Tag Archives: monkchips

IMPACT 2011 – and the Unconference

This week is the last before I hop on a plane a head over to The Venetian in Las Vegas for this year’s IBM IMPACT conference. I’ve been privileged to attend the last few of these customer and user conferences, and I’m always happy to have the opportunity to meet users and techies, as well as to talk to new folks about what is happening in the WebSphere Messaging portfolio.

IMPACT 2011 banner

This year I’ve been given the task of talking about what’s new in WebSphere MQ (hint: if you look at the whole WMQ family, there is a lot going on); and to talk about our Smarter Planet protocol, also known as MQ Telemetry Transport.

As before, we have a social aggregator where you can follow the conference. One particularly exciting addition this year is the idea that we’ll run an unconference within IMPACT itself, and we’ve carved out the Thursday in order to do so. If you’ve never been to an unconference before, the concept is that the organisers put up the venue, framework, and support, and the attendees build up the actual agenda. The call for participation is open now… if you are really a techie or an architect and don’t want to be bored by the business-oriented stuff, you need to be at the unconference. It’s for developers, by developers (actually – that’s YOU).

WebSphere Unconference

The ideas will be posted at Impact 2011 April 11-13 using the wall grid posted onsite, where you can continue to submit and vote on ideas. The Unconference is held on April 14th from morning through afternoon. Sessions will run about 1 hour with several rooms open during each time block. The kick-off is at 8:30AM with a special guest speaker. The format of sessions is up to speaker(s) to decide – go solo, pair up or make a roundtable with a group. Make it your own.

There’s a slightly different way of doing things here, as instead of only having folks nominate themselves to present on the day, we’ve got a forum where you can suggest and vote on topics right now.

If you don’t believe that this thing is going to be “the place to be” on the Thursday of IMPACT, here’s what I actually consider the second best part (apart from the conversations with developers themselves): RedMonk. The guys are going to be all over the Unconference, including a keynote by James Governor, and a breakout session with Stephen O’Grady. Listen to @monkchips:

James Governor: Developers should be excited. The pendulum is swinging back… you are the new kingmakers, so what are you going to do about it?

For more on the unconference, you need to be following Ryan Boyles and Kathleen Holm. Oh, and if you’re coming to IMPACT, and you use Twitter, give Lanyrd a try – it’s a great way of sharing what you’re up to.

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On being part of a tribal movement

Looking back over the past few years, I find that I’ve somehow become part of a tribe: eightbar.

What is eightbar, again?

We’re a group of techie/creative people working in and around IBM’s Hursley Park Lab in the UK. We have regular technical community meetings, well more like a cup of tea and a chat really, about all kinds of cool stuff. One of the things we talked about is that although there are lots of cool people and projects going on in Hursley, we never really let anyone know about them. So, we decided to try and record some of the stuff that goes on here in an unofficial blog, EightBar.

This hasn’t been part of “a grand plan”. All that happened was that before I was even “officially” a “Hursley person”, I got to know a bunch of people with whom I share attitudes and interests, and started to explore some new spaces with them – virtual worlds like Second Life, enterprise social computing, bleeding edge technologies, collaboration that extends outside of enterprise, geographic and social boundaries.

I am very fortunate to become good friends with some inspiring people such as Ian Hughes (epredator), Roo Reynolds, Rob Smart, Darren Shaw and Andy Stanford-Clark – among many, many others – and found myself being asked to talk about some of these new areas with IBM customers and other groups. Without even realising it, I started to be viewed as an authority on many of these topics. I’m immensely grateful that people like Ian and Roo recognised my passion to communicate and gave me these opportunities to break out of my day-to-day role.

Ian has a great presentation and a blog post on how all of this has come about, by the way.

I’ve been standing on the shoulders of giants for the past couple of years and I completely recognise that. It’s awesome that this little group, loose band, motley assortment, whatever we are – this body of interested techies and thinkers has been identified by top analyst James Governor as his Team of the Year.

This idea of grassroots movements at work is summed up in a great soundbite from the Don Tapscott interview with Net@Night this past week (listen out for this one, about 41 minutes into the discussion)

… social networks are the new operating systems of business…

He’s so very, very right. I owe my successes in the past 2-3 years to my social networks – and to eightbar.

(this is Captain Slow, signing off…)