Teaching Kids to Code
Whether you're attending the Rational Software Development Conference or not, you may appreciate all the info about the conference in the developerWorks RSDC group blog and the RSDC community space. There you can get up to speed on all the Rational news and activities in Orlando this week. You'll even find podcasts with VIPs and execs, including Grady Booch and Scott Ambler, whom I interviewed Monday. And soon we'll post the audio of the RSDC keynotes, too. Check it out.[Read More]
We've had quite a few questions submitted already for our upcoming podcast interviews with VIPs such as Steve Mills, Grady Booch, and Danny Sabbah. I'll be interviewing Danny, Grady, and Steve (and quite a few others too) at the Rational Software Development Conference June 1-5.
If you have a question you'd like one or more of these interviewees to answer, it's not too late! Please submit your questions for Steve, Grady, and Danny, as well as other executives and technology leaders -- including (as of today): Buell Duncan, Beth Friday, Scott Hebner, Hayden Lindsey, Stephanie Martin, Martin Nally, Walker Royce.
I'm excited to see my lineup of podcast interviews during the Rational Software Development Conference June 1-5. I'm also happy to offer the dW community (that's you, dear reader) the opportunity to submit questions for me to ask of these VIPs, who'll be sitting down with me for interviews during RSDC.
This week I'm continuing to focus on questions for Steve Mills, and also particularly looking for questions for both IBM fellow Grady Booch and Rational Software GM Danny Sabbah. Please share your questions for Steve, Grady, and Danny![Read More]
developerWorks will again be at the Rational Software Development Conference this year -- June 1-5 in Orlando, Florida. I again have the honor of doing a presentation about developerWorks, this year joined by dW Rational Community Manager Marc Siegel. I'll also again be conducting interviews at the conference. This year I've scheduled interviews with some VIPs at IBM -- and I invite you to suggest questions!
This week I'm focusing on gathering questions for Steve Mills. Many of you already know Steve runs IBM's Software Group -- he's the Senior Vice President and Group Executive of IBM Software Group. What you may not realize is that he is the leader of the world's largest software development organization, with some 24,000 developers, widely distributed across the globe. Sounds like someone worth talking to, eh? We plan to do just that, and we want to ask him the best of your questions. Have any? Please post your questions for Steve Mills here -- simply follow this link to the related dW forum thread (and perhaps read the questions others have posted), then click on "Reply to this thread" (upper left of page) to submit your own question(s). I'll ask as many of your good questions as I can when I talk to him at RSDC.
Also, if you haven't already heard it, check out our new developerWorks podcast about RSDC, in which dW's own Scott Laningham interviews Scott Hebner, Rational VP of Marketing and Strategy, for a quick preview of this year's conference. After listening and hearing more about this year's highlights (including big keynotes from folks like Steve Mills, Danny Sabbah and Grady Booch, guest speaker William Shatner, comedian Mitch Fatel, and Grammy-winning rock band The Wallflowers ... more than 300 technical sessions ... hands-on technical workshops ... complimentary IBM certification classes ... technology demonstrations ...) I'll bet you'll want to register now -- and see these execs (as well as many technical experts, and peers) in person.[Read More]
This month developerWorks launched the IBM Rational Software Request For Enhancement (RFE) Community, where you can collaborate with Rational development teams and other product users by searching, viewing, commenting on, submitting, and tracking product RFEs.
Out of the box, this community area enables better transparency about the evolution of Rational products, what's coming next and current priorities, and also will help us more quickly identify and address product enhancements that you and your peers submit.
The developerWorks team was pleased to be able to help when Rational came to us with this request, recognizing the experience and expertise dW has in building community and our being the primary IBM place for developers and IT professionals. I view this as a strong example of how the developerWorks community works well: Members learning the latest about key products and technologies, while at the same time sharing input and requests that enhance the products that the community uses, giving IBM (and each other) another way to listen to and better understand and respond to the community and your wants and needs. We hope to extend and improve upon this model in the coming months.[Read More]
This week developerWorks employed a new, interactive "mouseover" design treatment on the developerWorks home page. This enhancement displays the descriptions of each week's featured content when you point your mouse at a title (rather than showing all descriptions simultaneously).
Give it a try, and share your feedback.
Update 1 (1:20 p.m. EST): Seems a bit of a performance issue with the script on our server so for now we may back out this update. Stay tuned.
As reported in Computerworld this morning, "IBM today opened its Jazz.net open-source community to anyone who wants to provide feedback on the technology, which is intended to help improve collaboration among software development teams." This welcome news is something I'd encouraged (though I'm not naive enough to think my input had much to do with it). Glad to see it has now happened, and kudos to all who've helped make this happen, including Bill Higgins, who is now managing the Jazz.net community site.
Also of particular interest in the Computerworld article are the two concluding paragraphs:
IBM on Monday also announced that the second beta version of the first Jazz-based product -- called IBM Rational Team Concert Express -- is now available. The product, expected to be generally available later this year, is aimed at helping small and midsize development teams improve productivity through collaboration, IBM said. It includes Web dashboards to help users see real-time status data including the status of work items and project health.
Check out the complete article for more details, including perspective from Scott Hebner, IBM Rational VP of marketing and strategy, about how IBM will "build our products in a completely transparent and collaborative fashion with our customers."
I read today about Matthew Szulik stepping down as CEO and president of Red Hat (though he will remain a key part of Red Hat, serving as Chairman of the Board). You can read his personal account of the news here.
I applaud Matthew's passion and success leading Red Hat and helping champion open source and Linux over the past decade. I also applaud his dedication to his family, which led to his transition. As reported by CNet, Matthew explains, "For the last nine months, I've struggled with health issues in my family. ... This job requires a 7x24, 110 percent commitment." Ultimately, Matthew prioritized his family -- a decision I appreciate all the more as my wife and I prepare for the birth of our first child. I wish him and his family the best.
Here's wishing everyone more time to share with their loved ones. Especially over the holidays, but also year-round. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, everyone.[Read More]
As some of you may have already learned (as CNet, ZDNet, and others have reported, and as we've mentioned elsewhere), earlier this month, developerWorks made it much easier for you to search our rich collection of code with help from both Krugle and Koders. Special thanks to our own David Salinas, who worked through many issues (technical, legal, and otherwise) to help make this happen.
I expect many of you will find this enhancement of developerWorks most useful. The indexed code includes:
One nifty element of the search function: Not only can you quickly search, find and view code on developerWorks to help your with your projects, you can also annotate source code with your own comments and create direct bookmarks to a single or group of individual files. And search results also incorporate the context of the article, as well as a link back to the article that explains and employs the code, vs. simply the code in isolation.
For more info, see Scott Laningham's blog -- which links to our related dW podcast discussions about Krugle code search on developerWorks -- and see also the related page with details regarding developerWorks source code on Koders.com.
Bottom line: You'll now find developerWorks code via your searches whether you use Koders or Krugle. And if you want to search developerWorks code specifically, you can easily do so on the developerWorks site: Simply use the standard dW search and then, on the results page, click on "Sample Code results (hosted by Krugle)." Alternatively, you can bookmark this example results page (in which I searched for "open"and found 4440 matching files) and modify the search term there.
Happy code searching.
Today developerWorks celebrates its 8th birthday!
We formally launched on Sept. 28, 1999 (after a few months as a public beta site). Eight years later, the fundamental developerWorks mission remains the same: To serve the wants and needs of developers and technical professionals. Our unwavering focus on this goal has helped grow the IBM developer community, which now boasts more than 5.7 million members. It has led to numerous awards, including the elite Jolt Hall of Fame award we received earlier this year. And it has helped us continue to distinguish ourselves from other vendor-sponsored developer sites, with our focus extending beyond our own company's products and services to include content and resources dedicated to open standards and product- and platform-independent content. (For more historical context, see this JavaWorld article and the related IBM press release.)
As we celebrate eight years, I'm sure some of you in the dW community have been with us for quite a while, drawn by our longstanding focus on open, cross-platform technologies such as Java and Linux and XML; some of you have certainly turned to dW for our content and resources (including trial software and other downloads) related to the wide array of products and related technologies offered by IBM brands such as Information Management (DB2), Lotus, Rational, WebSphere. Others have joined the dW community more recently, perhaps as we've added new content and resources on important topics such things as Web 2.0, mashups, and Ajax, for example. And some of you may have discovered dW only very recently, perhaps coming to us through our ever-expanding set of community resources, such as spaces, wikis, podcasts, and blogs -- or even via long-valued discussion forums, our various RSS and Atom feeds, or our new collection of syndication "gizmos."
Whatever your reason, whatever your path, we're glad you've found us. And to help us celebrate our birthday, we welcome your personal story: What brought you to developerWorks, and when? What do you value about developerWorks? Let us know -- simply post a brief comment to this blog entry.
P.S. Today I coincidentally learned that developerWorks' birthday falls on the same date as the birthday of Confucius. As one source notes:
In Taiwan, [Confucius] is honored on the anniversary of his birth - September 28th. His birthday is a legal holiday in Taiwan. It is referred to as Teacher's Day since Confucius is considered the greatest teacher in Chinese history.
Like Confucius, dW strives to teach (though I suppose Confucius did not focus particularly on IT professionals). I'm happy to see dW share a birthday with such a respected teacher. Who knows? Perhaps in a few thousand years, developerWorks' birthday will become an official holiday among IT companies, just as Confucius's birthday is a legal holiday in Taiwan. ;-)[Read More]
Last week at the 17th Annual Jolt Product Excellence Awards (dubbed "the Oscars of our industry") ceremony at the SD West conference in Silicon Valley, IBM developerWorks received what many agree is the software development industry’s highest honor for a product or resource: The Jolt Hall of Fame award. Here are a couple of trophy photos (courtesy dW open source editor Mark Cappel):
The “Hall of Fame inductees are consistent winners, whose high quality has been proven and maintained over time,” the Jolt awards site notes. Only one inductee is recognized with this award each year. This year the judges unanimously selected developerWorks, specifically praising our rich collection of quality how-to articles and tutorials.
Jolt awards ceremony host Craig Newmark (of Craigslist) introduced the award:
The Hall of Fame always generates lively discussion amongst the judges ... but this year, there was a quiet consensus. It was pretty unanimous that it was time to induct this giant into the JOLT Hall of Fame. This year’s winner is a treasure trove of IT-related topics and technologies and often has better technical articles than commercial publications and in many instances, is one of the few places anything is available. This year’s inductee is: IBM developerWorks.
I was thrilled to be at the awards ceremony in person to receive the award. (Don't let the serious expression fool you.)
In my brief moment on stage, I thanked the judges and thanked CMP Technology (which runs SD West, a.k.a. the "Software Development West 2007 Conference and Expo," and publishes Dr. Dobb's Journal). I then congratulated the editors and broader team at developerWorks who all play key roles in our success, and the many authors -- both inside and outside IBM -- who share their technical expertise in our thousands of how-to articles and tutorials.
I also thanked the leadership at IBM for embracing and supporting what is an unorthodox vision and strategy for a vendor site, one that I’ve championed since coming from JavaWorld at IDG in 1999 to become founding editor-in-chief of developerWorks: Prioritize the wants and needs of the developers. That is, focus not simply on company messages, or promotion of company products, but more broadly on any information and resources that are critical to developers.
Looking back, I’m impressed by how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown in the last seven or so years. In 1999 we had about a half dozen zones (sections of the site that in many ways each resemble a stand-alone online magazine). The press release announcing developerWorks and the related article about dW's launch that appeared in CNN describe our focus on providing “product- and platform-independent information” and our “rich blend of tools, code, tips, news, tutorials, and how-to articles, all based on cross-platform technologies and strategies.” Those statements, as well as our open, cross-platform, standards-based focus, remain true today –- but we’ve expanded considerably.
We now host three times as many zones, covering a wide array of open technologies as well as IBM products. We now offer four region-specific, localized sites (dW China, dW Japan, dW Korea, dW Russia), in addition to our global site based in the U.S. We offer an ever-growing array of community-driven resources, greatly expanding our discussion forums and adding more resources, including blogs, podcasts, and our recently announced community-oriented developerWorks exchange. (dW will offer more on the community/Web 2.0 front in the coming weeks, too. Stay tuned.) And dW is not an online-only entity; we offer a rich set of tech briefings as well as other events and offline resources. The result: In our short history, developerWorks has grown into a community of (at last count) 5.7 million registered developers.
The bottom line: This simple strategy we embraced in 1999 has worked amazingly well and resonated with developers -- including many who, at least at first, did not (or as my bosses may say, "did not yet") have interest in IBM products or services. I thank then-director Gina Poole and manager Dirk Nicol for believing in and strongly supporting this enlightened vision, and the continued support from our current management, including Scott Bosworth and Kathy Mandelstein, as well as the continued support of our stakeholders and executives throughout IBM, including Steve Mills and Sam Palmisano. As evidenced by this Hall of Fame honor, the strategy continues to serve us well.
Equally important is the talented staff at developerWorks. Without their dedication and hard work, even the best strategy would fail. Kudos to each and every member of the dW team for your contributions to our success. This award honors you.
And most importantly, I thank the developer community that has come to rely on developerWorks as a trusted resource, and whose members (I hope) occasionally tell their colleagues about the great stuff we offer. We exist to serve you. And we encourage you to participate: Post to our discussion forums. Read and comment on our blogs and articles. Rate our content. Subscribe to our newsletters. Use our Atom and RSS feeds. Download our trial software and technologies. Use the many services and alpha technologies offered by our sister site, alphaWorks. Attend our tech briefings. Suggest content ideas or articles (including content you may write) to the dW editors. Or, if you like, just add your comments here.
In any case, thanks for your continued participation in the developerWorks community. We hope the next seven years are as rewarding as the last seven, and hope you'll join us on the journey forward.
Congrats to Grady and Scott!
Two frequent developerWorks authors (but not IBM employees) also were among the co-authors of the technical book that won the Jolt Product Excellence award. Congratulations to dW contributors Brett McLaughlin and Gary Pollice, who (along with David West) co-wrote the winning title, Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design. And congrats to all of the Jolt winners.
Update, 3 Apr 2007: Today Scott Laningham, dW podcasts host and editor, led a lively discussion about the history and significance of the Jolt awards with Rosalyn Lum, who manages the Jolt awards; Larry O'Brien, veteran Jolt awards judge who helped launch the awards in 1990; and myself. Listen to the chat -- or read the transcript -- for more insight and perspective on the awards. (You can also read about the very first Jolt awards.)[Read More]
As reported in our recent dW newsletter, last week the developerWorks team received some tragic news:Modified on by Michael_OConnell
Our good friend and colleague, Heidi Carson, was lost while scuba diving last week in the Caribbean. Heidi has been an integral part of developerWorks since its earliest days, most recently overseeing the editorial content on our Wireless and Web development zones. Heidi was adventurous, engaging, and extremely talented -- and we will miss her enormously. Our thoughts are with her family and all those close to her.
Heidi and I got to know each other before the birth of developerWorks, when we were both working at IDG in San Francisco in the 1990s. About five years ago, when she was living in Berlin, I visited her and explored Germany. This week I was compelled to dig up a couple of photos from that trip. One is in the garden of the Hotel Elephant (notice the elephant growing in the background) in Weimar; the other is in the city center of Berlin.
Last fall Heidi shared with me some photos of her too-recent wedding. One of those photos really stood out to me as capturing her beauty and her joyful presence:
Heidi always knew how to enjoy life, and I was honored to have known her and to share some time with her.
I miss you, Heidi -- both professionally and personally. Professionally, you've been a longtime champion of dW's focus on open and cross-platform environments, and you've played a key role in our success. (As one dW colleague put it, you helped dW "create a powerful Web presence, closely watched by competitors.") Your recent work as editor of the Web development zone, with its emphasis on today's popular Web 2.0 technologies, has been a particularly significant contribution, and both the dW team and dW visitors will miss you as we continue to grow that zone. Personally, I, as well as many colleagues and friends, will miss your wit and warm smile, your calming presence and your genuine, generous nature. (As one friend put it, with your "iridescent smile," you "brightened every room.") But I also know that you live on. I know that the foundation you helped build with dW will continue to serve the dW community for years to come. And I know that your spirit, and your wonderful example of living a happy and full life, live on with me, and with many others. I wish you eternal happiness.[Read More]
As already mentioned by fellow dW bloggers Bob Zurek ("Come all ye Open Source faithful") and Dave Klavon ("IBM delivers open source partner package"), IBM recently announced a new effort to make it even easier for partners to successfully use open source. As described in InfoWorld:
IBM wants to encourage more of its business partners to use its open-source, low-end application server and free entry-level database by giving those companies access to IBM sales, marketing and technical expertise at no charge.
For more details:
Personally, I am always happy to see IBM extend its open source efforts, and boosting support of partners in this fashion should certainly fuel broader adoption of open source solutions.
And speaking of open source solutions, have you heard about the new IBM "Open Client Solution" as an "alternative to vendor lock-in" and to "improve interoperability and provide more choice to run different vendors' products that work together"? Now we're talkin'! See a related CNet News.com article and the IBM press release.
I've been keeping busy over the past month with holiday travel to Taiwan and getting ready for teaching a university course about online communities (more about that later), but wanted to also take a moment to reflect on the past year -- and particularly the top dW content from 2006.
One good measure of which content resonated is that which garnered the most attention in terms of click-throughs from our email newsletter. dW newsletter editor John Swanson kindly -- and very quickly -- tallied the numbers for 2006. (Thanks, John!)
In chronological order, here are dW's top 10 items of 2006, based on newsletter-driven traffic:
Bonus -- 2 runners-up for an even dozen:
What do you deem the best of dW in 2006? Your top items from your favorite dW zone? Your favorite tutorials? Top podcast or blog? Best discussion forum? Top series of articles, or column? Comment here with your own best-of lists.[Read More]
Today provides a great opportunity to learn more about Caspian -- its significance, the vision behind it, and more. To get the scoop on this week's major Caspian product launch from Rational -- the Rational V7 Software Delivery Platform desktop products, based on Eclipse 3.2 -- join Grady Booch for a live dW chat this afternoon -- Thursday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 Eastern. Grady will answer your questions about the V7 Rational tools release.
Today IBM Rational launched the new, version 7 batch of its desktop products (aka the Caspian release products). These Rational Software Delivery Platform desktop products, based on Eclipse 3.2, are designed to help development teams better design, implement and manage the delivery of software architectures. See the IBM Rational Web site for the brand's official announcement and perspective.
Of particular note: These products are based on Eclipse 3.2. The fact that IBM used Eclipse as the foundation for its key set of developer products speaks strongly to its commitment to the Eclipse platform. Also of interest are the comments from my colleague Simon Johnston, who's already mentioned the launch in his blog today, and noted also that thanks in part to Simon's own efforts, "IBM [now] has a single method for the development of SOA solutions, whether you buy that method for your own use or you contract with IBM services; you the customer get the value of the combined experience of IBM's product and services communities."
Across developerWorks we've published a number of new resources related to the new V7 products:
Check out the new resources, and in particular the free V7 desktop trial software (Application Developer, Software Architect, Systems Developer, Software Modeler, Functional Tester, Manual Tester), and let us know what you think.
Today Danny Sabbah, GM of IBM Rational Software, sent a note to IBMers that nicely summarizes a major milestone: The 5-year anniversary of Eclipse as an open source project. Here's an excerpt:
Over the last five years, we've seen Eclipse evolve from a platform for application development tools to a universal integration platform for building and deploying software worldwide, with IBM driving much of the progress. ...
(Thanks, Danny, for your permission to excerpt from your email.)
Indeed, Eclipse has had a tremendous impact in five short years. And developerWorks has been covering it all along, through for example the Eclipse section of the dW Open Source zone.
For more perspective, listen to my comments about the Eclipse anniversary in today's new "This week on developerWorks" podcast. Also worth a listen (and providing much useful context and details) are our earlier dW podcasts with John Kellerman about Eclipse.
Many people will be attending the Eclipse parties being held around the world today. If you miss the parties, you can sign the birthday card and read about the anniversary at the eclipse.org site.
Last week there was quite a bit of news about the work of one of our own, developerWorks community program manager Rawn Shah. Rawn has helped develop -- and is co-teaching -- a new course at the University of Arizona this semester entitled "MIS 300 - Web 2.0: Maintaining and Developing Online Communities." The course description reads:
Online social networking and communities have become a big role in how organizations interact within themselves as well as with external partners. Developing a healthy community can lead to new business opportunities, improved customer relations, as well as improved communications to the world. Online social network sites already claim over 300 million members worldwide in public sites that are starting to turn into a new generation of b2b and b2c business collaboration and brokerage sites. This course investigates the technologies, methods and practices towards developing online communities, and how this knowledge and these skills are applied to businesses.
Kudos to Rawn Shah and the others at IBM and at the U of A who worked to get this class in place and to promote it.
For more details, see Rawn's related Wiki, which includes the course syllabus, FAQ, Resources, and more, as well as a collection of related news articles -- which includes for example this Dr. Dobbs article -- that were published last week, and a link to last week's related press release announcing the course.
It was not long ago when yours truly took a graduate course at UNC-Chapel Hill (perhaps the first of its kind anywhere, and in its debut semester at UNC in any case) entitled "Virtual Communities." That course, taught by the amazing Paul Jones, director of ibiblio.org (formerly metaLab, formerly SunSITE), included guest lectures by people like Howard Rheingold (the WELL) and Brewster Kahle (the Wayback Machine) and focused quite a bit on more established "technologies for 'community building' such as listservs, discussion boards, fora, and portals," and blogs and perhaps wikis; blogs were just getting big and podcasts were still in their infancy. Shortly after that, we started expanding our "community" effort at developerWorks; we rolled out dW blogs, and we've also launched dW podcasts, expanded and enriched our discussion forums ... and continue to improve. Having Rawn take on the full-time role as dW community lead was another positive step. I know Rawn has a lot more in store for developerWorks, and I'm sure his teaching the U of A course will only enhance his expertise -- and thus our ability to do more for the developerWorks community and more with Web 2.0 technologies.
Meantime, it's great to see us helping students via this course, as well as the many other efforts of IBM University Relations. Students -- like professionals -- are turning to the content and resources at developerWorks to help them learn, help them complete tasks. The Dr. Dobbs article cited above mentions but one rich example: our Web development zone, which focuses on open, cross-platform, standards-based Web 2.0 technologies and social networking and online community tools, including Ajax, Atom, mashups, PHP, RSS, Wikis, and much more. Lots of helpful tutorials, how-to articles, and other resources to help students and professionals alike.[Read More]
Yesterday Sam Ruby posted this interesting blog entry with a bit of feedback about the new IBM blogroll. It garnered some good comments as well ... worth a look.
Of particular note is Sam's "planet" (a concept developerWorks has covered on occasion; see for example the January 2004 Edd Dumbill article XML Watch: Planet Blog). Sam's "planet" shows "Selected blogs postings by IBM employees." I like how this presents the latest content from all of these IBM bloggers (effectively creating an IBMer group blog), along with a blogroll that links to each individual's blog. And I'm especially impressed with how quickly Sam put this together. Kudos, Sam.
OK, back to perusing all these IBM blog posts -- some 50 entries already for today alone. Would a feed (Atom, RSS) combining all of these be a bit (too) overwhelming?[Read More]
Today on the IBM.com home page is a story about IBM bloggers (available in fancy format, plain format ... and even in PDF). This discusses not just the developerWorks bloggers, but also others -- like Ed Brill (who was already blogging when we launched the developerWorks blogs back in April of 2004, and who has a much much bigger following than I do with my blog -- and thus I remain grateful to this day for the time he referenced my blog from his blog). Included is perspective on IBM's blogging guidelines, plus a link to the guidelines document itself. It also has some IBM bloggers addressing topics such as the best (and worst) reasons to blog about your work/job/career, the unexpected benefits of blogging, and their favorite non-IBMer blogs.
Of particular interest in this story (aside from its mention of developerWorks and of dW bloggers such as dW community chief Rawn Shah, of course):
A new blog directory, or "blogroll," is also now available on ibm.com to help visitors find IBMers who are now using blogs in the normal course of their jobs. By voluntarily listing themselves here, these IBM employees have set their welcome mat out for anyone to stop by, ask a question, pose an idea, take issue with a position, and otherwise engage in a new level of collaboration and conversation for corporations -- and the very real people who make them work.
I am glad to see this new IBM-wide blogroll, and continue to be impressed by IBM's adoption of blogs, as well as podcasts and other communications tools. (Check out, for example, this recent podcast about IBM podcasting which includes comments from dW's own podcast guru, Scott Laningham.) Such activities are all the more impressive considering how big and, uh, venerable, Big Blue is.[Read More]