Pragmatic Architecture, DevOps, and Cloud Computing
I have recently been designated an IBM developerWorks Contributing Author. As, they say, this is a "credential that represents your publishing achievements on developerWorks and the overall technical and educational value that your developerWorks contributions have provided, as recognized by industry colleagues."
I hope that the different articles that I wrote in the past have been useful for practitioners doing architecture, design, and development
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Earlier this week, I was invited by the Ecole de Technologie Superieure (ETS) to give a lecture on Cloud Computing & IBM Bluemix.
For the second year, the ETS organizes a summer school for students from all over the world. The summer school is an intensive 4-week course where attendees spend their day in a classroom instead of enjoying outdoors summer activities in Montreal.
So first, kudos to the students for being so passionate about engineering and technology. No vacation for them in July, but long days of lectures and practical work on Innovation and Technological Design.
My lecture was on Cloud Computing and IBM Bluemix. I talked about basic cloud concepts such as IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. I then introduced the core Bluemix capabilities for cloud application development (the DevOps capabilities). Then I reviewed some of the Cloud Services available on Bluemix.
To give real examples of what you can achieve with Bluemix when you assemble existing services, I showed sample apps such as the mind-controlled droid, Ziggy, Rock/Paper, Scissor or the HR assistant. I ended with a simple demo to show how you can create, deploy and test a Node.js app on Bluemix in less than 10 minutes. The presentation I used for this July 4th session is available on this page.
It was a great experience to meet the Summer School participants (48 students from Asia, Europe, Africa, South and North America). They had a lot of questions that you usually don’t hear from IT professionals. Because of their background, these students have an interesting different perspective on things, and it is refreshing.
I will be back to ETS on July 18th for the second part of this course, a hands-on workshop on Bluemix (Develop your own cloud app with IBM Bluemix). A special thanks to the ETS people (Lorena, Mario, Louis) for inviting me to these events.
jl.marechaux 060001NWA6 3,041 Views
On July 19, I will be hosting a "Mon
The agenda of the meetup is the following:
This meetup will be a great opportunity to show how teams can leverage full stack development (client-side and server-side services).
Last year, I was honored to be selected to join the newly created team of Cloud experts at IBM: the Cloud Advisors. Our mission is to help clients find the best path forward in their cloud's journey. In other words, we provide guidance so that our clients have success with cloud.
Depending on the context, the role can be quite different. Sometimes, the Cloud Advisor (CA) works on the cloud strategy to help an organization translate strategic business requirements into technical capabilities (IT-led business innovation, roadmaps, technology adoption). On other engagements, the CA supports a team to define end-to-end solutions which involve cloud technologies (reference architecture, systems integration, hybrid cloud). I see the role as a mix of Enterprise Architecture and Solution Architecture, with a focus on hybrid cloud. Quite often, we are also asked to provide guidance on emerging cloud technologies.
Cloud Advisors all have different background, with years of expertise in their specialty, but there is one thing we all have in common: we all share a passion for cloud, and we are eager to continuously improve ourselves.
A man, though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind.
Given that Cloud technologies are evolving pretty fast, continuous learning is a key aspect of the Cloud Advisor role. To support our growth, IBM has put an education plan in place for us.
When we start as a Cloud Advisor, we need to pass a series of internal tests on Cloud (and no, there is no physical tests yet...;-). This is considered to be the bare minimum, core knowledge for a CA. At this point, we are officially "Cloud Advisors". We can start working with clients.
After these internal tests, it is expected that Cloud Advisors pass an external certification on Cloud Architecture: IBM Solution Advisor - Cloud Computing Architecture V5. To be certified, people are expected to understand the benefits and concepts of cloud computing. It is also expected to have a solid knowledge of IBM Cloud solution offerings. In addition to this external certification, Cloud Advisors must also attend a Cloud Advisor Academy. The academy is a 5-day event, with a lot of training sessions, case studies, discussions. And of course, during this process, CAs keep being engaged with clients and with other IBM teams.
The proven field experience, the training during the academy and the certification on Cloud Architecture is what leads to the Cloud Advisor - Master Level.
To be successful in their role, Cloud Advisors must be proficient with key cloud technologies. A CA is not a theorist. We learn by doing, we experiment things (I remember someone saying " we get our hands dirty"). So the natural next level is a deeper dive on some cloud areas. There are a couple of different options depending on what CAs prefer (Bluemix, Design Thinking, OpenStack, IaaS Softlayer, DevOps...).
At the stage, we can choose from different activities such as boot camps, advanced certifications programs or specific workshops. Once we have successfully completed two boot camps and/or two advanced certifications, then we receive the IBM Cloud Advisor - Elite Level designation.
But it is not over yet, and our learning journey never ends. The mission of the Cloud Advisors is to become a technologically elite group of IBMers with whom clients want to engage. So in addition to their work with clients, Cloud Advisor are encouraged to learn new technologies, participate in hackathons, speak at conferences, or help on internal projects...
Cloud Computing is evolving fast. We don't even know what is coming next, what will be the next Cloud technology to change the world. But as Cloud Advisor, we closely monitor technological developments, and we continuously learn to improve our skills.
If you are involved in Bluemix activities such as demos, meetups or hackathons, you know that there are a couple of reusable assets out there. I am myself leveraging quite often what is available on developerWorks, on github or in the Bluemix tutorials.
Nevertheless, last weekend I was involved in a hackathon and I was asked to deliver an educational hands-on workshop to the participants. For this specific audience, I needed material to help them understand not only Bluemix services, but also Bluemix DevOps capabilities to support their hacking activities (Plan, Dev&Test, Build, Deploy).
And because of the topic of the hackathon (river and climate, water quality testing), I also needed material related to weather data (Insights for Weather) and to connected device (IoT, sensor). So I ended up creating specific material as nothing I was aware of was fully aligned with my needs.
The workshop material I developed is for self-paced enablement. It is not an “instructor-led demo”, but really a set of exercises that people can do to acquire skills on Bluemix.
The first lab is focuses on DevOps capabilities in Bluemix (Plan&Track, Dev&Test, Build&Deploy). It also describes how to include the Insights for Weather service in a simple cloud application. The lab is based on a Node.js application available on GitHub.
The second lab is more about IoT, to understand how a Bluemix IoT app can be used to connect to a device and process live data. Because I believe it makes sense in the context of a hackathon, this lab uses Node-RED and briefly shows how to create a simple API endpoint and a flow with Watson services (translation, language identification).
If you are interested in reusing the labs, go to the following URLs:
Last week, the "Montreal Cloud Computing Meetup" wa
The agenda of the meetup was the following
Thanks to the participants, it was a very interactive meetup. A lot of excellent questions, a lot of hands-on, and great discussions during the networking part. The meetup was mostly on hands-on & demos, but this short presentation will give you an idea of what was discussed. Our meetups are always following the same format (high level description here http://bit.ly/1SJCJR8)
The next meetup is scheduled for May 24th. In the meantime, sign up for your free Bluemix account (htt
This week, the second session of the Mont
The agenda of the meetup was the following
Thanks to the participants, it was a very interactive meetup. A lot of excellent questions, a lot of hands-on demos, and great discussions during the networking part.
The meetup was mostly on hands-on demos and discussion, but here is the LINK to a couple of slides that describe what was covered during the session.
The next meetup is scheduled for April 19th. Join us at
In the meantime, sign up for your free Bluemix account (http
jl.marechaux 060001NWA6 4,303 Views
I was at InterConnect last week in Las Vegas, the IBM user conference for Cloud and Mobile. I was personally involved in Dev@, a special area on the EXPO floor dedicated to developer interested in technical content and activities on Mobile, Cloud, DevOps, Watson, and Internet of Things.
Dev@interconnect is a mix of education and entertainment. People can learn from Lightning Talks, talk to SMEs at the Ask me Anything Demo Stations, or do hands-on labs. The entertainment, the fun part, comes with “Techtivities” and receptions. This year we had the following playground activities (of course all related to IBM technologies):
(Pepper, a robot that uses Watson to be clever and beat you at Rock, Pepper, Scissors)
I worked at the Mind Control BB-8 station to demonstrate and explain the technologies used to move a Star Wars BB-8 with the Force (your mind!). The main objective of this station was to highlight Bluemix and the IoT Foundation a fun way. Using an Emotiv headset, people can move a BB-8 droid back and forth with their "thoughts".
Magic? No. The Emotiv Insight tracks brain signals (EEG) to measure six different categories: Attention, Focus, Engagement, Interest, Excitement, Affinity, Relaxation and Stress.
For this Dev@InterConnect demo, one category was used. Engagement level is capture by the Emotiv device and sent to Bluemix (IoT Foundation). Then the data is processed in Bluemix to be transformed into BB-8 commands (using the Sphero SDK).
Et voilà….. Brain to Bluemix to BB-8 Droid communication. But this is just an example of the IoT support in Bluemix. If you can connect a brain to a robot toy, imagine what you could do with your own devices. Make your own ideas real by exploring the IoT Foundation platform: https://internetofthings.ibmcloud.com