by Kathy Sierra
For a second year, JavaRanch wows the Software Development Conference and takes home a Productivity Award.
The crowd is mad with anticipation. Industry luminaries shine from every seat in the theater. The papprazzi are poised with cameras and cellphones, waiting to call in a story the instant the winners are announced. It's finally time for the Jolt Cola Awards.
But first, the attendees have to suffer through a near-endless list of categories... Best Technical Book... Best Design and Analysis Tools... Best Change and Configuration Management Tools... Best Beer For Coding... and on it goes. Nobody tries to leave though. Because they're all here for one reason only--to find out who wins the award for Websites and Developer Networks.
Finally, all the other winners in the other categories have been announced. And just like the Academy Awards, the best category has been saved for last. The announcer clears her throat. Then a hush falls over the audience. The IBM guy is squirming. The Microsoft guy is sweating. The Cowgirl is smacking her Jolt cola gum and trying to stare down Scott Ambler (his Agile Modeling Home Page is a finalist too). And then it happens... JavaRanch is a winner! Ten thousand people leap to their feet in the most thunderous standing ovation ever experienced at a geek convention. Or maybe it was the blood rushing to the Cowgirl's head.
Did we win the Top Prize? The silly little can of Jolt Cola encased in lucite? No. Of course not. You know, it's all so *political*. But we DID win the cooler, less pretentious prize... the Productivity Award. And once again, the world knows that all-volunteer JavaRanch kicked Bill Gate's butt. The Microsoft site won nothing.
Unfortunately, the Trail Boss couldn't be there to accept the award, so the Cowgirl had to once again fight off the adoring JavaRanch fans and kick her way to the stage for the fabulous Productivity Award plaque. Productivity Award Winners don't get to make a speech, but if JavaRanch had won, the Trail Boss had asked the Cowgirl to thank all the little people that made it all possible, like the Bartenders and Sheriffs. Most of all, though he wanted her to thank the REAL superstars of JavaRanch... Ranch Hands and Greenhorns. The ones who ask and answer the questions, and make things so fun around here.