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JCP Bookmarks

Program training goes virtual

We'll be coming to the rescue and offering the training program virtually, yes, from the JCP.org site itself starting this September

Most JCP Program activity happens virtually except for a few times a year when the JCP takes to the road to deliver training sessions around the world. Such was the case this June and July. The training marathon started in Sweden. The JCP Program Management Office (PMO) took advantage of the face-to-face JCP Executive Committee (EC) meeting hosted by Sony Ericsson in Stockholm to train newer EC representatives and their alternates about the workings of the process. Then it traveled to Rome and Milan where sessions were delivered to Java developers and marketers attending the Italian Java Conference. The next stop was in Versailles where the training happened in conjunction with JavaDay 2006. Participants learned more about JCP membership, the process, and what it means to be a spec lead, expert, and EC member.

But you may be among those Java fans who didn't have a chance to attend the JCP training sessions in person back in February this year in Santa Clara, CA or at JavaOne in San Francisco in May or couldn't catch any of the JCP training events in Europe either. So here's a mental bookmark for you to make. We'll be coming to the rescue and offering the training program virtually, yes, from the JCP.org site itself starting this September.

So whether you have a broad interest in Java technology or Java standards development and maintenance or you're looking to learn the basics of the JCP, or becoming a spec lead or simply want a refresher about the program, you'll be able to tap into this training resource virtually. Most becoming for a global community like the JCP.

Here's a bit of what you should expect from the Web-based training. First off you'll become knowledgeable about the body that develops standards for the Java platform - the Java Community Process (JCP) Program, what it's all about, how you can leverage it to support your Java endeavors, and how you can work with the PMO to get help in carrying out your Java projects.

Second, you'll learn about the rigorous JCP Java Specification Requests (JSR) review process and its mechanics from the members of the PMO who manage it on a daily basis.

Third, you'll get a better feeling what it means to be a spec lead and what the intricacies of this role are. Becoming a JSR spec lead and acting to expectations as a lead doesn't happen over night. Even experienced spec leads feel challenged when confronted with the rigors of developing a standard through the process. The JCP training sessions will give you the information you'll need to ride out the process effectively, make JSR deadlines, and develop a healthy relationship with expert groups - yours and others - as well as with other participants in the process.

Fourth, you'll acquire knowledge indispensable to developing a JSR proposal and taking the key JSRs deliverables to the finish line. Putting a standards proposal together has its specifics - that's why your experienced trainers will walk you through what's required to develop it for the JCP. You'll have the opportunity to ask them questions and discuss the details of the Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK).

And last you'll acquire community savvy that you can pass on to your colleagues be they project managers, marketers, sales gurus, or simply Java fans.

The wealth of information and knowledge you'll acquire in the JCP training will help transform you into a more effective player in your Java ecosystem. And the skills you learn are transferable - you'll be able to pass them along to help colleagues succeed with their Java projects. It will give you the training references and support that will meaningfully enhance your Java experience in a variety of roles you may currently have or take on in the future.

Another way of finding out more about the JCP Program, its workings, how you can get involved, and the latest changes is by attending the community panels, which we host at a variety of industry events. For instance, the one I moderated one in early June at the TheServerSide.com Java Symposium in Barcelona. I was joined on the panel by Jon Bostrum, senior director of Java technology platforms for Nokia, co-leader of the Mobile Expert Group and co-spec lead for JSR 232; Cameron Purdy, founder and president of Tangosol and spec lead of JSR 107; Tom Baeyens, founder and lead developer of JBoss jBPM; Mike Keith from Oracle, co-spec lead of EJB 3.0, co-author of /Pro EJB 3: Java Persistence API/, and a Java EE 5 expert group member. We fielded mainly questions from the audience about the strengths and weaknesses of the process, what role individual developers can play in the process, and what it's like to be a spec lead. Developers made recommendations for more transparency and public scrutiny in the early specification stages, more active participation by individual members, less bureaucracy, and better communications among JSRs. They also commented on what they believe to be a strong benefit of the JCP - the diversity of opinions that goes into the specifications and the fact that the leading experts in a particular field can lead a project. We went on to compare Open Source communities with the JCP which helped the audience understand better the differences and similarities. The panel was also an excellent opportunity for me to express my views on how individual members sign up. It's one aspect of the process that I wish will be streamlined sooner rather than later to make it even easier for individual developers to get involved. Right now there's a lot of opportunity for them to participate but there's still plenty of room to grow.

It was an equally beneficial exercise for us panelists to get people's ideas on how to continue to increase transparency in the early stages of specifications, limit bureaucracy to the minimum needed, and help improve communication among JSRs especially among the Expert Groups of related specifications.

To find out more about the panel and hear the diversity of opinions expressed tune in to www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=41753 .

More Stories By Onno Kluyt

Onno Kluyt is the chairperson of the JCP Program Management Office, Sun Microsystems.

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