TechHui

Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Featured Techie: Professor Philip Johnson

We had the pleasure of working with Professor Johnson and his Hackystat team several years ago on an open source community project. In addition to being impressed by the CSDL's Hackystat and Jupiter projects, I found the program's focus on producing well rounded software developers refreshing. In stark contrast to many of the recent CS grads I have interviewed over the years, Professor Johnson's students were familiar with current computer languages, frameworks and tools. They were also accustom to working on nontrivial projects in a collaborative manner. In addition to his academic work in the area of software development metrics, Philip has been actively involved as an adviser to many well known technology companies locally and abroad. It is with great pleasure that we introduce one of Hawaii's finest educators as November's Featured Techie.


I am a Professor of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawaii, and Director of the Collaborative Software Development Laboratory. If you go to Google, type in "philip johnson cv", and click "I'm feeling lucky", you can read all sorts of basically boring details about my academic and industrial experiences, so I won't waste any more of your time on that.

What I'd like to say to everyone in TechHui is that after 18 years of participation in the Hawaii high tech community, I am more optimistic than ever about our ability to make a positive impact on our state in particular and the world in general. I believe that the UH ICS Department has made enormous strides since 1990 in providing broad, deep, and enriching experiences for students at all levels, and our current faculty is more passionate and talented than ever. I also believe that State-sponsored organizations like HSDC and HTDC have been quite effective in nurturing high tech development: it's a complicated puzzle with lots of moving pieces, and of course they've made some mistakes along the way like the rest of us, but this is one area where I feel our government is working pretty hard on our behalf. Finally, and most importantly, there is an order of magnitude more professional opportunities now than there were back in 1990, thanks to all of the entrepreneurs who took a chance on starting a high tech business in the best place in the world to live.

One of the benefits of my job has been the opportunity to interact with high tech professionals all over the world, and in many cases I've visited them in their own environments. What I've discovered is that "Silicon Valley envy" is pretty universal, and that our community has nothing to be ashamed about. Just like every high tech community, we have our ups and downs, but I see that we are getting stronger as time goes by. I am confident there will be many more advances in high tech in Hawaii in the coming years, and I can't wait to see what we will accomplish together.

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Comment by Cameron Souza on November 27, 2008 at 2:49am
Perhaps I should have gone to UH for my CS degree!
Comment by Mika Leuck on November 27, 2008 at 2:35am
I wish I had professors like Dr. Johnson when I was in school. We really appreciate his support!
Comment by Jon Lao on November 27, 2008 at 1:21am
Glad to see Dr. Johnson being featured in Tech Hui. He is the coolest professor I ever had. All the materials he taught were extremely useful (and up to date). His teaching made me become more passionate about programming.
Comment by aaron kagawa on October 31, 2008 at 11:44am
dr. johnson was definitely someone that positively impacted my academic journey. without his and the other CSDLers guidance i don't know where i would have ended up. thanks philip!

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