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.
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]
Today IBM announced it has acquired Gluecode Software, a privately-held company known for developing open source application infrastructure software based on Apache Geronimo, the open source Web application server platform.
I'm pleased to see IBM take another step to demonstrate that it values open source and open standards. IBM's support of Apache projects continues to grow, and with this move IBM effectively commits to Apache Geronimo as the open source application server of the future, which combined with WebSphere gives IBM a rich set of technology to serve a variety of clients' needs.
The Gluecode acquisition also shows that developers who work on open source projects get rewarded. I'd imagine a few of you are happy to see such activities.
Learn more:ALSO: Learn about the new Eclipse plug-in for Geronimo
. It's designed to give you a head start in developing and deploying Web apps to the Apache Geronimo server.
Many of you have likely noticed the new redesign of developerWorks -- and of the broader ibm.com Web space. It's quite a makeover; even IBM CEO Sam Palmisano is boasting about "the new ibm.com
As Jack Pizzolato, a veteran on the developerWorks Web design and development team, explains, the new "OneXperience" Web site design "involved approximately 1.6 million pages worldwide and more than 200 Web 'sites' within ibm.com."
A big thanks to Jack -- and the many people within developerWorks involved in this big effort, including Elizabeth Dunnagan, Janet Willis, Nick Poore, Julie Gilbreath, Kim Holmes, Tracey Toombs, Keith Purcell, Tom Hartrick, Peter Yim, Tara Hall, Deborah Cottingham, Nancy Miller, and Devin Nguyen.
As Jack notes, the design is meant to be crisper, lighter, and more "open." Some immediate advantages:
- A more compact left navigation. With the new design, more of the developerWorks left navigation is visible on the page. In addition, almost all of the navigation items within the expansion areas now fit on a single line, making the navigation easier to scan.
- A unified font set. The single font set is easier to scan. Studies have also shown that the chosen font is easier to read, and the new font looks much better on Linux and Unix-based browsers.
- Simpler maintenance. With the OneX launch, developerWorks is now using native ibm.com stylesheets and graphics (with some supplemental stylesheets of our own). In the future, as design standards evolve and change, updating the site will be a simpler process. This should mean we spend less time on manual updates -- and thus can spend more time developing content and resources for our visitors.
If you haven't yet done so, please take a moment to enjoy the newly designed developerWorks site, as well as ibm.com.[Read More
One notable news item last week amidst the many announcements and events at the Rational conference certainly fits the theme of this blog:
The Open Group today announced an industry-wide effort with the support of IBM to promote the use of open standards to give information technology customers freedom of choice and provide interoperability among all vendors.
The âDeveloper Declaration of Independenceâ calls for the adoption and protection of open standards by corporations, governments, organizations, and individuals to ensure a fair competitive marketplace â thus allowing all parties to compete equally from the basis of a shared technology foundation and framework. The Open Group has published the Declaration at http://www.opengroup.org/declaration/ and is asking supporters to visit the web site where they can sign it.
I for one was happy to see IBM take a public position in support of such a declaration. And I encourage you to join thousands of your peers and pledge your support of open standards
Today at developerWorks we were introduced to our new Director, Alice Chou. Alice is a terrific fit for us, with extensive experience in the industry. Most recently she was the Director of WebSphere Development for Extreme Transaction Processing (XTP), Cloud & Open Source, responsible for bringing emerging technologies to market, including WebSphere Cloudburst Appliance and dynamic caching products. She previously spent time in Silicon Valley working with software companies, including startups, and is no stranger to SOA and open source. Welcome, Alice!
Earlier this month, developerWorks Japan was honored as one of the top Web sites in the Japan Web Grandprix, Customer Service (B2B) category.
Congratulations to the entire developerWorks Japan team, including Koh'ichi Miyagawa, developerWorks Japan Managing Editor, as well as to the worldwide developerWorks team members who have supported dW Japan.[Read More]
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]
This month developerWorks launched the IBM Rational Software Request For Enhancement (RFE) Community
, where you can collaborate with Rational development teams and other product users by searching, viewing, commenting on, submitting, and tracking product RFEs.
Out of the box, this community area enables better transparency about the evolution of Rational products, what's coming next and current priorities, and also will help us more quickly identify and address product enhancements that you and your peers submit.
The developerWorks team was pleased to be able to help when Rational came to us with this request, recognizing the experience and expertise dW has in building community and our being the primary IBM place for developers and IT professionals. I view this as a strong example of how the developerWorks community works well: Members learning the latest about key products and technologies, while at the same time sharing input and requests that enhance the products that the community uses, giving IBM (and each other) another way to listen to and better understand and respond to the community and your wants and needs. We hope to extend and improve upon this model in the coming months.[Read More]
I read today about Matthew Szulik stepping down as CEO and president of Red Hat (though he will remain a key part of Red Hat, serving as Chairman of the Board). You can read his personal account of the news here
I applaud Matthew's passion and success leading Red Hat and helping champion open source and Linux over the past decade. I also applaud his dedication to his family, which led to his transition. As reported by CNet, Matthew explains, "For the last nine months, I've struggled with health issues in my family. ... This job requires a 7x24, 110 percent commitment." Ultimately, Matthew prioritized his family -- a decision I appreciate all the more as my wife and I prepare for the birth of our first child. I wish him and his family the best.
Here's wishing everyone more time to share with their loved ones. Especially over the holidays, but also year-round. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, everyone.[Read More]
The launch of alphaWorks Services has drawn quite a bit of attention, as evidenced by this sample of news and blog coverage:
- dBusinessNews: IBM Helps Businesses Accelerate the Adoption of Emerging Technologies
- Dr. Dobb's: IBM AlphaWorks Tests Hosted Apps
- InformationWeek: IBM Adds Software-As-Service To R&D Site
- eWeek.com: IBM Celebrates 10 Years of AlphaWorks, Introduces New Services
- internetnews.com: The First Services of IBM alphaWorks Debut
- InfoWorld: IBM alphaWorks milestone features weather forecast demo
- DevX: The First Services of IBM alphaWorks Debut
- RedOrbit: IBM alphaWorks Gets Hosted Option
- "IBM blog" (cNet): IBM opens up alphaWorks with hosted service
- "The Wayward Word Press" (Dave Shields) Happy Birthday alphaWorks! (includes an insightful perspective on the evolution of aW and Jikes in particular)
The alphaWorks Services launch event this week drew a diverse group of attendees including ISVs, professors, developers, press and analysts. The participants also represented a wide range of disciplines and experience, and included John Patrick, industry luminary and founding father of alphaWorks; David Temkin, co-founder and CTO of Laszlo Systems; Tony Wasserman, professor of software engineering at Carnegie Mellon University; Christopher Balz, independent software developer; Marc Goubert, manager of alphaWorks; Buell Duncan, general manager, ISV & Developer Relations (IBM); and Rod Smith, vice president, Emerging Internet Technology and IBM Fellow.
The event featured a retrospective video and podcast, showcasing Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Rod Smith, and Gina Poole, all key players in the history of alphaWorks, sharing their thoughts on the impetus for the program, as well as successes and lessons along the way.[Read More]
At the big alphaWorks 10th Anniversary party
today, quite a bit is happening. Including a big announcement and demos from people like Marc Goubert, manager of alphaWorks, and Rod Smith, vice president of emerging internet technology and IBM Fellow.
Details will be made available here soon after the announcement happens. Stay tuned.
Meantime, check out the related podcast interviews, including:
See also my earlier entry about the alphaWorks birthday -- and developerWorks birthday.[Read More]