Posted by marinasum
on January 18, 2008 at 11:28 AM PST
Inyoung Cho, whom I met at Sun Tech Days Atlanta last week, epitomizes the qualities of an outstanding technology evangelist: She's savvy, straightforward, and approachable.
At Sun Tech Days Atlanta last week, I became acquainted with Inyoung Cho, one of the Sun technology evangelists who presented and demo'd at the technical sessions there. Now that we're both back in California, I sought her out for an interview.Early Years at Sun
Inyoung was born in Korea and came to the States as a teenager. She joined Sun Canada in Toronto in 1995 to port the Solaris OS to various systems. A lot of traveling came with her job. Subsequently, Inyoung's territory expanded to also cover Asia Pacific (APAC).
In 1996, Inyoung moved to California on the popular wave of Java technology and joined JavaSoft, then a division of Sun, as a Java OS developer. She then supported licensing and system engineers for APAC "with a counterpart in each of the countries." "I continued to travel a lot: Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore, many places," she told me.
Inyoung was also on a one-year assignment in Japan as a close liaison of Sun's Japanese and Korean licensees for Java technology. She doesn't know Japanese and performed her duties strictly in English, a language that's by far not widely adopted in Japan. Admirable!
Inyoung returned to California from Japan in 2001. She was thrilled to join Market Development Engineering (MDE) as a technology evangelist, a position she's still holding.
"What's the pull?" I wondered.
"First of all, I enjoy traveling and working with developers on the Java platforms: SE, EE, and mobility, also Web services and Sun's infrastructure products. Currently, I specialize in JavaFX [technology] and scripting," Inyoung elaborated.
"There's plenty to like," she continued. "Technology is constantly changing so life is never boring. I'm always learning and switching gears; I never do the same thing for very long."
Internally at Sun, Inyoung has enjoyed being a Java ambassador since 1999. Java ambassadors are a group of system or sales engineers around the country who powwow two or three times a year to share experiences and ideas, exchange resources, and, most of all, discuss customer needs. They then pass on their recommendations to the product development teams.
Gratification and Balance
Inyoung can't be more gratified that every time she finishes up a presentationbe it at Tech Days, user-group meetings, or customer sitesthe feedback is instantaneous and real-time. Any comments that relate to or would benefit the Sun product teams she quickly passes on.
Inyoung is married to a senior staff engineer at Sun and has a four-year-old son. Her constant travels prompted me to ask her how she balances between work and home.
"I got luckyvery lucky," she quipped, all smiles. "My husband is a renaissance man and does a superb job at caring for our son when I'm away. I don't worry when I'm on the road, thanks to him."
Lucky? Inyoung has earned it all.