We hear new software delivery buzz words every day, but it's important to dig beneath the surface to determine the core principles and intent behind all the new trends and terms. In this webcast, Grady Booch, IBM Fellow and one of the pioneers behind UML, will get down to the basics and cover the basic principles around software design, development, test, deployment, and operations. Grady will also speak to the issues and approaches on dealing with legacy software in the days of rapidly evolving technologies and moving on from the old to the new…
This week we highlight Adam Levensohn. Adam has worn many hats in the years he has been with Rational. Whether it be in his earlier technical support role directly assisting clients, or more recent managerial roles, Adam always brings the party. Ever wonder why? Well wonder no more, as Adam reveals all in his tell-all interview below! And don't forget to check out some of our previous interviews too!
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support? I am the first line manager of the ClearCase and ClearQuest Customer Advocacy Group (CAG). I live in Framingham Massachusetts with my wife of over 10 years , my 2 children Brady (5) and Brett (2) , four cats (one of which is a 25 pound Maine Coon Cat), and 2 frogs.
How long have you been working for IBM and Rational? I have been with Rational for over 10 years
Have you had any other roles in Rational? I started my career as an Associate ClearCase TSE , I was then an Escalation Engineer for ClearCase , then I did what we used to call Staff Engineer reporting into the second line manager (Mary Barry at the time). Then Mary tricked me into being a first line manager. In 2003 when support absorbed the CAG organization into support from development I started managing that team.
What are you currently working on? I am currently working on building a team of support professionals that will collaborate on delivering complex multi-product solutions to customers. I am also working on renaming and rebranding CAG. In addition to that, I do some work for the Northeast US Lab Cluster where I am currently in the early stages of directing and producing a cluster video. I am also about to begin production of a video that will serve as an internal commercial for the Executive Briefing Center in Westford.
Describe a normal day for you. Email disposition , meeting, email disposition, meeting , rinse and repeat....
What project are you the most proud of? I have a tie - the transition of CAG from development to support and what was called the Content Syndicate which evolved into what we know as our Knowledge Management Team.
Are you a gadget person? What type of gadgets do you use? I think I might be. I have an iPhone I can't live without, and I have a thumbdrive, a mini multitool, and flashlight on my key chain.
What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without? iPhone - I use it for work mail and calendar, cell phone, games, music, all sorts of apps that are not very important but very fun. What's the coolest piece of tech news you've heard lately? Is there any tech news that isn't cool? I read feeds and articles daily about all sorts of technology, I am not sure I can single any one piece out.
What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support? The people.
What are you passionate about? My kids, my wife, technology, and the Red Sox in no particular order.
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class? I was on vacation with my family in Florida when I was 13. At the hotel we were staying at there was a guy who sold sun tan lotion pool side. I was venting to him for some reason about my 13 year old angst and he said to me "dude, wherever you go, life's a party; just act like it's a party and it will be a party". I have tried to carry that tip with me since then, and it seems to work.
If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without Another tie - iPhone or coffee maker - it would be tough ...are there any coffee beans growing on the island? that would make my decision easier.
What is on your nightstand with regard to reading? Year of the Black Rainbow, by Claudio Sanchez and Peter David What has been your biggest surprise you have witnessed in the technology industry? 3D - I saw Toy Story 3 in 3D and I could not believe how good the 3D was. I certainly missed the glasses with the red cellophane in one eye and green cellophane in the other eye though.
What future technology would make your life easier? Complete integration with roaming profiles based on a scan of my retina. I turn on my TV, it scans my eye and loads my music library, favorite shows, apps, web sites etc... I turn on my phone, same thing. I turn on a PC, same thing. I go on vacation and turn on the hotel TV, it scans my eye and loads my music library, favorite shows, apps, web sites, etc...
How do you prefer to find answers to your questions? Google and then where ever it takes me.
Are you a blogger in the blogosphere? ... Are you a YouTuber? ...Are you an Author? .... Do you Tweet? ... I was very active for a while blogging, Tweeting, YouTubing, Blipping, and Fligging, but I went on hiatus several months ago and really have not missed it. Maybe I will go back some day or maybe not.
What do you do in your spare time? I like to exercise , play sports , mountain bike , listen to music , read , chase my kids , do yard work , and i also server as the Chairman of the Town of Framingham's Technology Advisory Committee where myself and a board of 5 other appointed members advise town meeting, the town manager, and board of selectmen on technology related issues and concerns.
Couldn't attend the 5/26 GRUG Webcast: "Rational ClearCase and ClearQuest 20/10: The anniversary celebration begins"? We wanted to let you know that the replay is still available!
Rational ClearCase and ClearQuest 20/10: The anniversary celebration begins! Wednesday, May 26, 2010 Description: Join Peter Hack, Daniel Diebolt and Sreenivasan Rajagopal as they take you on a journey through time. We'll start our journey in 1990, when ClearCase was first released by Atria Software. We'll then fast forward 8 years, when Rational Software released ClearQuest, followed one year later by Unified Change Management. Then as our users helped us grow through the 2000s we made many significant enhancements to ClearCase and ClearQuest including the ClearCase Remote Client, improvements to Multisite and the ClearQuest Web Client. And while it's nostalgic to explore the past, we'll also take a peek at where ClearCase and ClearQuest are today and more importantly what the future holds for these market leading products. Speakers: Peter Hack, Daniel Diebolt and Sreenivasan Rajagopal
Friday, we published a new whitepaper on ibm.com, Integrate, Design and Debug - IBM Rational Rhapsody with Workbench.
Abstract: The purpose of this document is to describe the
integration between Rhapsody and Workbench. The document explains the
concepts used in setting up the integration including step by step
guidance in installation of Workbench, rebuilding Rhapsody framework,
followed by a small “Stopwatch” example.
Pleased to announce the availability of our latest video technote on YouTube!
This video shows you how to integrate the IBM Rational ClearCase Remote
Client Extension with IBM Rational Application Developer. It will walk
you through the steps necessary to install and configure the integration
of ClearCase Remote Client Extension 7.1.1 and Rational Application
This week we catch up with Erik Mats, a Support Engineer out of Uppsala, Sweden. For the past five years, Erik has been supporting modeling clients in the US defense sector but he is now moving to the European team where he will be working with clients in the enterprise architecture and software development sectors. Read on for an interesting look into Erik's daily routines and passions! And don't forget to check out some of our previous interviews too!
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support? I work at the European help desk for modeling products, focusing on tools for enterprise architecture and software development. If you are meeting challenges in SysML, UML or data modeling, or using defense architecture frameworks, I’m there to help. For the past ten years, I have used social software to work with colleagues and clients from East Asia through California in the west, largely out of my home in Uppsala, Sweden. I am married with two children, and spend most of my spare time at the playground or jogging or cycling on trails in the nearby woods.
How long have you been working for IBM and Rational? Ten years ago I joined Telelogic Modeling Support. At first I was working for the Malmö, Sweden office with US customers, but I shortly moved to Dallas, TX. I also had a chance to enjoy a couple of years in suburban New Jersey before returning to my native Sweden. I have been part of the Rational Client Support family since IBM acquired Telelogic AB about two years ago.
What are you currently working on? For the past ten years, I have worked for the US modeling help desk, but quite recently I have shifted to its European counterpart. My most important mission right now is to deepen my knowledge of customization, compilation and SysML coverage in Rational Rhapsody.
Describe a normal day for you. Most days, after I have a solid dose of coffee, read the daily paper and drop off the kids at daycare, I sit down in our spare bedroom/library/office to really dig into the daily pile of e-mails. By the time I start my breakfast I have typically already had a first peek. I spend a few hours on questions or problems that have come in from around the world. In the morning I often spend some time online with colleagues in India, Korea, Australia. In the afternoon I mostly deal with problems that pop up in Europe or North America. I shut down my laptop at 3pm, unless I’m working the evening in which case I may be online until midnight. I rarely spend more than a couple of hours at a time on any given problem or project. Instead I context shift around and let the trickier issues grow at the back of my mind. I try to go jogging or cycling during the day to gather my thoughts. After my kids go to bed at night I sometimes have a chance to revisit some of the trickier problems of the day, or to simply chat a bit with my US colleagues. Whenever I wrap up a problem, be it a defect report, a request for enhancement, a question, I write up some kind of a summary of the issue. Many of these are published to www.ibm.com as tech notes, others are kept for internal reference. A few days a week I venture into the IBM office in Kista, a 40 minute train ride. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve recently shifted my focus towards more interaction with European clients, so now it makes more sense for me to go into an actual physical office.
What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support? What inspires you in your work? What are you passionate about? My favorite part of working for Rational Client Support is all the chances I get to educate clients and co-workers in new tools and methodologies. I know that the benefits I help roll out in their organizations will later make it into the healthcare, automotive or communications applications that surround us today. GSM and 3G technology would be two concrete examples. I also love solving seemingly unsolvable mysteries, and building lasting relationships with clients doing interesting work. Over the last few years I’ve had a chance to learn a lot about game theory, decision theory and models for problem solving. I’m excited about the Kepner-Tregoe processes for situational analysis and problem solving that we use in Rational Support, but I have also come across a lot of other interesting frameworks, such as those used by the High Council of Sweden in the 17th century.
What project are you the most proud of? My favorite projects have been when I've been able to help clients adopt new and exciting technology or methodologies. Around 2001-03 I did a lot of work in UML 2.0 tools, mostly in the telecom sector in the Americas. I fondly remember heated discussions about readability, value semantics, computational efficiency and other geeky stuff. Geeky, but incredibly important for a lot of the smart handheld devices and appliances we use today. I have also been involved in some really tricky but rewarding trouble-shooting around FLEXnet licensing.
What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without? My smart phone; WLAN. Camera. Spotify. E-mail. Diary. Calendar. Alarm clock. Podcasts. Exercise journal. Oh, and sometimes it even rings! I only wish it would handle online TV better. I see a strong trend towards ubiquitous and free wireless broadband. A few years from now I expect our handhelds will act as portals into the cloud. There will be no sense carrying around computational capacity when the network becomes more accessible. The way I see, as information and intellectual property becomes increasingly accessible, we will re-evaluate how we value, purchase, license, store and share information. It is quite clear that music and movies will be in the cloud rather than crowding our living rooms, but how will we value the literally thousands of baby pictures we take today.
In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you? I am incredibly fascinated by consumerism. How we decide what to purchase, the mild neuroses and intense marketing that tend to go into each decision. A few semesters of business studies along with early experiences as a father has given me some very striking insights in this field. I can discuss this stuff for hours on end. Music. In fact, my most unexpected job accomplishment ever was when one of my songs was used for an office event in India! I am an avid Scrabble player. In fact I love word games in general. I did spend a few years at Uppsala university majoring in linguistics but I just can’t seem to get enough! I spend a lot of my time baking and cooking, vegetarian and as healthy as I practically can. As an experiment, I have even tried making housecleaning a hobby, but I hate to report so far this hasn’t been a great success.
What is on your nightstand with regard to reading? I’m a bit of a knowledge junkie, so I read mostly non-fiction. Right now on my nightstand and along for my train rides to the office:
Johannesson, K: Retorik eller konsten att övertyga. ”Rhetoric or the Art of Persuasion”; I really need to learn more about rhetoric. I know all the technical performance, accuracy and correctness in the world won’t help, if the team or client doesn’t know where we’re going. I feel this is a challenge not only for me but for a lot of my colleagues too.
Ekström, A: Google-koden (“The Google Code”). A fascinating read about Google’s history and strategy.
Shortz, W: New York Times Crosswords for a Rainy Day. Again, I’m hooked on wordplay!
How are you using social networking today? I use LinkedIn to keep track of former colleagues, Facebook to keep up with the extended family and old friends. For work I use Lotus Sametime (a chat client), Lotus Connections (our internal community platform), wikis, IP telephony, Lotus webcam conferencing. Only the other day I was at an Italian restaurant trying to figure out what kind of a fish dentice is. Wiktionary and Wikipedia to the rescue. I use the streaming music service Spotify to find out what my friends are listening to. Of course, there is also a risk that your street cred will go down in flames when people find out what music you actually listen to.
Yes, we've been doing this all for a bit now, but we'd still love to hear your feedback about how we're doing, and what improvements you may like! Our short nine question surveywill only be available for a few more days (until June 22nd). The survey shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes of time to complete. This is a chance for you to help drive the future of Rational Support's social media initiatives; to have a voice about what changes we could make to help YOU realize even more benefit from our social media channels! Of course we are always open to comments here and in our other channels as well
As you likely have read previously, we launched the Notes from Rational Support developerWorks blog in January of last year, our Twitter @RationalSupport presence in April, Facebook in November, and YouTube in December, with no other agenda than to share knowledge with you, to help you be successful with Rational products. Through these channels we share new and popular technotes, download documents, IBM Education Assistant modules, information regarding our electronic support tools and programs, pertinent developerWorks and jazz.net articles, how-to videos, webcast/open mic invites, and even interviews with some of the many interesting people that make up our Rational Client Support teams. And we'd love your feedback on how we are doing when it comes to providing you with the information you need and want!
So hurry, the survey will be closing soon! If you haven't yet, you can still enter your responses here: http://ow.ly/1R9G7
For those of us in the Electronic Support arena, getting good actionable feedback in order to steer
or improve our offerings is more rare than I would like.
So we were thrilled to death to get the following piece of feedback from
a client on one of our IBM Education Assistant Modules (our UCM/ClearQuest IEA module) recently:
"In general, an AWESOME resource! This presentation,
had I known about it, could have accelerated my learning nine months
Hooray! EXACTLY what we hope to accomplish with these education modules.
We get two pieces of very important information from this feedback: 1) the content is relevant and good for our clients, and 2) there is an opportunity here to see what we can do to reduce the time to discovery.
We have numerous ways you can help us do a better job providing you the information you need to be sucessful with your products.
When you search for and find relevant content on our support pages, take a moment to Rate This Page. Did it give you the information you were looking for? Why or why not? Did it help you solve your issue? These are all important points we consider in determining the effectiveness of our support content.
Continue to leave comments on the IEA modules you view and let us know if they were helpful and/or how we could improve.
We ARE listening for your feedback.
(And of course, feel free to engage with us here, or on twitter (@rationalsupport))
This week we shine the spotlight on Patrick O'Connor, our very own @rationalwebguy.
Patrick IS our Rational web guy, focused on all things electronic support. If you didn't see him at #ibminnovate, I don't know why, because he was EVERYWHERE... talking with clients, presenting our electronic support offerings and demoing the IBM Support Portal. He was in the Rational Support Café and the Red Carpet Lounge; in the Solution Expo and at VoiCE. He is always happy to share his knowledge, and is available to speak with you or your teams about electronic support at any time.
don't forget to check out our past interviews
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support? My name is Patrick W. O'Connor. I am IBM Rational Client Support's Electronic Support Project Manager. My role is to make the IBM Rational Support web spaces as helpful and clear as possible - to make them first choice for many of the issues and questions our clients have. This is accomplished through driving requests for enhancements through the ibm.com process and also through our many adoption efforts - letting the Rational support clients know when we make updates and improvements to our various web spaces. How long have you been working for IBM and Rational? I joined Rational Software in July of 2000. Have you had any other roles in Rational? Yes, I joined Rational as a Senior Web Content Developer, then to my current position in 2006.
What are you currently working on? The new IBM Support Portal, various IBM Electronic Support marketing & education projects plus building processes to measure the effectiveness of IBM's Electronic Support efforts.
Describe a normal work day for you. Wow. That's not easy. My days are so varied. Typically, I'm checking email at 630AM or attending a conference call with our European support team. My mornings are usually focused on web space maintenance, project management activities focused on electronic support client adoption or client calls & meetings. Most of my afternoons are filled with various project conference calls. In the evening, I'm back on email and finishing up some of the day's tasks or even on a conference call with our Asia Pacific support offices. What project are you the most proud of? Right now, the IBM Support Portal. IBM.com has been working on this since late 2007 and it has involved input from every IBM support team and hundreds of IBM support clients. It allows all support site users to customize the site to show content and answers only for the products that user is interested in. Additionally, the portal allows users to move content "portlets" around or even delete areas that they don't find vital to their support needs.
Do you have an "on the job" hero? If you could "follow" anyone for 24 hours, who would it be? In Rational and IBM Software Group, I know so many "on the job" heros, it would fill a whole separate interview. I believe it would be very interesting and enlightening to work with Sam Palmisano, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, IBM Corporation, for a day. At that level, the decisions and risks dealt with on a daily basis must be amazing.
Are you a gadget person? What type of gadgets do you use? I have my IBM Laptop, Apple iPod, Garmin GPS, Sony Digital camera. What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without? 2 gadgets are vital - my Sony digital camera and my iPod. The camera because I'm always taking pictures & video of my family & friends. My Apple iPod is also vital - didn't think it was important until my daughter used it as a TV in her dollhouse! For 3 weeks, I was forced to listen to talk-radio in my Jeep until I found it! What's the coolest piece of tech news you've heard lately? I've been at the IBM Innovate 2010 conference all week - so I've heard and seen so much great tech news. It would have to be Dean Kaman's work with water purification and power generation in developing countries. The technology to make clean water and power in remote locations is a very exciting project. What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support? This is going to sound like a marketing answer, but it's helping a people around the world every day - either clients or IBMers. This past week at Innovate - I've met so many people and being able to answer their questions and seeing the relief in their eyes when they finally get the answer they have been looking for for so long was very satisfying! And I'll keep the "helping" going by taking their questions and feedback back to the IBM teams and keep driving improvements in our tools and processes so that the next time they have similar questions, they'll be able to find the answer themselves in a much easier and faster way.
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class? In the new IBM Support Portal - there's a button in the upper right labeled "Sign in to add, move, or delete modules on your custom page." Please sign into the portal - even if you see your name in the banner directly above that button I just mentioned. Signing into the portal saves all your customization to your IBM ID account - so no matter where you access the portal: office laptop, home computer, different browser - your settings are remembered. Otherwise, the portal remembers your settings in a cookie, which may be erased and doesn't help you if you change systems, browsers,etc.
Tell me about the biggest problem ahead for you? Clarifying IBM's Support processes. IBM is a big company and we have many processes that are simple and many that are complex. Breaking down each of these into managable pieces and figuring out a way to explain all the steps clearly to a client on our website has been a big challenge for me. I'm working on several projects to simplify our processes and their delivery on our website - I'm going to be busy for a while!
In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you? What's "spare time"? OK - when I'm able to, I love to ski, mountain bike, kayak and scuba dive with my family and friends.
When did you first become interested in kayaking? I was living on Cape Cod in the 90's and wanted to explore all the rivers and saltwater marshes all around the area. A kayak was the logical tool, so I purchased a used, 2-person kayak and started kayaking every Sunday afternoon - picking a different marsh or inlet every weekend. I ended up kayaking with friends year-round on the Cape for several years. I've owned several kayaks since - even have a "sit-on-top" kayak now that I use for surfing in the ocean! If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without? Could I answer "Satellite phone" so I could call for a rescue? If I was stuck on a "technology deprived island", I'd choose the technology of "fire" - a flint of some sort. Stuck on such an island, I'd actually be relieved - there is so much "technology noise" in our lives today - smart phones, cell phones, laptops, info feeds, email, etc. - that I would really enjoy a break from all that constant information bombardment. What is on your nightstand with regard to reading? National Geographic and Family Handyman magazines. NatGeo for dreaming & planning about all the amazing people and places I have yet to meet and see. Family Handyman is there to remind me that before I climb Everest, I have to first organize the garage and finish the basement.
Any new technologies that you think are about to break into the big time? Affordable robotics for home use - yes, there are automated vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers, but they are limited in their functionality and still relatively expensive. But with all the money being spent on military robots, I believe systems that will help us with routine tasks will be arriving very soon that are much more capable at a cheaper price. What future technology would make your life easier? See my "robots" answer above - I'm dreaming of an affordable robot that could mow my lawn, vacuum my house and especially pick up after my children!
What are you doing to make the planet smarter? My family and I beginning to automate our home - installing systems that control electricity and water usage. And then monitoring our bills to see where we are wasting resources. How do you grow your technical skills? I try to pick projects that push me to learn new skills, then use online resources and the help of fellow IBMers to flesh those needed skill out. How do you prefer to find answers to your questions? Online of course - using Google or another major search engine to begin my quest for the answer to my issue. If that fails, I'm lucky enough to have many very smart friends and colleagues that usually have the answer or know where to find it.
How are you using social networking today? I use Twitter (@rationalwebguy) and LinkedIn for professional relationships, Facebook for mostly keeping up with friends & family, even though I'm now starting to post more to the Rational Support facebook page, and finally, I use Flickr for posting pictures and videos - mostly for friends & family.
How could you see yourself using it in 5 years? I'm hoping that social networking technology will become simpler and more integrated. There are still too many places to post and recieve info. A site or service that could tie all my social sites together - filtering out the noise - letting me choose whether a post is for business or for friends & family and into which social site(s) that post would go would be outstanding!
What are some of your favorite websites/feeds/twitter accounts to follow? I'm a news-hound, so I've set up my MyYahoo site with news feeds from all the major services and sites. As for Twitter - rationalwebguy is my favorite! Seriously, I'm following many IBMers and IBM clients plus a few of my personal friends that are on Twitter.
Ed. note: And just for fun, a couple of shots of Pat from #ibminnovate:
At Innovate 2010, right next door to the Rational Support Café (Europe 4) is the Users First Lounge (Europe 3).
The Users First Lounge is your place to share your thoughts and influence the design of Rational software. Meet one-on-one with technical personnel from the Rational User Experience Team - discuss user interface designs, try some user tasks, ask questions, and give feedback. Meet folks from Rational System Testing Team - review system test scenarios to see how well they represent your environment and usage.
Drop by for a few minutes or a few hours,. Have some fun coloring your own lounge lizard for a chance to win a stuffed lizard to take home with you.
The Innovate 2010 Welcome Reception just wrapped a couple of hours ago, but for many of us, the conference started bright and early this morning with several pre-conference conferences.
Today was Business Partner Day.
photo credit: IBMRational
Today was Voice of the Client Day
photo credit: kellypuffs
photo credit: kellypuffs
There was the Red Carpet Lounge reception for our Accelerated Value Clients. See how blurry we all got toward the end of the day?
photo credit: kellypuffs
and then, this evening, there was the Welcome Reception, which featured a karaoke band, as befits any geek gathering.
photo credit: kellypuffs
I'm exhausted, and the conference Opening Keynote is bright and early tomorrow morning at 8am(!)
To follow along with all the excitement real-time, be sure to follow the #ibminnovate hashtag on Twitter. It's been a flurry of activity all day. Also, check out conference photos at the ibminnovate photo pool on Flickr.