This past week, during a developerWorks content summit, our content team enjoyed a rare few days in the same physical space. Aside from all the work sessions, we spent a brief moment patting ourselves on the back, both for our latest Jolt Product Excellence Award, and for some positive results in our latest site visitor survey report.
The survey results were quite encouraging: Our visitors responded positively to the update we implemented last fall, designed to make the developerWorks site more cohesive and intuitive. (For some details, see "A new look and a new foundation for IBM developerWorks.") Across the board, our user satisfaction scores -- already among the best in all of IBM -- improved. The team was quite pleased to see our hard work pay off. (Kudos and thanks to all involved, and particularly the extra efforts of the design, usability, infrastructure, and production edit teams as well as the broader content team.)
But we (like most of you, I'd imagine) can't afford to rest on our laurels. We're always striving to better understand our audience of developers and technical professionals so that we can deliver the stuff you seek -- what you want and what you need to be successful. We also realize that developers are a diverse group, with diverse priorities and interests. That's why developerWorks provides a diverse set of resources -- including robust sections of the site dedicated to top open standard technologies (Java, Linux, SOA & Web Services, ...), as well as top developer and technical products used by IBM customers (Rational, WebSphere, Lotus, DB2, ...). That's why we're always looking to enhance our value by adding new materials, exemplified by recent additions such as the Autonomic computing zone and Migration station. That's why we offer an array of types of resources -- articles, tips, tutorials, tech briefings, conferences, trial code, alpha technologies (via alphaWorks), white papers, trial code, and more.
Blogs are our latest addition. We hope to add quite a few more people to our ranks of bloggers in the coming weeks. Our goal here is to provide a direct line to some individuals within IBM who, whether widely recognized visionaries and thought leaders or unheralded technology experts and innovators, have worthwhile insights to share: nuggets of wisdom, timely references to useful news and technologies, helpful discussion and perspective on emerging industry trends, forward-thinking strategic views, important questions, and more. Our hope is that some of this shared knowledge will help you be informed, aware, and ultimately successful.
The collective intellectual capital within IBM may be unmatched in the industry. With the developerWorks blogs, we hope to tap into this rich resource and share some of it with you. Think of our blogs as virtual conversations with some experts and insiders who might know a bit more than your typical colleague (not in every area, of course, but in their specific areas of expertise), and who occasionally share their insights with you in their own personal voices. We realize (and our recent customer panel discussion confirms) that not every developerWorks visitor will frequent our blogs. But that's OK. The same can be said of just about any other developerWorks resource. For those of you who do come to this corner of developerWorks, we'll strive to make your visits rewarding. And we encourage you to participate, to engage in dialogue by sharing your own comments with our bloggers.
Teaching Kids to Code
Michael_OConnell 120000G9S6 2,784 Views
Michael_OConnell 120000G9S6 2,784 Views
A fledgling co-op is seeking to sign up big companies to its variation of open source, with members sharing their in-house software:
Project Avalanche is putting a new spin on the coop concept -- rather than sharing health foods or vacation condos, members share intellectual property. For $30,000 a year, companies may donate any in-house software to the Avalanche library and may use, free of charge, any other software in the library's collection. -- http://tv.ksl.com/index.php?nid=17&sid=87177 (KSL TV "Techbit," referencing a Wall Street Journal article)
Here's a noteworthy excerpt from the WSJ article:
Or, asks [Project Avalanche's brainchild, Andrew Black], what if Avalanche members collaborated on a foolproof collection of open-source programs that could be used on their corporate desktops instead of the Windows and Office combinations from Microsoft? Mr. Black grumbles about having to pay Microsoft hundreds of dollars a year per employee for programs like word processing and spreadsheets, which he says should be commodities by now.
On one hand, this suggests that even Fortune 500-type companies see the potential benefits of open source software. On the other hand, with a $30,000 annual fee, free software advocates no doubt Avalanche as a bit contrary to their vision.
For more details, see Ben Galbraith's java.net Weblog entry, http://weblogs.java.net/pub/wlg/1199[Read More]
In the midst of researching communitity and open source issues for a paper I'm writing as part of my master's degree program, today I stumbled upon an interetesting journal article at firstmonday.dk, which "discusses five fundamental problems with the current Open Source software development trend, explores why these issues are holding the movement back, and offers solutions that might help overcome these problems."
I wonder what open source developers think of the article's claims:
* The lack of focus on user interface design causes users to prefer proprietary softwareâs more intuitive interface.
* Open Source software tends to lack the complete and accessible documentation that retains users.
* Developers focus on features in their software, rather than ensuring that they have a solid core.
* Open Source programmers also tend to program with themselves as an intended audience, rather than the general public.
* Lastly, there is a widely known stubbornness by Open Source programmers in refusing to learn from what lessons proprietary software has to offer.
Some intriguing claims. Are any of 'em on target? Perhaps it's true that open source developers aren't perfect ...
Speaking of imperfect developers, check out Software developer named co-conspirator in bomb plot.
I hope next week's news is a bit more positive for open source -- and for software developers in general.
Michael_OConnell 120000G9S6 3,293 Views
Next week developerWorks will be holding a content team summit, bringing our geographically dispersed editors together for three days. One ideal takeaway for us is tuning and affirming developerWorks' core mission and objectives. This task can prove difficult, given the wide array of software and hardware and the many products and technologies we focus on, and the variety of people like you who rely on developerWorks.
Fortunately, our most fundamental high-level objective is rather simple. Like all of IBM, we at developerWorks dedicate ourselves to your success. Whether you're a veteran user of WebSphere software or a new DB2 administrator, a Java technology guru or a Web services newbie, we're here to serve your wants and needs.
This set of blogs is another effort in that vein. We're quite pleased to debut developerWorks blogs with two expert IBMers -- Grady Booch and Doug Tidwell -- who've dedicated much of their careers to helping developers, whether through the numerous books and articles they've authored or countless technical presentations they've given at conferences and other events.
Just the beginning
Note that we plan to offer many more blogs in the coming weeks and months, some of which will focus on more specific topics. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, please consider this your opportunity to offer your valued input: Tell us how developerWorks is helping you be successful in your technical endeavors, so we'll know what we're doing right. And tell us what else you'd like to see from us.