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.
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.
dW and IBM also enjoyed other big honors at the Jolt awards event. The photo below reflects three IBM awards. Shown here are (clockwise from the top) award recipients IBM Fellow Grady Booch, who won the exclusive Dr. Dobb's "Excellence in Programming Award" (pictured in the poster); yours truly, dW EIC Michael O'Connell, holding the developerWorks Jolt Hall of Fame Award; and book author and IBM Rational Practice Leader Scott W. Ambler, holding his Jolt Productivity Award for the technical book Refactoring Databases he co-authored with Pramod J. Sadalage.
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.
developerWorks editors have assembled, collectively, the Top 100 articles and other items from 2009. While it may not be the traditional "12 Days of Christmas" gift list, we think our collection is quite impressive (as well as greater in number). You'll find nearly all of our top 100 highlighted in various places on our final home page update of 2009, but to make sure you don't overlook any (and to round out the list), I've collected them all here. Without further ado:
On the 12th month of '09, developerWorks gave to us...
But wait -- there's more! Not being able to leave well enough alone, I bump the tally up to a prime 107 by adding my personal bonus list of 7 top developerWorks items -- including some significant accomplishments and milestones -- from 2009:
The update of our entire developerWorks articles collection -- more than 11,000 articles -- to employ a more dynamic, interactive design.
The steady and strong set of new materials week after week again this year, with more than 1,000 new resources -- including more than 800 technical how-to articles and tutorials, 150 trials and demos, and dozens of podcasts and videos.
My personal milestone of 10 years with IBM developerWorks -- and the privilege and honor of working with such a talented and dedicated professional team throughout the 10 years.
The fact that most developerWorks team members can take a well-deserved break during the last days of the year, reflect on 2009's accomplishments and highlight some of our best content and resources, and recharge and plan for 2010 and beyond.
Thanks to everyone who helps make our hard work worthwhile -- whether by reading one or many of our how-to articles, commenting or asking questions in our discussion forums and blogs and elsewhere on My developerWorks, rating our tutorials and content, downloading a trial or trying a demo, or otherwise. We're happy to have helped serve your wants and needs in 2009 -- and will continue to do so in 2010 and beyond.
Today developerWorks unveils an update to our design. Key features include a simplified site navigation, via a new masthead and footer on nearly every developerWorks page as well as a much improved search engine -- so that you'll now more easily find all developerWorks materials, including our community materials as well as our professionally developed, award-winning how-to articles and tutorials.
While the masthead and footer stand out as most visible change, the update is much richer, and based on substantial user research.
Now you can also:
Sign in to developerWorks from the masthead on any developerWorks page, and quickly access your personalized dashboard from the masthead menu. (Select your display name and expand to reveal shortcuts to your profile, personalized community homepage, and a summary of any pending colleague requests or recently received notifications.)
Syndicate your favorite developerWorks content or URLs more easily, via persistent share tools in the footer.
Easily follow developerWorks on Facebook or Twitter. (These options are also available in the footer of every page now.)
You'll also see many improvements to some of your favorite developerWorks destinations, such as a simplified developerWorks home page and updates to developerWorks Events, Evaluation software, and Community main pages. We've updated the information in About developerWorks, New to Community, Feeds and syndication and more, and even added a brand new Technical topics landing page to get more info on the IBM product families, IBM solutions and open standards we cover on developerWorks.
With this design, developerWorks also becomes among the first sites within IBM to incorporate elements of the new ibm.com design that marks the company's Centennial anniversary. (To learn more about IBM's 100-year history, see the related IBM Centennial Press kit and the IBM100 site.)
Take a moment to explore our updated web site design -- and please share your feedback via a comment below.
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.
Personally, I get a real boost every time I hear a story about how developerWorks has helped the community of developers and IT professionals. I'm also regularly striving to better understand what works best and is most valued among the many things developerWorks does (so that we know what to do more of).
For example, dW community member "Boon amal (Boona)" writes, "WOW, I'm so glad I found your tutorial; it's made my life so much easier! ODFpy tutorials are scarce, and great ones are non-existent. Thank you for taking the time to create this, you really saved the day."
Another example: dW community member "Martin Kirouac (MartinKirouac-IMConsultant)" says the article "DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows database administration" (authored by Samuel Poon, Fraser McArthur and Priti Desai) is "Great! A really nice goto article in my everyday job," and adds, "Thanks a lot for publishing this."
Feedback like this inspires me (and I bet many others on the developerWorks team, and of course our authors). It's great to know that our content and resources are not only helping solve a fleeting problem on occasion, but also providing significant and ongoing value, day in and day out. This sort of input -- received just recently about content last updated in 2009 and 2008, respectively -- also reflects the merit to retaining not-so-new content, which can be quite useful even months or years after publication. And comments such as these help guide our teams: We seek to replicate successes like this to better serve your wants and needs. So input like this really helps us help you.
Speaking of you: What about you? You're in the trenches, coding, architecting, debugging, upgrading, administering, designing, troubleshooting, deploying, and otherwise working on today's real-world projects. You're a representative of the developerWorks community whom we strive to serve. You know the answers. So please: Share your story. Tell us how developerWorks has helped you--whether it led to a new job, solved a simple problem, or taught you something you wanted or needed to learn. Heck, even if you simply have a favorite article or tutorial, you're regularly checking a dW group or discussion forum, or want to praise a particular author whom you appreciate, we'd much welcome your comments.
So post a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you. In fact, we may follow up to get more details about the most interesting stories: You may even be interviewed by developerWorks podcast host Scott Laningham! He loves a good story.
Late last week, Forrester announced that developerWorks won its Groundswell 2010 award in the business-to-business "supporting" category. As noted in the official press release from Forrester Research, winners were honored "for excellence in effective use of social technologies to advance an organizational or business goal."
Commenting about the awards, Josh Bernoff, senior vice president of idea development at Forrester and co-author of Groundswell and Empowered, said, "Once again, the entrants and winners for this year's Forrester Groundswell Awards amazed us. We were particularly impressed with the diverse and effective social and mobile strategies that organizations are now using to reach consumers, business companies, and their own employees."
Today developerWorks turns 11 years old. We've matured quite a bit since our launch in September of 1999. But as recent activity suggests, we don't rest on our laurels.
In the past year we've launched new sections dedicated to Cloud computing and Industries, and we've greatly enhanced or online community offerings to provide more of the sorts of tools for professional collaboration and communication among developers and IT professionals. We continue to evolve to best serve our community. In fact, we're getting ready to share some finding from our latest survey of developers and IT professionals, which affirms many of our recent activities as well as offering added insight regarding future direction and priorities. (Stay tuned for details.) Ultimately, while our fundamental focus on our community's wants and needs and on open standards and open technologies remains constant, we continue to innovate, to become smarter and to help our community become smarter as we all, ideally, work together to develop a smarter planet.
For our 10-year anniversary we went all out. Perhaps will do the same for year 15 or 20. Meantime, if you missed the celebration last year, take a peek at our big 10-year birthday splash including lists of top content from our first decade, interviews with dW's creators, a timeline of milestones, and more.
As noted in the official press release from AMI, the awards were designed "to recognize social media efforts that result in tangible, measurable business value." Winners are chosen according to a systematic methodology that involved analyst reviews, interviews, primary research, optimization surveys and user experience.
These recent social media awards reflect how developerWorks has effectively grown and evolved over our 11-year history to incorporate new technologies and tools so that we can best serve your evolving wants and needs. Whether you're new to developerWorks or a longtime visitor, I encourage all developers and IT professionals who haven't already done so to join and participate in the developerWorks community to tap our rich set forums, blogs, wikis, groups, and more -- and see firsthand why we won the two recent social media awards, as well the many other awards detailed in our virtual trophy case.
SunBay won based on its multifaceted use of developerWorks to improve collaboration with 30 people across IBM Switzerland and IBM France, keeping everyone in the loop to streamline Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE) Framework validation. SunBay tapped the broad array of community social features in dW, including message boards, activities, blogs, files, bookmarks, and the iPhone app to support their business. The results included not only being quickly verified as meeting the IBM SPDE Framework requirements, but also a strong pipeline of joint IBM-SunBay customers.
IBM partners -- and all IT businesses and individuals -- can benefit from developerWorks and our community by using our social business tools to better communicate and collaborate, privately as well as publicly. We offer not only a rich collection of how-to articles and tutorials, not only answers to your questions and input from experts via our blogs and discussion forums. Our broad set of community features let you create, communicate, collaborate, innovate -- in short, developerWorks community features are ready to help you embrace social business -- and thus help individuals, groups and partners alike drive business results.
The editors at developerWorks reflected on their work over the past 12 months and selected some of their favorite, most noteworthy content. This small sample of our 2010 how-to content showcases the variety of technical topics and disciplines we cover week after week, as well as the quality of our professionally developed articles and tutorials. Happy Holidays!
Java technology zone technical podcast series, launched this year, lets you listen to insightful conversations with technical experts. Taking the time to read an in-depth, code-heavy article can be difficult, even if it's about a topic that's critical to your day job. This podcast series provides a new way to get information from the sources you trust most.
Build a digital book with EPUB has consistently been among our most popular articles, month after month, and employs an effective step-by-step approach for automating EPUB creation using DocBook and Python.
My sincerest thanks to a great extended team, including the expert authors both inside and outside of IBM -- and including you, the community of millions of developers and IT professionals who rely on developerWorks each month. A special thanks to those who participate in the developerWorks community by posting to our technical discussion forums, rate and comment on articles, bookmarking and tagging content, and using our other community tools.
As developerWorks celebrates 10 years, I reflect on how things have changed ... and how they will continue to change. At the same time, I see as clearly now as 10 years ago that our imperative focus on our community's wants and needs and on open standards and open technologies remains constant, and as important as ever.
In my personal life, in the past ten years I have moved to a different hometown three times. I started, and at last completed, a master's degree. I taught a university course. I got married. I become a father. No doubt I've grown and evolved personally and professionally. Yet all along, I've remained the same person, and all along I've kept the same job at developerWorks.
Similarly, developerWorks during the same 10 years has evolved and changed quite a bit, too. Throughout all the changes, including the incredible growth of technologies we cover, the ways in which we cover them, and the number and variety of people we reach, we have kept the same fundamental goals of serving the wants and needs of developers and IT professionals with a focus on open standards and open technologies.
I've relied in part on this blog as a way to connect and communicate, so it seems fitting to look back at what I've posted here. Reviewing all of my blog entries to date, I quickly notice that the most notable entries also happen to be those that prompted the most comments. Based on that, here are my favorites:
Remembering Heidi Carson This tribute to one of our editors, who'd like many of us originally worked as a technology journalist before joining dW. We miss you, Heidi.
As I've said before, I'm honored to continue to be a part of this terrific team of dW colleagues and this thriving community as we celebrate our 10th birthday -- and pleased to see us extend our efforts with My developerWorks to more fully embrace the power of social computing and online communities, and with content that will help us make this planet smarter (including more content and resources focused on key open technologies such as cloud computing).
Be sure to take a look at the various "Top 10"-type lists from various developerWorks editors, and the various interviews with the people who created and launched and supported developerWorks from the beginning. And as always -- just as we stated when we launched even the beta of developerWorks a few months before Sept 1999: We welcome your thoughts and ideas. Please, don't be shy.
This week developerWorks turns 12 years old. As we consider our future and how to best serve our ever-growing community, it also is helpful to take a moment to reflect on the past, and no better time than an anniversary or birthday.
IBM had a much bigger milestone this year -- its 100th birthday. Last week, alluding to the importance of evolution and change, IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano quoted Tom Watson, Jr., who, when asked a half a century ago how a company can live 50 years, said, "I believe that if an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself but its core beliefs."
In many ways developerWorks has been prepared to change everything, all the while retaining its core beliefs. Changes have included a dramatic broadening and evolving of our topics, the transformation into a social business with an increasingly engaged community members who form groups, share comments and questions, blog, and otherwise interact and communicate, complementing our many how-to articles and tutorials, code, downloads, and other technical resources. We've expanded well beyond text and images to include demos, podcasts, video, and other new media. And at the same time we have reaffirmed our already strong focus on the fundamentals, the core beliefs that remain as critical to our success today as they were 12 years ago: The wants and needs of developers and IT professionals. In short, we know relevance is key. It is a prerequisite to our success in reaching and serving our community.
To help us become even more relevant, we look to guidance from industry analysts, community surveys, trends and web traffic. We talk continuously with our subject matter experts both inside and outside of IBM. We attend conferences and other industry events and talk to more experts. We talk with students and faculty. And we pore over your comments and suggestions on developerWorks.
That's already a robust set of input. Yet, as we consider which topics and technologies to prioritize, I believe we would benefit from even more input from some of you. That's why today I'm inviting you to join a new developerWorks community advisory panel. This is your opportunity to help shape developerWorks and help us be more relevant and valuable for you -- and for millions of your peers in the developer and IT professional community. Panelists will be sent occasional questions and have opportunities to participate in surveys and share your input. Interested? Send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with answers to the following questions:
How does developerWorks help you today? Specific examples are encouraged.
How can developerWorks become even more valuable and relevant for you?
What makes you particularly qualified to be an opinion leader panelist for developerWorks?
What is your developerWorks display name?
I look forward to another year -- and also to your participation in shaping our future.
Today is my 10-year anniversary as an IBMer. I can't say I predicted this day 10 years ago. When I joined IBM in 1999 to help launch developerWorks as founding Editor-in-Chief, my skills and experience (an English major and Journalism minor, with years of experience not in engineering, but with print technology magazines and then pioneering in Web publishing with IDG's SunWorld Online and JavaWorld) hardly fit the mold of most IBM hires. But 10 years later, I am pleased to be able to celebrate this milestone -- and all the more pleased to do so via the new blogging environment in our just-launched My developerWorks -- what ReadWriteWeb calls the world's geekiest social network.
I'm also happy to see developerWorks now approaching its 10-year anniversary. (Look for more regarding developerWorks' 10th birthday in a few months.) I'm honored to continue to be a part of this terrific team of dW colleagues and this thriving community -- and pleased to see us extend our efforts again in 2009 with My developerWorks to more fully embrace the power of social computing and online communities.
The opportunity to celebrate a 100-year anniversary doesn't come often. IBM strives to celebrate its 100 years in business (official birthday is today, June 16) properly -- not with lavish parties, but with a focus on IBM giving back to and serving the communities across the globe. Read more about the IBM celebration of service and how IBMers are joining clients, partners and friends to improve communities worldwide.
As I consider this celebration from the perspective of my role as Editor in Chief of developerWorks, I can't help but think about what's technically cool and impressive from IBM that also serves not only the business or the Smarter Planet campaign but also improves communities worldwide, and one thing jumps to my mind: The World Community Grid, whose mission is "to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle projects that benefit humanity"; it "depends upon individuals collectively contributing their unused computer time to change the world for the better." IBM supports this effort with hardware, software, and technical services. It's a terrific example of how technology supports such key goals as clean water, clean energy, and cures for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. And they're looking for new research projects that can use grid technology to benefit humanity -- so if you have an idea, submit a proposal.
The World Community Grid is but one example of IBM's impressive technology and its efforts to benefit communities worldwide. Beyond the contributions of individuals (such as the developerWorks team members pictured here who were helping feed the hungry yesterday; see also the local press coverage showing how hundreds of IBMers packed 100,000 meals in under two hours), IBM's products and technologies show that the Smarter Planet initiative is more than mere marketing. We're showcasing some of IBM's noteworthy products and activities over the last 100 years as "Icons of Progress." developerWorks newsletter editor John Swanson calls out a few icons that may be particularly of interest to the developerWorks community in his new blog. (Thanks to Daryl Pereira for helping cull that list -- and also thanks to Daryl for his blog encouraging others to share stories and activities from the IBM Centennial.)
Here's to making the next 100 years worth celebrating even more than the first 100.
More than 7,000 of your peers are attending this week's big IBM event: Pulse 2011, a service management conference and expo dedicated to showing how Integrated Service Management (ISM) can help organizations design, deliver, and manage innovative services across business and IT boundaries. The focus includes analytics, systems management, sensors and security -- and how you can use software, hardware and services to integrate your data and systems, automate IT for greater productivity and secure your intelligent IT infrastructures. In other words, it's about helping you adopt, and benefit from, Smarter Computing (Indeed, Smarter Computing is a topic of substantial discussion during Pulse).
Whether you're attending or not, you can tap a wealth of Pulse event resources -- and also join the new developerWorks community dedicated to integrated service management, Service Management Connect, which was announced at Pulse.
For starters, take a look at our collection of live streaming and just-recorded videos from Pulse -- including keynote sessions as well as interviews with IBM leaders, partners and IT experts live from the show floor with Scott Laningham, Producer and Host of the developerWorks podcast show: