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Paul - What is your Web Service background?

Matt R. Hansen
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Joined: Sep 05, 2001
Posts: 71
I hope I haven't missed this in another thread, but I was wondering what your web service background consists of...
Paul Monday
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Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 41
Hi Matt,
We discussed a bit of this in another thread, but not directly. I have a strong Service-oriented Architecture background (I think that comes out in the book) starting with Jini and Jiro and spanning into my current product development. I've been in and out of Web Services (both in my positions within my day jobs and outside of the day job as I play with and work with technologies at home) since the inception of SOAP several years ago. To be honest, most of my current Web Service time (not SOA time) is of my own construction on the side of my current role at Sun as a storage management application architect. On the other hand, virtually every day of my life I deal with some flavor of SOA that is typically on an "evolutionary" path towards SOAP :-)


Paul B. Monday<br />Author, Web Service Patterns: Java Edition
Matt R. Hansen
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Joined: Sep 05, 2001
Posts: 71
I didn't know you worked as an Architect for Sun. I know this is off topic, but how do you like it there? I dream of working for Sun some time down the road.
Paul Monday
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Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 41
Its fascinating...it is very different from my experiences at other companies. I always wonder if I'll ever finish my "rounds" of the big three (in my mind) and chalk up MS What an interesting book that would be to compare and contrast from an engineer's perspective Nonetheless, I have no plans on leaving Sun anytime soon!
Sun is a fascinating study in bright people and an "technology enabling" culture. I think its no secret that Sun is long on vision and strategies. There are some bright bright people here.
The respect for the engineer and individual is also fascinating. I'm sitting in my own office with a sliding glass door (same as the co-ops and new employees) where if you work at other companies, as an engineer, you end up in a tiny tiny cube with people arguing on phones and dozing off around you. It really is an "engineer" enabling company.
Also, consider the few companies that provide "balance" to the world of monopolies. You can tick the number of companies off on one hand and Sun is one of the first that comes to mind.
So, basically, its a very cool company to be in. I think the only jobs that could be better are sitting at home taking care of my kids or being payed to write open source code that challenges monopolies and pushes the fold on new technologies and ideas...but I think the former is taken by my lovely wife and the latter is taken by Linus.
Matt R. Hansen
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Joined: Sep 05, 2001
Posts: 71
Paul,
What would you recommend to one who has a desire to develop (and eventually architect) for Sun?
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Originally posted by Paul Monday:
I think the only jobs that could be better are sitting at home taking care of my kids or being payed to write open source code that challenges monopolies and pushes the fold on new technologies and ideas...but I think the former is taken by my lovely wife and the latter is taken by Linus.

Paul, which Web Service open source projects would you recommend ?
Or if there are many ?
regards
[ December 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Paul, which Web Service open source projects would you recommend ?
I'm not Paul, but I'd still like to share my thoughts on this...
I don't think it's a good idea to start an open source "career" by jumping in the middle of a complex project such as Apache Geronimo. Instead, I'd suggest looking up a new, interesting specification for which there is no mature open source implementation (in Java at least) available.
For example, there are two web services projects currently in incubation (a "test" period) at Apache:
WSRP4J
JaxMe
Another option could be to pick a relatively mature but small project which still has activity. Again, it is important that you have motivation to improve the selected project.


Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Originally posted by Lasse Koskela:

I don't think it's a good idea to start an open source "career" by jumping in the middle of a complex project such as Apache Geronimo.

Much rather clobber a real project and get paid while doing it. Open source projects are much too precious. I meant to just watch Open source proceedings in a Web Service OS project.
[ December 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Paul Monday
Author
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Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 41
Originally posted by Matt R. Hansen:
Paul,
What would you recommend to one who has a desire to develop (and eventually architect) for Sun?

Matt, that's a toughie. I'm not sure where you are in your career so its difficult to guide you too closely...and only time will tell whether I am worthy to guide
Let's start with the job description of "architect". Its a terribly soft science. Even within a company like Sun you will find an architect in one organization fulfills a fundamentally different role than an architect in a different organization or "level" in the organization. To take a role like mine you want to
1) Become VERY good at something, but not to the point of "obsession", this is how you'll make your name
2) Find someone to mentor you (though if you do 1, someone will find you)
3) Be obsessive about WHY you are doing things, what is the customer problem you are solving and understand where the things you are building fit into the larger system
4) Be humble and make friends, your seniors aren't your seniors because they are older, they are there because they have battle scars. Understand what their scars are and learn from them.
5) Make your managers successful
AND MOST OF ALL...learn to communicate effectively. I was a terrible introvert when I left my undergrad. For my graduate program at Washington State I ended up teaching 2 classes on Friday in front of > 100 students. The first few classes were rough, but you learn. Take every opportunity you can to educate others. If you teach 60 people in a company, 60 people look to you as an expert (assuming you did a good job) and they will tell 60 more that you are an expert.
As for getting into Sun, very interesting. Be persistent, watch the job listings that get posted to see where the hotspots are and definately try to excel in leading edge technologies and how they solve customer problems.
The key is the customer and the complete computing ecosystem.
To learn more about architecture, spend some time with a few books about requirements, architecture, and then make sure you can draw a line between architecture and design.
Paul Monday
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 41
Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Paul, which Web Service open source projects would you recommend ?
Or if there are many ?
regards
[ December 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]

I tend to like one of the latter posts...basically, be careful out there. Depending on where you are in your career, I would choose wisely. My professor in my grad program pointed me towards Linux while it was in its infancy. I ended up contributing the first version of a mountable System V filesystem (I think my project writeup is still lying around on the Web I handed it off when I left grad school...my guess is my code is gone, I forgot to look last time I had the linux source...
My suggestion is very simple...lurk on a favorite or two that are smaller but very influential (Axis, JetSpeed, Mozilla, etc...). Lurk on the forums, post some bugs, fix a bug...get familiar with SSH and the personalities, and slowly try to step in to take a module or a substantial unit of code or, at this point (like Lasse said) find something that isn't done or lost steam. The storage industry was ripe for the picking a few years ago when the WBEM implementation came out and there were no well-done open source CIMOMs.
Matt R. Hansen
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Joined: Sep 05, 2001
Posts: 71
Thank you for the response Paul. I found it quite insightful. Though, I fear that I have become "obsessive". I also feel that I have lost a good deal of communication skills in the process. The latter problem I have previously identified and I have been addressing this issue for several months now. It is improving, and I am becoming better at asking the WHY questions. Thank you again. I will keep my eyes open.
Respectfully,
Matt Hansen
Paul Monday
Author
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Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 41
I would have to reiterate then that your first job is to re-establish and reinforce good, constructive communication! Architects have to communicate a lot, and they have to work hard to back up what they communicate.
Hang in there! We have long careers ahead of all of us (I hope
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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