JavaOne XI â€“ Searching for Google
Still enjoying a market cap over $100 billion despite a rocky market the past few weeks, Google is nearly as well capitalized as IBM, and over 8 times that of Sun. The extent to which stock price is an indicator of the inner beauty in a firm, the Google successful business model has been the it girl of the past two years. Where once Sun was the dot in dot com, Google has now become the connector of dots, making success on a global scale possible for even the most modest of firms who today only need to be clever enough to score high in the Page Rank(tm) view of the reality.
We all know the Google dharma, right? "Do no evil"? Evidently it is okay to be blatantly gauche, however.
I had seen Google listed in the program as a Pavilion player, and I was curious as to what their Java Platform connection might be. Are they developing a Java-based application? Perhaps their download stuff would soon include something special for Java developers?
Finding the Google booth at JavaOne was no mean feat. I searched for Google. Hidden on the edge of the Pavillion floor was a modest booth space...something one of those very small but clever Page Rank(tm) successful firms could have easily afforded at a conference also host to giants. When I asked one of the Googlers point blank, "So why are you here?" the unhesitant response was, "We are recruiting developers."
I was shocked. Completely stunned. Could it be true? Sure enough, there was the evidence, brazenly displayed on their collateral rack in front of their booth.
Isn't it against the unwritten law of the conference? I mean, sure, recruiting is done all the time at conferences. It is, no doubt, one of the top ten activities that occur. But you don't come out and say it. It's just not done. Why would a company bother to send their best staff to a technology conference if they knew in advance that it was seen as a job fair by a very successful firm with lots of cash who does no evil? But sure enough, Google was very candid about their purposes at JavaOne this year. The only marketing collateral on display was from their employee recruiting efforts.
Vendors take note: need some really good Java developers? Just rent some Pavilion space at the next JavaOne, print up some recruiting sheets, scan some badges, and your access costs to the best developers on the planet just got a whole lot lower. Evidently, that unwritten rule just got tossed. Thank you Google.
Maybe itâ€™s just me. Maybe Iâ€™m still mired in the norms and protocols of a less-sophisticated era. Perhaps there is nothing at all wrong with Googleâ€™s sole purpose at JavaOne being to blantantly search for and recruit developers from the unwitting firms who paid the tab for their best developers to attend a Google job fair.
That â€œdo no evilâ€ thing can get a little mirky, it seems, with Sergeâ€™s definition of evil calling the shots. Perhaps it isnâ€™t evilâ€¦but then again, it really does depend on whoâ€™s getting hurt, doesnâ€™t it?
Appended to the interesting stuff list discovered at JavaOne in 2006:
7) You can break a lot of unwritten rules when youâ€™re in the business of determining what is and isnâ€™t relevant.
8) It may very well be true that you can make money without doing evilâ€¦as long as you are completely oblivious to protocol, the feelings of others and what used to be frowned on as poor taste.