Leaving Sun

I’ve decided to leave Sun Microsystems, after spending 8+ years there (well, 10+ years if you count my two internships) working on graphics engines for the Java platform. Tomorrow, January 8th, 2010 will be my last day on the job. It has been a fun journey, and Sun was a great place to work. I suspect that not many college grads stay at their first job for very long, but I stayed with Sun for as long as I did because the work was constantly challenging, yet enjoyable. I love wrangling pixels, so I feel lucky that I got to do it for a living, and that I was able to contribute to platforms that were used by so many developers (and by millions of end users that probably don’t know what a “Java” is or why it’s useful).

The hardest part of this change is leaving my great colleagues at Sun, many of whom I worked with since my earliest days there as a quiet co-op student (intern) and later as a new hire. I’ve learned so much about software development, and a great number of other random/wacky topics as well, from this team. They are a unique bunch, replete with humor, brains, generosity, egos, caring, quirks, ingenuity, and great storytelling abilities. They’re like a family, and that’s why I’ll miss them.

So, what’s next for me? On Monday I will be starting at Plausible Labs, a worker-owned software cooperative here in San Francisco. Java developers may know its founder, Landon Fuller, from his work on SoyLatte and porting OpenJDK to Mac OS X. I’m really excited to be working with Landon and Terri. It should give me a chance to learn new technologies (iPhone and Android, among others) and to see what life is like outside a corporate monolith. I like the concept of the co-op (a relatively rare setup in the software world) and I’m hoping we can make it a viable way to run a business. I also like the idea of building local, community-focused software — creating things that I would use myself, rather than building for unknown “others.”

(I’m also very happy to be working closer to home; no more Caltrain! Well, really I’m just trading one long commute for a shorter one involving the equally unreliable Muni, but at least now biking to work is a reasonable option.)

As part of this transition, I’ve finally set up this new website and blog, where I can keep my professional and personal activities organized in one location. I’m not planning to post to my java.net blog any longer (since I expect to be blogging about non-Java related topics in addition to the usual Java stuff here), so if you’re accustomed to reading my (increasingly infrequent) entries there, be sure to update your bookmarks.

I’ll stay subscribed to a few of the usual Java and OpenJDK-related mailing lists, so I’m not planning to disappear completely. That’s the great part about OpenJDK: it’s possible for me to remain involved even though I’ll no longer be with Sun. (I wish I could say the same for JavaFX!)

Happy 2010! It should be a fun year…


  1. A great loss for Sun, but it’s always exciting to hear about new steps. Keep us posted on what you work on; a couple of your blogs from java.net (in particular one of the cool 3D/Swing demos) are still on my all-time favorites list, and I regularly send the links to people who would like to get their mind blown by what’s possible on that platform. Good luck to you!

  2. Good luck Chris! I’m sorry in the end we could not manage to work together, but I’m sure we’ll find some cool new things and maybe we can even play some music with you and Roman :)

    Have fun with the new job!

  3. So long and thanks for all of the great work on Java2D and JavaFX! I hope Plausible Labs is turns out to be as enjoyable as it sounds.

  4. The talent meter at Sun will go down after Friday. You will be missed. Good Luck and thank you for all the excellent work over the years.


  5. When Sun first became interested in hiring me, it was Chris who interviewed me. Since then I have of course joined the JavaFX team, and got to catch up with Chris at JavaOne last year. From what I’ve seen of Chris’ work, and heard about from others, Chris will certainly be missed at Sun.

    Good luck Chris on your work ahead of you, it certainly sounds like you’ll be having fun.

    — Jonathan Giles

  6. Thanks for all of your help. You, Ken Russell and Dmitri Trembovetski have made a big difference.

    Best wishes,

  7. Can’t thank you enough for all your excellent work, Chris! Trying to find someone to fill your shoes is going to be an impossible task. Enjoy your new digs.

  8. I can’t believe you are leaving, it wont’ be the same
    without you. Your unique sense of humor, keen
    interest in the technology, true talent, we will miss
    you! They are so lucky at Plausible Labs to have you.

  9. I’ve enjoyed the 10 years of working with you, Chris. You’re awesome. Good luck with your new job!


  10. Chris,
    Thank you for your years at Sun on Java, especially on JavaFX. I’m sure Plausible Labs will be quite pleased. I hope you great success moving to a New Year!

    -Carl Dea

  11. Farewell, Chris. You’ve been an excellent colleague; you will be missed. I wish you the best of luck with Plausible – may it be everything you want and more.

  12. It’s been 7 great years of working with you and it’s a great loss for Sun and JavaFX. I echo Larry’s words. It is not going to be easy to find another Chris. You were one of the strongest quality advocates on the engineering side and the Quality team @ IEC is going to miss you a lot. All the very best.

  13. Congratulations Chris and all the best in your new career! It’s hard to leave the great folks at Sun – lots of good times.

  14. Good luck Chris. It was great working with you @Sun, hope are paths will cross in the future :-).

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