Roll call: 5 questions for...Steve Abrams and Timothy Hahn
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As a developer, wouldn't you love to log in and simply have all of the development, test and deployment environments that you need at your fingertips? Steve Abrams, Chief Cloud Architect, and Timothy Hahn, Chief Architect for Enterprise Modernization Tools describe what PureSystems really means for development teams. Both are IBM Distinguished Engineers and authors of last week's featured article about IBM PureSystems, the new expert integrated systems approach to IT.
What does PureSystems mean for practitioners and software engineers?
Steve: With PureSystems, developers can focus on development and not worry about details of infrastructure and configuration. Especially with PureApplication Systems, the patterns mean that developers can easily build applications that everyone can be confident will work and perform well in production. This will dramatically reduce the amount of time, money, and effort wasted by development teams tracking down what turn out to be configuration errors, rather than application defects.
Tim: PureSystems represents a significant advance in how practitioners and software engineers will use their computing resources. PureSystems will make it possible for software engineers to get access to high-performance computing systems quickly, and just for the time they need to use it, to develop and test their applications. For system administrators, PureSystems represents a new way of managing their computing infrastructure. Administrators can concentrate on managing system images (rather than a bevy of individual instances) and can devote more time to innovating new application architecture models. By automating the instantiation and setup of systems and applications, the mundane tasks of system administration are handled by the system itself, which enables people to concentrate on new solutions.
By using PureSystems capabilities, how can development teams realize increased productivity on both new and existing applications?
Steve: Typically, availability of test hardware is a major bottleneck in the application lifecycle. PureSystems makes it simple for teams to quickly get access to production-like environments for testing purposes, virtually eliminating this bottleneck. Further, teams can connect PureSystems to a continuous integration process and automatically get continuous, realistic feedback on the quality of the application throughout the development cycle. The simple application onboarding process means that this benefit extends equally to new and existing applications.
Tim: Development teams should be looking at PureSystems as a means of getting access to server-level computing resources quickly, easily, and just at the time that they need them to deploy and test applications. Development teams should no longer feel the need to manage loads of small desktop systems in order to cobble together an approximation of a server-level infrastructure. Now, developers can get an instance of exactly what the eventual deployment environment will be for their applications, run their applications in that environment, and then return that instance to the resource pool, confident that they will get those resources again the next time that they need to test their applications. Without the burden of managing their own systems, developers can spend their time creating innovative applications.
What is the one action that you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?
Steve: Asking questions. Too often, people are afraid to ask questions, and that limits their ability to succeed. I can't think of a time when asking a good, hard, clarifying question did anything to impede progress. More often than not, the questions reveal the critical next steps for success.
Tim: The one action I have taken is to always be curious, inquisitive, and ready to take on a challenge that I wasn't expecting to come my way.
What interests you outside of your job (hobbies, activities)?
Steve: I love photography. I don't take pictures as well or as often as I would like, but I still love it (mandatory shameless plug: http
Tim: I am an active triathlete, competing in sprint and international distance events. I also enjoy scuba diving.
What books have influenced your ideas and thoughts the most?
Steve: Lately, many of the books that I've read relate to the course that I teach at Columbia University. A current favorite is Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It provides a nice, flexible structure for defining and understanding business models. Even in a large company like IBM, innovative, entrepreneurial thinking about changing and emerging business models is critical to our success.
Tim: I read mostly fiction when not reading for work. One of my favorite books is Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. However, The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman is one book that I enjoyed that also has helped me realize the potential of our global society.
You can read their article, IBM PureSystems: A game changer in the development, deployment, and management of IT applications, on developerWorks.
Have you already looked at PureSystems? What have you read? Is there anything that Steve or Tim can help you with? Leave a comment here or at the end of their article.