IBM's recent Pulse Conference in Las Vegas was like Christmas in February for developers. Whether working in midmarket or large enterprises, independent consultant or employee, there was something for everyone. The best part of this is that they are gifts that keep on giving as IBM continues to roll out what they announced at Pulse.
I had a chance to catch up with IBM Midmarket GM, John Mason and GM of IBM Ecosystem, Sandy Carter, to discuss Pulse and how IBM is working with the developer community. It is not often that a media person has the chance to interview two IBM GMs at once. The information that John and Sandy shared was really great. It is obvious that IBM is very serious about DevOps and working with developers.
DevOps is something that IBM has been a thought leader on for some time. With the acquisition of SoftLayer, they have used the cloud hosting capability as an anchor to build many of their PaaS and developer solutions on top of. This enables an end to end solution as a service for developers.
So many of us think of IBM as a large enterprise supplier. Another thing that Sandy and especially John emphasized is that is not today's IBM. They actually have solutions and services aimed up and down the market. From SMB through the midmarket and up to large enterprise, IBM has something for them.
On the other hand this also represents something of IBM returning to their roots of servicing the developer community. Before software was bought primarily in shrink wrapped boxes, IBM was the supplier of tools for developers that wrote the applications that businesses ran on, whether that was for Big Iron, mini-computers or client-server architecture.
I wanted to share some of the items they shared with me:
BlueMix - This is IBM's PaaS play. Built on industry standard components, it offers "mix-n-match" building of apps. You literally pick the "tiles" you want to add to your app. According to the BlueMix web site, "BlueMix is an open-standards, cloud-based platform for building, managing and running apps of all types (web, mobile, big data, new smart devices). Capabilities include Java, mobile backend development, application monitoring, as well as capabilities from ecosystem partners and open source - all through an as-a-service model in the cloud. I haven't seen an easier setup than this. Built on Open Foundry, featuring cloud hosting from IBM's SoftLayer, it offers just about everything you will need as a developer including a healthy dose of DevOps and agile functionality.
To get a better idea of what BlueMix is about, check out the YouTube video below:
100 Days of BlueMix - IBM is running a worldwide program of workshops to help developers work with BlueMix. They will literally walk you through your "hello world" moment, building your first application on Blue Mix. These workshops are being held all over the world. They are open to developers working for companies big and small, as well as independent developers. You can find a complete schedule of the BlueMix training dates and locations at the link above.
IBM Watson – You have probably heard of Watson in terms of its ability to beat chess masters. But it has really moved beyond that to encompass IBM’s artificial intelligence efforts. They have taken Watson out of the classroom and into the workplace. If you get a chance, check out link to Watson above, there is a good video that really explains it well.
DevOps - IBM is a leader in DevOps. Even before DevOps was the buzzword it is today, IBM was blazing DevOps and continuous delivery. Today IBM's DevOps efforts according to Sandy Carter are holistically ingrained into many parts of the IBM ecosystem. In the Rational Division, part of the SoftLayer PaaS offering, UrbanCode and other places. Others at IBM I have spoken to think DevOps maybe one of the few key IT trends that dominate over the next decade. BlueMix is tightly integrated into the DevOps culture at IBM. Below is a video from Sanjeev Sharma, one of IBM's pre-eminent DevOps experts and the author of "DevOps for Dummies".
The thing about talking BlueMix with Sandy and John was that IBM is really being very accessible in taking this to market. It is very aggressive, but with a new edge. It may be that with BlueMix they really do have the goods here to lead a fast growing market and are acting like the trailblazers they can be.
In any event if you are a developer, you should check out BlueMix and if you can get to a 100 Days of BlueMix event, definitely do so.