Happy Holidays to all of my fellow high tech workers! A High Tech Worker's Holiday Gift Guide:
- "On Air" sign - So those of you who work from home can let your spouse, child, dog, electrician or door to door salesman know when you don't wish to be disturbed. Or for those science fiction fans, perhaps a force field would be even better!
- Ergotron Triple Monitor - for those of us who multi-task too much. Why fight it? Feed the beast.
- Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction - an ebook for those of us who multi-task too much and want to fight it.
- Dilbert calendar - for those of us who need a laugh! And this provides a laugh a day with a dark sense of humor.
- Karlson multiple time zone clock - for those of us whose daily life is by definition cross-cultural.
- Adopt a dog from a shelter who needs daily walks - for those of us who sit too much and need a little puppy love.
- Panasonic phone - for those of us who talk too much. Hands down the best phone I've ever had, because it lets me put my hands down with a great speaker phone and easy mute functionality. Get the one with several handsets, providing you with more battery power for those days when you're on the phone all day.
- Desk Set on DVD - for a reminder of how far technology has come in 50 years, wrapped up in a classic 1950s comedy that happens to include a Christmas office party scene, a computer meltdown and a reminder that for some things, technology will never replace humans.
- A sardonic social media venn diagram t-shirt - for those of us who tweet too much or blog too much and can laugh at ourselves.
- Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones - for those of us who travel too much or need good tunes to fuel inspiration.
Happy Holidays! And tell me... What's on your "high tech worker" wish list this year?
This week get to know Allen Montejo
as he shares what he's been working on as a J2EE application developer and what the IT industry is like in the Philippines. He's definitely inspiring as he looks at ways that technology can improve the world!Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
I'm a software engineer with almost 8 years of rigid software development experience using different technology as required for the project, building software from scratch to maintenance and to its evolution. I am new to IBM and was hired as IT specialist and am currently assigned to a project as a J2EE Application Developer. Currently I am working on the web application project that is used for smart and fast information research in many different field. The project was built using IBM enterprise development tools which is the Rational Application Developer (RAD 7). I never used this tools before I came to IBM and I was amazed how easy it was to use and how fast to learn the tools for development. I am quite fan of J2EE open source tools and technology such as Eclipse, Netbeans, and Oracle JDeveloper but with RAD it has many cool features that can boost development productivity. IT Firms should try using this tool for their business since it helps productivity. Aside from being a software developer in our team, I was also given a chance to get involved with project management which gave me good benefits in the end. I learned about IBM's software development processes from enhancement, maintenance to full release. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How did you end up choosing a career as an IT professional?
Actually in the Philippines, we have this custom that our parents are the ones who decide what course to take in college. Though I was interested and had a great desire in computers and computing, they decided for me to take Accountancy since at that time the course was in high demand. But then accidentally when I was trying to inquire and enroll to different Universities, I was always getting denied because the course was already full in capacity. I was determined to go to college and hopefully to land a better job someday because life in our country is very difficult when you don't have a degree finished. And so I enrolled to Computer Science without asking permission first to my parents, and this is also the profession I always wanted.
I chose this career because I believe that technology will always evolve and human beings will always find ways for a better life through the help of technology. And also I am very curious about how computers work and how it will change or help our lives in the near future.What's happening in the Philippines related to technology? What's the high tech climate like there?
Currently there are a lot of foreign IT Firms starting to establish business in our country and also local companies starting to embrace software development type of business. Our new government is starting to automate their processes for fast and accurate results to the selected agency services that have a critical function, like what we had in the last May 2010 election, it is the first automated voting system to be successfully implemented.
Regarding our climate, Philippines is one of the country in Asia which is most visited by typhoons, we even have up to 4 different typhoons in a month. We have PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) a government agency that monitors our weather and typhoons. Unfortunately, currently the agency still uses old technology and approaches for monitoring change in weather. But I think our current government administration is planning to upgrade the technology on PAGASA. Actually when I heard the news I posted a suggestion to our new elected President on Facebook to use the IBM supercomputer which can perform 34 trillion calculation a second
, which I believe is the perfect solution to our unpredictable weather change. Hopefully they will consider my suggestion. ;-)
What's the most challenging aspect of being a Software Engineer (and how do you handle it)?
Aside from technical and logic formulation which I find challenging and interesting in my daily work, I think the most challenging situation I'd experience as a software engineer is negotiating and communicating with a client that has no good background in software development. I find it very hard and time consuming for us to make them understood the process development must undergo. Explanation and solution recommendation is a bit tricky since they do not understand technical terms we use. The only solution I implement when I encounter such situation is patience and transformation of technical terminology to layman's terms or to their perspective to better understand things and to synchronize with development team.What's your approach to keeping your skills current? What new topics or areas are you learning about right now?
Reading tech news is one of my hobbies and becoming part of my daily routine. I also get myself involved and participate actively on tech forums and group mails which I am interested in. Collaboration and sharing ideas with the group of people that have the same interests as I have is the key for keeping the skills updated and concurrent. And of course reading tech books to achieve new skills because in our profession we cannot afford to be left behind, it is a constant learning process.
Currently I am quite interested on the declarative languages such as Python and Ruby, I'm playing with it in my free time. I'm also exploring new web frameworks and design patterns. And for IBM, I am learning how to manage and handle the software life cycle and processes.How do you use developerWorks?
Well, developerWorks is one of my resources to keep my skills updated, keep in touch with people with the same interest as mine and to keep me informed what is concurrent news at IBM. I also use developerWorks to update my working status online. What I like is that it has a feature to automatically update to my other networking accounts such Facebook. I hope soon it will cater auto update to other networking sites too.How are you using social networking today?
I'm using social networking to keep in touch w/ my distance friends and relatives. I also use it as a resource in my profession, to gather different information and data, collaborate and share my thoughts and experience in certain topics.Can you share something about yourself that most people don't know about you?
I think my principles and beliefs in doing things in life - my work may be futuristic but I'd still prefer to live and implement life in ancient ways. :-)- Thanks Allen!
I was intrigued when I first heard the concept of SmartCamp
together entrepreneurs, investors and mentors in a fast paced bootcamp
and competition. Hear what Angela Bates
has to share about the
SmartCamp in London and more opportunities for startups to build a
Smarter Planet with IBM. Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
I'm the UK and Ireland Marketing team leader for IBM ISV and Developer Relations. I've worked in the IT space for more than 20 years both with major global corporations - including IBM and Hewlett-Packard - and with business partner organisations. My team and I are currently working on leading the marketing campaign for IBM Global Entrepreneur, building co-marketing campaigns with ISVs, delivering more that 100 ecosystem events and building Smarter Planet client references with UK and Irish business partners, developers, students and academicsTell me about the recent SmartCamp in London. What was the most interesting or exciting thing about SmartCamp?
IBM SmartCamp London took place on 21st July at Imperial College London. SmartCamp is an exclusive event that brings together entrepreneurs, investors and experienced mentors who want to help us build a Smarter Planet. SmartCamp provides startups access to world-class advisors, plus a direct route to seed and venture capital.
SmartCamp London attracted more than 70 registrations from the startup community. It was a tough job to filter this down to 23 shortlisted candidates which were interviewed at our IBM Innovation Centre, South Bank in Central London. After some tough discussions, we chose 5 fantastic finalists which stood out from the rest: 3Strata Technologies
, Ark Mobile Finance
, and WorldSensing
. The overall winner was WorldSensing, with a classic Smarter Planet/Smarter Cities solution.
The most exciting aspect of the event was the amazing ecosystem that gathered at the event and their incredibly positive feedback from attending the event... their comments included:
"Congratulations to the whole team on SmartCamp London - it was a fascinating day for me, and an impressive lineup of potential partners for IBM for the future." - Caroline Taylor, VP Marketing and Communications, IBM UK & Ireland
Audience Feedback included:
“No other company comes even close to IBM in its outreach and support of entrepreneurs"
" I love the IBM smarter planet strategy, it seems like the company really cares, I am deeply impressed."
"Beautifully Organised. Great central London Location"
"Outstanding Companies, well chosen"
"Thought it would be more formal, it was a nice surprise"
"Brilliant event and excellent smarter planet campaign"
"Great event that helped bring together the large businesses and the fresh new startups"
"Doug Richards was a great addition to this event, I learnt a lot and broadened my network significantly"
"Was excellent to be able to receive feedback from such a range of people.
"Great networking event, good keynote speakers as well"I read on your blog that there is actually going to be an international SmartCamp finals on November 15, where one business will be named “The World’s Smartest Start-up”. Tell me more about that!
WorldSensing will now go forward to the global final of "SmartCamp", which will be held in Dublin from 15-17 November. Winners from each one of the IBM SmartCamp events from around the world - from Silicon Valley, Boston and Waltham in the US, to Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Dublin and Tel Aviv in Europe - will gather with leading mentors from around the world in Dublin to name the 'World's Smartest Startup.If someone missed out on the chance to be part of SmartCamp, are there still opportunities they can seek out with IBM?
There are more SmartCamp events planned around the world, so keep checking our web site for dates and locations: http://www-05.ibm.com/ie/smarterplanet/smartcamp/index.html
I'd encourage all startups less than 3 years old, to join IBM Global Entrepreneur. This programme - announced in March this year - has the products, people, and promotion that can help technology startups extend the size and reach of their company. The initiative provides support and resources in the areas these startups need most:
* No charge access to IBM’s software portfolio on-site or through the cloud to accelerate software development
* Dedicated technical enablement support to help startups develop their product and get to the marketplace faster.
* Mentors at IBM SmartCamps around the world who can help them grow their business.
* Industry market intelligence from our top industry experts that can help them understand the enterprise customer and the market opportunity.
* Visibility as part of the IBM Smarter Planet agenda to set themselves apart from the competition.
* Recognition and additional benefits to partners with the most innovative solutions
* Opportunity to showcase their company in the IBM Global Entrepreneur directory.
Startups who meet the eligibility criteria can register at http://www.ibm.com/isv/startup
. On our application form we ask a few simple questions to help us understand a little about their companies, and once accepted they will be contacted by one of our Project Resource Managers (PRM). The assigned PRM will make a personal call to welcome them, and will guide them through how they can make best us of the resources we provide on a one-to-one basis.What are the challenges that entrepreneurs face & how does IBM help? How can entrepreneurs benefit from IBM's leadership with Smarter Planet?
Today, the world’s physical systems are being infused with intelligence, and this opportunity to apply information technology to physical infrastructure opens up vast new markets for the IT industry. With disruptive, new technologies, this is the perfect scenario for innovative entrepreneurs to play a major role. With IBM’s unique vision of a Smarter Planet
, we are looking to partner with technology entrepreneurs who share this vision and want to work together to address this new market opportunity. Technology Startups, together with IBM, can drive change to build a Smarter Planet,
What future technology would make your life easier?
The Battery Operated Butler / Maid - for all those boring laundry and housework chores. What can I say - housework sucks.
- Thanks Angela!
This week, get to know Erwan Paccard a product manager for IBM ILOG visualization products.
Connect with Erwan on:His My developerWorks profileIBM ILOG Elixir blogTwitterTell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
I’m Erwan Paccard, a product manager within the IBM ILOG visualization group which was acquired by IBM in 2009. My day-to-day job is to plan out the future of our user interface products: we develop and sell software components used by developers to expedite their application development. To get a better idea of what we do, you can look at some live samples
.What's your favorite aspect of your work?
The sum of it all in fact. From feeling where the technology is going, to market needs evolutions, to business cases creation and talks with as many customers and prospects as possible, to close interactions with R&D to see concepts and ideas come to life, to interactions with sales and customers to see how a large team efforts lead to great revenue for us and achievements for our customers.Tell me a little bit about ILOG Elixir - what's the coolest thing about it? What is the best-kept secret about ILOG that you wish more people knew?
The end user reactions, hearing end users saying "that's what I've been waiting for so long" is truly rewarding. That comes from a complex set of steps: from focusing on people's need (both from a feature and user experience standpoints, to having the right implementation to deliver features and performance) to having the right price and go to market. Fail one step and the whole value chain is broken.Tell me about one of the most creative or interesting uses of ILOG that you've seen?
Eye catching and fun to use energy consumption dashboards. An engaging experience help people use it so it helps achieve the goal of having less energy consumed. I also came across some developers who made some mobile applications: can't say in how many pockets we are now :-)You blog on the IBM ILOG Elixir blog - what do you think about blogging so far?
Overall it's good experience and rewarding to see that you have hundreds of readers a few hours after you did a new post.How do you use developerWorks?
We use it as an essential ingredient for the sales process. We have demos
, a blog
and a forum
and all of that adds up to convey as much information as needed to our customers. When they come to contact us, it's usually only to know the price, that means a better experience for our customers. What publications / websites do you read / visit?
I follow 50 accounts or so on Twitter
for the "real time aspect of it". I also track blogs in the market segments we're in.What's the coolest piece of tech news you've heard lately?Google TV
caught my attention lately, I would definitely like to have those features in my next TV.When you're not working, do you have any special interests you like to spend time on?
It will sound like a French cliche but good friends at home with a nice meal and fine wine is one of my favorite occupations. Having said that, having two young kids will help keep you busy after work hours.- Thanks Erwan!
This week get to know Chandra Bhushan Kumar
, training coordinator at an IBM Center of Excellence in India. IBM has just announced the launch of 75 new Centers of Excellence in India
, so I thought it would be interesting to take an inside look at one. Learn more about Chandra and connect with him on his My developerWorks profile
.Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
I am a Training coordinator in Centurion Group of Institutes(CGI), Orissa where we give the quality training on various technologies based on IBM, SUN and CISCO technologies.How did you get started in technology?
I started my IT career in year 2001. I have always been keen to learn about new technologies and wanted to learn computer programming languages. I used to spend more time on various new technology of
computer and now I want to give knowledge to the students.Describe your favorite IT project
My favorite IT projects are based on Java Technology. I also like to architect and design software on various platforms. My favorite IT project was the Thief Detector project, when I guided final year students based on .net technology. I also like my one operating system project - MOS2k6 , which is small operating system developed using C/C++. This provides the facility of Linux to Microsoft Windows.Tell me about the IBM Center of Excellence (CoE). What kinds of things do you do?
Yes! This is a very interesting area, where I have applied my experience to add more knowledge in my existing experience. I used to train the students on various IBM products like DB2,RAD,RFT,TIVOLI etc. this the most interesting area where IBM provides a better career path to achieve knowledge . I used to mold the student on various IBM technology in IBM CoE.
My target is to guide the student globally on IBM My developerWorks, which is the best place to communicate with the students as well as with world class developers of Technology .What IBM products are you seeing the most demand to develop skills in right now?
Yes! This is a very good question. According to my observation DB2, Lotus and RFT are the most in demand technology. DB2 is very good for the industry for maintaining the database and testing
technology and RFT is also very useful technology for developers.What is your favorite aspect of working with students at the Jagannath Institute for Technology and Management?
Yes! You have asked very good question. I used to spend myself with the students at JITM is that students are devoting their time and follow the best practice. I used to involve my more time to give
better to the students and they follow. one thing more that JITM management people are very supportive to the students towards their career growth and development. and this one of the favorite aspect of
working with students at Jagannath Institute for Technology and Management?If you were advising your students on three things they need to be successful in an IT career, what would you tell them?
The first thing I would like to suggest to students is that they should acquire basic knowledge of their career properly, because that is the base of the IT career. Second thing, students should choose
their area and specialization where they will exist. And third thing I would like to suggest them that they should always be ready to Imagine, invent, and share their knowledge across the world.How do you think the IT industry is evolving in India?
As I have seen in 10 years, Information Technology has grown too much in india. There was a larger growth of the IT during the previous 5 years. Where every sectors of Government as well as private sectors
has been computerized and every one has become very familiar to use Information Technology. In future also india is very large market for IT in the world.
How do you use developerWorks?
First I am very thankful to the IBM and IBM developers who have provided the great resources for the students as well as for the developers. I always use it to share the information among the developers
and students. I also assist the students to use developerWorks. What interests or activities do you like to do when you get free time?
Usually I don’t have free time. I am always busy creating and developing some new thing. When I feel, I am free I use the time to write programs, developing/updating websites, searching new
articles and working for my PhD Research.
This week, take a peek into a day in the life of Sebastian Fratini
, an IT specialist in Argentina working with IBM DB2 and IBM Lotus Domino. Learn more about Sebastian in the interview below and visit his profile
. Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
Well I currently live in Argentina and I am 24 years old. I started working with IBM products four and a half years ago in a Business Partner. I started in the Development and Research area and that gave me a lot of knowledge from different software, technologies and solutions. I didn't spend too much time with one product. I just documented what it was needed and then, move to another project, which gave me a great base. I have most of my experience with Domino and WebSphere Portal and WCM but I used almost every Lotus Software, plus Java, TDI, DB2, SQL Server, etc. Personally, I like music. A lot. I enjoy playing guitar and going to the movies, series like House MD and Friends, travel.
Currently I am working in several projects. Two of them are Domino migrations. One from a different version. The other from a different mail solution. I am also integrating DB2 with Domino and migrating some applications. There is another project involving TDI and Domino 8.5.1 to make MSAD the center of the user deployment and administration (This one is quite fun) and also a couple of WebSphere Portal Demos for some projects around the year. So yes, I am somehow busy. It could be worse. Describe a normal day for you.
A normal day would be a work day! I get up and travel in a Mercedes-Benz with a driver. I call it 'The Bus'. Then I usually need to check that all the servers are working. If the day was bad, I like to go to Burger King. The flavor of the onion rings makes my day better. After I came home I feed my hamster and then watch movies or series. And the whole day connected to the Internet of course. Do you have an "on the job" hero? If you could "follow" anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?
Mmm I don't think I have a hero like that. I just like to take the good things of each one of the people around me. I think I would like to follow Kevin Spacey. I think that is a great actor. If you were talking about the IT world, that would be Steve Jobs. Is there anything you think is unique or interesting about working in IT in Argentina?
The more I speak with people around the globe, the more I realized that in Latin America we usually work on the edge. Normally people don't try new technologies until it's settled and tested. Or don't go outside what's out of the box. Here most of the projects require you to dig, integrate, modify, develop, etc. And they are usually very fun projects. At least for me. I believe it has to be that all the canned solutions are out of reach for most LA companies so we need to rely on our creativity and skills. You have an impressive number of certifications in IBM software - how do certifications help you with your career and skills?
Definitely. I had many projects where the customer specifically asked for a IT guy with certifications. One that could prove that he knew the solution. And I watched the same customers turned down providers for lack of skills. But besides that it gives you a lot of confidence. What do you plan on learning next?
At this moment I am learning a lot of Tivoli Directory Integrator
(TDI) which I've never used before. I always like to keep updated on each solution and the new versions that come out. Whenever that happens, I have to install it and test it. I need to use it. I can't just read the 'What's new in..' but I also like to learn Java, Open Source Solutions, Linux, etc. How do you use developerWorks?
It would be easier to ask me how I DON'T use developerWorks =). Let's see. I use the Knowledge Base of course because I can't possible know everything. Although sometimes I just read technotes I don't need to be prepared for those crazy errors you might some day encounter. I use the forums
. Each day. I am usually around the Domino 6/7/8/.8.5/Sametime/Portal forums. The last two, I only enter when I have spare time. The first 4, I dedicate some time to answer because when I started the guys from those forums helped me a lot, so I am returning the favor. You can actually see me answering each day. I even recognize the name of several 'casual posters'. I also managed a Space which sadly I cannot no longer maintain the way I'd like, but as you saw, I am quite busy at this time. But I keep my developerWorks profile
and I found several interesting people from around the globe. It's nice to be part of a network of IT guys which are willing to share their knowledge and help. How are you using social networking today?Facebook
. All of them on my cell phone. Facebook every time I open the browser. Most of my friends are there and with those three sites I can be connected to all of them. It's hard to keep in touch after you move or graduate so that helped me to keep talking to several friends. I am one of those guys that say "Oh, that's is going into facebook" when something interesting happens. What are some of your favorite websites/feeds/twitter accounts to follow?
I always open the next sites: Facebook, developerWorks Forums, Gmail, ItMadeMyDay.com, Clarin.com (Local newspaper) and Google. After that, I can go anywhere I need. But that's how I start my day. Are you a gadget junkie? Any new gadget you'd love to try?
I love gadgets. And I started hating the cell phones when I first got one. Now I cannot live without it. I have the cell phone, the iTouch, the WD Live, PSP and I love many more that I don't have because I want to control myself. I think I would like to test the Kindle. I am just not sure yet. Star Wars or Star Trek?
- Thanks Sebastian!
This week I'm bringing you an interview with Eitan Gal
, the manager of the IBM Innovation Center
in Israel. IBM Innovation Centers help ISVs, developers and students learn about new technology, as well as helping IBM Business Partners build and integrate solutions, close deals and grow business. I wanted to interview Eitan because he can share what happens at an IBM Innovation Center, as well as giving the scoop on a lot of exciting activity happening with ISVs in Israel. Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
I have 25 years experience in the IT industry, started as an IT programmer at Intel IT here in Israel. I am with IBM for the last 11 years, in the first three years I was part of Lotus Sametime development team and since 2001 I am proud to be part of the Israeli IBM Innovation Center
(IIC) team. In my first three years at the IIC, I have worked with IT architects from local ISVs in the Telecommunication area such as Amdocs and Comverse. In 2004, I became the IIC team manager. Today we are a team of eleven professionals, IT Architect and Technical consultants, covering the Israeli ISV market, which is one of the largest ISV communities in the world, with about 3,500 local high tech ISV companies. The Israeli IIC is part of the Global Technology Unit (GTU). The GTU's mission is to evaluate and develop partnership for IBM with local ISVs, whose innovative solutions are incorporated in IBM products and services, ensuring a strong value proposition for both IBM and the ISV in joint sales initiatives. What aspect of software and solution architecture do you most enjoy?
As the IIC leader, I enjoy being part of the GTU team which assesses new ISVs for partnership with IBM. In addition to looking at business aspects, we explore the full technology potential of IBM Hardware and Software, which can be adopted by the ISVs in their solutions. The process requires deep understanding in the ISV solution architecture, and in IBM products which can potentially bring high value as part of the ISV solution. One of the end results of the assessment process is a technology road map, which we build jointly with the ISV. This road map outlines the IBM technologies that the ISVs will adopt according to a time line plan. In 2009 we evaluated 160 new ISVs, and performed around 200 Technology enablement projects, most of them took place with new ISVs. From your perspective, how is the software industry unique in Israel?
In two aspects:
1. Israel has a concentration of more than 3500 local ISVs, in a country smaller then New Jersey :-). In the last 15 years over 250 companies were involved in M&A transactions. More than 90% of ISVs influence is outside of Israel as the local market is very small. Most local ISVs are looking for partnership with IBM, and see IBM as a partner which can bring global reach.
2. I think that part of our culture is risk taking, and local ISVs are early adopters that are willing to try new technologies and new product releases. This can be useful for these ISVs, but can sometimes put them in a problematic situation. It is important to understand that the Israeli high tech landscape is rich in entrepreneurial activity and early stage companies that are facing the decision about which platform to support. So we have a unique opportunity to work with these entrepreneurs at very early stages and in 2009 we increased significantly our activities with them through IIC events dedicated for this community.What is the most interesting thing about IBM Innovation Centers that you think more people should know about?
We are one-stop-shop for ISV's IBM hardware and software needs for the local ISV market. We cover products in all IBM brands, with our primary focus on WebSphere, Information Management, Tivoli, System X and P. In addition to our IIC experts, we have Technical Business Partners which expand our support capabilities in areas where we are not experts. We also engage other IBM organizations and the IBM Lab whenever needed. In addition to product support we provide assistance for ISVs in the different certification processes available, such as "Ready for....." programs and the IBM Industry framework programs.Do you have any plans coming up at the IBM Innovation Center in Israel soon that you're excited about?
We are excited to enter the Cloud space, In 2010 we plan to have some new exciting Cloud Products such as CloudBurst, and iDataFlex. We also evaluate the Cloud for Developers offering for our ISVs.
Which technologies or products does your IBM Innovation Center have the most expertise in?
Websphere and Information Management are the software brands we're strongest in. On Websphere in addition to the WebSphere Application Server we also support the Business Process Modeleing products such as Websphere Modeler, Process Server and Websphere ESB. In the Information Management area, in addition to the mainstream products such as DB2 and Data Stage, we have started in 2009 to support Cognos, and we see very high potential in the ISV market for Cognos.Are there new technologies or products you want to learn or expand for 2010?
We are going to expand our support capabilities in two areas: Cloud related technologies on both the HW and SW side. With products such as CloudBurst and Cloud offering for developers. In addition, we plan to enhance our "vertical" Skills, which are Industry related skills. One of our main missions is to increase our ISVs presence in the different Industry Frameworks offered by IBM. How do you use developerWorks?developerWorks
and My developerWorks
demonstrate our technology strength. I see developerWorks as our face to IT professionals....in many occasions people that were introduced to the developerWorks site were amazed by the content they could find there and IBM's involvement in Open Source. We actively promote developerWorks and My developerWorks to our ISV community; it is our team's main resource for technical information, and often IIC technical consultants refer ISVs to developerWorks for technical information they need.In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you?
Reading..... .Swimming and Jogging.......outdoor activities...... jogging in a beautiful park near Jerusalem, near where I leave. Woodworking and Iron works, I have a small nice workshop, and have my works album in Facebook.- Thanks Eitan!
Every Monday I publish an interview with a member of My developerWorks
on my blog. This is the highlight of my week! It's so much fun getting to know interesting people from around the world and find out what they're working on, what they read online, their career tips, and what they do for fun.
Check this out, if you want to catch up on past interviews
But I would love some suggestions for questions to ask in my interviews. What do you want to know? What would you ask if you could? What have you secretly always wanted to know about your fellow IT professionals and developers?Give me some ideas for interview questions - anything from silly to serious to sublime. Lay it on me.
Into Java? You won't want to miss this interview with Chris Bailey
, an IBM Java Client Support Architect. He's been helping out developers in the Java Runtimes and SDKs forum
for many years and just recently began blogging on My developerWorks
.Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
Hi. My name is Chris Bailey, and I'm part of the Java Technology Center (JTC) team in IBM. The JTC is based in locations over five countries, from Ottawa in Canada through to Shanghai in China. I'm based at the Hursley Park Development Lab in the UK. I'm very lucky in that I have a fairly broad remit, so I get to work on a range of things. My "day job"is as the technical architect for the IBM Java service and support organisation, which is primarily responsible for fixing bugs in the IBM Java deliverables but also has a wider scope to enable IBM Java users to delivery successful application deployments. That second part means I'm also involved in our work to deliver new debugging capabilities and tools, improve the documentation, handle requirements, and look at the wider quality of IBM Java.What Java resources does IBM offer that you think more people should know about?
There's a few things that have been around for a while that I'm not sure are widely known about, in particular the IBM Development Package for Eclipse
and the IBM Java Runtimes and SDKs forum
. The development package gives you a version of Eclipse that uses the IBM Java SDK, which means you can develop with the same Java that you deploy with, and you can use the debugging capabilities during development. The forum provides a a great way to ask questions about IBM Java and provide feedback in to problems your seeing and changes you think should be made. There's also a lot of relatively new stuff. In the last year or so we've delivered a whole set of new tooling: Garbage Collection and Memory Visualizer (GCMV), Memory Analyzer, Health Center and Diagnostic Collector, and we've also released new how-to style documentation in the Java Troubleshooting Guide.Is there anything new the IBM Java Technology Centre (JTC) is working on?
There's lots going on at the moment in a whole range of areas. There's a big focus on usability, so we're working on improving the documentation. expanding the tooling and debugging capabilities, and leading JSR 326 / the Apache Kato project to provide a diagnostics API for writing tools. We're doing a lot of work on garbage collection and performance, providing deterministic Java in WebSphere Real Time and looking at scalability. There's continuing work with the open source community through the Apache Harmony
projects and we're also working on other languages on Java, particularly PHP which is available as part of WebSphere sMash
. Oh, and of course there's the work to deliver Java 7.0 which is in full swing.
Add to that the impending acquisition on Sun by Oracle and you can see that its an interesting place to be at the moment!Tell me about your blog on My developerWorks...
The Java service and support organisation spends a lot of time debugging and troubleshooting Java applications and deployments. The "IBM on troubleshooting Java applications" blog
is aimed at taking some of the knowledge we've built up on best practices and debugging techniques and sharing that with the wider Java user community. Hopefully some of the information covered will help developers to troubleshoot bugs more easily, and allow them to provide us with valuable feedback on some of the tools and debug capabilities!How do you use developerWorks?
I use developerWorks both as a way of communicating what's going on with IBM Java: developerWorks hosts the formal downloads and documentation, I moderate the "IBM Java Runtimes and SDKs" forum
, and I've written a couple of articles in IBM Java in the past; and as a way of keeping up with what else is going on with Java technology: I follow a number of the article feeds, including Java technology, WebSphere and Open source. Hopefully with My developerWorks
it will get much easier to communicate with users of IBM Java.How did you get started in the IT industry?
It's pretty boring I'm afraid. I did a degree in Electronic Engineering at Southampton University and joined IBM through the graduate recruitment program. I've been working with Java ever since.
Who was your first service provider? When did you first access the internet?
Er, probably Demon Internet using an 18K modem, probably around 1993.What are some of your favorite websites/feeds/twitter accounts to follow?
I use both Facebook and LinkedIn, and I follow a number of sites through feeds: BBC News
, The Register
, UK Climbing
, a few forums and some blogs. I've not progressed as far as using Twitter yet.What future technology would make your life easier?
I'm finding time management to be a bigger and bigger problem. It used to be a case of just dealing with your work items and meetings whilst trying to stop the the daily deluge of email getting in the way. With all the new productivity and collaboration tools, the downside is that there's many more sources of incoming work and time pressure, so anything that can organise and prioritise work load better would be great.So you love rock climbing - what's the most adventurous or challenging climb you've done so far?
For the last 3 years or so, yeah. One of the great things about climbing is that it takes you to countries (or
parts of countries) that you wouldn't normally visit - it takes you off the
tourist trail. So far, outside of the UK, I've climbed in Spain, Portugal,
France and Sardinia and whilst those aren't off the beaten track in themselves, the bits that I've
been to probably are.Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars. The special effects in the original Star Wars films were ground breaking, yet they were used to improve the story rather than the story being there to showcase the technology. More technology should be used that way!Thanks Chris!
I'll admit, in spite of working for IBM, and being exposed to many Smarter Planet
ideas, messages, and examples, there are times I struggle to "get it". And then sometimes a light pops on in my mind... This time it was inspired by FlashForward
, a tv show... yes, a tv show.
A little background here... I'm a Lost nut. I've watched it religiously since epi 1. In fact, I now feel compelled to check out anything springing from the creative loins of JJ Abrams. So yes, I went to see Star Trek this summer. And thus, I'm now a Fringe nut too (if you liked X-Files once upon a time, give it a try.) When I saw previews for FlashForward, I wasn't dazzled or intrigued. But I watched and lo and behold I'm now hooked despite the totally bizarre premise - that a "global event" occurs where everyone goes unconscious and has a vision of the future for 2 minutes and 17 seconds - they refer to it as a flash forward. So, ummm... what does FlashForward the tv show have to do with IT and Smarter Planet?
Naturally, the FBI rushes in to investigate and they build a web site called Mosaic to allow anyone in the world to voluntarily describe what they saw during their individual "flash forward". Millions of people respond and now with everyone entering their experiences into Mosaic, the data is now searchable and available to create a big picture view of the event around the world. As a side note, ABC has actually created a fictional Mosaic web site
to help promote the show...
I didn't consider the Mosaic web site concept until several episodes in, where it struck me that this REALLY is the future, and is an amazing, if fictional, example of Web 2.0 (or is it Web 3.0, I'm never sure where that line is crossed) and how IT can create a smarter planet. Crowd-sourcing, collective wisdom, whatever you call it... It's real people coming together, voluntarily sharing information in a single repository, for a united purpose.
I have a friend with a chronic disease that is complicated and in desperate need of years of scientific research to even begin to understand - the story of many diseases and not enough research dollars to go around. It inspired me to think, what if you could set up a web site like Mosaic where everyone with that disease went in and entered info like their symptoms, related diseases, what treatments they've tried, what worked, what didn't, etc. They could update it over a period of years with their ongoing information. You could have a running giant database of info, instead of a tiny selected scientific study group.
The way this COULD change science, research, and medicine is incredible if you could combine researchers + technology + willing participants.
The way research is done today is very controlled, and of course you'd have to give up some of that control. It would require you to trust people to tell the truth - but why wouldn't they if they have a disease and want to find a cure? And then there is the issue of who owns the data (is it a university, a pharmaceutical company, a government?). But what if instead of controlling this data, it was open - like an open source health project? If you could get past pre-conceived establishment notions of medical research you could have data on a million people over 10 years,instead of a hundred people over 3 months! Wouldn't that completely change the game?
Does anyone know of real-life examples of Mosaic-like projects going on out there?
For the past few years, I've been thinking of myself as a "knowledge worker" in the "knowledge economy". All workers have their blessings and their discontents whether in the agricultural or industrial age or now - the knowledge economy. I'm glad that I get to use my mind, while I'm also sometimes grumpy about sitting at a computer while my hands and brain do all the work. (Btw, I think someone needs to invent a way of working with computers that involves a variety of movements - some fusion of ideas behind Nintendo wii and work that people do on computers, so that instead of it being natural to sit still while we work, it feels more natural and it's more possible, to move.)
But recently it struck me that I'm not so much a "knowledge worker" as I am a "creativity worker". What I do everyday isn't so much about what I know - it's about what I do with what I know - and what I don't know and finding the answers. What questions do I have? What ideas do I have? What instincts? What problems? What could be done better? What experiments might I try? And then talking with fellow "creativity workers" to get the idea soup boiling before we decide on something new to try. Then we go off and try it and analyze, measure, and revise along the way, over and over.
To be a successful creativity worker I must do things well, on time, and as committed. This is all fine and good, but it's not good enough if I don't come up with new things to do and new ways to do old things. So creativity is one of my greatest assets. But I often find myself jammed up with tasks and trivia - lines and lines of email, hours of meetings, at the end of which my brain is mush and my creativity drained. My greatest challenge is to protect, nurture and harness my creativity. How? It's still a struggle and I'm learning, but these are my ideas:
How important is creativity to what you do? How do you charge up your creative self?
- Set aside creative time during the week. Shake things up during that time - don't do things the usual way. Don't check email, turn off instant messaging. Listen to music that gets you psyched (this works for me!). Sit down with a notepad or whiteboard and markers and make drawings or diagrams or word maps. Or make collages and let images speak.
- Reserve creative time with fellow creativity workers to dream things up or tackle problems from a fresh angle.
- Take care of yourself, old school style: proper rest, nutrition and exercise. The creative self operates best when it has energy reserves to draw on.
- Creativity by its nature is slippery and unpredictable - it's not on tap 24-7. So go with the flow - when creativity strikes, drop everything if possible and follow its lead.
- Get to know your creative self. Explore what makes you tick. Is there a time of day or week when you are most in touch with it? Do you come up with your best ideas by yourself or in a group? Experiment with creativity tools like mind-mapping or free association and find out which ones you really like.
Very cool! developerWorks
has entered the Forrester Groundswell Awards competition in the Business to Consumer "Supporting" category, for web sites that help customers support each other to solve problems. The Forrester Groundswell Awards are all about examples of excellent and effective use of social technologies to advance an organizational or corporate goal.
As a My developerWorks
fan and someone trying to learn more every day about social technologies, I'm proud to see developerWorks in the running.
Check out the IBM developerWorks submission here: http://groundswelldiscussion.com/groundswell/awards2009/landing.php?sc=4
And don't forget to add your review or vote on your favorite entries for the Groundswell awards!
I like to bake.
In my family, when there is a gathering, I get called upon to bring dessert. And I’m glad to do it every time. All this baking got me to thinking about what a cake has in common with social networking, social media, online communities, creating a following for yourself, etc.Making it is a messy job
In the beginning a cake just some flour, sugar, eggs and butter thrown together. It’s raw dough. It doesn’t look like a master creation, but that’s where you start. Starting out with social networking is no different. In the beginning.
You have some raw ingredients to work with:
- Who are you? What makes you special, unique? What do you want to share with the world – or keep private?
- What are you passionate about? Let’s face it, social media and networking can take a lot of your time. If you’re not passionate about something, why bother?
- What are you good at? What do you know a lot about?
- What social networking sites, tools, and applications do you want to use?
- How much time do you want to spend?
- What kind of outcome are you hoping for?
Take these raw ingredients and decide what flavor of cake you want to “bake up” in the world of social networking. You’re not always sure how it’s going to turn out (and sometimes it flops)
If you’ve spent any time at all baking, you know, that sometimes a cake just flops. No rhyme or reason. It just does. Forays into social networking are no different. Making a name for yourself, gaining a readership, and forming connections are things that come over time, with many repeated consistent ongoing efforts. Some of those efforts will flop. Not every blog posting will hit it big, not everyone will answer a question you pose in forum, or join in your group. It’s a process of experimentation – try to learn what works and what doesn’t. Then keep trying. When a cake flops, I don’t swear off baking, I just grab a fork and dig in, then try a new recipe next time. Same thing with social networking – don’t sweat it, just keep trying new things.There are lots of layers
Putting together a fancy cake sometimes involves layers of cake, fillings, frosting and glazes. Social networking isn’t as simple as creating a user id and password. It takes several steps, at least, to start to your social networking foundation. Start by building a solid profile – that’s your first layer. Then visit regularly and see what other people are doing. Start to get active yourself by making connections and joining groups and activities. And top it all off by coming back regularly to see what’s new and interact with your new network.Presentation is crucial
A well-presented cake has that little
extra something like toasted coconut or white chocolate curls. It's not
only pleasing to the taste, but to the eye as well. Successful social
networkers take similar pride in how they present themselves online.
Consider what you’d like your image to look like and whether it’s
inviting. Does your profile represent you well? Do you like your
photograph? How can you use graphics and words to bring extra polish to
your online activities?If you find the right place for it, it’ll get gobbled up fast
Take your cake to a gluten-free convention and you may not have many takers. But leave that same cake in a breakroom at my office building, and it will be gone fast. Same thing applies in social networking. You want to pick the right “virtual place” for your venture. If you want to make professional connections, My Space is probably not the best place for you! But social networking opportunities like My developerWorks
offer you the ability to connect with professionals interested in similar topics, in a learning and sharing environment. Who doesn’t like cake, but you can only eat so much in one sitting
When you bake a delicious cake, it can be tempting to go back for second helpings (and thirds, too). But eat too much cake at once and the enjoyment fades into a sugar hangover. When you’re first discovering social networking, it can be such a buzz that you overdo it and burn yourself out. I've spent many happy, addictive hours exploring new social networking sites (uh, Twitter, anyone?). But you don’t have to eat the cake all at once! There will be more tomorrow. Pace yourself, and plan to spend some time social networking each week. Wishing you all a slice of social networking heaven here on My developerWorks!
p.s. The cake above is an Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Caramel Swirl Icing from one of my favorites - The Pastry Queen, Rebecca Rather
I'm excited to share this interview with Anthony English
! Anthony is an AIX expert from Australia who writes a popular blog on My developerWorks called AIX Down Under
.Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
I'm a Sydney father of (only) six children, and my wife and I home school them.
I've been working primarily on AIX systems since 1991, and in the last couple of years have been doing contract work in the finance, retail and manufacturing industries. It's a chance to work with lots of good people and learn to take advantage of virtualisation on IBM Power Systems. My most recent project was building two Power6 570s (one for DR) from the ground up without ever seeing them. They're hosting some 24 X 7 public-facing web sites with WebSphere, DB2 and Informix on the back end.
What first drew your interest to technology?
I used to take clocks apart as a boy, and put them together again, with intermittent success. When I started working, "computerisation" was the buzz word. What I worked on was producing mailing lists using real letters and envelopes using CTOS. These days I'm used to taking on new technologies and I'm quite excited when I have to troubleshoot problems. I have nightmares about workarounds. Can't stand 'em. There's nothing so permanent as a temporary solution.How did you end up being an AIX expert?
My colleagues and clients might have an opinion about calling me that! I'm no expert, but I am keen. I've learned a lot from my mistakes and I've developed a strong interest in finding simpler ways of doing things. I think AIX and virtualisation on IBM Power Systems can help build environments which are flexible, consistent and stable.
I'd say laziness is my big motivation. In a way my goal is to do myself out of a job. I like to set things up so that people are not fighting fires all day. Maybe I should write a blog post: "From firefighter to autopilot."So you started a blog called AIX Down Under - what inspired you to start blogging on My developerWorks?
It was really by popular demand. A few colleagues found they were getting lots of free and unsolicited advice from me on how to set up their systems. They gently suggested to me that there might be someone out there in cyberworld who really was interested in what I had to say.
After some years of working with all different kinds of people - some great people with wonderful abilities - it's a good thing to share around what they have passed onto me. It's also a chance to help out people who have lots of enthusiasm but not so much experience to show how they can make their systems work better. I'd also like to believe that some people appreciate my Aussie sense of humour. I do, anyway.What's been the most interesting or surprising thing about blogging so far?
I wrote a post on the most famous of all Unix commands - the one which will wipe out your system. I called it "rm -r and your career". Five minutes after I put it on my shiny new blog I managed to wipe out the entire post and had to reconstruct it using Google searches, one and a half sentences at a time. See what I mean about people being able to learn from my mistakes?How do you use developerWorks?
Primarily reading the excellent articles. It's a great source for hands-on examples of doing things which the official man pages simply can't cover. I've got some articles in the wings myself. I think it's a great way for people to see how things work and hang together in the real (virtual) world. Even a task which you're told is very simple can be daunting until you see someone step through it.Are you a gadget guy? Any new gadgets that you are adding to your wish list?
The i-don't. Gadgets? No, not really. I actually grow veges, coach cricket and read books, (you know, printed on real paper) especially the classics. I was catching the bus to one company in Sydney recently and that gave me the chance to read the whole of Dickens' and Jane Austen's novels and a good dose of Shakespeare (the bus driver took the long route that day). I also have a strong interest in mediaeval philosophy and theology, and have written the odd article in that field, which is perhaps not so common among geekdom.What are some of your favorite websites/feeds/twitter accounts to follow? https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/AIXDownUnder/?lang=en
(of course! I'm its most frequent visitor.)https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/InsideSystemStorage/?lang=en
In the AIX spacehttp://ibmsystemsmag.blogs.com/aixchange/http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/WikiPtype/AIX+Virtual+User+Group+-+USAhttp://twitter.com/aixmaghttp://twitter.com/cgibbo
(and every word written by my compatriot, Chris Gibson)
Anything produced by Nigel Griffiths, especially his Wiki movies: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/wikiptype/movies
And, to prove I have a life outside of AIX:http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/onbiz.cfmhttp://www.cts.org.au/articles.htmhttp://www.newadvent.org/summa/http://www.chesterton.org/Do you have a motto or a philosophy that guides you?
I'm not much of a doomsdayer. I have a great deal of hope for the future, and I think that's important in a world where the emphasis is sometimes more negative. True hope gives joy and peace, whatever is going on around you. I also find people face things best when they know the truth, spoken with clarity and charity.
Now if only I could condense all that to a bumper sticker.
This week get to know Wade Williams
, development manager of the IBM Cognos Mashup Service team. Connect with him in the new C^3 community for Cognos developers
.Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
I live in Ottawa, and have been enjoying the nicest summer weather in several years. I am the development manager of the IBM Cognos Mashup Service team, and we have been busy working on the next product release. We've heard some feedback from customers, as well as working on some ideas of our own.What project are you most proud of ? Have you ever invented something?
I am proud of the release of the IBM Cognos Mashup Service in the 8.4.1 release to our customers in December of 2009. It has been gratifying to see the customer response to CMS, and confirm the power of being able to apply their IBM Cognos BI applications where ever they are needed. Me and some of my team mates filed a patent for some of the ideas embodied in CMS, back in May, 2008.How do you grow your technical skills?
I like to read about technical topics (internet and books), and in many cases try things out using samples provided with articles. I have to admit, I get a lot of help from my team who are a smart group of people and are reading a lot about the evolution of web services. I ask a lot of questions. What's the coolest thing about Cognos Mashup Service - what do you wish more people knew about it?
It's hard to pick just one, I like the fact that the web services are available automatically as soon as a BI object is created. With simple web service calls (REST or SOAP), BI objects can be fetched and integrated into any application, business process, or portal. CMS is a complete report consumer API, that offers all useful operations (get report output, prompts, authentication, etc.) and all of the value of the BI application (drill, formatted data, unformatted data, etc.)What are some of the unique things that developers can do with Cognos?
I'll answer this with a Cognos Mashup Service scenario :-). IBM Cognos has a ton of great features building Business Intelligence (BI) applications for analyzing and understanding your data. The IBM Cognos Connection portal and Cognos Viewer UI provide an attractive and highly functional consumer web UI for consuming that BI.
IBM Cognos Mashup Service serves up those same BI assets for integration with other applications, such as mashing up with other data sources or plugging BI data into visualization tools that are unique and important to a specific application.
Also, not all applications are HTML web applications, so CMS provides a way to get BI assets and present them with other UI technologies. One example of this is what IBM Cognos has done to render IBM Cognos BI in Microsoft Office or on mobile devices. The XML representation of reports gives a lot of flexibility.
I know that IBM Cognos customers have way more ideas about how to apply their data than I can imagine. CMS makes a lot of things possible.Tell me about the new C^3 community for developers.
C to the power of 3, is our new IBM Cognos developer community site. A group of bloggers have been contributing to a growing list of posts that help customers build applications using IBM Cognos. The bloggers are members of development teams (including me - pointyhair) and others with a lot of experience building applications using IBM Cognos. Together, we have a lot of experience and we want to help customers be successful using IBM Cognos. It's possible to build some really good applications that use IBM Cognos, and our customers certainly have.
C^3 provides a place to discuss the "art of the possible". Blog posts typically explain how to use some part of the product API's, and provide an example, including code if appropriate. If you're just starting out, or even if you have something to share, C^3 is a great place share and learn. What are some of your go-to web sites?
Mostly, it starts at www.google.comIf you could write a book on anything, what would you write about?
Well, I can't think of something that I have enough to say about to fill a book. Perhaps it would be about how NOT to do something. I think I could write a book about how NOT to do woodworking. I would call it Fine Woodwrecking. It could be one of a series.- Thanks Wade!