Avinash Joshi is a final-year B. Tech. student of Information Technology at the Amritapuri Campus. In June 2009, Avinash was chosen as the only student from India to attend the JavaOne 2009 Developer Conference in San Francisco, his travel and participation expenses fully sponsored by Sun Microsystems. Below Avinash shares his experiences.
Attending JavaOne 2009 Conference at San Francisco was a wonderful, learning experience. Sun nominated four Campus Ambassadors (CAs) from all over the world to attend this conference. I was the only one chosen out of ninety-six Campus Ambassadors in India.
I traveled with Ashwin Bhat from Mangalore and Angad from Delhi; both working as Tech Leads at Sun, to SFO. Upon checking in at the hotel, I was informed that the Campus Ambassadors, including myself, would be on the stage the next day with David Douglas during his Keynote Speech.
DAY 1 (June 1)
David Douglas is Senior VP of Cloud Computing and Chief Sustainability Officer at Sun. On the first day, he opened the session with his keynote. He talked about open communities, and mentioned student communities that are part of the open communities. He said that there were over 600 students attending JavaOne this year. He invited me and the other CAs on to the stage.
In the presence of all 3000 delegates, David asked me, “What does OSUM look like in India?” OSUM is Open Sun University Movement. “We have set up OSUM Clubs in various universities in India,” I replied. “We have conducted tech demos and contests for student communities. It’s all about promoting free and open-source software to the students.”
When I looked back at the screen behind me on the stage, I was extremely delighted. The name of our institution was up on the big screen! Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham had declared its presence, on the world-map!
The Pavilion opened up at around 3 p.m. There were a number of stalls put up by companies and others who use Java. I was given the responsibility of manning the OSUM Lounge – a stall/lounge for students to come in and learn or join the OSUM Community.
Entry to the conference was free for students, so we had many coming in! It was nice to meet a lot of students from other countries and exchange our thoughts. At the OSUM Lounge, we had a Scavenger Hunt where we gave out small cards to the students with a list of must-attend technical sessions and lectures that would be especially beneficial to students. To verify that they attended the session, a person from the stall would stand in front of the hall for stamping. And at the end of the day, if a student had a minimum of four stamps, they could participate in the Raffle with IPod Touch and SunSpot for prizes!
Apart from OSUM Lounge, we had the OpenSolaris Install Lounge, Sun Cloud, Zembly, Intel, Sony, BlackBerry, JavaFX and many other stalls.
DAY 2 (June 2)
Day 2 opened with the Sun General Session, hosted by Sun Microsystems CEO, Jonathan Schwartz. He opened this session for the 14th JavaOne Conference with a trip down the memory lane. It was fabulous. The session ended with an appearance by Sun Chairman and Co-founder Scott McNealy, who introduced surprise guest Larry Ellison, Co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation. Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, announced in April, is expected to be finalized in the next few months. During the day, I interviewed people — asking them about their experience at JavaOne — for the JavaOne Minutes. We could help out in this way, in return for some goodies. I got loads of goodies and spent my time running around the Pavilion grabbing them. I also had an opportunity of talking at an Exclusive JavaOne Radio Coverage with Lin Lee, Vice President Global Communities, which was streamed online. Another special moment was when I got a rare opportunity of posing with James Gosling, the Founder of Java for a photograph. It was great
DAYS 3-5 (June 3-5)
The next day, I went on attending the sessions, manning the OSUM Lounge, running around and so on. The best part of the day was when we, the CAs, were called for a video shoot as part of their Global Communities Teams Success Stories. After that, we had a dinner party with Lin Lee and Sun employees who help the Student Communities around the world. Here, we, the CAs, were presented very nice glass cube mementos. Etched on them were our individual names and Campus Ambassador Program – Outstanding Results Award! That was really awesome.
Thursday was usual — attending sessions. During the second half, some of us went on a tour of San Francisco. It was great! On the last day, James Gosling gave out the Duke’s Choice Award — the award for the most innovative concept / idea done using Java. The event was well attended, and the audience was enthusiastic as ever.
What a learning experience! Learning never stops. In all, it was a great opportunity that I got. I want to thank my college for creating this opportunity for me and for the support. Thank you everyone.
July 30, 2009
School of Engineering, Amritapuri