Last week at the 17th Annual Jolt Product Excellence Awards (dubbed "the Oscars of our industry") ceremony at the SD West conference in Silicon Valley, IBM developerWorks received what many agree is the software development industry’s highest honor for a product or resource: The Jolt Hall of Fame award. Here are a couple of trophy photos (courtesy dW open source editor Mark Cappel):
The “Hall of Fame inductees are consistent winners, whose high quality has been proven and maintained over time,” the Jolt awards site notes. Only one inductee is recognized with this award each year. This year the judges unanimously selected developerWorks, specifically praising our rich collection of quality how-to articles and tutorials.
Jolt awards ceremony host Craig Newmark (of Craigslist) introduced the award:
The Hall of Fame always generates lively discussion amongst the judges ... but this year, there was a quiet consensus. It was pretty unanimous that it was time to induct this giant into the JOLT Hall of Fame. This year’s winner is a treasure trove of IT-related topics and technologies and often has better technical articles than commercial publications and in many instances, is one of the few places anything is available. This year’s inductee is: IBM developerWorks.
I was thrilled to be at the awards ceremony in person to receive the award. (Don't let the serious expression fool you.)
In my brief moment on stage, I thanked the judges and thanked CMP Technology (which runs SD West, a.k.a. the "Software Development West 2007 Conference and Expo," and publishes Dr. Dobb's Journal). I then congratulated the editors and broader team at developerWorks who all play key roles in our success, and the many authors -- both inside and outside IBM -- who share their technical expertise in our thousands of how-to articles and tutorials.
I also thanked the leadership at IBM for embracing and supporting what is an unorthodox vision and strategy for a vendor site, one that I’ve championed since coming from JavaWorld at IDG in 1999 to become founding editor-in-chief of developerWorks: Prioritize the wants and needs of the developers. That is, focus not simply on company messages, or promotion of company products, but more broadly on any information and resources that are critical to developers.
Looking back, I’m impressed by how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown in the last seven or so years. In 1999 we had about a half dozen zones (sections of the site that in many ways each resemble a stand-alone online magazine). The press release announcing developerWorks and the related article about dW's launch that appeared in CNN describe our focus on providing “product- and platform-independent information” and our “rich blend of tools, code, tips, news, tutorials, and how-to articles, all based on cross-platform technologies and strategies.” Those statements, as well as our open, cross-platform, standards-based focus, remain true today –- but we’ve expanded considerably.
We now host three times as many zones, covering a wide array of open technologies as well as IBM products. We now offer four region-specific, localized sites (dW China, dW Japan, dW Korea, dW Russia), in addition to our global site based in the U.S. We offer an ever-growing array of community-driven resources, greatly expanding our discussion forums and adding more resources, including blogs, podcasts, and our recently announced community-oriented developerWorks exchange. (dW will offer more on the community/Web 2.0 front in the coming weeks, too. Stay tuned.) And dW is not an online-only entity; we offer a rich set of tech briefings as well as other events and offline resources. The result: In our short history, developerWorks has grown into a community of (at last count) 5.7 million registered developers.
The bottom line: This simple strategy we embraced in 1999 has worked amazingly well and resonated with developers -- including many who, at least at first, did not (or as my bosses may say, "did not yet") have interest in IBM products or services. I thank then-director Gina Poole and manager Dirk Nicol for believing in and strongly supporting this enlightened vision, and the continued support from our current management, including Scott Bosworth and Kathy Mandelstein, as well as the continued support of our stakeholders and executives throughout IBM, including Steve Mills and Sam Palmisano. As evidenced by this Hall of Fame honor, the strategy continues to serve us well.
Equally important is the talented staff at developerWorks. Without their dedication and hard work, even the best strategy would fail. Kudos to each and every member of the dW team for your contributions to our success. This award honors you.
And most importantly, I thank the developer community that has come to rely on developerWorks as a trusted resource, and whose members (I hope) occasionally tell their colleagues about the great stuff we offer. We exist to serve you. And we encourage you to participate: Post to our discussion forums. Read and comment on our blogs and articles. Rate our content. Subscribe to our newsletters. Use our Atom and RSS feeds. Download our trial software and technologies. Use the many services and alpha technologies offered by our sister site, alphaWorks. Attend our tech briefings. Suggest content ideas or articles (including content you may write) to the dW editors. Or, if you like, just add your comments here.
In any case, thanks for your continued participation in the developerWorks community. We hope the next seven years are as rewarding as the last seven, and hope you'll join us on the journey forward.
dW and IBM also enjoyed other big honors at the Jolt awards event. The photo below reflects three IBM awards. Shown here are (clockwise from the top) award recipients IBM Fellow Grady Booch, who won the exclusive Dr. Dobb's "Excellence in Programming Award" (pictured in the poster); yours truly, dW EIC Michael O'Connell, holding the developerWorks Jolt Hall of Fame Award; and book author and IBM Rational Practice Leader Scott W. Ambler, holding his Jolt Productivity Award for the technical book Refactoring Databases he co-authored with Pramod J. Sadalage.
Congrats to Grady and Scott!
Two frequent developerWorks authors (but not IBM employees) also were among the co-authors of the technical book that won the Jolt Product Excellence award. Congratulations to dW contributors Brett McLaughlin and Gary Pollice, who (along with David West) co-wrote the winning title, Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design. And congrats to all of the Jolt winners.
Update, 3 Apr 2007: Today Scott Laningham, dW podcasts host and editor, led a lively discussion about the history and significance of the Jolt awards with Rosalyn Lum, who manages the Jolt awards; Larry O'Brien, veteran Jolt awards judge who helped launch the awards in 1990; and myself. Listen to the chat -- or read the transcript -- for more insight and perspective on the awards. (You can also read about the very first Jolt awards.)[Read More]
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]
This week developerWorks employed a new, interactive "mouseover" design treatment
on the developerWorks home page. This enhancement displays the descriptions of each week's featured content when you point your mouse at a title (rather than showing all descriptions simultaneously).
Give it a try, and share your feedback.
Update 1 (1:20 p.m. EST): Seems a bit of a performance issue with the script on our server so for now we may back out this update. Stay tuned.
Update 2 (5:15 p.m. EST): A nit was fixed and seems things are better, so (for now at least) we're retaining the mouseover treatment. We welcome and appreciate your input.[Read More]
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.
I've been keeping busy over the past month with holiday travel to Taiwan and getting ready for teaching a university course about online communities (more about that later), but wanted to also take a moment to reflect on the past year -- and particularly the top dW content from 2006.
One good measure of which content resonated is that which garnered the most attention in terms of click-throughs from our email newsletter. dW newsletter editor John Swanson kindly -- and very quickly -- tallied the numbers for 2006. (Thanks, John!)
In chronological order, here are dW's top 10 items of 2006, based on newsletter-driven traffic:
- "Generate PDF files from Java applications dynamically" (Open Source zone, Jan. 24)
- "Explore the new features of Eclipse V3.1" (Open Source zone, Feb. 21)
- "DB2 and open source: Put yourself on the map with Google Maps API, DB2/Informix, and PHP on Linux" (Information Management zone, March 2)
- "Two tools bring Ajax to Eclipse's Ajax Toolkit Framework" (Open Source zone, May 9)
- "Considering Ajax, Part 1: Cutting through the hype" (Web Development zone, May 9)
- "Developing PHP the Ajax way, Part 1: Getting started" (Open Source zone, May 30)
- "Ajax for Java developers: Exploring the Google Web toolkit" (Java technology zone, June 27)
- "UNIX tips and tricks for a new user, Part 2: The vi text editor" (AIX and UNIX zone, Nov. 7)
- "Discover the Ajax Toolkit Framework for Eclipse" (Open Source zone, Nov. 29)
- "Kick-start your Java apps" (Multiple zones; updated throughout 2006)
Bonus -- 2 runners-up for an even dozen:
What do you deem the best of dW in 2006? Your top items from your favorite dW zone? Your favorite tutorials? Top podcast or blog? Best discussion forum? Top series of articles, or column? Comment here with your own best-of lists.[Read More]
I sense that Microsoft has been rather concerned about Linux lately. Why else would their top dog, CEO Steve Ballmer, get so riled up when asked this week (at Microsoft's annual partner conference in Toronto) about Linux? As internetnews.com
Asked during the Q&A portion about open source, Ballmer, who was seated at the time, clenched his fists and sprung to his feet. "It's either the iced tea, or I'm a bit of a caged animal on this," he said. At times pounding his fists or waving his arms, Ballmer criticized open source and faulted it for what it does not offer to partners, compared to Microsoft.
Ballmer went on to claim that IBM can't make money with Linux, except through services business that would compete with IBM partners: "They make no money on software; they make no money on hardware. They make money only in services." (See the related CRN news article
While Ballmer may be good at pacing on stage and rallying the pro-Microsoft troops, he might garner a bit more credibility with the broader industry if he employed facts. developerWorks has learned that "IBM drove nearly $100 million of eServer and Middleware direct sales transactions from Linux from IBM's top 400 Linux partners -- with over a third in SMB." This was in the first half of 2004 alone. And it does not
In the coming days, we may reveal additional aspects of these claims that don't reflect the facts. In any case, perhaps instead of creating yet more FUD (fear, uncertainty, and decepti-- er, doubt) with such comments, Microsoft would better serve the industry (and maybe even its own bottom line) by redirecting its energies on minimizing the fearsome -- and real -- vulnerabilities in its own products. For example, here's the lead of a TechNewsWorld report
from just this week:
Microsoft has released its monthly round of patches, including two patches for critical vulnerabilities and one that patches a hole that could become the basis of a widespread computer worm attack. At the same time as the patch release, a Danish company announced additional security holes in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, which has been beaten by a string of vulnerabilities and attacks in recent weeks.
Perhaps it'll take some sort of near-death experience for this seemingly invincible company to recognize the need to reform, to embrace open industry standards and stop acting as if Microsoft offers the only viable choice. IBM suffered just such an experience not so long ago, and then-CEO Lou Gerstner, who steered IBM back to health, values that experience as a big lesson learned. In his 1995 Keynote Address at Comdex, Gerstner noted:
I think we have two choices.
We can ask customers to set aside their freedom of choice and preferences in hardware, operating systems, applications and user interfaces... junk their trillions of dollars of investment in information technology... and all of us -- everyone, everywhere -- move to one architecture provided by, priced by and controlled by one company.
Or: We can embrace open industry standards.
Open means that software from one vendor can operate on or with hardware and software from any vendor -- not just one guy's. We need to work with standards organizations. We need to openly agree on APIs, interfaces, tools and protocols -- on anything the customer sees and touches in the journey to get something done.
Compliance with standards does not mean that we won't compete aggressively or that we can't distinguish our products. We will. But we'll compete on the basis of innovative implementation of industry-standard technologies and architectures, on performance, features, design, service and support.
Besides, in the long run, closed, proprietary architectures -- that's a losing strategy. I bet you thought you'd never hear that from IBM. But having had a near-death experience, we know what we're talking about.
Every time I meet with customers, I say the same thing. I urge them to demand compliance with open industry standards in the products they buy. And you know what? They're beginning to listen. They understand the need for the industry to move to this level.
Microsoft might do well to learn from IBM's experience also. Before it lives the lesson firsthand.What's your take on Ballmer's claims,
as reported in the CRN news article
and elsewhere? We encourage you to share your comments (click on the "Comments" link just under this text).
Today developerWorks unveils an update to our design. Key features include a simplified site navigation, via a new masthead and footer on nearly every developerWorks page as well as a much improved search engine -- so that you'll now more easily find all developerWorks materials, including our community materials as well as our professionally developed, award-winning how-to articles and tutorials.
While the masthead and footer stand out as most visible change, the update is much richer, and based on substantial user research.
Now you can also:
- Sign in to developerWorks from the masthead on any developerWorks page, and quickly access your personalized dashboard from the masthead menu. (Select your display name and expand to reveal shortcuts to your profile, personalized community homepage, and a summary of any pending colleague requests or recently received notifications.)
- Syndicate your favorite developerWorks content or URLs more easily, via persistent share tools in the footer.
- Easily follow developerWorks on Facebook or Twitter. (These options are also available in the footer of every page now.)
You'll also see many improvements to some of your favorite developerWorks destinations, such as a simplified developerWorks home page and updates to developerWorks Events, Evaluation software, and Community main pages. We've updated the information in About developerWorks, New to Community, Feeds and syndication and more, and even added a brand new Technical topics landing page to get more info on the IBM product families, IBM solutions and open standards we cover on developerWorks.
With this design, developerWorks also becomes among the first sites within IBM to incorporate elements of the new ibm.com design that marks the company's Centennial anniversary. (To learn more about IBM's 100-year history, see the related IBM Centennial Press kit and the IBM100 site.)
Take a moment to explore our updated web site design -- and please share your feedback via a comment below.
Personally, I get a real boost every time I hear a story about how developerWorks has helped the community of developers and IT professionals. I'm also regularly striving to better understand what works best and is most valued among the many things developerWorks does (so that we know what to do more of).
For example, dW community member "Boon amal (Boona)" writes, "WOW, I'm so glad I found your tutorial; it's made my life so much easier! ODFpy tutorials are scarce, and great ones are non-existent. Thank you for taking the time to create this, you really saved the day."
Wow, indeed -- kudos to developerWorks Contributing Author Federico Kereki for saving the day with and making life easier with his article, "Open output: Producing ODF spreadsheets from your Web services," which explains how to directly generate files with PHP and Python.
Another example: dW community member "Martin Kirouac (MartinKirouac-IMConsultant)" says the article "DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows database administration" (authored by Samuel Poon, Fraser McArthur and Priti Desai) is "Great! A really nice goto article in my everyday job," and adds, "Thanks a lot for publishing this."
Feedback like this inspires me (and I bet many others on the developerWorks team, and of course our authors). It's great to know that our content and resources are not only helping solve a fleeting problem on occasion, but also providing significant and ongoing value, day in and day out. This sort of input -- received just recently about content last updated in 2009 and 2008, respectively -- also reflects the merit to retaining not-so-new content, which can be quite useful even months or years after publication. And comments such as these help guide our teams: We seek to replicate successes like this to better serve your wants and needs. So input like this really helps us help you.
Speaking of you: What about you? You're in the trenches, coding, architecting, debugging, upgrading, administering, designing, troubleshooting, deploying, and otherwise working on today's real-world projects. You're a representative of the developerWorks community whom we strive to serve. You know the answers. So please: Share your story. Tell us how developerWorks has helped you--whether it led to a new job, solved a simple problem, or taught you something you wanted or needed to learn. Heck, even if you simply have a favorite article or tutorial, you're regularly checking a dW group or discussion forum, or want to praise a particular author whom you appreciate, we'd much welcome your comments.
So post a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you. In fact, we may follow up to get more details about the most interesting stories: You may even be interviewed by developerWorks podcast host Scott Laningham! He loves a good story.
Also: As always, we encourage feedback and suggestions for improvement and constructive criticism, too!
Modified on by Michael_OConnell
As reported in our recent dW newsletter, last week the developerWorks team received some tragic news:
Our good friend and colleague, Heidi Carson, was lost while scuba diving last week in the Caribbean. Heidi has been an integral part of developerWorks since its earliest days, most recently overseeing the editorial content on our Wireless and Web development zones. Heidi was adventurous, engaging, and extremely talented -- and we will miss her enormously. Our thoughts are with her family and all those close to her.
Heidi and I got to know each other before the birth of developerWorks, when we were both working at IDG in San Francisco in the 1990s. About five years ago, when she was living in Berlin, I visited her and explored Germany. This week I was compelled to dig up a couple of photos from that trip. One is in the garden of the Hotel Elephant (notice the elephant growing in the background) in Weimar; the other is in the city center of Berlin.
Last fall Heidi shared with me some photos of her too-recent wedding. One of those photos really stood out to me as capturing her beauty and her joyful presence:
Heidi always knew how to enjoy life, and I was honored to have known her and to share some time with her.
I miss you, Heidi -- both professionally and personally. Professionally, you've been a longtime champion of dW's focus on open and cross-platform environments, and you've played a key role in our success. (As one dW colleague put it, you helped dW "create a powerful Web presence, closely watched by competitors.") Your recent work as editor of the Web development zone, with its emphasis on today's popular Web 2.0 technologies, has been a particularly significant contribution, and both the dW team and dW visitors will miss you as we continue to grow that zone. Personally, I, as well as many colleagues and friends, will miss your wit and warm smile, your calming presence and your genuine, generous nature. (As one friend put it, with your "iridescent smile," you "brightened every room.") But I also know that you live on. I know that the foundation you helped build with dW will continue to serve the dW community for years to come. And I know that your spirit, and your wonderful example of living a happy and full life, live on with me, and with many others. I wish you eternal happiness.[Read More]
This week IBM is jamming. As in holding a live jam session, online, focused on innovation. As IBM GM Buell Duncan notes in his blog
today ibm launched its innovation jam. literally tens of thousands of ibmers from around the world are coming together to share ideas and opinions on ways to drive innovation in market opportunities ... what makes this jam even more interesting is that more than a thousand customers and partners are participating, as well as friends and family! like earlier jams, this will generate thousands of new ideas to build upon addressing some of the key challenges of our time.
jamming, collaborating, blogging - the better we are at exchanging ideas and standing on each other's shoulders, the more successful all of us will be. it's all about communicating... more often and more clearly. communicate, communicate, communicate ---- like partnering 1+1 usually equals more than three!
In the same spirit of helping one another be more successful, I encourage all developerWorks visitors to exchange ideas with us: Please share your thoughts with the developerWorks team. Simply comment in this blog with your ideas, feedback, requests ... any input that may help us "stand on each other's shoulders."
P.S. For those who've asked where I've been lately, I'm just back from some international travel and my wedding and honeymoon. So look for more activity in this space now that (sigh) the honeymoon is over...[Read More]
Happy Birthday, developerWorks!
This week, IBM developerWorks officially turns five years old. For me at least (and many others, particularly veterans on the developerWorks staff
), it's hard to believe that it was five years ago that developerWorks formally launched, with an initial focus primarily on technologies such as Java, XML, Linux, and Web architecture.
Now, the site runs much broader and deeper than it did five years ago, having undergone tremendous growth. (See "The developerWorks model
" for details about this journey.) The many people on this expanded developerWorks team have worked together to integrate several new technology areas (including Autonomic computing, Grid computing, SOA and Web services, and Wireless) and a variety of Web-based resources for developing with IBM products (DB2, eServer, Lotus, Rational, Tivoli, WebSphere) into the developerWorks site, thereby making the user experience richer than ever. Further complementing the developer technology and product resources is the tightly integrated alphaWorks collection for innovators and early adopters. Developers can also find information on topics such as migration to open standards, sample IT projects and scenarios, On Demand Business, and the IBM Software Development Platform.
The upshot: You'll now find a much broader array of resources within each content area than you did five years ago, ranging from standard how-to articles to comprehensive tutorials, discussion forums, tips, newsletters, downloads, online Webcasts and events, RSS feeds, and more (including blogs like this from the likes of Grady Booch, Bob Sutor, Doug Tidwell, and others). The site has published thousands of articles over the past five years, as well as more than 500 in-depth tutorials. And along the way, developerWorks has won quite a few awards
, including two Jolt Product Excellence Awards
(and -- just in time for our birthday! -- developerWorks last week was honored as the "Best Developers' News Source"
and "Best Technical Support"
provider in Software Development Magazines's annual Readers' Choice Awards.)
The editors for each content area ensure their material is focused on meeting the wants and needs of developers and related technical professionals, striving to help the millions of developerWorks visitors solve problems, do their jobs, and more easily do business with IBM. If you're accustomed to relying on developerWorks for general-purpose content, don't let the added sections focused on IBM products mislead you: developerWorks maintains an ever-growing collection of resources dedicated to fundamental technologies that exist independent of commercial products. And today on developerWorks, you'll find more material than ever dedicated to standards technologies. At the same time, for those of you who are using IBM products, the various brand-specific areas of the site now offer a rich collection of resources specific to the products independent software vendors and other IBM customers use. More of everything
You might glean from this description of the developerWorks program that its staff is highly dedicated to user satisfaction -- and you'd be right. Occasionally, developerWorks receives feedback from visitors who are under the impression that, as a consequence of our massive growth, developerWorks has reduced the amount of general-interest, tech-focused materials. Not so! In fact, the volume of technology content has increased
, and is complemented by the product-specific resources our customers have requested. The site has been redesigned a few times over the past five years as a result of our commitment to user-centered design, giving you more navigation choices through the growing number of content areas. But be assured that our commitment to serving up leading-edge technology resources is stronger than ever. Again, developerWorks has substantially increased its technology content production while simultaneously adding and enriching the product-specific resources that customers have requested. (For more details, read about the growth of developerWorks over its first five years.)
As developerWorks enters its sixth year, you can count on me to encourage developerWorks' growth and evolution, keeping in sync with the evolving community of developers and technical professionals and their wants and needs. And I encourage your ongoing input
. Please don't hesitate to tell us what we're doing right, what could be improved, and how we're helping you with your projects and your career. developerWorks' present to you
In the meantime, turning the tables on birthday traditions, developerWorks has a present for you: a new Power Architecture zone,
which we've launched this week! POWER and PowerPC processors are the brains behind everything from servers and cell phones to routers, game consoles, and supercomputers. Power Architecture technology is supported by a large number of companies, including the original members of the AIM alliance (Apple, IBM, and Motorola), and is an open architecture,
(and has been since it was first released nearly ten years ago). This new developerWorks section on Power Architecture technology will cover everything from chip and device design to embedded systems and device drivers. It will focus on Power Architecture open standards-based hardware components and interfaces, and even free and open source SoC and ASIC design and verification tools.
Be sure to check out our latest addition -- as well as favorites such as Java technology and Linux.
And don't forget to share your feedback
developerWorks editors have assembled, collectively, the Top 100 articles and other items from 2009. While it may not be the traditional "12 Days of Christmas" gift list, we think our collection is quite impressive (as well as greater in number). You'll find nearly all of our top 100 highlighted in various places on our final home page update of 2009, but to make sure you don't overlook any (and to round out the list), I've collected them all here. Without further ado:
On the 12th month of '09, developerWorks gave to us...
That's 100 gifts, to wrap up the year.
But wait -- there's more! Not being able to leave well enough alone, I bump the tally up to a prime 107 by adding my personal bonus list of 7 top developerWorks items -- including some significant accomplishments and milestones -- from 2009:
- The update of our entire developerWorks articles collection -- more than 11,000 articles -- to employ a more dynamic, interactive design.
- The celebration of the 10th birthday of developerWorks (with many articles and lists honoring the birthday)!
- The launch of 3 new local language developerWorks sites: Brazil, Vietnam, and Spanish-Speaking America.
- The steady and strong set of new materials week after week again this year, with more than 1,000 new resources -- including more than 800 technical how-to articles and tutorials, 150 trials and demos, and dozens of podcasts and videos.
- My personal milestone of 10 years with IBM developerWorks -- and the privilege and honor of working with such a talented and dedicated professional team throughout the 10 years.
- The content team's collaborative effort with the talented developers, designers, managers, marketing mavens and others across the entire developerWorks team to launch (and enhance) My developerWorks (sometimes referred to as "the world's geekiest social network"). (We also extended our social network by launching our own developerWorks Twitter account -- which already has more than 20,000 followers!)
- The fact that most developerWorks team members can take a well-deserved break during the last days of the year, reflect on 2009's accomplishments and highlight some of our best content and resources, and recharge and plan for 2010 and beyond.
Thanks to everyone who helps make our hard work worthwhile -- whether by reading one or many of our how-to articles, commenting or asking questions in our discussion forums and blogs and elsewhere on My developerWorks, rating our tutorials and content, downloading a trial or trying a demo, or otherwise. We're happy to have helped serve your wants and needs in 2009 -- and will continue to do so in 2010 and beyond.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Today on the IBM.com home page is a story about IBM bloggers (available in fancy format
, plain format
... and even in PDF
). This discusses not just the developerWorks bloggers, but also others -- like Ed Brill
(who was already blogging when we launched the developerWorks blogs
back in April of 2004, and who has a much much bigger following than I do with my blog -- and thus I remain grateful to this day for the time he referenced my blog from his blog
). Included is perspective on IBM's blogging guidelines, plus a link to the guidelines document itself. It also has some IBM bloggers addressing topics such as the best (and worst) reasons to blog about your work/job/career, the unexpected benefits of blogging, and their favorite non-IBMer blogs.
Of particular interest in this story (aside from its mention of developerWorks and of dW bloggers such as dW community chief Rawn Shah, of course):
A new blog directory, or "blogroll," is also now available on ibm.com to help visitors find IBMers who are now using blogs in the normal course of their jobs. By voluntarily listing themselves here, these IBM employees have set their welcome mat out for anyone to stop by, ask a question, pose an idea, take issue with a position, and otherwise engage in a new level of collaboration and conversation for corporations -- and the very real people who make them work.
I am glad to see this new IBM-wide blogroll, and continue to be impressed by IBM's adoption of blogs, as well as podcasts and other communications tools. (Check out, for example, this recent podcast about IBM podcasting which includes comments from dW's own podcast guru, Scott Laningham.) Such activities are all the more impressive considering how big and, uh, venerable, Big Blue is.[Read More]
Earlier this week I felt a pain in my chest ... something I'd never really experienced before, at least not without a known cause. I didn't think it was anything serious; the pain was not severe. But since I was unfamiliar with this sort of pain and I did not know the cause, I started exploring the symptom online. Virtually everything I could find suggested any chest pain could be a sign of a heart attack or heart issue, and encouraged getting medical care immediately. I was reluctant, but considering that a heart attack killed my grandfather before I met him, as well as my wife's strong encouragement, I agreed to go to the nearby hospital emergency room.
Chest pain apparently is the first-class ticket in ER; it really seems to draw prompt attention. I've been to emergency rooms before for such things as a broken bone, and I recall spending hours in the waiting room before getting examined and treated. But this week, when I went in and mentioned chest pain, they immediately escorted me into an exam room to check my vitals, then moved me to another room to hook me up to various machines (EKG, oxygen, etc.). For a few minutes I had four people surrounding me, attaching tubes, inserting needles, drawing blood, and checking equipment... And while I was getting all of that attention, I started to think this might be really serious. I suppose that explains why my blood pressure went up quite a bit since it was first measured in room number one.
Next they took X-rays and kept me for a few hours of observation ... then moved me to another room ... then took me to a lab and ran more tests, including a stress test. All the while they kept me from food and drink, and effectively kept me from sleep with all the relocations and interruptions. Finally, some 14 hours later, I got the verdict: I have no heart problem. They couldn't tell me what caused the mild chest pain, but they assured me that my heart is healthy.
Ah, the things one takes for granted, and how a single event can shake some assumptions, prompt some newfound gratitude for fundamentals such as health. Thinking about the open heart surgery that fellow dW blogger Grady Booch recently endured, and considering the health challenges that so many others face, makes me realize how fortunate I am to have spent only one night at the hospital -- and how fortunate I am to have a healthy heart.
I was also fortunate that the hospital could employ such gadgets as "peripheral venous access" devices that let them access my veins multiple times via a single entry point (and thus prick me with a needle only one time, versus stab me each time). Or the standard, intuitive user interface for the multi-purpose remote controls in the hospital rooms (although I question the wisdom of having the emergency alert button next to the TV channel-changing button). If I'd stayed a bit longer (or if I was not so sleep-deprived and self-absorbed with my pending diagnosis), I might've asked about the software and hardware at my hospital, and perhaps find out how much they've embraced open, cross-platform standards. I wonder how my local hospital measures up to St. Anthony's Medical Center which (with IBM's help) leveraged open standards to integrate components from multiple vendors and create scalable digital imaging and disaster recovery systems.[Read More]
As I prepare to head to Las Vegas for IBM's biggest developer conference of the year (rationalconf2005
), I feel I, along with my colleagues at developerWorks and throughout IBM, can stand a bit taller this month.
This week the developer publication SD Times
has come out with their latest "SD Times 100
" -- a list of "movers and shakers," those few that "demonstrated the greatest amount of leadership." It honors the "organizations, individuals or movements that were talked about, those that created not only great technology but also great buzz." I'm happy to report that IBM developerWorks was named as one of only ten "influencers" and credited with embracing the developer community and raising the bar for everyone else.
More broadly, IBM also was honored in nearly all categories. To wit:
- In Modeling, SD Times declared Rational "the yardstick everyone measures against. 'Atlantic' tied Rational's modeling tools to Eclipse 3.0 and to the rest of the IBM tool chain. Rose (now Rose XDE) remains the de facto standard modeler."
- Tools and Environments: "Agile delivery, big-picture plans drive Big Blue across the Atlantic."
- Embedded and Mobile: "Striding briskly into embedded technologies as it evolves ChipOS."
- Database and Data Access: "Open-source Cloudscape raised bar for Java, app-specific databases."
- Deployment Platforms: "Can't argue with market clout: WebSphere keeps gaining strength
- Test and Performance: "Everyone's tools compete with Rational or support Rational. Or both."
- Collaboration and SCM: "Rational tool set and WSAD form formidable collab environment."
- Influencers: "developerWorks embraced developers, raised bar for everyone else."
Also, Eclipse was named among the top "Tools & Environments": "The newly independent Eclipse community became all the rage with the heady market buzz and third-party momentum for tools and plug-ins. A board packed with competitors makes a level playing field." (It was also nice to see not only dW, but also "The Bazaar" (with a nod to Eric Raymond), the Eclipse Foundation, and the World Wide Web Consortium all recognized as top influencers.
Meanwhile, IBM developerWorks also was recognized in this year's "Software Development Jolt and Productivity Awards
." The judges named dW one of the industry's top four "Websites and Developer Networks."
(Other winners in this category are the O'Reilly Network, developer.* and Java.net.) Here's what one judge had to say about dW:
"DeveloperWorks has been one of my favorite technical sites for years. Big Blue understands the needs of developers very wellnot only does it offer information regarding its products and services, it posts great "how-to" technical articles on a vast array of topics, including how to write better Java, how to be effective with UML 2, how to create better data models, and how to administer Linux successfully. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. ... Even if you don't work in an IBM shop, you'll find developerWorks a valuable resource."
Between these awards and the flurry of good news on the open standards front of late (the IBM moves to acquire GlueCode Software
, formally support FireFox
for use by IBMers, and formally encourage, not just allow, IBMers to blog
), I'd say it's been a good month already -- and I haven't even gotten to Vegas yet!
Hope to see many of you next week as I blog from rationalconf2005
(aka the Rational Software Developer Conference, aka RSDC). And I will hardly be the sole conference blogger...[Read More
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 email@example.com 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.
The editors at developerWorks reflected on their work over the past 12 months and selected some of their favorite, most noteworthy content. This small sample of our 2010 how-to content showcases the variety of technical topics and disciplines we cover week after week, as well as the quality of our professionally developed articles and tutorials. Happy Holidays!
- Create offline Web applications on mobile devices with HTML5 addresses a topic of particular interest in 2010. (See also the related article about a 2010 developerWorks survey of IT professionals indicating mobile was not the only trend of the year.)
- Java technology zone technical podcast series, launched this year, lets you listen to insightful conversations with technical experts. Taking the time to read an in-depth, code-heavy article can be difficult, even if it's about a topic that's critical to your day job. This podcast series provides a new way to get information from the sources you trust most.
- Three locks for your SSH door covers another ever-popular -- and ever-important topic: security. This is one of our most read articles.
- Build a digital book with EPUB has consistently been among our most popular articles, month after month, and employs an effective step-by-step approach for automating EPUB creation using DocBook and Python.
- Cloud computing by government agencies combines several key topics -- industries, cloud computing, and security.
- Learn Linux, 101: A roadmap for LPIC-1 is authored by our resident Linux expert, Ian Shields, and is a wildly popular learning resource.
- Assess enterprise applications for cloud migration helps readers determine whether an enterprise application is suited for the cloud--an increasingly important and popular question.
- What's new in IBM Rational Rhapsody, Version 7.5.2, by Paul Urban, is but one of many articles that explain the latest functions and features of various products and tools, and how to make the most of 'em.
My sincerest thanks to a great extended team, including the expert authors both inside and outside of IBM -- and including you, the community of millions of developers and IT professionals who rely on developerWorks each month. A special thanks to those who participate in the developerWorks community by posting to our technical discussion forums, rate and comment on articles, bookmarking and tagging content, and using our other community tools.
Today developerWorks turns 11 years old. We've matured quite a bit since our launch in September of 1999. But as recent activity suggests, we don't rest on our laurels
In the past year we've launched new sections dedicated to Cloud computing and Industries, and we've greatly enhanced or online community offerings to provide more of the sorts of tools for professional collaboration and communication among developers and IT professionals. We continue to evolve to best serve our community. In fact, we're getting ready to share some finding from our latest survey of developers and IT professionals, which affirms many of our recent activities as well as offering added insight regarding future direction and priorities. (Stay tuned for details.) Ultimately, while our fundamental focus on our community's wants and needs and on open standards and open technologies remains constant, we continue to innovate, to become smarter and to help our community become smarter as we all, ideally, work together to develop a smarter planet.
For our 10-year anniversary we went all out. Perhaps will do the same for year 15 or 20. Meantime, if you missed the celebration last year, take a peek at our big 10-year birthday splash including lists of top content from our first decade, interviews with dW's creators, a timeline of milestones, and more.
As 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.
Yesterday Sam Ruby posted this interesting blog entry
with a bit of feedback about the new IBM blogroll. It garnered some good comments as well ... worth a look.
Of particular note is Sam's "planet" (a concept developerWorks has covered on occasion; see for example the January 2004 Edd Dumbill article XML Watch: Planet Blog). Sam's "planet" shows "Selected blogs postings by IBM employees." I like how this presents the latest content from all of these IBM bloggers (effectively creating an IBMer group blog), along with a blogroll that links to each individual's blog. And I'm especially impressed with how quickly Sam put this together. Kudos, Sam.
OK, back to perusing all these IBM blog posts -- some 50 entries already for today alone. Would a feed (Atom, RSS) combining all of these be a bit (too) overwhelming?[Read More]