Monthly Archives: January 2009

Sun Folks on the loose: Sara Dornsife

Crack marketing person Sara Dornsife is looking for a new position. But I bet she won’t be.

I’ve known Sara for several years. I think that we first met at an ApacheCon, but we kept running into each other at various open source conferences. She has done a great job of learning what is important to a particular community (take the open source community as an example), and then figuring out how do something that is both good for the community and for the company. Before I came to Sun, she was definitely on my list of “Sun people that really get open source”. Sara is also a leader using social media technologies to change how marketing is done, and she’s been nominated by Austin’s American Statesman for the Texas Social Media Awards. The bottom line on Sara is this: before Thursday, if you were an open source company or a company whose business plan relied on building and engaging a community, I would have said that you ought to pay very careful attention to what Sara’s been doing. Now, you can just plain hire her.

Sara has a profile on LinkedIn, and a new blog.

Sun Folks on the loose: David Van Couvering

David Van Couvering is another Sun person who is looking for a new adventure after last week’s layoffs.

I first met David at ApacheCon, several years before I came to Sun. At the time he was working on JavaDB, also known as Apache Derby. Lots of projects out there include an embedded version of Derby, so if you are working on one of those, here’s your chance to hire one of the authors of that code. One thing that always impressed me about the Derby community is how the people from Sun and IBM were able to work so well together. More recently, he’s been the architect for the database functionality in the NetBeans IDE.

David is looking for a hands-on architect/team lead role. His background is mostly server-side Java technology, with a focus on distributed services and databases. If you are looking for that skill set, and need someone who has real experience with open source software development then you ought to be talking to David. In addition to his profile on LinkedIn, you can see how effectively he’s used his blog to describe the work that he’s been doing recently.

dtrace -G on Mac OS 10.5 or dtrace for Python

Let’s suppose that you were trying to port dtrace probes from (Open)Solaris to Mac OS X, and the makefile for the probes on (Open)Solaris calls for the -G option, which isn’t recognized by dtrace in 10.5. You might want to check out this mail thread to find out what to do.   

The driver for this is an effort to port OpenSolaris’ dtrace probes for Python to run on OS X. One benefit of this will be that we’ll have access to John Levon’s ustack provider for Python on the Mac. If someone wants to tackle a port for FreeBSD 7.1, it would be great to get this support into all dtrace enabled platforms.

LinkedIn tips for job seekers

After this past week, a lot of people are looking for work.   LinkedIn is a hugely valuable tool when you are in this situation.

You need a good profile

When I did my job search about a year ago, I hardly sent out any resumes – all the relevant information was in my LinkedIn profile. In January of 2007, Guy Kawasaki wrote a must read post on improving your profile. More and more people are using LinkedIn, so you need all the help you can get to make your profile stand out.

You need a high quality network

I think that it is very important to protect the quality of your LinkedIn network. Early on in my LinkedIn usage, I someone I didn’t really know asked me to introduce/recommend them to someone I knew fairly well. It was a very uncomfortable solution. In order for LinkedIn to provide the maximum value, you need to feel that you can actually make recommendations across your network. This is one place where the game of “how many contacts do I have” can backfire. Save the contacts game for Facebook or Twitter.

You should use LinkedIn to reverse screen

Normally job seekers have very little information about those who might interview them. No longer. When you are contacted by a recruiter or a company, you can use LinkedIn as a way to screen the person contacting you. You can do this when recruiters or hiring managers contact you — you should read their profile to help you decide whether to proceed. You should definitely read the profile (as well as any other information, like blogs) of a hiring manager before an in person interview. When I did hiring as a manager, I was always impressed (once I got used to it) when a candidate demonstrated that they had read my blog or profile.

Sun’s Loss, Your Gain?

Today was a particularly black day – a number of large technology companies had layoffs today. Sun was no exception, kicking off layoffs that were promised back in November. As a result some very talented people are now looking for jobs. Following Tim Bray’s example, I’d also like to highlight folks that are too good to stay on the job market for long.

Dave Johnson

Dave has been around the social software space for a long time. I’d been following his work on Roller way before he ever got hired by Sun, and I was happy when Roller ended up coming to Apache. Apache Roller (which powers all of Sun’s blogs, among other things) ought to be resume enough for Dave. Not only is Roller good enough to take the load of all of Sun’s blogs, Dave also helped grow the community for Roller to the point where it could graduate from the Apache Incubator. But if Roller isn’t enough, he’s also been working with Open Social and the Shindig project at the Apache Incubator, and has been cooking up some interesting stuff over at Project SocialSite.

I know first hand that blog posts can help people find jobs, so I hope that a little extra blog juice will speed Dave on his way to his next adventure. If you’re looking for work, and we’ve worked together, I’d be happy to put up a post for you, too.

Reflections on my sixth blogaversary

Today marks my sixth year of blogging. I’ve been doing this longer than I’ve worked at any single job, and in the fast moving technology business, six years seems like a long time to be doing anything. During this last year, I saw some very concrete benefits from all that effort. My blog, along with Twitter, was a major factor in helping me find a new job (I had several very good offers). After I arrived at Sun, I have periodically bumped into people (that I didn’t already know) who were readers. That has also been the case during my travels this year. I had the opportunity to attend some conferences that I have never attended before, and meet some readers that way as well.

My posting rate has decreased compared to the early years of the blog, when I was posting almost every day. I spent a lot of time travelling this year, much more than any other year. Travelling is really time consuming, so the amount of time for blogging has gone down. Some content that previously would have turned into a blog post is now going to Twitter instead. My kids are growing up fast, and they need more of my time, so there’s less time for blogging. And as the post before this one shows, I’ve been devoting a good portion of my remaining time to picture making.   

Last year I promised to be more active, and didn’t do so well. This year, I will try to have more technology content that is not trip related.

One thing that I have wanted to do is to have a photographic banner for the top of the blog. I’ve finally put one up there, and I’d be interested in people’s thoughts. It’s obviously not causing the level of angst that the original white on black WordPress theme caused.