By Stephen Henderson,
Solution Marketing Manager- Enterprise Modernization .
At this time last year, I was in a constant state of near-panic as I helped IBM Rational marketing prepare for it’s annual user conference in Orlando– as you may know, it’s called Innovate. I had just left my field consulting position (a few weeks earlier) to join the marketing team. I had been warned about the energy and pressure to make Innovate happen, but– wow– I really was blown away by it.
IBM Rational puts a lot of effort into making Innovate as exciting, informative, smooth and fun as possible for the attendees and it shows. Innovate 2012 was a whirlwind of activity. I met hundreds of people that I’d only known in emails, I got incredible training on our products from top engineers and experts and I had a blast for every hour of it– even the karaoke bar!
As I write this, I’m taking a moment away from the hustle and bustle of preparing for Innovate 2013. Once again, IBM Rational has been very busy assembling the conference. As I reflect on what we’ve already lined up for 2013, I’m feeling pretty anxious to be in Orlando, to be with a few thousand friends, and share our work with the world.
One of the coolest things that I’m looking forward to is being in the audience for Steve Wozniak's keynote address. I’ve been programming since I was 11 years old, and the Apple II was big part of my young life. I can still remember the exact feel and sound of sliding a floppy disk into a Disk II disk drive and then closing the locking lever. It’s a deeply special feeling for me, and as you can imagine: I’m really looking forward to seeing “Woz”.
It may be interesting to read that over the past few years, I’ve been deep diving into mainframe development. These mainframe systems are incredible machines and they leverage the fundamentals of computing in massively powerful way, and I find that to be irresistible. Lots of people do not seems to ‘get’ mainframes, and I guess that’s another allure for me– when it comes to programming, I like ‘going against the flow’ and seeing what I can find to interest me and System z does not disappoint.
Somewhat naturally then, I’ll be spending a lot of time participating in our mainframe events and sessions. I’m looking forward to talking and learning more about how people are using our IDEs and testing tools to bring a modern, agile flare to developing System z applications. Nothing beats meeting the people doing the work and building these systems.
As a dyed-in-the-wool programmer (and recovering field consultant), I still spend a lot of time using, teaching, and showing off our IDEs. This year, I’m on the marketing team that supports the IDEs and with the recent announcement of the family of V9 IDEs, I’ll be looking forward to meeting some of our users of RAD, RDz and RDp to compare notes and show of the latest cool features and changes. The timing of Innovate with the new IDEs is really perfect.
Also, this year I am bringing along some equipment to make another screencast (like this). While all the experts are gathered, I’m hoping that I can create a just-in-time demo of our “Continuous Integration Solution for System z”. I’m also planning to make a few blog entries about my efforts to get that demo produced. Given how busy everyone is, I can’t be sure I’ll be able to pin people down, but my fingers are crossed. It should be a lot of fun.
Well, I’d better get back to the Innovate team and help with the final preparations. This year, Innovate 2013 is in Orlando, Florida, June 2-6. I’ll be there the whole time, so if you can make it to the conference, please find me a let me know. Most evenings, I should be downstairs hanging around the Expo pedestals for System z and Power.