A Look Back at Ten Years of Java Community Process (JCP) Program Awards
Take a retrospective journey through the memories and significance of the rewarding hard work that affects the entire Java community and ecosystem.
The Awards Started, 2003
Centuries ago, Voltaire could have been speaking for the JCP when he said, "Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." The JCP program started in December 1998, but the first JCP Awards were presented in 2003 by Onno Kluyt, former Chair and Director of the JCP Program Office. That year, the awards recognized JCP Specification Leads and Expert Group (EG) members who made exceptional contributions to the platform.
The first person to win the "Best Spec Lead" (later changed to "Most Outstanding Spec Lead") was Jim Van Peursem of Motorola.
Jim was personally recognized for working well with a huge group of 60 experts on 118 (Information Device Profile 2.0).
That evening, a tradition that has now celebrated its first decade began.
Heather VanCura, Group Manager of the JCP Program Management Office, has been a part of the JCP efforts since 2000. She remembers, "The community enthusiasm for rewarding and embracing the achievements of each other continues to grow. Recognition of the progress made through the JCP was embraced immediately and through the years has expanded to focus not only on the best practices for development by the JSR Spec Leads and Expert Group members, the significance and innovation of the Java platform, but also, the impact of the individual members and participants of the JCP program in evolving the future of Java."
2004-2006: Early Enthusiasm Grows
The second awards ceremony took place at the "Java Communities in Action: Celebration of Community Collaboration" event at the Argent Hotel (now Westin). It was a success beyond expectations with over 300 attendees. The JCP Program, JXTA Community, Jini Community, and Java.net Community shared an informal camaraderie and honored the best of the best.
Joshua Bloch (Sun) and Tolga Capin (Nokia) were the Most Outstanding Spec Leads. The Groovy Programming Language and Advanced Multimedia Supplements shared the Most Innovative JSR awards.
In that light, Bill Shannon was awarded the Most Outstanding Spec Lead for his work on Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE). Bill has a special talent for building consensus among experts who may not share identical goals, and it shows in his work. Organized consensus building was becoming another key to Java platform success.
In these years, the JCP program experienced growing momentum and expansion of the community. Java User Groups (JUGs) around the world were growing rapidly in number and size with a community-wide desire for openness. Open communications and transparency within the Java community was critical success factor in developing higher quality standards.
Linda DeMichiel, a 2005 nominee for Outstanding Spec Lead Java SE/EE and 2006 winner, had commented back then about more efficient communications, when team phone calls served as the primary solution. She said, " Concalls take a lot of the Spec Lead's time, but they help drive consensus in the group. Particularly with this JSR and especially early on, we were doing a lot of brainstorming and batting ideas around, and it was extremely helpful." She recognized that making discussions more productive delivers big dividends in the overall efficiency of a project.
Scott Jameson, the JCP EC member from HP, is a long-time attendee of the JCP awards ceremonies. He remembers the incredible momentum of the time. "Looking back on those years," Scott says, "they were a very vibrant time for Java and JavaOne. Those were the days of James Gosling launching bundled T-shirts into the crowd with various slingshots, a trebuchet, and even an air cannon. It was all a lot of fun. And a lot of JSRs were just beginning."
In 2006, Sony Ericsson took the JCP Member of the Year award, highlighting its contributions in leadership, investment in the community and innovation.
2007 - 2009: A Time for Change
In 2007, the awards categories expanded to accommodate the increase in participation that occurred as a result of the 2005 changes introduced for individuals and open source groups. The JCP EC recognized a full six award categories, and it was a handful: JCP Member of the Year, JCP Participant of the Year, Most Outstanding Spec Lead for Java Standard Edition/Enterprise Edition, Most Outstanding Spec Lead for Java Micro Edition, Most Innovative JSR for Java Standard Edition/Enterprise Edition, and Most Innovative JSR for Java Micro Edition.
During that time also, the nominations were submitted by Executive Committee members only. By 2009, the process had become much more inclusive and open, allowing any JCP member to nominate another member, including "self-nominations." Then and today, the winner in each category is determined by an Executive Committee vote.
2010 - 2011: Pushing the Platform
In 2010, the JCP rewarded the innovation out-of-box thinking that takes the Java platform in new directions rather than extending what exists. The EC rewarded JSR 331, Constraint Programming, as the Most Innovative JSR.
Constraint Programming (CP) is a proven problem solving technique with great practical applications in scheduling, resource allocation, configuration, and other areas. However, this powerful technology for years remained a prerogative of CP gurus. The objective of JSR 331, Constraint Programming API, is to make CP technology more accessible for business software developers, allowing them to execute the same model in different CP Solvers without changes.
Ronald Tögl was the 2010 Outstanding Spec Lead winner. The EC recognized how hard Ronald worked on JSR 321, Trusted Computing API for Java, overcoming considerable challenges. They were also impressed how he went on to inspire companies to adopt the JSR. Ronald has deep expertise in IP-based communications, formal methods in security APIs, and protocols for Trusted Computing.
Mike DeNicola was the winner. Mike commented, "Someone asked me recently what in my career I'm most proud of. I answered, 'Winning the JCP Member/Participant of the Year award in 2011.'"
A special honorary award, the JCP Leadership Award was also presented to Patrick Curran for his excellence as the JCP Chair in 2011.
2012: The 10th Annual Awards
The excitement and energy at this 10th Annual JCP Awards ceremony and community party was electric, probably amplified by the ultra-chic neon lighting, avant-garde architecture, and a pro DJ mixing the tunes.
Victor Grazi, of Credit Suisse, was honored as the Outstanding Spec Lead for his work on JSR 354 (Money and Currency API), which was nominated as the Most Significant JSR.
The Most Significant JSR award went to the three JSRs that comprise JCP.Next: JSR 348, JSR 355 AND JSR 358. Patrick Curran, the Spec Lead on all three, accepted the award. Patrick, as the Chair of the JCP and a rather modest person, accepted the award on behalf of the entire Executive Committee, which serves as the Expert Group for the JCP.Next effort.
This year, the focus of the awards was on "significance" rather than "innovation." It reflects the JCP program's efforts to produce truly excellent next releases of the Java platform - Java SE 8 and Java EE 7 as well as the next iteration of Java ME.
The three winners are prime examples of significance in community participation (SouJava and London Java Community), worldwide practicality and need (Victor Grazi's and Credit Suisse's work on the Money and Currency API), and a new, stable foundation for the future governance of the platform (JCP.Next).
The Big Picture
You can find a list of JCP Award memories submitted by attendees at the party on this JCP Blog post.