Today Jim Manico (Twitter:@manicode) was nominated and announced a Java Champion.  Jim is the founder and leader of Manicode, a software security training company.  So why do I think this is amazing?

But first, what is a Java Champion and what makes them special you might wonder?  Java Champions are: top leaders, technical luminaries, independent-minded and credible, changing the world in amazing ways with Java, and influencing others through their activities.  An important point you might not realize is that Java Champions are not appointed by Oracle.  New Java Champions are nominated and selected by current Java Champions in a peer review process.   I’m old school Java so the following is a short list of a few champions I look up to,

James Gosling, Joshua Bloch, Doug Lea, Bruce Eckel, Paul J. Deitel, David Flanagan

If you have been at Java for awhile it’s likely you recognize a few names on my short list.  When I was learning Java around 1995, I was programming apps in VC++ with MFC and Trumpet Winsock.  Oh ya, I really am that old.  On my lunch breaks I would watch media presentations by Bruce Eckel.  Likewise, books by David Flanagan where handy to find documentation on the utility libraries I needed with some examples for my projects.  You see my point, the bar is high to be a Java Champion.

So why am I excited about Jim Manico as a Java Champion?  It’s just this, security is well represented by the academic and research communities but not so much by the community of security practitioners.  When I say security practitioners, I mean the people that live and breath security every day for their primary job.  I’m sure it’s no surprise what type of a world we live in, every day there’s a new breach story.  Broad experience defending software application systems is benefit, security methodologies, are all important perspectives to bring to the champions when expressed thoughtfully.

A disclosure, I have known Jim for a long time and our careers have crossed each others many times.  Years ago, I first met Jim when he interview me for a job opportunity.  I believe Jim was a Director of OWASP at the time.  The interview was interesting, stressful, humbling, and all at the same time.  I’m guessing the interview went well since I got the job.   So much has changed since those days.  On several occasions I have been invited to lead security content for Oracle’s JavaOne developers conference event.  Jim assisted me several times on the content leadership team to help me review security researcher submissions.  Jim also presented and in 2013 he made JavaOne Rock Star.  The following year, I had the opportunity and pleasure to assist Jim with his technology book, Iron-Clad Java: Building Secure Web Applications.  More recently, I attended his first application defenders conference, LocoMocoSec, in Hawaii.  Jim is making a tremendous impact throughout the field.  I’m delighted to see him bring his broad security practitioner perspective and influence to the Java Champions program.