Perhaps not a surprise, but a sign of transition: James Gosling, the longtime Sun Microsystems software guru credited with developing the Java programming language, has resigned from Oracle just a few months after it acquired Sun.


In a blog post on Friday, Gosling wrote that he resigned on April 2. “As to why I left, it’s difficult to answer: Just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good.”


Gosling, 54, is a popular and respected computer scientist and, to many, an icon of the free-spirited early days of Silicon Valley. The bearded, long-haired Gosling favors t-shirts and jeans and always seemed to enjoy himself at Sun’s annual Java One conference, at least during the traditional opening rite in which he and other Sun execs used giant sling shots to loft souvenir t-shirts into the crowd.


Last year, when Sun was in talks to be acquired by IBM, Gosling told tech blogger Jason Stamper that there might be some interesting issues as IBM tried to integrate Sun’s free-wheeling culture with its own. “We’re definitely weirder than they are,” he said then.


As it turned out, the IBM deal fell through and Oracle swooped in. Many wondered if there might be a similar culture clash as Sun old-timers found themselves working for a company that’s definitely oriented to the bottom-line. Gosling didn’t say much more in his post. Instead he wrote:


“The hardest part is no longer being with all the great people I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years. I don’t know what I’m going to do next, other than take some time off before I start job hunting.”

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (350 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.