Move Over Apache
A little over a year ago, the JavaServer Faces specification caught my interest. I've always considered myself a 'do it yourself' programmer and went as far as to start my own implementation of the JavaServer Faces specification.
I reached a point where I thought I really had something and was left with a few options: contribute to Apache, publish it on my own, or contribute to Sun's reference implementation. After much thought, here's an opportunity to contribute to 'the' standard and I joined the reference implementation at Java.net. By far, it was the best decision I'd ever made in my programming career.
One year later. In that time, I've been able to be a committer on the reference implementation of JSF, immediately joined the JSF EG, then invited to the Web Tier EG, given my own sub-project (Facelets) under Sun, added as one of the first Java Champions, and even had a few job offers since. I'd like to throw in the fact that because of that one decision, I've had the opportunity to meet and talk with industry names that I've only read on bindings of books or in articles-- Jason Hunter, Gavin King, Craig McClanahan, Ed Burns, David Geary, Kito Mann, etc.
The reason why I'm writing this blog is that so many out there have shied away from contributing to Sun's open source initiative under the CDDL. I'd like to use my last year as an example of the opportunities that are provided by making that one decision, the same decision that any of you can pursue.
Apache isn't the only body out there accepting eager developers and I guarantee that you will get a lot more recognition with an industry name like Sun.