Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Oracle Cutting Java Evangelist Staff

Oracle Cutting Java Evangelist Staff

This item in japanese

Oracle shocked the Java world this week by announcing the dismissal of some of their top Java evangelists, in the month prior to their flagship JavaOne conference, and are expected to continue the purge.

Among the dismissals  was Simon Ritter, who came with the Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems where he joined in 1996, during the fledgling days of Java. Others included author and Java champion Jim Weaver, also a 15 year Sun veteran, and author and speaker Mark Heckler, who had been at Oracle since 2006.

Cameron Purdy, who launched the concept of distributed caching with the advent of his startup Tangosol in 2000, has also recently left Oracle. Oracle bought Tangosol in 2007 for their Coherence product, and acquired Purdy as part of the merger. Purdy has been a highly sought after speaker at technology conferences thanks to his blend of technical depth and rich humor.

Technical evangelists should not be confused with sales or marketing staff. In fact technology evangelists must undergo some of the most arduous technology exams in the industry, requiring a deep knowledge of algorithms, advanced computer science, and specific language knowledge. The job of the evangelist is to champion to the public the company and technologies they represent by speaking, publishing, and blogging. 

Over the past two years a large portion of Oracle’s evangelism staff has succumbed to attrition, and Oracle shed many big names including Java EE specialist Arun Gupta and JavaFX evangelist Nandini Ramani, who found new homes at technology companies Red Hat and Twitter respectively.

Staying on at Oracle are principal marketing manager Vikki Lira, JCP managers Patrick Curran and Heather van Cura, Java EE/GlassFish/WebLogic evangelist Reza Rahman, and senior director of product management Donald Smith, as well as Sharat Chandar, who has served on and off the Oracle evangelist team over the years.

It is too early to tell where the displaced staff will land. Arun Gupta (@arungupta) tweeted an impassioned plea on behalf of his fallen former-colleagues in which he said "Everybody, @speakjava @MkHeck @JavaFXpert are rock star evangelists and available for hire. Don’t miss this opportunity to grab them!"

Rate this Article