I'm back from holiday but am now 12 hours from wheels up again to the east coast. I have some thoughts regarding Microsoft's software factory initiative which I've not had time to post, but will do so before the end of the week.
Speaking of holiday, our family took a cruise, and while a Fun Time Was Had By All, I was most taken by the degree of automation onboard. Docking the boat appeared to be an almost hands-free operation and the stability system -even under moderate seas - were quite amazing in keeping the vessel upright (which I suppose is always an important use case). Doing a dig of a ship's operational system is on my list for the Handbook although I've not yet started to identify which one to study.
I've been in the midst of planning Rational's projects with IBM Research for the coming year. We invested several million for Rational alone this year and will do the same for next year in the areas of model-driven development, quality, change management, middleware tools, and collaboration. A few of these plays are, quite frankly, long shots, but you need to do a few of them to seed and nurture the future. Some of these efforts will bear fruit in terms of yielding tangible products, while some will not, but even from these we'll learn a great deal. The depth of talent inside IBM Research is really quite amazing, and it's quite invigorating to work with these folks who are scattered in labs across the world.