The Java Community Process (JCP) program applauds the community's Star Spec Leads.
These leaders earned this honor through their efficient, prompt, and transparent
communication with their Expert Group, the Program Management Office (PMO), and the
Executive Committee (EC). They used community web pages, observer aliases, and other
tools to communicate with their expert group, the JCP program community, and the public.
They kept their Java Specification Requests (JSRs) on schedule by making sure their team
stayed focused and felt appreciated. The JCP program congratulates and honors these Star
Ekaterina Chtcherbina considers herself a world citizen, having lived and worked in Russia, France, and Germany.
Before joining Siemens AG in Germany, she worked at Amadeus SARL in France, a Global Distribution System,
defining a new product for online travel package reservations. Currently Ekaterina is a project manager at
Siemens Corporate Technology, a central research division within Siemens. After having led various projects
in the area of innovative software architectures for mobile devices and mobile infrastructure, she now
focuses on developing standards related to the Java Micro Edition.
She is a co-Spec Lead of
Mobile Telephony API (MTA) along with Eric Overtoom of Motorola; together they won
the 2005 JCP Program Best Spec Lead Award for Java Micro Edition. At Siemens, Ekaterina also
leads the Reference Implementation (RI) and Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) development
efforts for this JSR.
Ekaterina began working with Java in 1998 when she was a university student working towards
two masters of science degrees in Computer Science and in Economics. "Java technology
for me is not just a programming language. Rather it is a new style of technology innovation.
Java technology is not created somewhere and given as a final technology to everyone. Instead,
evolution of Java technology is highly relying on the community input. This makes the community
feel involved in the creation of the technology that they are using. At the same time this
process ensures usefulness of Java technology for the community. These facts attracted me a
lot." While at Siemens, in 2002 Ekaterina joined the JXTA project, an open source project
for development of a Peer-to-Peer Framework, where she was an active contributor before she
got involved in the JCP program.
When Jan Eichholz, a colleague at Siemens, was leading
JSR 205 Wireless Messaging API 2.0,
he invited Ekaterina to participate in the Expert Group and introduced her to the JCP program.
During one of their conversations, Jan and Ekaterina suddenly realized that the Java API for
controlling a call on a mobile device was lacking. At that moment, the idea of a new JSR for
Mobile Telephony was born, and Ekaterina later became the co-Spec Lead of JSR 253, having
learned the ins and outs of spec leadership from Jan's effective example.
Ekaterina is fully devoted to the standardization of Mobile Telephony interfaces.
She sees achieving final approval in 2005 as a very challenging and highly desirable goal.
She says, "I am committed to achieving both objectives as to the API quality and the
schedule. I think it is better to keep the JSR small and short rather than large and long.
This has required us to be careful about the scope of the JSR and to make a careful plan as
regards to features. After we finish the first version we can start thinking about future
extensions. Actually, we already think about future extensions with the Expert Group and
just cannot wait to proceed with them as soon as we finalize the current specification."
Ekaterina considers communication "the most crucial factor" in the success of a JSR.
Communication enables a good working climate in which an expert group can collaborate effectively.
She makes it a point to respond to Expert Group email within three days. "This is necessary in
order not to lose track of the discussion and to motivate further inputs," she says. Regular
email communication and weekly conference calls speed up the progress on discussions. Meeting
minutes are stored at jcp.org immediately after the conference call, so those who could not
participate in the call can still follow the discussion. The most challenging topics are discussed
in face-to-face meetings, which occur two or three times per year.
It is important to share comments received from the community with the Expert Group, and to
encourage all other opportunities for feedback on the specification. For example, Ekaterina
believes starting early on RI and TCK development can boost the quality of the specification
since the RI and TCK teams can provide feedback right away about any inconsistencies they
find in specification.
Ekaterina considers her main contribution to be in providing venues for open opinion exchange and
building the foundation for an effective discussion. To benefit JSR 253,
she wrings "the maximum" from the "unique, diverse knowledge" of the Expert Group. "The feedback of
Experts is especially important for me," says Ekaterina. "I deeply appreciate when JSR members actively
participate in the discussions and decisions. For JSR 253, a lot of great proposals are coming from Experts,
and we have integrated a lot of them already. This way we can ensure wide usability of the JSR and make it
future-proof." A discussion is launched for each proposal and driven until consensus is reached.
The team effort is paying off. Ekaterina says, "I believe that together with the Expert Group, we
have achieved great results until now. I would like to thank the JSR 253 Expert Group for the high
quality contributions. I also appreciate the valuable support of Liz Kiener of the PMO through all
phases of the JSR. I believe that I would not have become a Star Spec Lead without a Star JSR 253 Team."
Go to the Star Spec Lead Program page for more information.
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