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Where Java means Jai Hind

Anand Parthasarathy

Sun's tech-mela in Hyderabad draws 10,000 tech-geeks



JAVA TRULY OPEN: Sun Microsystems executive vice-president Rich Green addresses his largest audience ever, at the developer conference in Hyderabad last week. — Photo: Special Arrangement

Bangalore: For a truly physical, in-your-face demonstration of the strength and size of India's software community, one had to be in Hyderabad on at least one of the three days (February 21-23).

That was when Sun Microsystems hosted the annual Sun Tech Days conference.

And their precaution in holding the event in the biggest conference complex of the country — the Hyderabad International Convention Centre — was wise: Even this massive facility seemed dwarfed when over 10,000 of India's best and brightest software engineers and students turned up, each paying at least Rs. 1,000 for the privilege of participating.

This was by far the largest gathering ever, of Indian `techies' at one venue — and the event was not just the best attended of the Tech Days that Sun organises at 15 locations worldwide every year. What brought these thousands of young software geeks to Hyderabad was Java, the ubiquitous programming environment created by Sun that — thanks to the growth of mobile computing and communicating devices — has become a sort of `must know' technology for software aspirants here.

Kicked off by a keynote by Sun Executive vice-president - Software, Rich Green, the conference showcased the extent to which India had cornered the turf of innovative Java-based applications aimed at `solving the unsolvable': problems that had defied a solution.

``India is the world's number one developer community — and the fastest market for Sun technologies,'' Matt Thompson, Sr. Director for the company's developer network, told The Hindu . ``Money follows the ideas — which is why so many venture capitalists are coming to India, where ideas are born.''

Sun's decision to throw open the Java programming environment (as it did earlier with its operating system Solaris) to the General Public Licence version 2 (GPL2) means it is now truly `open' for developers to work with and share, Mr. Thompson added. Sun's own India-based engineers had succeeded in creating a portable version of OpenSolaris called Belenix, which can today be carried in a tiny `thumb' drive.

Seeing the canny applications that software programmers — many of them still students — proudly showcased over three days at Hyderabad, many of them driving mobile and entertainment applications, was proof enough: This is the motherland of savvy software where Java means Jai Hind.

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