beJUG, Bert Ertman from NL JUG, A.Hashim from Egyptian JUG , Martijn Verburg from the London JUG who is one of the of co-authors of my personally long awaited Java7 developer book! It is always inspiring to meet with well know professional of the Java world - world wide. Trends, talks about the future of Java and many other things like politics and the financial crisis were in our agenda within the breaks, the un-conference and during free time. After all the geeks are well rounded people when it comes to reality :D.
I had the chance to meet leaders from the other side of the river. The so called oracle user group/ club leaders. It was quite an interesting exercise for me - to note down the different culture behind these two communities, the user attitude and the developer attitude and how this relfects on the actuall user group activities and day to day community tasks. I am sure we have contributed to them quite a lot of tips and enthusiasm regarding running our community, tips & tricks. We have for sure more things to share and I am looking forward to see them more often in our developer conferences around europe / world.
I was also impressed by the reflects of the Oracle EMEA user group department and how they have listened to voices and ideas from last year regarding building bridges of communication between the company and the 'wild' Java developer world. I think that with the appropriat attitude, some more time (we all need time) we can try to co-exist and work towards the future of Java. I am personally a long time supporter of Java and I will always be so for me the first priority no matter the 'parent' company is the evolution and stability of the Java tech ecosystem. I am sure that there are thousand..may I say millions of Java developers our there that feel the same. So ...we really want Oracle to succeed and push forward Java - while trying to preserve the open-profile of the platform (as much as we can).
I flying back to Athens full with a very positive feeling. I really had some interesting talks / and listened to new ideas /things. I truly believe that Oracle should continue investing more on the Java User Group Initiative world wide and I guess this mistrust feeling will degrade gradually as long as we see clear evidence that our beloved Java Technology is evolving, is becoming more productive and remain the king (first- choice) for lots of developers world wide.
Last but not least, we were notified that the official JDK 7 launch is on July this year and Oracle will try to promote this big release with various kind of activities. I am happy enough that my country Greece is still listed in the upcoming official Oracle Tech days so - we will have 2 official events from Oracle - something that was not always the case with Sun - even tough I clearly acknowledge the fact that Greece is considered as a small country (but with strategic position).