IBM and Developer Craft
Jon Mc Namara 2700075PH1 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  hackathon redmonk james-governor social-business-tools craft social-business social-collaboration socbiz integration websphere
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John McNamara, Senior Inventor, IBM Messaging
The term 'craft' when applied to developing technical skills, has, it seems, fallen out of use over the past few decades. It's a shame as the term embodies so much of what we do in our industry; more than simply just another word to describe “occupation,” it also means “calling,” “profession”, “skill,” and even “artistry.” These are terms that a great many of us see as synonymous with what we choose to do for a living.
One hugely important aspect of being a “craftsman” is the responsibility to share your area of expertise with others—to help lift up colleagues who want to work in your domain, and enable them to employ craft in their own pursuits. In utilizing social tools, such as blogging, microblogging, hangouts and video, as well as podcasts, we have the opportunity to share our craft with a vast audience. We can meaningfully help a great many of our extended colleagues from all over the world by enabling world experts in IBM technologies to provide guidance to those who look to continually improve their skills. Never before have we had such a platform to provide such easily accessible information in such a variety of ways.
Consider the IBM Messaging and Integration space, where we now see regular podcasts, hangouts, and blogs with world-class experts such as Andy Banks, Andrew Schofield, and Matt Lucas. These experts cover topics ranging from established and proven technologies, such WebSphere MQ[A2] , to brand new technologies, such as IBM MessageSight , and even giving a glimpse of upcoming technologies, such as Elastic MQ and IBM Integration Bus.
This behavior has effected a real and very positive shift from IBM being viewed simply as an organization, to it being recognized as a collection of individuals. IBMers are eager to share their craft, to engage with the developer community and to help those who are looking to improve their skills, because they understand that technology is a massive enabler, as well as being tremendous fun.
One organization that certainly understands and enables the pursuit of craftsmanship, and that has moved mountains to pioneer the scaling and sharing craft within the developer community, is RedMonk. James Governor (aka @Monkchips) has brought developers together from all over the world for this very purpose, under the banner of his extraordinary Monkigras events. I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of Monkigras, and I always come away feeling utterly inspired. In James's Monkigras blog, he provides real insight into the importance of sharing craft, and also provides some real food for thought on how IBM is sharing craft via social, one IBMer at a time. If you want a taste of the Monkigras event, take a peek at his blog.
And if you would like to explore what we are doing in the messaging and integration space with social, take a look at how we are sharing some of our craft:
IBM Messaging Hackathon - http://bit.ly/1iVftuS