Adjusting to a New Culture

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-06-19 Print this article Print

A: Yeah, I'm hopeful. I mean it's certainly plausible. It would certainly be interesting being a part of a software company. And they're deep in all the technologies that we do. So they clearly care about this stuff. I could see it going all kinds of different ways.

Q: But their history as a citizen of the Java ecosystem, how would you grade them?

A: Colorfully.

Q: Well, that comes back to the culture of Sun. You guys are known for being pretty laid back, but even through that you remained sticklers about compatibility.

A: Yeah, well, we're pretty laid back but we're not into anarchy. It's kindergarten 101. If you let a bunch of kids out on the playground, it gets pretty ugly pretty fast, unless you've got a teacher out there looking out. So it's not like the teacher on the kindergarten field is being a tyrant imposing their will-which unfortunately sometimes they do. But properly done, what they do there is they stop bullies from being bullies. And if you're going to give a bunch of kindergarten kids the freedom to play and have a great time, you've got to have a little bit of structure so that the bad patterns don't evolve.

Q: Do you feel like this is like the end of an era? Or the beginning of a new one?

A: Well, it's both. Assuming the deal closes, Sun Microsystems as we know it is no more. With a new owner it's hard to know. It could go any old way. No data.

Q: So is there any sadness? Because yesterday when Scott [McNealy, chairman of Sun] was on stage it was kind of emotional.

A: He had a hard time holding it together. Everybody cried. One of the things that we work really hard on at Sun is it's really hard to have a good customer relationship with somebody who hates you. And the fact that that whole audience leapt to its feet was pretty incredible.

Q: It's definitely the end of an era for me because I've really enjoyed covering Sun.

A: Well, Sun is now a viral body in a strange host. So we'll see.

Q: Do you think you'll be here?

A: I have no way to predict that.

Q: Well, there are things you will and won't put up with.

A: Absolutely. So I can imagine future histories where I'm gone. And I can imagine future histories where I'm not. Right now, no data.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel