Chris Pepper was kind enough to forward this interview with James Gosling on the Basement Coders blog earlier in the week. I seldom laugh out loud when reading blogs, but his “Java, Just Free It” & “Set Java Free” t-shirts that were pissing off Oracle got me going. And the “Google is kind of a funny company because a lot of them have this peace love and happiness version of evil” quote had me rolling on the floor. In fact I found the entire article entertaining, so I recommend reading it all the way through if you have a chance. James Gosling is an interesting guy, and for someone I have never met, he has had more impact on my career than any other person on the planet.

Around Christmas 1995 I downloaded the Java white paper. At the time I was a porting engineer for Oracle, so my job was to get Oracle and Oracle apps to run on different flavors of Unix. The paper hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the first time I had seen a really good object model, one which could allow good object oriented techniques. But most importantly, being a porting engineer, Java code could run anywhere without the need to be ported. The writing was on the wall that my particular skill set would be decreasing in value every day from then on. As soon as I could, I downloaded the JDK and started programming in Java.

At the first Java One developers conference in 1996 – and seeing the ‘Green Project’ handheld Gosling described in the interview – I was beyond sold. I was more excited about the possibilities in computer science than ever before. I scripted my Oracle porting job, literally, in Perl and Expect scripts, to free up more time to program Java. I spent my days not-so-clandestinely programming whatever Java projects interested me. Within months I left Oracle just so I could go somewhere, anywhere, and program Java. The startup I landed at happened to be a security start-up. But that white paper was the major catalyst in my career and pretty much shaped my professional direction for the next 10 years.

And so it is again – Gosling’s views on NoSQL actually got me to go back and reconsider some of my negative opinions on the movement. I am still not sold, but there are a handful of people I have so much respect for, that their vision is enough to prompt me to reinvestigate my beliefs. I hope Mr. Gosling gets another chance to research new technologies … the last time he set the industry on its ear.

– Adrian

On to the Summary:

Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences

Favorite Securosis Posts

Other Securosis Posts

Favorite Outside Posts

  • Mike Rothman: Why Wesabe Lost to Mint. Not security related, but important nonetheless. The one that makes things easier on the user wins. Sound familiar, Dr. No? If users have to work too hard, they’ll find ways around your controls. Count on it.
  • Adrian Lane: AT&T, Voice Encryption and Trust.
  • Rich: Verizon releases their big PCI compliance report. Seriously good – this actually ties compliance to breaches.
  • Gunnar Peterson: OAuth Bearer Tokens are a Terrible Idea. This is a sad story, because OAuth gained a ton of traction in version 1.0 (many major sites like Twitter & Netflix are using it), and then in the process of moving OAuth to a full-blown IETF standard the primary security protections were dropped!

Project Quant Posts

Research Reports and Presentations

Top News and Posts