Bon voyage and thanks for the memories

SpringSource founder Rod Johnson leaves after a decade at the helm

Chris Mayer

A Java EE visionary departs VMware, so where do SpringSource go from here.

It had been a long-time rumour, but today we got confirmation of it – Rod Johnson, founder of the Spring Framework is leaving VMware.

On a SpringSource blog, with a title seemingly inspired by Dr.Seuss, Johnson dwelled on his decade at the heart of Spring development saying:

The last ten years has been an exciting and challenging journey for me and I’m very proud of the technology and community that my SpringSource cofounders and I fostered. However, there always comes a time to make a choice about the places you’ll go, and it’s time for me to leave VMware and pursue other interests. I wish VMware and my colleagues continued success, and know that Spring will continue to thrive.

His legacy speaks for itself – creating the Spring framework, the community around it, the projects that feed into it and more. He added:

Spring was created to simplify enterprise Java development, and has succeeded in that goal. The Spring community continues to grow, Spring is more widely adopted than ever and Spring has become the dominant programming model for enterprise Java.

Touching upon some Spring sub-projects, such as Spring for Apache HadoopSpring Integration, Spring DataSpring Social and Spring Mobile, Johnson praised the project leads and the wider community for their innovative involvement, which wouldn’t have made SpringSource the wild success it has been without them. Spring has really entered all arenas of enterprise Java and the spokes that belong to it such as mobile, big data and so on, making a big imprint in each.

Johnson cited a number of reasons for his departure, but the last paragraph summed up why:

Ten years is a long time. I’m ready for some different challenges. I’ll always be part of the Spring community, and will continue to contribute ideas. And like any parent that has helped raise a child to maturity, I am proud and excited to see the new places where Spring will go.

With the forefather of Spring stepping aside, it remains to be seen who guides SpringSource going into the future at VMware. As for Johnson, his impact and influence on Enterprise Java cannot be underestimated, giving it some zest after a lull a few years back. Even rivals such as Sacha Labourey (comment on blog) paid tribute to his vision.

All the best Rod in your future endeavours.

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