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A couple of weeks ago we (Trisha and Martijn) were fortunate enough to represent the LJC at JavaOne in San Francisco.  There has already been a lot said about JavaOne 2011 (and our talks etc there), so this post will focus on the LJC activities. There were two main areas for us to focus on:

  1. Our seat on the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee (EC) gave us opportunities to meet the right people in order to discuss the high level problems facing the Java platform today.
  2. Getting to know the other Java User Groups (JUGs) that are out there, learn from what they’re doing and tell them about the cool stuff we get up to!

After User Group and community Sunday, which had several sessions on both user groups and the JCP, it was clear that the involvement of two major communities (us and the Brazilian JUG – SouJava) in the JCP EC had woken people up.  We both had many conversations with people from organisations who had previously seen the JCP as largely irrelevant, but now were not only taking notice but contemplating getting involved themselves!

It’s pure speculation, of course, but it seems that our involvement along with SouJava’s sparked a number of the current list of candidates to nominate themselves.

Oracle provided plenty of opportunities to get to know all the players in the JCP, and they were also trying their best to understand the ecosystem of the community.  There were sessions, lunches, BOFs and dinners giving us plenty of opportunities to mingle, get to know people and share ideas. And lots of free drink.  We like to think that the Developer Sessions have provided us with the training required to maintain a professional, technically-minded conversation after a small glass or two :-).

It was great to be nominated for the JCP awards, and we got a nice nod from a couple of the winners who acknowledged that we’d shaken things up in the space in a good way.

The Thursday keynote brought together a lot of the themes from the week around community, Martijn represented us up on stage.  We announced the intent to launch our ‘Adopt a JSR’ program globally across all JUGs and other organisations which was well received by the crowd and generally extolled people to join their local JUG and make things happen. It was a really great way to round off the conference, to highlight that ultimately without us, the developers, the whole platform would be pretty pointless.

People were genuinely impressed with the number of members we have in the LJC (over 1900) and even more so by the numbers who actively participate, either coming to events or on the mailing list (or both).  It made us feel proud to be part of such an active and diverse community.

However it did get us thinking about even more things we could do – in particular, lots of these people want to see the cool events we organise and get involved even though they’re not in London.  It’s something we’ve always wanted to provide but seems like a lot of work, but we’re hoping to make this happen with streaming and /or recordings of our events via Parleys.com.

The other thing that inspired us was being present at two different live podcast events.  We’re totally excited about the whole podcast thing, even though listening to one on Trisha’s way to work would probably result in Certain Death for her (she bikes to work).  It’s a great way to build a community. Literally having a voice and a tone is a great way to engage people.  It’s a natural extension of the aggregated blogs (which, incidentally, people we spoke to loved). Needless to say our first podcast will be coming soon!

What the LJC can take away from JavaOne is:

  1. Oracle is definitely committed to regular, on-time big-number releases for the Java platform, and have a reasonable release plan with rough ideas of what could be in 8 and 9.
  2. Java has a community that other languages can only dream of (that’s us), and Oracle is also keen to support that.
  3. The JCP, after years of floundering in the wilderness, is finding a purpose in life, and other organisations are seeing this and want a part of it
  4. We, the LJC, have an amazing community with some great events, great ideas and great members.  We have even more ideas we can implement.
Cheers,
Trisha and Martijn
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Several months ago we started running events at a bar in Soho. During the first event I met several people looking for advice on how to get a job in finance and what the industry was like….  I also met a few undergraduates looking for advice on what the software industry was like…. I realized shortly after that we have a huge community (currently 1350 between the two groups) and a great opportunity within our community to connect people and launched the free Community Connections service.

What is the service?

A free service in which we introduce people to others with similar interests or those that can help in a particular area. If there is anything you would be interested to speak to a specialist about or you’re looking to meet others with a similar interest let me know and I’ll try to find someone in the network that I can introduce you to. PLEASE NOTE this is NOT a recruitment effort, moreover a chance to meet a mentor or specialist that may be able to offer support/guidance in a particular area.

Previous introductions have been in these areas: 

  • Coding problems around a specific technology
  • Members that had Recently graduated and looking for a mentor to give you industry advice
  • Want to find out how to break into finance or contracting
  • Interested to try a new language and want someone to suggest some good resources
  • Career / CV / Recruitment advice
  • Looking for developers to help with your open source project OR looking for an open source project and want advice on one to join
  • Started interviewing people but want to discuss some new techniques
  • Just new to London and want to meet some people with similar interests

 

How does it work? What happens next?

It’s informal, free and ad hoc. If there is something that you would like to find out about or someone you would like to meet then let me know just send me an e-mail with ‘Introduction’ in the subject title and I will endeavor to make an introduction. If I can help I’ll send an email to introduce you both.

We recommend that you arrange to meet at the monthly social event (3rd Tuesday of every month) during which we attract 50-80 people within a social, friendly atmosphere.

DISCLAIMER: As this is a free service it’s something I can’t guarantee but where possible I’ll do what I can to connect you with people that can help.

Why do it? Why is it free? What’s the catch?

Ultimately we are a community and I am interested in bringing everyone together as much as possible. Hopefully if I am able to help you meet someone that can offer help and guidance and in the future you are looking for a position or come across someone else that is looking, you will consider contacting me. But I stress this is not a prerequisite of the introduction.

Here is some feedback from connections in the past.
Past Feedback:

“It was very nice, I was looking for firsthand experience and I got it. Basically his suggestions were what I was suspecting but it is good to have a confirmation from a person working on it. Anyway he suggested to collaborate in a finance open-source project what I have not thought before and I think it is very good experience.”

“I’d say both the introductions were a success – they both had a lot to say about Agile techniques and a lot of experience to share. I definitely found it much more constructive having meetings organized”

What is the LJC

The London Java Community (LJC) is a group of Java Enthusiasts who are interested in benefiting from shared knowledge in the industry. Through our forum and regular meetings you can keep in touch with the latest industry developments, learn new Java (& other JVM) technologies, meet other developers, discuss technical/non technical issues and network further throughout the Java Community.

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