InterConnect 2016: Opening General Session

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Short recap of the InterConnect at Las Vegas written by Dan Kehn

A quick recap of this morning’s general session! For the full replay, go to IBMgo.

To emphasize the point that InterConnect is really owned by customers, the session was opened by a trio of IBM clients: Westpac, SIEMENS, and Alpha Modus.

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Alpha Modus recounted how they leveraged Watson Cognitive services on Bluemix to spot changing market sentiment. Bill Alessi provided a real-world example where an announcement by the Federal chair prompted a positive market reaction, but their analysis suggested it would be short-lived; this insight proved useful to their clients who were able to adjust their exposure accordingly and avoid the effects of the market downturn the next day:

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Learn more at Using IBM Bluemix to Find Alpha in Unstructured Data

Next IBM Senior VP Robert LeBlanc took the stage to present a flurry of announcements. Below are three that are particularly close to the Bluemix developer’s heart:

The IBM-VMware partnership offers scale and consistency for enterprises using VMware by leveraging the IBM’s SoftLayer cloud data centers around the globe. It also simplifies hybrid deployments since VMware images running locally can be seamlessly moved to the cloud, whether it’s a local instance managed by Bluemix, a dedicated instance, or an instance in IBM’s public cloud.

Needless to say, GitHub is a popular choice for development and collaboration of source code; the GitHub Enterprise service will bring that capability in-house to Bluemix Dedicated and Local customers. Faster development, familiar tools, keeps the security guys happy. What’s not to love?

Apple VP Brian Croll laid the foundation for the importance of the IBM-Apple announcement on Swift by ticking off some key statistics: 1 billion Apple devices and 1.5 million applications in the App Store. This plethora of applications were created using Xcode:

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As a gentle dig at the arcane nature of programming, Eric presented the canonical “Hello World” for C with its required main, include, etc. and contrasted it with the simple one line for Swift:

print("Hello World")

Based on the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2015, the simplicity of Swift has resonated with developers, leading it to the top of the “most loved” languages (it’s noteworthy that the same survey concluded “You use JavaScript. You love Swift. And you want to code in Node.”). Eric was followed by a demonstration of the Swift Playground that brings interactive code creation and debugging to a whole new level. Check it out in the IBMgo replay!

Apple set the stage for IBM’s announcement of cloud-based app development in Swift to complement the Swift Sandbox announced last December. You can learn more on the Swift @ IBM developers center.

Robert closed out the session with a reminder followed by a challenge: The cloud isn’t the destination, it’s the platform. How are you going to innovate?

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