According to reports on Twitter and Reddit, Oracle has released its staff of Java evangelists -- mere weeks before the company’s annual JavaOne conference promoting the enterprise software development technology.
Oracle did not respond to requests for comments on Friday morning. But a tweet this morning attributed to kcpeppe, Java performance tuning specialists, cited the loss of the evangelists: “Unsettling event at Oracle. All of the Java evangelists have been let go. Sad this happened to a great dedicated enthusiastic group.” The issue was also discussed in a Reddit thread, which cited the report as unconfirmed.
A source familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity, said at least one member of the evangelist team had been let go and Oracle has had recent layoffs. Also, several Oracle executives have either left or were let go recently, the source said. “[The reduction] has nothing to do with Java specifically.”
A check of Oracle’s recent press statements finds no mention of a recent reduction in force. The company in June, however, reported that total revenues, which totaled $10.7 billion, were down 5 percent for the 2015 fourth fiscal quarter, compared to the same time the previous year. Profits were down 24 percent from a year earlier.
The loss of Java evangelists would seem poorly timed given next month’s JavaOne conference, to be held in San Francisco. Java has been dominating language popularity indexes and remains a prominent platform. Whether the loss of these individuals would significantly reduce Java's profile would remain to be seen.