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Showing posts from November, 2015

Polishing Cars Wasn't In My Job Description

­"Whose turn is it to prep the JavaCar demo?" I asked my colleague. As I suspected, the answer was, "Yours!"

However, I wasn't too disappointed, as I was happy to show off what my team at Sun Microsystems Labs had built. Our JavaCar was well ahead of its time—a vehicle testbed for in-car networking, telematics, and infotainment, all before those concepts existed in the mainstream.

So, I set about carefully starting the demo, as well as using a spray bottle to give the vehicle a quick wipedown before showing the car to another set of visiting executives. As I was doing this, I suddenly thought back over the past six months of development—we were a three-person team inside of the research organization, yet we'd garnered code contributions from over 15 different individuals throughout multiple teams in the company to make this demo a reality.

While I didn't think too much more about it that day, that project had propelled me into a career in open source.

Aim to Be an Open Source Zero

My two biggest dreams growing up were to be either a firefighter or a space explorer. Though I didn’t get to do either of those things, I satisfy the former via being a volunteer in prevention with Cal Fire, California’s state fire department, and the latter by reading everything I can get my hands on about space—both fiction and non-fiction.

I recently picked up Col. Chris Hadfield’s book about life as an astronaut, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, and began reading it during one of my international trips to Asia.

Besides being a fascinating read (I highly recommend it), it has also been enlightening as I think about how I can do my own job better and counsel internal developers and Samsung as a whole on doing a better job in open source.
Aim to be a zero In chapter 9 of the book, Hadfield writes:
“In any new situation…you will almost certainly be viewed in one of three ways. As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems. Or as a zero: your impact is neutral an…