James Gosling explains why he quit Oracle

    James Gosling gave an exclusive interview with eWeek, where for the first time he spoke in detail about the reasons that made him leave Oracle .

    According to him, there were a number of reasons for dismissal, starting with a salary. At Oracle he was offered exactly the same salary, but they were stripped of all bonuses, and if the business went well, then the bonuses brought much more money than the base salary.

    In addition, the position hierarchy of Oracle did not include the position that Gosling had in Sun (fellow), so he actually had to go down the ranks very much.

    But even this was not the last straw. Gosling endured until he realized how tough Oracle was going to control it. The policy of the company was that as an employee, he did not have the right to express his personal opinion about Java if this opinion was contrary to company policy. Now Java has become the intellectual property of Oracle, and the possibilities of its creators to make some decisions have been minimized.

    They wanted to reduce the role of Gosling to representation. That is, he had to go to conferences and seminars and speak on behalf of Oracle as the author of Java. In other words, play the role of a star and sign autographs. Someone likes that role, Gosling says, but not him.

    He had previously doubted the "ethical purity" of Oracle, but in this situation, he decided to leave the company altogether.

    When asked if it would be better to sell to IBM, which was also a bidder for the purchase of Sun, James Gosling replied that they had a long discussion with Scott McNealy (chairman of the board of directors of Sun), but in the end decided that “Oracle is more a wild company, but IBM will fire more people. ” So they surrendered to the clutches of Oracle, one might say, for humane reasons: managers thought about the fate of ordinary employees.

    Although Gosling himself, no doubt, would have received much more respect and benefits at IBM. For example, when IBM bought Rational Software at one time, the lead developer Grady Booch, co-author of the UML language, got the IBM Fellow position and the opportunity to do what he loves without any problems.

    Oracle’s main concern, Gosling says, is the dominance of micromanagement. That is, the head of the company Larry Ellison makes decisions on all issues, even the smallest. He can intervene in absolutely any microproject and decide the fate of any employee. In fact, even Oracle’s top management has no influence in this one-man empire. Gosling says that in all decisions regarding Java, he felt the hand of Larry Ellison.

    Gosling also provides a curious example of corporate culture in Oracle. Sun decided to throw a big party for its employees before the sale and rented a whole Great America amusement park in California for a day. Employees were given free tickets for all attractions. However, at the last moment, Oracle executives vetoed this amusement event. It was said that it contradicts their corporate culture (supposedly, this is not Oracle Way ). We are not talking about saving money - Sun already paid for the rent of the park and there was no way to return the money, so all the tickets had to be handed over to charities. At the same time, Oracle recently spent $ 200 million on sailing races . Such a corporate culture.

    Gosling also said that Oracle’s lawsuit against Google over the violation of Java patents in the Android operating system is about what he expected. During the preliminary negotiations before the merger at one of the meetings, we were talking about the patent situation between Sun and Google, and at that moment “we saw Oracle lawyers' eyes shine, ” says Gosling.

    Sun itself did not want to sue Google for several reasons. Firstly, they did not see on Google such "young Microsoft", which seeks to conquer the whole world and add to their products. Secondly, such lawsuits are very expensive, and not only in terms of money, but also the time of top managers. Huge resources are wasted. Well, another argument is the Google PR machine, against which I did not even want to lean out. Still, Google is a universal favorite, so Sun, apparently, tried to get compensation without scandal .

    Overall, James Gosling is not worried about the fate of Java. He is sure that everything will be fine. First, Java already lives its own life. Secondly, a significant part of Oracle’s business depends on Java, so it’s in the interests of the company to develop this technology. Of course, there may be some conflicts between Oracle and the Java community, but in the end, everything should work out. Still, for many people who build their products in Java, it’s important to understand that Java is more than just one vendor.

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