Oh the Places You'll Go!

Engineering | Rod Johnson | July 03, 2012 | ...

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.


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.

With its mission of simplification in mind, Spring has evolved to address problems and integrate with systems well beyond the scope of the original Spring Framework. That evolution continues today with Spring created technology at the forefront of enterprise development: Spring for Apache Hadoop and Spring Integration help with Big Data distributed processing problems; Spring Data simplifies access to NoSQL and distributed datastores; Spring Social and Spring Mobile let developers build the critical services to mobilize enterprise applications. While the Spring Framework started during the heyday of the traditional monolithic enterprise Java application server, today’s world is very different: dominated by lightweight runtimes and cloud platforms where Spring is still the best programming choice. The Spring team is amazing and will continue to stay at the forefront of enterprise development, including addressing the problems of enterprise Big Data, the rise of multiple client platforms and around cloud computing.

Spring will continue to be driven forward by the Spring project leads, whom you’ve all come to know and trust over the past several years. Their experience, deep technical knowledge and innovative thinking will continue to guide Spring’s development. I look forward to seeing what they’ll create for the next decade, in partnership with their communities.

A Great Community

Community is central to all open source technologies. A profound thank you to all of you who embraced and advocated and contributed to Spring and helped change the landscape of enterprise Java for the better. There’s nothing like open source for creating opportunities to collaborate with talented folk who could never have come together otherwise.

I’ve met many of you at SpringOne and other conferences over the years and it has always been great fun to share a drink and talk about the technology we care about. Your support and feedback has helped Spring win in the marketplace of ideas and made Java more enjoyable to work in. I look forward to continuing those conversations in the future.


I’m proud to have built a company that created jobs and opportunity for people across many countries, and delivered value to its community and customers. As SpringSource built out its technology portfolio beyond Spring, we were able to bring that mission of simplification to runtime and management, as well as application architecture. The products and technology SpringSource created are now key to VMware’s cloud strategy, and play an increasingly important role in the IT infrastructure of many customers.

I want to thank my cofounders, who shared the vision and committed so much of their life to going on this journey together, enduring the risks and rollercoaster ride of a startup; and the many outstanding employees who joined over the years. It’s been great working with you, and many of you have become good friends.

A Personal Note

package org.springframework.beans.factory;

 * @author Rod Johnson
 * @author Juergen Hoeller
 * @since 13 April 2001
public interface BeanFactory {

The personal side is important. Spring and SpringSource has occupied more than 10 years of my life. From developing the core architectural ideas in 2001, publishing Expert 1:1 J2EE Design and Development in 2002, founding the Spring Framework open source project in 2003, cofounding SpringSource in 2004, raising funding and relocating to the Bay Area in 2007, building out the company, joining forces with VMware in 2009 and helping my group to succeed within a larger organization, it’s been a wild and engrossing ride that I could never have imagined when I wrote the first lines of BeanFactory code in my study in London in 2001.

Over those years, my role has changed. I’ve enjoyed becoming more involved in the business side of technology, and working with and learning from a great group of investors, executives and business colleagues.

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.

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