Last night was fun, between the pool party (complete with fireworks, tattoos, fortune tellers, and much more) and winning a bit in the casino (though blackjack was not so good, the craps table more than compensated; my thanks to Kristin, who despite being a beginner really knows how to throw the dice).
It's been great to talk to attendees of all stripes, to learn what challenges they're facing. It's gratifying when we hear customers validating what we are doing, whether the "we" is devleoperWorks, Rational, or IBM. The suggestions and criticism may not always be easy to swallow, but it may be even more valuable insofar as helping us better serve your wants and needs. So please keep sharing your input, positive or not.
I'm looking forward to spending more time outside of climate-controlled environments of conference halls and casinos. And right now I'm looking forward to sleep![Read More]
Teaching Kids to Code
Matching: rsdc X
Thomas Dolby did not disappoint this morning. In addition to sharing an entertaining revue of his career, comprised mostly of video clips (and btw a career in which he apparently fulfilled his dream: "Whereas ... geeks dream of being a pop star, I was a pop star dreaming of being a geek"), Dolby provided an impressive demo of sonification, the presentation of data using (non-speech) sound.
Sonification has been used in medical and academic areas for years, but perhaps not quite in the same manner as Dolby, who in one case took data relating to the wave height of the Dec. 2004 tsunami and mapped it to sonic events. "I found that I could tune that wave height to a parameter in my synthesizer," Dolby explained. The underlying premise: Sometimes by applying music or sound to data, you can see a greater depth, or better understand events. (The same thing might be said of visual representation of data, such as featured in the "History Flow Visualization Application" tool shown by alphaWorks at the rationalconf2005 Solutions Center and on the aW Web site.)
Not surprisingly, the mood in the auditorium was rather somber after the tsunami portion of the demo. The close of the session, however, was quite the opposite, as Dolby sang "Hyperactive!" accompanied by the acapella group Toxic Audio. Thanks to Roger Oberg and the others at IBM who arranged this sonic treat.
Now I'm heading to the big "Beach Party" reception. I understand they have 33 lifeguards on hand to keep us from drowning in the Mandalay Bay pools. Should be interesting! If I survive, I'll share more tomorrow.
--Michael at rationalconf2005[Read More]
At the keynote presentation this morning, IBM Fellow and leading Rational technologist Grady Booch emphasized the value and importance of innovation, which "occurs at the intersection of invention and insight," with invention being truly intentional and insight often being serendipitous. "You can create a climate that allows innovation to flourish," said Grady. "Be intentional about it."
Next, as Roger Oberg describes, was fast-paced demo from Rational model-driven development specialist Grant Larsen. If I had a chance to get some coffee beforehand I might be able to add more details, but I think I'd better leave that to Grant, Roger and others. I can tell you, though, that at least one person in the audience (who came in from South America, and counts among his clients the second-largest bank in S.A.) nodded his head in approval, saying afterward, "I really liked the demo. Cool."
Grady also noted that "we love demanding customers, we love to be pushed." I couldn't agree more. That's what developerWorks is all about: serving the demands (or what I call the "wants and needs") of customers and would-be customers -- the worldwide community of developers and technical professionals. It runs in the family...
Grady then reviewed a bunch of cool innovations from IBM Research, including a Star Trek-like speech translator, "Veggie Vision" technology that eases checkout by automatically recognizing objects such as fruits and veggies, and a Linux Watch - "a great example of unfettered innovation." If you're at the conference, you can learn more at the alphaWorks booth in the Exhibit Hall tomorrow (Wednesday) from 11:30 to 2:00. And we can all check out these innovations online, courtesy alphaWorks (which BTW today debuted its new Research topics, a collection of resources technology downloads, demos, articles, and more to help build awareness and understanding about an emerging research topic.)
Finally, it was nice to hear Grady mention developerWorks and alphaWorks, saying that he relied on both aW and dW even before Rational joined IBM. "Before we were borged by IBM, I would look at alphaWorks and developerWorks on a weekly basis to see what's going on at IBM." If folks like Grady are tuning in every week, I think we're doing something right. Thanks, Grady!
Now it's after 7pm in Vegas (10pm Eastern), and I'm off to the rationalconf2005 Solutions Center for a bit, then on the BOF session, "Rational Online Community Exchange." More tomorrow (and I'm looking forward to seeing Thomas Dolby) ...[Read More]
The keynote at the RSDC conf keynote this morning went well. I'm sure many other rationalconf2005 bloggers will cover various aspects of the comments from Mike Devlin, Danny Sabbah and others, as well as the impressive demo (about which industry analyst Amy Wohl already has commented). Many announcements from today's keynote are detailed at the Rational software site.
I want to make sure folks notice one particular highlight: During a brief review of IBM developer relations activities, ISV and Developer Relations GM Buell Duncan announced the new developerWorks IT Lifecycle Management resource page. The concept of lifecycle management and connecting businesses to development to build better software continues to get much attention here, with the idea that businesses (as well as software apps and the teams that build 'em) become more successful when companies can and do embrace business-driven software development. Check it out. (High-level managers may also want to see the Moving Beyond IT Optimization page.)[Read More]
Sunday at RSDC, my colleagues Michelle Ulrich and Lindsey Lurie and I introduced a group of about 50 folks to developerWorks. Actually, some already had used dW before, but the breadth and depth of dW is such that even folks who use it frequently are likely to learn of something new and useful to them. For me, though, the best part of the experience was hearing from developers and technical professionals about how they use dW, as well as hear their feedback and suggestions on how to better serve their wants and needs.
Today we heard several people encourage us to again offer posters outlining the stages of the Rational Unified Process (RUP). Turns out we DO still offer these highly sought-after RUP posters, and you can get your very own.
I'll have more opportunities to hear from customers and partners this week, both informally at receptions (such as this evening's, at the Shark Reef) and during breaks (such as this afternoon, when I talked with some attendees about today's SDP sessions, the importance of use cases and of a holistic view that embraces business architectures, and much much more.) If you're at rationalconf2005 and are interested in learning more about developerWorks -- or want to share your questions and comments re: how to make the most of dW -- please consider joining us for:
If you can't make it to these events, feel free to send an email (to moc at us dot ibm dot com) with your thoughts.
Watch this space -- and developerWorks -- for more about IT lifecycle management issues, which I understand will get a fair amount of the focus during the next few days here at rationalconf2005.[Read More]
I'm about to head to the airport (heading to rationalconf2005 in Las Vegas, where I'll be blogging daily, helping with the show daily newsletter, and presenting at the conference). Before I leave, though, I wanted to spread the word about a just-published developerWorks interview involving three prominent leaders -- not only at Rational and IBM, but in the broader software development community.
As Rational Software co-founder Mike Devlin prepares to retire and is handing the reins over to veteran IBM executive Danny Sabbah, Grady Booch interviews both. The result is an insightful discussion of how Rational has impacted software development, why Rational and IBM joined forces, and what the future holds for IBM Rational (which Grady aptly describes as "the software development brand at IBM Software Group").
My thanks to Mike Perrow, Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Edge, for pulling this together, as well as to Grady for asking insightful questions and to Mike and Danny for answering 'em.
Check out the complete interviews on developerWorks.
As I prepare to head to Las Vegas for IBM's biggest developer conference of the year (rationalconf2005), I feel I, along with my colleagues at developerWorks and throughout IBM, can stand a bit taller this month.
This week the developer publication SD Times has come out with their latest "SD Times 100" -- a list of "movers and shakers," those few that "demonstrated the greatest amount of leadership." It honors the "organizations, individuals or movements that were talked about, those that created not only great technology but also great buzz." I'm happy to report that IBM developerWorks was named as one of only ten "influencers" and credited with embracing the developer community and raising the bar for everyone else.
More broadly, IBM also was honored in nearly all categories. To wit:
Also, Eclipse was named among the top "Tools & Environments": "The newly independent Eclipse community became all the rage with the heady market buzz and third-party momentum for tools and plug-ins. A board packed with competitors makes a level playing field." (It was also nice to see not only dW, but also "The Bazaar" (with a nod to Eric Raymond), the Eclipse Foundation, and the World Wide Web Consortium all recognized as top influencers.
Meanwhile, IBM developerWorks also was recognized in this year's "Software Development Jolt and Productivity Awards." The judges named dW one of the industry's top four "Websites and Developer Networks." (Other winners in this category are the O'Reilly Network, developer.* and Java.net.) Here's what one judge had to say about dW:
"DeveloperWorks has been one of my favorite technical sites for years. Big Blue understands the needs of developers very wellnot only does it offer information regarding its products and services, it posts great "how-to" technical articles on a vast array of topics, including how to write better Java, how to be effective with UML 2, how to create better data models, and how to administer Linux successfully. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. ... Even if you don't work in an IBM shop, you'll find developerWorks a valuable resource."
Between these awards and the flurry of good news on the open standards front of late (the IBM moves to acquire GlueCode Software, formally support FireFox for use by IBMers, and formally encourage, not just allow, IBMers to blog), I'd say it's been a good month already -- and I haven't even gotten to Vegas yet!
Hope to see many of you next week as I blog from rationalconf2005 (aka the Rational Software Developer Conference, aka RSDC). And I will hardly be the sole conference blogger...[Read More]