DON'T MISS THE UPCOMING RATIONAL USER COMMUNITY WEBINAR:
Agile Adoption in a Waterfall Environment - Lessons from the Kroger Mobile Application Development Team's Adoption of IBM Disciplined Agile
Monday, August 27 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. (EDT).
Speaker: Gerald Smith, Kroger
to reserve your webcast spot!
Like many other traditional brick-and-mortar companies, The Kroger Co. has sought ways to improve its ability to deliver software solutions better, faster, and more cheaply as a means to stay ahead of its competition. Along the way, Kroger had cultivated a deeply rooted waterfall development process, due to the constraints of their more complex project environments. As a result, Kroger has struggled in its transformation to adopt Agile practices. This presentation will be delivered in 2 sections:Part I
We will discuss the company’s experiences in transitioning from a Waterfall approach to become a more Agile organization – with full knowledge that a unilateral adoption of Agile practices would not be effective in this environment. Kroger’s experience illustrates how a hybrid approach (one that brings together a combination of traditional and Agile practices) that focuses on key business drivers and a pragmatic Agile adoption framework can reap tangible results within the context of an existing waterfall process. Part 2
Provide details of the Agile pilot that was conducted to validate the benefits of using disciplined Agile practices within Kroger. We will discuss how a methodical, real-world Agile approach enabled Kroger to accelerate its software delivery cycles by 18.5% while using less than 20% of the projected budget – all while significantly increasing product owner and customer satisfaction. Click here to register today!
About the Speaker:
Gerald Smith is a Certified Scrum Professional, Certified ScrumMaster, and Certified Project Management Professional at The Kroger Company. He has successfully piloted an agile software development transformation initiative in 2011. This initiative identified metrics, a framework, and role and responsibility guidelines that have delivered software products better, faster, and cheaper.
Join William Symthe, Strategy and Delivery Lead for Rational's mobile solutions will present the webinar "Tackling the 4 biggest mobile development and delivery challenges"
Tuesday, August 14
from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. (EDT)
to reserve your webcast spot!
Mobile applications have completely changed the way
consumers and employees access information and perform essential transactions.
Mobile has created new opportunities to extend computing beyond what was ever
thought possible by leveraging capabilities like location to provide data and
services relevant to where a user is located.
solution to these challenges is not simply addressed by a better development
tool, but by an integrated Application Lifecycle Management and collaboration
platform. This session will show how Rational can help you tackle the challenges
of mobile development and delivery so you can more effectively mobile-enable
The following will also be included in this
- A review of ways Mobile has introduced unique development
and delivery challenges, including developing and testing for multiple mobile
- Discussion of the greater need to deliver applications of
high quality, due to the pervasiveness and impact these applications have
- A look at integration with existing back-end systems, and
meeting accelerated time to market requirements.
Click here to register
Mobile computing is probably the hottest topic for development and operations teams right now.
Employees in companies large and small have various mobile devices, many of them personal,
that they are using for work. Companies all over the world want to exploit the mobile market
by providing customers and users with apps that make mobile computing easier.
So, it is important for companies to think through not just the development of a mobile capability
but also how they will deploy it and how they can ensure the continuity of the capabilities as these change over time.
Read Michael Rowe's recent article that covers how DevOps (development & operations) can help address the issues
of deploying different versions of apps to different devices. Article link.
Now I know why Shanghai qualifies as the Barcelona of the East - it's gorgeous and it's mad for mobile! The interest - no, make that passion
- for mobile was clearly evident during the 3 days of Mobile Asia Expo
here in the sprawling Shanghai New International Expo Center
(SNIEC). The noise generated by 20,000 people all going gaga over the latest mobile devices, services, and infrastructure was literally deafening! We had to crank up the volume for my presentations on the IBM Mobile Enterprise
Strategy in order to rise above the din!
What was especially heartening was the full house attendance at my Innovation Lab
session scheduled for the very end of the conference - 3pm on a Friday. Now that's a dedicated audience! And I saw a lot of nodding heads (with their eyes open!) which leads me to believe that the message of a broad, comprehensive approach to enterprise mobility, as communicated by the IBM Mobile Enterprise strategy, makes sense and resonates with most people who take a few minutes to absorb it.
Of course, there was a lot to talk about at the conference that was news from outside the show. The announcements of Microsoft Surface
, as well as news coming from the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference
, gave everybody plenty to express opinions about. But it looks like the real "rubber meets the road" moment for those mobile news items will be in the fall when the announced releases are due to become available.
One news item that was perhaps a bit less noticed was the estimate, by GSMA and Machina Research, that the worldwide market for smart connected devices will grow to over $700 Billion
(yes, that's a 'B') by 2020. This market includes personal mobile devices like smart phones, plus all of the other kinds of smart "machine-to-machine" connected devices that have intelligence and connectivity built in to them via little circuit modules like the one pictured to the right. Huawei
had a whole pedestal bristling with different versions of these little guys and I had some extremely interesting conversations about the possibilities that can be implemented by embedding one of these into all manner of things. The cool thing that I was looking for (and found) was that the underlying operating system for many of these modules for "smart things" is .... Android! So now I have a whole expanded field of vision to consider when deciding on the next fun project to pursue!
"Smart, connected coffee cup" anyone??
Walking around the exhibit floor, I noticed some pretty strong trends in what was being shown:
- NFC based mobile payment schemes (I need this)
- Single SIM global roaming solutions (I need this even more!)
- Games, games, games!
- SMS based solutions (yes, even for smartphones)
- Security (multiple layers of)
- Management (both device and/or app)
There were multiple vendors for each of the topics listed above. I am coming to the conclusion that at least of few of those areas are on the verge of exploding uptake within the next year.
I got a chance to look at some of the new mobile devices on display too. One booth that had a crowd and really caught my eye was Nokia's.
I would not count Nokia (and Microsoft) out of the mobile device arena yet. I took a close look at some of the new phones and they are really impressive (running Windows Metro). One thing that is different about them is that they appear to be more rugged than other smartphones. Not heavier, just designed with a case that seems tight and like you could hammer a nail with it. Or at least you could drop it or spill a drink on it and it would continue to work. I guess that this is the legacy of the indestructible Nokia feature phones of yore.
The sessions are very interesting and scheduled reasonably enough so that you don't have huge frustration with overlapping sessions where you really want to go to BOTH of them. I keep drifting back to the App Planet
, of course. I'm real interested in what RIM has to say tomorrow, especially about their WebWorks
Now, don't forget about the Innovation Labs
! I'll be presenting the IBM Mobile Enterprise strategy there tomorrow (at 1:30pm) and again on Friday (at 3pm... do I get to turn out the lights when I finish?). I'm going to throw a demo of our mobile app dev solution into the session, just for fun. Hope to see a lot of you there - it's in Hall N2, area H60 (right across from the Nokia pavilion).
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... !
As I sat thru the IBM CTO discussion this morning between four IBM Fellows: Martin Nally - CTO IBM Rational, Jerry Cummo - CTO IBM WebSphere, David Lindquist - CTO IBM Tivoli, and Rod Smith - IBM Vice President Emerging Technologies I realized that these four technologists all started as developers. Their each traveled different paths but have reached the pinnacle of the technical careers in IBM. And they each have kept their curiosity and passion for technology. We then had an incredible talk from Jamie Clarke who took three attempts to climb Mount Everest. The personal journey that he took to get to the pinnacle of his passion, was full of failures and learning.
To me Jamie and the IBM Fellows have all taken a path that as a developer should be compelling and exciting. The hardest part of their journey has been to get bogged down in failures. As I mentioned on recently, I've been reading the book "Reality is Broken
" by Jane McGonigal and the pattern of many failures ultimately leading to success is also found in gamers. Gamers see a challenge and try over and over with different approaches to solve that problem. In development we see similar problems. It could be that you are looking at how to improve a specific algorithm to run faster or be more scalable or more fault tolerant. It could be that there is a specific market that you are trying to develop a new product for, and as such you put out multiple applications or offerings each testing out a new hypothesis. The problem isn't that one of them fails, it is a great opportunity to learn, as Thomas Edison said, one more way how not to develop that code or product.
As a developer I find that having the time to reflect on the reality of some failure is a great way to learn how to become better. Another great way to learn is to gain experience from others. Tomorrow I am planning on sitting in at least one live coding session. This is a friendly time to play with the IBM Mobile Foundation - Worklight mobile development platform, with no penalty for failure. The ability to fail quickly and learn, is one of the best teachers I can imagine.
The Innovate 2012 conference has demonstrated that there is huge interest in mobile app development from our clients.
Here is a video clip where I talk about our Mobile Application Development track at the Innovate 2012 conference. I'm joined in the video by Matt Pomroy from Ascendant Technology who has some great observations on mobile trends and topics.
Today was an incredible day at IBM Innovate. One of the things that tends to get lost in the shuffle at these big conferences is that while the technology is cool, the new products are exciting, practices can be learned, and business partners can be seen, it is really the practitioner who makes this all possible. The day started off, like all conferences, with a keynote by key execs and customers talking about the successes they had using various products, but the excitement really came about when Dan Berg (IBM's senior technical staff member focused on DevOps) and other technical leaders got on stage and showed off building a continuous delivery pipeline for a project, while allowing the manager (in this case IBM Rational Vice President of Development - Harish Grama) to still see what is going on. The part that was the most exciting to me was the fact that on the screen I saw a work item which said "Deploy Mobile App".
Distinguished engineer Leigh Williamson, IBM Rational Chief Architect John Wiegand, and IBM Fellow Kevin Stoodley kicked off the second session I went to to actually demonstrate how a development team could actually develop and deploy this complex environment bridging from IBM's Mobile Foundation solution with Worklight, connecting to a COBOL application on the mainframe. This is the complex environment that many developers are finding themselves in the enterprise, as more and more CIOs see mobile as a key capability and challenge. (To be more precise, IBM's recent CIO study showed that 74% see mobile as part of their innovation solution while Dr. Kristof Klockner (General Manager of IBM Rational called out that DevOps is more and more important at driving end to end innovation)).
In the enterprise the intersection between mobile and the continuous delivery capabilities of DevOps is critical. This is not just about building a custom mobile Application for iOS, it is about integrating mobile and back end systems, while keeping the entire infrastructure in sync. Users in a mobile environment have become used to responsive applications that are being updated in a much quicker cycle time that your traditional enterprise application. As such the ability to quickly build, test, and provision new capabilities in support of your mobile app, including the appropriate services to back end systems, and support for multiple mobile platforms, really starts aligning the value of DevOps to the value and expectations of mobile.
From a developer's stand point, I am very excited to see how we are bringing together mobile and DevOps, and during a Birds of a Feather session on mobile today, many customers agreed that seeing how a Developer can do their work in a continuous integration environment with their local work, and then allow for a continuous delivery of the appropriate build to a test environment. This workflow not only allows the test team to always have a current build (mobile apps, servers, and appropriate back end services), but by leveraging automated testing (including stub testing with Greenhat), developers and testers can focus on the job of creating new applications, features, services, and testing those capabilities that cannot be automated. By building an automated, scripted, tested, versioned and measured pipeline, we also build up trust between Development and Operations because we create a repeatable process that keeps the business running.
In mobile we want to focus on those things that provide delight and surprise in the users and customers for the mobile apps. The best way you can do this, is by automating those things that delay delivery of capabilities and focus on those things that are unique. Another key thing that was discussed during the birds of a feather session, was how the IBM Mobile Foundation allows your to not only create skins on your apps which ensure the look and feel is appropriate for the experience on the device, you can also do native development for specific platforms as you are deploying hybrid applications. More thoughts on this tomorrow, when I have time to see this in action on the show floor. If you are here and see me on the floor walk up to me and let's talk.