By way of introduction to myself and this blog, I'm Harald Smith and I'm currently a Software Architect with IBM in the Information Management division. I particularly work with many of the InfoSphere brand products and those will be part of my focus in my exploration of the information landscape here.
As I look back over my career, I can note several points about how it has developed:
- it has not followed a standard career path -- instead it's been a rather diverse journey often at the boundaries between business and technology
- it's been heavily focused on information -- how we use information in applications and for business processes; how we ensure it has the right quality (as well as what that even means); how we protect information and comply with policies; or how we integrate it for new purposes
- it's been focused on helping others understand how to work with information-driven products -- whether documenting best practices, methods, and approaches; managing the design and delivery of products for specific needs; or just responding to questions and issues
These are themes that I hope to bring out and explore in this blog.
Outside of my career itself, I like to hike and travel (more journeys!); I like history, art, and science in general (more exploration of diverse information); and I enjoy playing and designing games (though generally not video games).
I often find it surprising how these aspects inform my work. My interest in history has continued over the years through work on genealogy/family history. As you work back 4, 5, 6 generations, you quickly get to thousands of individuals with sporadic pieces of data, often of dubious quality. I run into the same questions there that I do with business information (particularly with a common surname of Smith). What constitutes good quality information? Is the context of the information right? What other sources of information (e.g. DNA) can help me connect and enrich what I already know? I have to determine which pieces of information I trust, which I'll integrate and which I'll exclude.
I hope to draw on these experiences and examples in exploring the information landscape.
Whether looking at and working with information in work or personal context, I also tend to focus on common patterns. Such patterns allow us to develop approaches, techniques, or best practices to work with information. This is the core theme of the recent book, Patterns of Information Management, co-authored by Mandy Chessell and myself and published by Pearson/IBM Press. As we have a separate IBM developerWorks community focused on the topics of the book, I will generally focus on those specific pattern topics in detail there, not here.
That said, there are plenty of discussion points across a broad range of information management topics which I hope to address here in subsequent blogs. If there are specific topics of interest to you regarding information management, please let me know and I will see if I can address them.
And as always, the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.