Welcome to our new developerWorks blog for Africa. developerWorks Africa blog. This is IBM's online resource for developers and IT professionals located within the African continent. I'll be bringing you the latest IBM technology advances, trends, products along with explanations on what this means to African developers. But it isn't a one-way street, I need to hear from you ! Test the published opinions, and ask questions of our experts, help us dig deeper and find out the implications for IT in Africa.. This works, only as long as we are both in the conversation together. Share you triumphs and innovations as well as your bumps in the road. Don't be shy. We need to hear your opinions, your ideas, and your viewpoints.
Where to start? Where to start? After much consideration and hall talk, I decided to start by tackling Bluemix.
Having spent plenty of time researching Bluemix and having listened to a wide variety of opinions and definitions, I have come to the realisation that many developers approach Bluemix from what it can do for them within their specific fields of expertise. So I've decided to take a higher level view of Bluemix, and assess what it can do for all African developers. Naturally, I have tried to create a definition that can speak to all Developers in Africa to use as a starting point.
I must concede that the definition I share is not solely my own but rather compiled from interviews and discussions with African developers and product managers. A tapestry woven from single threads of single viewpoints, resulting in a comprehensive, higher level assessment of what Bluemix is and what Bluemix means to African developers in particular.
Shamim Hossain states quite aptly that Bluemix is "A platform where developers can act like kids in a sandbox—except this box is enterprise-grade.”
So what is this new sandbox? Hossain refers to Bluemix as a development platform built on Cloud Foundry that allows you to build applications rapidly using a variety of services. Because it's based on open standards, developers avoid vendor lock-in, and leverage the open, flexible, vendor-neutral cloud environment. Developers are free to use a variety of open-sourced tools from IBM, third parties, or freeware sites. Thus, allowing them to select the open standard tool that best fits the need, rather than the proprietary compatible tool designed to fit the anticipated need.
Currently IBM has over 200 software and middleware patterns for helping enterprise developers build portable and compatible application for the hybrid cloud. The pre-built servers ensure that application assembly is easy and developers can dedicate their time to focusing on app requirements and developing solutions to those requirements.
Quite simply this means that Bluemix allows developers to focus on developing their Apps. While Bluemix takes care of the back-end.
Finding Bluemix in Africa
In hunting down the meaning of Bluemix for Africa, I shifted my attention to the IBM Research Africa team based in Nairobi, Kenya. This is the 12th global laboratory and the first commercial facility in Africa. It is creating partnerships in business, research facilities and organisations and in universities across Africa. It was here I found a promising recent interview entitled: What you wanted to know about Bluemix, but were afraid to ask.
The discussion Predrag Lucic, Ecosystem Development Executive MEA IOT, and Executive IT Architect, Hamid Khafagy cover important aspects of Bluemix and candidly admit that at first glance the Bluemix explanations can be quite confusing.
Below is a link to the video. Take some time to demystify Bluemix and allow yourself to discover a world that will make your life as a developer much easier but more importantly more competitive and more efficient.
This is just an example of the many blog entries that will follow, highlighting innovations within IBM, as well as inventions, applications, and further innovations you make in response to those innovations at IBM. That said, we want to hear from you. We want to know what is going on in Africa and give voice to the energy, insight, creative uses, of IBM products and initiatives in Africa. So talk with us on Twitter @dvWorks_Africa and leave your comments below.