Today is my 10-year anniversary as an IBMer. I can't say I predicted this day 10 years ago. When I joined IBM in 1999 to help launch developerWorks as founding Editor-in-Chief, my skills and experience (an English major and Journalism minor, with years of experience not in engineering, but with print technology magazines and then pioneering in Web publishing with IDG's SunWorld Online
) hardly fit the mold of most IBM hires. But 10 years later, I am pleased to be able to celebrate this milestone -- and all the more pleased to do so via the new blogging environment in our just-launched My developerWorks
-- what ReadWriteWeb calls the world's geekiest social network
I'm also happy to see developerWorks now approaching its 10-year anniversary. (Look for more regarding developerWorks' 10th birthday in a few months.) I'm honored to continue to be a part of this terrific team of dW colleagues and this thriving community -- and pleased to see us extend our efforts again in 2009 with My developerWorks to more fully embrace the power of social computing and online communities.
This week developerWorks turns 12 years old. As we consider our future and how to best serve our ever-growing community, it also is helpful to take a moment to reflect on the past, and no better time than an anniversary or birthday.
IBM had a much bigger milestone this year -- its 100th birthday. Last week, alluding to the importance of evolution and change, IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano quoted Tom Watson, Jr., who, when asked a half a century ago how a company can live 50 years, said, "I believe that if an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself but its core beliefs."
In many ways developerWorks has been prepared to change everything, all the while retaining its core beliefs. Changes have included a dramatic broadening and evolving of our topics, the transformation into a social business with an increasingly engaged community members who form groups, share comments and questions, blog, and otherwise interact and communicate, complementing our many how-to articles and tutorials, code, downloads, and other technical resources. We've expanded well beyond text and images to include demos, podcasts, video, and other new media. And at the same time we have reaffirmed our already strong focus on the fundamentals, the core beliefs that remain as critical to our success today as they were 12 years ago: The wants and needs of developers and IT professionals. In short, we know relevance is key. It is a prerequisite to our success in reaching and serving our community.
To help us become even more relevant, we look to guidance from industry analysts, community surveys, trends and web traffic. We talk continuously with our subject matter experts both inside and outside of IBM. We attend conferences and other industry events and talk to more experts. We talk with students and faculty. And we pore over your comments and suggestions on developerWorks.
That's already a robust set of input. Yet, as we consider which topics and technologies to prioritize, I believe we would benefit from even more input from some of you. That's why today I'm inviting you to join a new developerWorks community advisory panel. This is your opportunity to help shape developerWorks and help us be more relevant and valuable for you -- and for millions of your peers in the developer and IT professional community. Panelists will be sent occasional questions and have opportunities to participate in surveys and share your input. Interested? Send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with answers to the following questions:
- How does developerWorks help you today? Specific examples are encouraged.
- How can developerWorks become even more valuable and relevant for you?
- What makes you particularly qualified to be an opinion leader panelist for developerWorks?
- What is your developerWorks display name?
I look forward to another year -- and also to your participation in shaping our future.
Update: See also Scott Laningham's video interview with me about the developerWorks anniversary.
Today developerWorks celebrates its 8th birthday!
We formally launched on Sept. 28, 1999 (after a few months as a public beta site). Eight years later, the fundamental developerWorks mission remains the same: To serve the wants and needs of developers and technical professionals. Our unwavering focus on this goal has helped grow the IBM developer community, which now boasts more than 5.7 million members. It has led to numerous awards, including the elite Jolt Hall of Fame award we received earlier this year. And it has helped us continue to distinguish ourselves from other vendor-sponsored developer sites, with our focus extending beyond our own company's products and services to include content and resources dedicated to open standards and product- and platform-independent content. (For more historical context, see this JavaWorld article and the related IBM press release.)
As we celebrate eight years, I'm sure some of you in the dW community have been with us for quite a while, drawn by our longstanding focus on open, cross-platform technologies such as Java and Linux and XML; some of you have certainly turned to dW for our content and resources (including trial software and other downloads) related to the wide array of products and related technologies offered by IBM brands such as Information Management (DB2), Lotus, Rational, WebSphere. Others have joined the dW community more recently, perhaps as we've added new content and resources on important topics such things as Web 2.0, mashups, and Ajax, for example. And some of you may have discovered dW only very recently, perhaps coming to us through our ever-expanding set of community resources, such as spaces, wikis, podcasts, and blogs -- or even via long-valued discussion forums, our various RSS and Atom feeds, or our new collection of syndication "gizmos."
Whatever your reason, whatever your path, we're glad you've found us. And to help us celebrate our birthday, we welcome your personal story: What brought you to developerWorks, and when? What do you value about developerWorks? Let us know -- simply post a brief comment to this blog entry.
P.S. Today I coincidentally learned that developerWorks' birthday falls on the same date as the birthday of Confucius. As one source notes:
In Taiwan, [Confucius] is honored on the anniversary of his birth - September 28th. His birthday is a legal holiday in Taiwan. It is referred to as Teacher's Day since Confucius is considered the greatest teacher in Chinese history.
Like Confucius, dW strives to teach (though I suppose Confucius did not focus particularly on IT professionals). I'm happy to see dW share a birthday with such a respected teacher. Who knows? Perhaps in a few thousand years, developerWorks' birthday will become an official holiday among IT companies, just as Confucius's birthday is a legal holiday in Taiwan. ;-)[Read More]
As developerWorks celebrates 10 years, I reflect on how things have changed ... and how they will continue to change. At the same time, I see as clearly now as 10 years ago that our imperative focus on our community's wants and needs and on open standards and open technologies remains constant, and as important as ever.
In my personal life, in the past ten years I have moved to a different hometown three times. I started, and at last completed, a master's degree. I taught a university course. I got married. I become a father. No doubt I've grown and evolved personally and professionally. Yet all along, I've remained the same person, and all along I've kept the same job at developerWorks.
Similarly, developerWorks during the same 10 years has evolved and changed quite a bit, too. Throughout all the changes, including the incredible growth of technologies we cover, the ways in which we cover them, and the number and variety of people we reach, we have kept the same fundamental goals of serving the wants and needs of developers and IT professionals with a focus on open standards and open technologies.
I've relied in part on this blog as a way to connect and communicate, so it seems fitting to look back at what I've posted here. Reviewing all of my blog entries to date, I quickly notice that the most notable entries also happen to be those that prompted the most comments. Based on that, here are my favorites:
My Top 5 dW blog entries
- dW wins Jolt Hall of Fame award; Booch, Ambler, dW authors also honored Big award, multiple photos, links to some podcasts.
- developerWorks celebrates 8th birthday today Discusses in more detail the innovations and our wide array of community resources. Notes that developerWorks shares its birthday with Confucius.
- Top dW content of 2006 This shows a fine collection of material across a wide array of topics.
- This blog entry, among my first ever for dW, addresses the importance and value of embrace open industry standards while analyzing some public comments from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer about Linux. This topic continues to garner attention; see for example a recent Wall St. Journal article
- Remembering Heidi Carson This tribute to one of our editors, who'd like many of us originally worked as a technology journalist before joining dW. We miss you, Heidi.
As I've said before, I'm honored to continue to be a part of this terrific team of dW colleagues and this thriving community as we celebrate our 10th birthday -- and pleased to see us extend our efforts with My developerWorks to more fully embrace the power of social computing and online communities, and with content that will help us make this planet smarter (including more content and resources focused on key open technologies such as cloud computing).
Be sure to take a look at the various "Top 10"-type lists from various developerWorks editors, and the various interviews with the people who created and launched and supported developerWorks from the beginning. And as always -- just as we stated when we launched even the beta of developerWorks a few months before Sept 1999: We welcome your thoughts and ideas. Please, don't be shy.
This week developerWorks celebrates its 9th birthday!
We formally launched in September of 1999. Today, nine years later, we've grown quite a bit, and matured in many ways.
For but one indication of how far we've come, take a look at our site as it was back in 2001, courtesy of the Internet Archive, and compare it to today's site. Update: Because the Internet Archive site is a tad slow, I'm adding this screenshot here:
But despite all of our growth and evolution, our core developerWorks mission still remains the same: To serve the wants and needs of developers and IT professionals.
We could not be successful without support from many many individuals and groups, including the dedicated staff of developerWorks; IBM management and executives, who provide strong leadership and commitment, and recognize the key role developerWorks plays for the company as well as for the community; and perhaps most of all, the millions of developers and IT professionals across the globe, both outside and inside IBM -- who not only visit the dW site and read articles and tutorials and download trial code, but also write articles and tutorials and tips, develop and share sample code, post questions and answers to our forums and comments to our blogs, create and manage community spaces on specific technical topics, and in large part make developerWorks an award-winning community that is so valuable to so many people, and in so many ways. Thanks to you all.[Read More]
Today developerWorks turns 11 years old. We've matured quite a bit since our launch in September of 1999. But as recent activity suggests, we don't rest on our laurels
In the past year we've launched new sections dedicated to Cloud computing and Industries, and we've greatly enhanced or online community offerings to provide more of the sorts of tools for professional collaboration and communication among developers and IT professionals. We continue to evolve to best serve our community. In fact, we're getting ready to share some finding from our latest survey of developers and IT professionals, which affirms many of our recent activities as well as offering added insight regarding future direction and priorities. (Stay tuned for details.) Ultimately, while our fundamental focus on our community's wants and needs and on open standards and open technologies remains constant, we continue to innovate, to become smarter and to help our community become smarter as we all, ideally, work together to develop a smarter planet.
For our 10-year anniversary we went all out. Perhaps will do the same for year 15 or 20. Meantime, if you missed the celebration last year, take a peek at our big 10-year birthday splash including lists of top content from our first decade, interviews with dW's creators, a timeline of milestones, and more.
We're gearing up for a big milestone here: The 10th anniversary of alphaWorks. You're invited to join the alphaWorks celebration and next-generation launch
September 25 in San Francisco. Meantime we've gathered a few key leaders who've helped establish and grow alphaWorks for a revealing discussion. Check out this new "alphaWorks at 10 years" podcast, in which developerWorks interviews Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Rod Smith, and Gina Poole.
There's another anniversary this month, too: The 7th anniversary of the formal launch of developerWorks. (The initial "beta" version of developerWorks appeared in the summer of 1999; the formal launch was in late September.)
Throughout its seven-year history, developerWorks' fundamental mission has remained constant: To serve the wants and needs of developers and technical professionals. Another constant has been the difference between developerWorks and other vendor-sponsored developer sites: Our focus extends beyond our own company's products and services to include content and resources dedicated to open standards and product- and platform-independent content. (For more historical context, see this JavaWorld article and the related IBM press release.)
aW and dW continue to grow and evolve with our communities of developers and technical pros and early adopters. Consider for example developerWorks' growing open source zone that includes dedicated sections for Eclipse, PHP, and Apache Derby and Geronimo. Our extensive collection of nearly 200 Ajax related articles (including this week's top story), and growing collection of Web 2.0 materials. The various community-oriented resources, including extensive technical forums as well as blogs from technical experts and thought leaders, plus our extensive, customizable Atom and RSS feeds. Our podcast reports and interviews, including exclusive, one-on-one conversations with innovators such as Tim Berners-Lee and Grady Booch. And alphaWorks has similarly expanded and evolved -- as Irving, Rod, and Gina discuss.
Both alphaWorks and developerWorks maintain a commitment to serving the wants and needs of developers and technical professionals (and in aW's case, early adopters) -- a commitment that has helped us earn numerous awards. I'm honored to be a part of this effort, which would not be possible without the enlightened vision of IBM's executives and management, as well as the dedication and hard work of the dW and aW teams as well as our extended group of authors, editors, and contributors. It also would not be possible without you and your peers, the nearly 5.5 million registered members of our developer community (as well as those who have yet to register) who turn to dW and aW for help, answers, solutions, skill-building resources, code, downloads, and more. We're happy to help.
Happy Birthday, alphaWorks -- and developerWorks![Read More]
The opportunity to celebrate a 100-year anniversary doesn't come often. IBM strives to celebrate its 100 years in business (official birthday is today, June 16) properly -- not with lavish parties, but with a focus on IBM giving back to and serving the communities across the globe. Read more about the IBM celebration of service
and how IBMers are joining clients, partners and friends to improve communities worldwide.
As I consider this celebration from the perspective of my role as Editor in Chief of developerWorks, I can't help but think about what's technically cool and impressive from IBM that also serves not only the business or the Smarter Planet campaign but also improves communities worldwide, and one thing jumps to my mind: The World Community Grid, whose mission is "to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle projects that benefit humanity"; it "depends upon individuals collectively contributing their unused computer time to change the world for the better." IBM supports this effort with hardware, software, and technical services. It's a terrific example of how technology supports such key goals as clean water, clean energy, and cures for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. And they're looking for new research projects that can use grid technology to benefit humanity -- so if you have an idea, submit a proposal.
The World Community Grid is but one example of IBM's impressive technology and its efforts to benefit communities worldwide. Beyond the contributions of individuals (such as the developerWorks team members pictured here who were helping feed the hungry yesterday; see also the local press coverage showing how hundreds of IBMers packed 100,000 meals in under two hours), IBM's products and technologies show that the Smarter Planet initiative is more than mere marketing. We're showcasing some of IBM's noteworthy products and activities over the last 100 years as "Icons of Progress." developerWorks newsletter editor John Swanson calls out a few icons that may be particularly of interest to the developerWorks community in his new blog. (Thanks to Daryl Pereira for helping cull that list -- and also thanks to Daryl for his blog encouraging others to share stories and activities from the IBM Centennial.)
Here's to making the next 100 years worth celebrating even more than the first 100.