I'm sitting here cross-legged on a fresh San Francisco afternoon, 8,000 miles away from my family, wondering how the industry we live and breath in is shaping up. When I left Scotland, it was the weekend and the American markets didn't have too much to report. After a 9-hour flight, lane jumping on Highway 101, I arrived at my apartment to discover the news is raging about how the markets have taken a serious downturn. How tech stocks have gone way out of favor, with even the blue chips struggling. Should we worry? This is a question people keep asking me, and to be honest my answer up to now has been: "Nah, things are okay for us Java dudes." But are they?
I'm over here on a pilgrimage, you might say. I'm here to meet and talk with some of the makers and shakers of the Java universe. I want to know what they think. Is it media hype or is there indeed a little fire where the smoke is? Sometimes a good sign of how well an industry is doing is to take a look at what the recruitment world is up to. I had a chat with some of these people and they told me that it's business as usual, except the high packages on offer aren't quite the same as they used to be in the good old days. I chortled at this, and inquired what period were we referring to when we mentioned "good old days." Only 12 months ago was the answer. Damn, this industry moves fast...
While I stared out at the Golden Gate Bridge I had a wee thought regarding the term dot-com. If you remember, the initial domain structure was to have profit-making companies use the .com domain whereas nonprofit companies had to use the .org name. I think some companies perhaps indulged in a little wishful thinking...maybe we should be pointing our browsers toward amazon.org instead!
But don't panic just yet. By all accounts we still have a major shortage of people who actually can do a day's development as opposed to those who just think they can. I'll have more to report next month once I've had my chats with various people around the Bay area. If indeed there is writing on the wall, I'll find it!
As you know, we're pushing toward a new release of your beloved Java Developer's Journal with JDJ2.0 penciled in for the JavaOne issue. At this moment in time the team and I are working very hard to collate all the materials required to make this happen. One of the first things I set about doing was to assemble an Advisory Panel. Its purpose will be to steer the magazine through the changes and ensure that we're offering content that is relevant. And from time to time we'll peer into a crystal ball to see what's around the corner.
Each month we'll publish the remarks from the Advisory Panel and invite you all to give your input. I'm proud to say that the Panel has now been chosen and a dialog has begun.
Success is so much easier to achieve when you have a good team around you, and I am fortunate enough to have a great team with me.
I'll introduce the rest of the people on the team next month. To do so now would make this look more like an Oscar ceremony than an editorial.
- First and foremost I'd like to introduce you to our editorial director, Jeremy Geelan. Jeremy is a constant inspiration to me, and keeping up with this man's thought processes is a full-time job.
- A name that's already familiar to the readers of JDJ is, of course, Ajit Sagar. Ajit, the new J2EE editor, is working on building the J2EE content for JDJ2.0 - let me tell you, it's in great hands.
- A name that's virtually synonymous with "product review" is Jim Milbery. As our new, official product editor, Jim will coordinate all the reviews for JDJ.
There is, of course, one other member of the team I haven't mentioned: you, the most important member. Without your input we're merely killing time here. So make yourself heard. Join our mailing list at
http://myjdj.sys-con.com/mailman/listinfo/myjdj and let us know what you think.
Your JDJ needs you.
Alan Williamson holds the reins at n-ary (consulting) Ltd,
one of the first companies in the UK to specialize in Java at the server side.