TheServerSide is fortunate to have the opportunity to interview some incredible thought leaders in the software and technology world. These men and women epitomize what makes this industry so compelling. They bring extensive skills and abilities to the table along with a passion for sharing knowledge—and each one is considered an authority in their field. Here are a few examples.
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- Simon Maple, Developer Advocate at ZeroTurnaround, Java Champion, JavaOne Rockstar, @virtualJUG founder, LJC co-leader, and speaker.
- Jenny Tong, FireBase Developer Advocate, hacker, author of Developing with Google+, and one of the only people on the planet who gets paid to "help people get into trouble with code."
- Emmanuel Bernard, data platform architect at JBoss by Red Hat and core member of the Hibernate OGM team, member of the JPA 2.1 expert group, spec lead of Bean Validation, conference speaker, and co-author of "Hibernate Search in Action".
These professionals have impressive resumes, but who do they look up to? Who do they follow on Twitter? Which great minds do they think should get more attention? We asked several of our expert interviewees that question. Here's what it takes to be looked up to by the leaders.
Prognosticating with accuracy
Simon Maple said that, although it's a good idea to keep a bit of distance from analysts, he does admire James Governer at Monkchips. "Very often, James Governor will tweet and talk about a blog post he wrote 2 years ago predicting what's happening now." That uncanny ability to tell what's going to happen in the future makes Governer an analyst worth watching.
Very often, James Governor will tweet and talk about a blog post he wrote 2 years ago predicting what's happening now.
Simon Maple, ZeroTurnaround
Offering fresh perspective
Maple also had high praise for independent consultant Russel Winder. "He's always a great guy to follow. The way he talks about different languages in the JVM is very refreshing. He does talk a lot about the other great languages. But I think deep down, he really does enjoy working with Java, although he'll hate for me to say that." As a confirmed polyglot programmer, Winder has written a wide variety of textbooks on Java and C++ and is involved in D programming as well.
Being the embedded genius
Encouraging industry improvement
There are some people who raise the bar for everyone around them. As well as being a speaker, author, and empirical technologist, Richard Warburton is a key organizer for adopt-a-JSR and adopt-open-JDK campaigns. The work involved in encouraging the programming world to adopt best practices and standards is never glamorous, but it makes the software world a better place.
Creating software that works for business
For Emmanuel Bernard, seeing developers become entrepreneurs to capture new business opportunities was exciting. "I'm really inspired by Jay Kreps, Neha Narkhede, and Jun Rao from LinkedIn—the team that created the Confluent company around Kafka."
Kreps previously built Samza, a distributed stream processing framework that utilizes Kafka and Hadoop YARN to create a state-of-the-art messaging system for LinkedIn. This development team has now stepped outside the realm of thinking about Kafka solely for web-based businesses and is exploring applications in other areas. For example, the near real-time capabilities of stream processing have profound implications for sensor data and the internet of things in production environments.
Bringing technology to the masses
Jenny Tong looked outside the insular world of high technology for her inspiration. She brought our attention to a hero who sparks the imagination through a digital storefront catering to anyone who wants to get their hands dirty with tech.
"I love people out there who make stuff seem easy, because technology doesn't have to be hard. One person who comes to mind right away is Lady Ada who runs Adafruit—an online electronics store where you can buy these cool kits and interesting, novel components. She has great tutorials and videos that help people learn how easy it is to make cool stuff." In the end, it's always about the cool stuff.
Who would you add to this list of IT heroes? Let us know.