Imagine a huge ballroom filled to capacity with developers (including more than a handful of alpha geeks and techno-luminaries). Two projection screens, each as large as a two-story building, are at the front. A hush falls over the crowd as the finalists for the Jolt Cola Award in the Web Sites category are displayed. IBM, BEA, Microsoft, Javararanch, ... what? Javaranch? Up against the likes of the big corporate developer sites? Yes, there was the name Javaranch in a font that had to be at least 7000 points.
There was a drum roll... (no, seriously, there really *was* a drum roll) and the winners of the Software Development Productivity Awards were announced. Javaranch is a winner! The crowd goes wild.
So we didn't win the coveted Jolt Cola award, but what's that about anyway? Javaranch is all about PRODUCTIVITY, not beverages with an illegal amount of caffeine.
Most importantly, Javaranch was a finalist in a category of huge, big-name, big-budget developer sites. And here we are, 100% volunteer. Paul couldn't make it, so I was there to accept the award for him, and if we'd won the Jolt award, I would have had to give a short acceptance speech. Here's what I would have said:
"Javaranch is an all-volunteer site. There's no company, no budget, no "Press three for worldwide marketing" on the phone system. There's no phone. The value of javaranch is the hundreds of people who run the site, man the site, and moderate the forums. The value of javaranch is in the hundreds of thousands who participate, asking and answering questions to help one another out. This award is for all those individuals, and to Java -- for being a language that inspires that much passion.You'll never see this much enthusiasm at a .netRanch." (OK, I wouldn't have said that last thing, but I would have been thinking it strongly enough to telepathically convey it to at least the entire front row of the audience).
I was intensely proud to be there representing Javaranch.