I’m spending a couple of weeks on business in China. It’s an exciting trip as it is my first time in mainland China, I’m getting to do a lot of travelling around, and I’m building some connections with my colleagues in IBM’s China Development Labs (and I was able to spend time with Chinese colleagues in the UK in preparation, learning about the business culture and language here).
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind already. Shortly after landing on Friday I gave a relatively impromptu 2 hour presentation to the WebSphere developers in CDL, which covered everything from life in Hursley, through my career, our product strategies, and the latest news on technologies like WebSphere MQ, MQTT, Message Broker and WebSphere Registry and Repository.
My first “free” day in Beijing, Saturday, was very wet… and I underestimated the distances on the map in an attempt to walk to an attraction which I deemed “fairly close” to my hotel. Word of advice: the guidebooks describe Beijing as “not very walkable”, and my impression is that it really isn’t; I should have taken a cab! Today though, the weather changed and I was able to get out to see a couple of the sights including the Forbidden City (which I’ve previously mentioned here on my blog, in the context of the Beyond Space and Time project which utilises IBM technology and our experience in virtual worlds), and part of the Great Wall. Really spectacular stuff. Colleagues helped me to arrange a tour with Grayline and I have to say that they were excellent. The one obvious issue here is traffic, which is really choking movement – other than that it’s a very pleasant, modern (but utterly vast!) city with some wonderful people.
I didn’t bring an SLR with me but I captured a few shots with the iXUS and iPhone 4. Keep an eye on Flickr.
Tomorrow it’s straight into workshops, roundtables and presentations, and I’ll be travelling around for much of the next couple of weeks, so online interactions may be limited.