I can't believe it is already my last day of IBM innovate, but it has certainly ended on a high note. They started with physicist and author Michio Kaku. Telling us about the future. Well at least one possible future. As anyone who has ever studied Science Fiction knows, there are potential multiple parallel time dimensions each one possible thread of the future. I then saw on my twitter stream that one of the great scifi authors - Ray Bradbury died today, we can all rejoice in the legacy of great science fiction novels that he left us.
The day has been a world wind... Customer meetings, partner meetings, hall talks, and sessions - every one of them was about mobile. Not just about the business value of mobile, which we all know is huge, but technical discussions on the full Lifecycle of mobile development in the enterprise. How to do design user experiences which create five star apps, how to integrate mobile development with back end systems, how to test against the proliferation of mobile devices, platforms, and networks. On the show floor we had partners like Perfecto Mobile, that provide device clouds addressing the need to actually test with physical devices. I got to see them in action in multiple sessions and can easily see how these devices clouds can not only enable enterprises to test apps, but also how developers can move from simulators, to emulators and then to devices with automated testing to increasing the velocity of their development cycle.
I then got to sit in on a live coding session with IBM Rational's Jim Zhang, as he built not one but two mobile apps in real time. I followed along with my own WorkLight studio install and was amazed to see how quickly I could create apps with dojo mobile which accessed the compass and camera on my iPad. Within one hour I had two great little demo apps that will help me improve my own learning of the WorkLight hybrid development model. I ended the day with a panel discussion, that I felt lucky to be on with Distinguished Engineer - Mobile Software Development Strategy -Leigh Willamson, Jim Zhang - Architect Rational Application Developer, Albert Ho - Program Director Mobile Computing, and Will Smythe - Mobile Computing Strategy & Delivery. This was an open Q&A on mobile for the attendees. The great thing is that we got to talk about our favorite subject, mobile, and how it is changing development, business, and society.
A few of my favorite questions focused on 1) the challenges of convincing your boss that they need to invest in mobile development. (The latest IBM CEO study had shown that mobile and analytics are two of the CEOs top focus areas for driving innovation in their business, and a recent study showed that the number of mobile devices have out sold PCs for the first time, and this accelerated growth tread does not seem to be slowing). 2) Which did the panel believe was a more chaotic transition - the Internet or mobile? (there was disagreement here - two of us believed the Internet was more chaotic, since businesses themselves had to push for this change internally in many cases. IBM even had signs in buildings back in 1995 telling employees to go surf the web at work so they would get up to speed...while much of the mobile revolution is employees bringing devices into the enterprises and customers asking for features on their mobile devices). And the best question of all.. How do I get started! If you are a student or a university head over to the Jazz Hub. Or go download the WorkLight Studio.
To me mobile will be the epic win for developers... !