02 May 2019
The first time I saw NetBeans I was a student and some actual programmers were writing code with this awesome purple-themed IDE I never heard of.
I did manage to get it on a CD only to discover that in the NetBeans 3.5 (or 3.6) days I didn't really have a computer fast enough to run such a heavy duty professional IDE.
When I left my corporate job at the age of 26 I started working as a NetBeans Platform contractor which later on turned into a company of 5 people doing Java and NetBeans-related things.
I've coded almost exclusively on NetBeans and on vi when I'm in the terminal.
While initially I had a Windows laptop I switched pretty soon to a MacBook Pro and I'm using one to write this right now. I am probably among the few that used NetBeans so much on macOS and I started to notice early on how the IDE looked on the Retina Displays and the need for better native integration.
The Apache donation meant I spent a whole lot of time on NetBeans to get through the code review process and to finally add in some fixes that I didn't manage to get in during the Oracle or Sun Microsystems' days.
I was the Release Manager for Apache NetBeans 9.0 beta and Apache NetBeans 9.0, the first major release after the much loved and used NetBeans 8.2.
For practical reasons I created the NetBeans distribution called CoolBeans. Note that I don't consider it a fork in the same way we have OpenOffice and LibreOffice but just a distribution where I have more freedom to do some things like include a JDK with the Windows installer.