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Introducing the IBM BlueMix Garage

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The BlueMix Garage is about innovation with current and future IBM clients bridging between startup and enterprise communities in the heart of the startup world. It’s about new, innovative applications that will transform and create businesses—and how development is done to deliver well-designed, initial products in weeks. It is about deploying on a platform that supports rapid development, change, and pay-as-you-go growth while providing robustness.

IBM BlueMix GarageThe BlueMix Garages are IBM community and consulting labs. The first Garage has begun initial projects and will become fully operational this June.  We invite IBM clients to come join us in the Garage. Physically speaking, the garage is an open workspace with pairing stations at Galvanize in San Francisco South of Market—an area with more startups per block than anywhere in the world. There are 25 startups today and, by end of 2014, 200 startups are expected to be part of the Galvanize SF ecosystem, sitting next to the Garage. Plus soon there will be a great coffee shop in Galvanize SF.

(Related: What is BlueMix?)

Part of our partnership with Galvanize is centered on the Garage becoming an active member of the Bay Area startup community.  We are going to host community events and mentor startups. IBM technical and business leaders will hold office hours and give tech talks. We are working with startups to migrate and build apps on BlueMix, putting their SaaS services into the IBM Cloud marketplace, providing reach to IBM’s enterprise customers. We expect to also learn from the startups and evolve our cloud services to meet their needs.

Galvanize is now accepting applications for its 24-week immersive gSchool course, using Ruby on Cloud Foundry in San Francisco, powered by IBM and Pivotal. BlueMix will be used as well as Pivotal Web Services and other Cloud Foundry providers. This gSchool course will build highly skilled developers, which companies adopting and contributing to Cloud Foundry will hire—including the BlueMix Garage. Learn more at galvanize.it/school.

It’s all about time-to-value. The Garage brings together agile business and agile development on a platform supporting agile deployment. We are growing an A-team of consultants for product management, design, and development. We’re going to produce apps—first as minimally viable products and then iteratively enhancing those apps and scaling them.

On the business side, we will guide our clients to realize their vision for great products through IBM Design Thinking (https://design.ibm.com/thinking.html) and agile product management to break down, define, and prioritize function.  We’ll use a highly disciplined agile development process to give product managers and designers the flexibility to change and evolve products rapidly.

Many people say they are doing agile development, but most don’t employ all the best practices, all the time, including:

• Constant code reviews thru pair programming
• Writing tests first for every line of code – true Test Driven Development (TDD)
• Continuously integrate and deploy to production
• Refactoring constantly for newly requested changes
• Constantly communicate with other developers, designers and product managers

At the Garage, we are disciplined in these core agile practices, which evolved from eXtreme Programming. We’re collaborating with Pivotal Labs, a top agile consulting company, to hone and enhance our agile development for BlueMix. We add top skills in such areas as mobile, analytics, integration, systems of record, scaling and security. We will collaborate with our clients to build apps using these practices by having them pair with our Garage consultants. To support rapid development and deployment with a wide set of services and capabilities, we will use IBM CodeName: BlueMix.

(Related: A data scientist’s guide to IBM BlueMix)

On a personal note, leading the Garage is a unique opportunity to bridge between different parts of my life. I live in the Bay Area with many friends in startups of all sizes. I’ve spent many years leading enterprise clients on adoption of IBM emerging technologies. I also left IBM in the early 2000s and had a great time being part of the early agile movement. I worked with Rob Mee, founder of Pivotal Labs and now SVP of Pivotal, at a startup called Evant as Rob evolved the Pivotal way of doing agile development. Now, I get to bring together these experiences together to lead the BlueMix Garage.

Interested in visiting or being part of the Garage? Send a note to garage@us.ibm.com to learn more. And check out our video announcement:

I also invite you to continue the conversation on Twiter @rreinitz or #bluemix.


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