Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Computerworld Booch article.

Wow, this blog seems to have turned into all Grady, all the time.

Just wanted to point everyone to a new article in Computerworld magazine this week. It's a Q&A session with Grady, going into details about the difficulties of software development, open source and Second Life. You can check it out here.

By the way, just like me, he's also a big Mac fan (just got my copy of Leopard yesterday, and the install on my wife's ibook went flawlessly. I'm now enjoying all the shiny Leopardy goodness).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For laughs - enjoy!

Do you ever feel this way?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Exclusive Forward Look: Grady Booch will talk to you!

Yes.. the Architecture Mogul will be giving a quick talk soon on Architecture, and than he can talk to you! Do you have questions you want to ask him? Do you want to know what his shoe size is? Or, his take on your approach of a business solution implementation?

Check back! Specifics to follow!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Leopard Day!

Today should probably be a national holiday.

Mac OS X Leopard
As I'm sure many of you are aware, today is the day that the latest Mac Operating System, "Leopard" (OS X v10.5) is released. I'm anxiously awaiting my copy, courtesy of FedEX, today. Although I'm tied to using Windows at work, the rest of the time the family are big Mac users.

Which doesn't mean you can't use your Macs at work. If you didn't know already, you can download and run eclipse on OS X today (or get it from IBM here), and what's more while the current version, (10.4), has had the programming language Ruby built-in, the new version includes Ruby on Rails, free and installed on every new Mac.

Developers, start your developing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life in Marketing

One of the little joys in marketing:

You have no idea how many reviews marketing materials go through - yes, even including the font.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rational and Data-driven Applications

Well, I'm back from Vegas (and fortunately, with most of the family fortune intact) with IOD 2007 just a distant memory.

While at the show however, I got my eyes opened to the sheer amount of data, information and content floating around the world. Managing, understanding and delivering that content to users is what IOD was all about, and Rational plays a part in the process too - by building the applications that deliver the content. So, with that in mind, I've put together some articles that explain how to leverage data in your applications using Rational Architecture Management tools. Here are some links:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Speaking of all you developers with extra time on your hands

How is it that you crank out all that code, and have time for exotic jobs? It seems "What has happened is that the RAD and non-RAD worlds have merged, thanks to the steady improvement of IDEs" So, at least from Rational, you are welcome!

RAD Isn’t ‘Rad’? How SAD

After all the books that have been written, after all the technical articles and newspaper stories that have been published, we find out in this issue that the concept of "rapid application development" might not be relevant any longer to a discussion of software development.
RAD, some argue, just isn’t "rad" anymore.
The story, written by my colleague Jeff Feinman, points out that when an alternative was needed to bulky tools that couldn’t readily facilitate changes to requirements or code, RAD was a radical idea. Now, though, with a broad movement toward agile development processes for all development—including shorter iterations and life cycles, and application frameworks that accommodate plug-in tools for specific tasks—RAD can now be replaced by the acronym SAD— Simply Application Development. ...

Beyond RAD
October 15, 2007 — It’s been quite a while since software companies aggressively pursued the concept of rapid application development, or RAD, as a means of getting simple programs out the door quickly using integrated development environments with lots of wizards and point-and-click code generators. Inherent in the RAD concept was that there would be a counterpoint: More serious line-of-business applications would be built with non-RAD toolchains, presumably assembled from discrete “professional grade” tools, such as editors, compilers, debuggers and modelers.
What has happened is that the RAD and non-RAD worlds have merged, thanks to the steady improvement of IDEs. Where, once, a developer hoping to construct a desktop database-backed application had to hand-code all of the SQL statements, network code and desktop interfaces, these days there are countless ways to build the same application either on top of existing code, or simply by pointing and clicking in the right software.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Top 5 "Extra Time Off" Careers

Did you all see today’s featured article on Yahoo?

Top 5 "Extra Time Off" Careers

Whether you want to travel to exotic destinations, visit relatives, or simply have more time to care for loved ones, a career with flexible time off can make a big difference in your quality of life. While many Americans enjoy a mere one or two weeks of vacation time each year, some professionals spend two to three months of each year away from the job.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the following five careers will experience some of the fastest job growth of all careers over the next decade. Each one of these career paths offers its own set of perks in addition to seasonal scheduling ...

The 5th ranked extra time off career is Software Developer. So be smart and build higher quality applications faster by using the right set of software development tools. Then maybe we will be able to find some time off to visit Las Vegas!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SOA Governance and Service Lifecycle Management with Rational Asset Manager

Grant Larsen, IBM Rational's Chief Architect for Rational Asset Manager, discusses how this new asset management solution can help in governing SOA and the Service Lifecycle. The discussion begins by defining what is meant by an asset, and how that relates to services, before moving on to how Rational Asset Manager manages services at development time for the SOA lifecycle, and finally how SOA Governance relates to Rational Asset Manager.

Creating and testing JAX-WS Web service

Yes, Steve is now at a Vegas Conference, having Vegas-style fun.
But, before that, he actually did do some work.

He put together a really nice demo showing how to create and test JAX-WS Web Services using the tools within Rational Application Developer for WebSphere. Today the demo went live!

So, if you want to learn how easy it is, check out:
Creating and testing a top-down JAX-WS Web service Using the Web service wizard in Rational Application Developer v7.0.0.3,

I'm not in Vegas!

Some of us gotta work.. so here I am in an IBM home office, working on marketing fun stuff.
Today on the agenda, finalizing on a marketing plan, as well as finalizing what you would be interested in seeing in the architecture space.

Are you interested in how Pattern based engineering can help you build innovative applications? Help you concentrate on coding and not on architectural, design or repetitive 'must have' classes and frameworks?

Would you be intersted in seeing how IBM Rational Application Developer can help you within your Agile development projects?

Or, do you care more about how RAD and WAS can help you build better code faster, by giving you tools to build structural code, so you can concentrate on the application behavior? RAD also gives you a WAS local test environment, to test your application easily - without all the deployment pains and challenges.

Yes, currently you can find all this information on either our Architecture Management website: or more specifically on our IDE pages: or on our developerWorks Rational website: but would a webcast geared towards one of the topics help you? perhaps a whitepaper outlining best practices, or a series of articles?

Let us know! Now is the time :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

LiveBlogging IOD 2007

Well, here I am in Las Vegas, staffing the Rational booth at IOD 2007. I feel like I'm the only Rational representative here, but do far it's been pretty busy.

Here's what I love about Vegas: The nearly naked dancers? no*. The gambling? No. The pretty lights? What happens here stays here? no.

It's the unexpected. Where's the last place you'd expect to see a Ferrari Formula 1 car? An IBM database show, right? Well, the first thing you see when you enter the show is a bright red, full size, Ferrari. It's at the AMD booth (they're a Ferrari sponsor).

ferrari formula 1In other exciting news, Dana Carvey hosted the kickoff keynote, and, while his knowledge of data was, it's fair to say, negligible, he raised some laughs from the audience. I often wonder at the wisdom of using B-level celebrities to host these kinds of events, but hey! they're cheap at least. Case in point: we're going to "enjoy" a Donna Summer concert tomorrow night.

In actual software-related news, IBM announced new products here today, including IBM Data Studio, which aims to do for data lifecycle management what Rational does for application lifecycle management. It's a freely downloadable Eclipse plugin, so it'll work (soon) in conjunction with the Rational Architecture Management portfolio (for example, Rational Application Developer or Rational Software Architect) to provide a comprehensive application and data development toolset. Look for it at the end of the month.

Well, I've got to go finish my booth duty for the day, but at least after that, there's the beach party!

I love Vegas.

* OK - I lied about the naked dancers

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cloud Computing, Google and IBM

A while ago, I mentioned some of the cool stuff coming out of IBM R&D. Now, we're teaming up with Google in a new cloud computing initiative.

cloud computing
Cloud computing basically encompasses rich applications that are designed run on the Internet (or "cloud"). In the cloud computing paradigm, software that is traditionally installed on personal computers is shifted or extended to be accessible via the Internet. These "cloud applications" utilize massive data centers and powerful servers that host web applications and web services. They can be accessed by anyone with a suitable Internet connection and a standard web browser.

It seems however, that here in the US training is pretty limited for this kind of powerful and highly complex computing. So Google and I.B.M. are announcing a major research initiative to address that shortcoming.

Most of the innovation in cloud computing has been led by corporations, but industry executives and computer scientists say a shortage of skills and talent could limit future growth.

“We in academia and the government labs have not kept up with the times,” said Randal E. Bryant, dean of the computer science school at Carnegie Mellon University. “Universities really need to get on board.”

IBM and Google will provide hardware, software and services to augment university curricula and expand research horizons while lowering the financial and logistical barriers for the academic community to explore Internet-scale computing.

IBM and Google have already dedicated a large cluster of several hundred computers for this program, which is planned to grow to a few thousand servers over time.

The IBM solution includes, not surprisingly, an Eclipse plugin that will also work with Rational Application Developer.

For more information, see this New York Times article, or drop by the IBM web page.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Information on Demand 2007

Well, I'm traveling again next week - this time to Las Vegas. I'll be attending Information on Demand 2007, the big DB2 event, and staffing the Rational booth at the expo there. I'll also be presenting a talk in the developer den entitled "Working with DB2 in IBM Rational Application Developer". Should be a boatload of fun.

Information on Demand 2007
So, if you happen to be in Las Vegas next week, stop by and say hello. Personally, I'm looking forward to the beach party:

It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Delivering SOA through Pattern Based Engineering

If you are a returning reader, you probably read my post on SOA. If not, you can take a look at my older post, that outline my thoughts around SOA being just another way to implement reuse. And, for it to be successful, reuse strategies need to be in place. With reuse strategies in place, another way that SOA implementations can be successful, more productive and quicker is throught the use of patterns.

If you are curious as to how, you can check out the following tutorial:

Using model-driven development and pattern-based engineering to design SOA: Part 2. Patterns-based engineering
Learn how you can extend IBM Rational Software Architect and leverage your own custom patterns to automate software design. By using a combination of the features, you can improve your productivity when designing SOA and other solutions. You can also use these automation features to improve the quality of the solution and to support the governance process.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Want an IPhone?

No! We aren't giving any away.. though how I wish we were!

But, according to yahoo news, Japanese Device Challenges iPhone;_ylt=AkA7fdS5pSdbr6taSygh6RUjtBAF.
Can it be? Can there really be some alternatives?

.. well, I still want the iphone :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Speedy and Fun!

I'm hosting a new webcast in a couple of weeks:

Speedy and Fun! Use an array of visual construction tools to build and deploy J2EE applications with Rational and WebSphere

IBM Rational tools provide an array of visual construction tools that enable you to speedily build and deliver high quality J2EE and web applications while allowing you to focus on the fun of creativity.

This webcast will focus on some key rapid delivery capabilities, including automation and streamlining using Patterns and Transformations with UML, graphical visual editors and tools to quickly build, test, deploy to WebSphere and debug asynchronous secure web services and applications.

The registration page is available here, so go sign up! What could be more exciting for you to do on Tuesday October 16th than watch me?

Can you communicate via email?

Communication is key in marketing. To be an effective marketer, you have to be an effective communicator.

Today, we received a link to remind us of the proper way to write emails - things like getting to the point, and not using fancy words that don't impress anyone. Its even stated there ""Clutter is the disease of American writing," says William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well.

Personally I have to disagree with that statement. As I learned on my 'Organizational Behavior" class I completed to get my MBA (long, tortureous story), various cultures have different definitions of how to write professional emails. For instance, in 'high context' cultures, such as the Arabic Countries, they would like to get to know you first discussing life, before going straight to business. In fact, those high context cultures, find our emals (that are often straight to the point) rude. Thus, I think looking globally, America (being all about business) would not be the one with a 'clutter' disease.

Thus, I believe to be an effective marketer one has to know their audience - and not assume that every culture is like the American one.

For those working in US (in marketing or not) here are some interesting resources to help with writing effective emails.

Paste your copy in the cliché finder to see if you have common clichés in your work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What's on your mind?


MLB Playoffs opens today.

IBM Hits New High

IBM shares were recently trading
up 35 cents, about 0.3%, to $119.41, above
a high of $119.44 reached on Monday.
So far this year, IBM's stock has gained 22%
compared to a 9% rise for the S&P 500.

What's on your mind? Rationally Speaking .. my mind is on Software development that responds to your changing needs. But I may be a bit biased. :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Incomprehensible Press Release of the Week

This is the stuff nightmares are made of in marketing. How do you explain something that's not only complex, but also rather dry to an audience of non-techies, and expect to get it disseminated around the world, and drive people to your sales force and/or website?

I don't know either, and it's my job.

Apparently, the folks at HP also have no idea, because they've won the Incomprehensible Press Release of the Week award from the Wall Street Journal. An excerpt:

According to the press release, the “new solutions and services” will “help CIOs accelerate better business outcomes.” Want specifics? “The solutions and services include a platform that simplifies the management of information” and helps “enterprise customers manage business service demand and IT project portfolio decision making.” It goes on like that for another 650 words.

To be fair, we have our share of marketspeak too....Business Driven Development anyone? But it certainly doesn't hurt to run your press release by a couple of people to see if they have any clue what you're talking about before sending it out. I know I will in the future.

If you really want your brain to hurt, here's the full text of the release.

My Brain Hurts

Monday, October 1, 2007

What keeps Steve rational?

Check it out:

A day of mourning...

Mets Lost!

After being first, everything changed in a few days!!!

Is that life? Yes! Unless you are discovering a cure for cancer, in the business world we are all known for our next accomplishment. What we did a week ago does not count, what counts is what great thing we are about to do.