Johnson Stood Up for Those He Hired and Nurtured

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-07-05 Print this article Print


In a blog post announcing his plans to leave VMware €œto pursue other interests,€ Johnson said, €œSpring was created to simplify enterprise Java development, and has succeeded in that goal. The Spring community continues to grow, Spring is more widely adopted than ever and Spring has become the dominant programming model for enterprise Java.€

Tod Nielsen, co-president of Application Platform at VMware, told eWEEK that SpringSource was central to VMware€™s strategy for connecting with developers. He said the company had watched as SpringSource became a seat of power in the Java community as the number of developers using Spring reached into the millions. €œWe knew we wanted them on our team,€ Nielsen said. Nielsen, who helped launch and then manage the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), knows a little something about connecting with developers.

€œJust as James Gosling€™s and Anders Hejlsberg€™s efforts cemented the object-oriented and VM-based platforms that define enterprise app dev today, Rod€™s efforts defined the next transformation, and his departure marks the end of an era,€ said Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop Technologies, founder of the Mylyn open-source project and a close friend of Johnson. €œDependency injection, aspects, open-source frameworks and vendor independence have won. The simplification of the programming model that Rod drove will be permanent, and his efforts as both technologist and entrepreneur have made the lives of Java developers much easier. That's quite a dent to have made on the way that software is built, both in terms of what Spring delivered, and in the way it continues to influence other platforms. Let€™s hope that Rod doesn€™t consider himself to be done just yet, as I know that he€™s got more of this drive left in him.€

I first ran into Rod at a TheServerSide Java Symposium (TSSJS) in Las Vegas. I sat in on his talk and watched and waited while a throng of developers hit him up afterward to share their coding problems and ask him for advice. I introduced myself and asked for an interview. At first, a reluctant Johnson waved me away but eventually he relented. I knew there was an emerging story there. And if you ask him, Rod will acknowledge that I was the first journalist to hit him up. That wouldn€™t last long, however.

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.

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