I traveled with Kaj from Paris to Milan, and we went directly to the Sun offices, where we were received with great friendship and keen interest.
Franco Roman, Director of Marketing, explained to us how Sun invests on community activities, from big customers to university, to open source events.
Then we were joined by the directors of the other departments, who engaged us in lively exchanges of ideas, where we saw that our community models are different but easily complement each other.
There is much to do, but with such is the enthusiasm that is shown towards MySQL that I have little doubt we will succeed.
In the afternoon there was the meetup itself. Unlike Paris, it was held in a conference room, with a wide screen, microphones, video cameras (it will be published online. Stay tuned). Again, the participation from Sun employees and managers was really notable.
Kaj delivered his speech in Italian. The day before he spoke in French to the cheering crowd. In both cases the effort of meeting the community at direct human level was highly appreciated. Beer and food followed the technical speeches (yours truly about MySQL openness, and Stefano De Toni about Glassfish and Netbeans projects) and the crowd unwound and started engaging us in chat.
This is my second direct working experience with Sun people, and I have to say that I am impressed. I saw them at community work in Naples, where highly professional speakers delivered the goods to the expecting crowd, and I saw the impressive organizational skills at Milan event.
Kudos to Franco Roman for his vision, and to Emanuela Giannetta for making things happen!
I am really glad to be part of the Sun team.