Students often play games like Tetris to avoid doing their schoolwork.Andreas Ebbert
instead chose to clone Tetris for his
freshman school project at the Ruhr-University in Bochum.Besides the fact that he
called the game Tritris, substituting triangles for the squares in the game, the more interesting point is that although he
was first learning C++ at the university, he
instead chose to use Java technology to develop the applet.
The game was started at the end of 1995 but never completed, and Andreas
moved on to hone his
Java technology skill in a variety of projects.For example, he
jointly developed a checker variant called "Nicand's Dame," still available at nicand.ebbert.org.He
designed a Java technology GUI that was connected to an autonomous doube stereo-camera robot over a TCP/IP connection, enabling it to display video data and control the robot's movement.His
diploma, similar to a master's thesis, related to a software component for a network planning application, where the user could use Java3D to enter the network data in a visual editor.
Professionally, 2001 was a watershed year for Andreas
.He parlayed his experience into a job at Nokia Networks, where he is currently a Software Design Engineer.He
is responsible for the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) programming for Nokia NetActÍ network and service management system.Also in 2001, Andreas joined the OSS through Java Initiative (OSS/J) and began participating in the JCP program.He
created the Reference Implementation (RI) and part of the Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) for JSR 89 OSS Service Activation API, which was then being led by Stefan Vaillant.Andreas
worked closely with Stefan, and once the JSR was finalized in 2002, became the Maintenance Lead.
refers totime zones as the "unsolvable problem" with conference calls.JSR264's Expert Group
is spread evenly around the globe, which makes itdifficult to agree on times for the conference calls. Andreas
says, "We switch the time every month to share the pain, butthere is always only a fraction of the team on the call.Face-to-facemeetings are even harder to achieve since travel restrictions apply toall Expert Group members, including me.Luckily we managed to meet fora few hours during the TeleManagement World in Nice, but only fivemembers were present, while the Expert Group
is more than twice asbig."Still, he
finds that face-to-face meetings are "incrediblyvaluable and productive," so he
wishes the group could do more of them.
A member of the java.net JSR community
, JSR 264
has a public project on java.net
to advertise all progress, and a private project to exchange documentsand benefit from the source control capabilities (CVS).Links andinformation about JSR 264
are also provided on www.ossj.org, where all OSS JSRs are promoted.The OSS
through Java Initiative spreads thenews about progress on all OSS JSRs through its website, interestmailing lists, webinars, and trade-shows, to name a few.
A Team of Equals The scenario in which the Spec Lead does all the work, while theExpert Group members just throw in their expertise every now and then,sounds like a nightmare to Andreas
The job of turning a group of individual experts into an Expert Group
-- a team! -- "is maybe the most important task for me as a SpecLead," says Andreas
.A team shares the same goals and agrees on how toachieve them.Trust is important, too."We have to know about ourroles and about the roles of the others in the team, and that we canrely on them," he
Quality, Motivation, and CommitmentKeeping the schedule is a secondary goal for Andreas
, itis far more important that the Expert Group
delivers excellent qualityand stays committed to the common goal.When the team has thatattitude, keeping the schedule is a result not the goal.Although itmay be tempting, he
suggests that after the JSR has started, "don'timmediately open your favorite IDE and start coding.
"Always keep inmind, that there are people out there who will use what you havecreated," says Andreas
...Besides working at Nokia, Andreas is studying economics part-time andplanning to get his degree by the end of 2006.He
already has adiploma in Electrical Engineering, a degree requiring at least fourand a half years of university study. Andreas
thoroughly enjoys being creative and finding pragmaticsolutions in a restricted environment.