Visualizing My Java Champion Journey

Donald Raab
2 min readFeb 29, 2024

Mind mapping memories and metrics from the before and after times.

Freeze Frame — Oracle CodeOne 2018

The Journey Continues

Last year I captured a blog with a mind map including the things I believe had contributed to me being selected as a Java Champion in 2018. This week I captured a mind map of everything I have done in similar categories since 2018. There was some missing time in the conference talks due to the pandemic, but I made up some lost ground last year with four conference talks. I spoke at Devnexus 2023, QCon New York 2023, Devoxx Greece 2023, Devoxx Belgium 2023. I’m not going to write too much text in this blog. I will just leave the before and after Java Champion mind maps for comparison, along with a photo from my first talk as a Java Champion from Oracle CodeOne 2018.

Before Java Champion

My Journey before July 2018

After Java Champion

My Journey after July 2018

Mapping the Memories

One benefit I have seen out of this activity is quantifying the resulting impact on the communities and initiatives I have been involved with over time. I will try to capture an update every few years so I can have snapshots of how my journey is evolving.

It was very nostalgic for me, going back through old photos and recalling things that can be easily forgotten. I am including a photo below from Oracle CodeOne 2018, which was the first conference I spoke at where I was able to add Java Champion to my speaker bio. Some of the benefits of speaking at and attending technical conferences are the amazing people you get to meet, and the global network you can grow if you invest some time and energy in building connections. It helps to find good places to meet for coffee before, during and after a conference.

Java Champions Leo MR Lima and Nikhil Nanivadekar with me at our JVM Language Compare Talk

Thank you for reading, and best of luck on your journeys!

I am the creator of and committer for the Eclipse Collections OSS project, which is managed at the Eclipse Foundation. Eclipse Collections is open for contributions.

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Donald Raab

Java Champion. Creator of the Eclipse Collections OSS Java library (https://github.com/eclipse/eclipse-collections). Inspired by Smalltalk. Opinions are my own.