James Gosling, credited with creating the popular Java programming language used to build much of the world’s business software and Android mobile apps, has joined Amazon Web Services as distinguished engineer.
This is a coup for Amazon (AMZN), which wants big companies to move more software and data from their own data centers into Amazon’s facilities. Amazon aggregates massive pools of computers, storage, and networking gear that is customers share in what is called a public cloud.
Gosling posted his news on Facebook (FB) Monday. Amazon had no comment about the hire.
Gosling drove the development of Java during his 26 years at Sun Microsystems, where he rose from engineer to chief technology officer. In 2009, Oracle (ORCL) announced plans to buy Sun, along with its Java franchise, for more than $7.4 billion. The deal was completed in 2010 and Gosling left the following year, joining Google where he spent six months, according to his LinkedIn profile. At Google (GOOG), he joined his former Sun colleague Eric Schmidt, who is now executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet and who also played a big role in Java’s early development.
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Gosling left Google for Liquid Robotics, a company that was acquired by aerospace giant Boeing (BA), early last year.
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Because much of Java’s importance in the business world, Gosling has credibility among corporate IT executives who tend to be conservative about what technology they run and where. Many of those executives are now weighing whether to move their software from their own data centers to a public cloud like AWS, Microsoft (MSFT) Azure, or Google Cloud Platform.
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Sebastian Stadil, chief executive of Scalr, a San Francisco-based cloud management company, said it’s easy to see why AWS would seek out Gosling: “He invented Java. AWS clearly hired him to win every enterprise Java workload out there.”