As of yesterday, Sun is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oracle.

Having joined Sun in February of 1997 I thought I’d offer my tribute to Sun and share some thoughts about what Sun has meant to me and, I believe, what Sun has meant to the world.

When I think of Sun I think of innovation, integrity, and doing things differently. Sun always challenged conventions, right from its early days: the Sun-1, “The Network Is The Computer”, SPARC, Solaris, massive scalability, open systems, Java, picoJava, Space-Time-Computing,  OpenOffice, open source, eco responsibility, and much, much more.

Time and again, Sun offered alternatives to conventional IT wisdom. No matter which side you are on, choices are important in any industry, and in the IT industry they are vital. Innovation creates the opportunity we all need to grow and to evolve. That spirit will be missed.


When I think of Sun I also think about Sun’s iconic longtime CEO and chairman Scott McNealy. Scott’s handwriting was all over the company – his scrappy “Kick Butt and Have Fun” was more than just a bumper sticker. Innovate like crazy, play hard, and have fun while you’re at it. It’s the adrenaline that drives Silicon Valley to this day.

Above all, it was Scott’s character and integrity that made Sun a great company to work for. There are many stories to tell about Scott and many lines to quote. Highly competitive and hard-working, but down-to-earth and compassionate (and, lest not forget, hilariously funny), to me Scott remains one of the most charismatic industry icons.

And finally, Sun always has been about its brilliant, creative, and passionate employees. I’ve had the fortune to work on many leading-edge projects and technologies at Sun with some of the brightest thinkers in the industry. The enthusiasm and creativity of the colleagues was awe-inspiring. It was cool and fun then, and in hindsight we realize we were making history.

There is much more to say but I’d like to point you to a treasure-trove of bits and pieces of Sun culture that employees have put together. Enjoy!

A Tribute Sun Microsystems

Sun – you will be missed. It been a wild ride (and not always fun, I must add).

A heartfelt thanks to you, Scott.

On to the next chapter. Kick Butt and Have Fun!


— Terrence