Sunday, June 7, 2009

I wanna be, I wanna be like Chris Melissinos - Virginia Tech Gaming Presentation

On the night of 6th of November 2007, Chris Melissinos - Sun's Chief Gaming Officer, put on the best presentation that the Virginia Tech (VT) students of the ACM in Blacksburg may have ever seen. Certainly the most interesting. These are not my observations, but that of the President of the ACM. Chris and I drove down to Blacksburg together that Tuesday. It was a very educational day for me, (see here for history of gaming) because I had a chance to get a better understanding of the entire gaming world from the expert on planet earth. It would be analogous to driving down to a physics seminar on Quantum Mechanics and you had the pleasure of spending four hours with Werner Heisenberg.

I have had the privilege of personally seeing many, many Sun and non-Sunluminaries wax eloquently to enthralled audiences.

At VT on November 6th, 2007 Chris Melissinos surpassed anything that I have ever witnessed before.

The audience was 60 extremely bright Computer Science students who are also members of the ACM at VT. VT is one of the top Computer Science and Engineering Schools that is well known for their deep Linux expertise.

The students started showing up early at 7:00pm and Chris spoke until 11:30pm with no breaks until we finally had to leave. The President of the ACM said:

"I have seen countless ACM presentations by every
company you can think of and I have never - ever -
seen this type of response and this amount
of incredible interest."

It was simply amazing to see CS Majors sitting on the edges of their seats for over four hours.

How this all happened was thanks to Jonathan's increased investment from 180 Campus Advocates to 500 this year. In the case of the VT Campus Advocate, it happens to be my son,
John, who has known Chris for six years and has been to Chris's house to see his amazing collection of every gaming system from Pong forward, asked Chris to speak at VT. Since I love to see Chris speak, I offered to drive Chris to Blacksburg from Ashburn.

When I think about the stock symbol change from SUNW to JAVA, I think of extremely talented, passionate and hardworking Sun employees like Chris Melissinos. Chris is the perfect example of the type of leaders we must have to capture these new and emerging markets.

If you would like to listen to this event, the audio is here and the slides are here.

As a Sun employee, last Tuesday night was priceless.

Chris also blogged about this and has some great photos of the night as well.

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