By Sherri Hanna, Rational WW Go to Market Manager
Yesterday, the System z track began with a presentation from Carmen DeArdo from Nationwide Insurance talking about their journey on the enterprise modernization route. They began a path, a few years ago, to implement some common processes in the distributed world (such as continuous integration) on the mainframe. As a result of modernizing processes and tools, they have a vibrant mainframe developer community that has seen increased productivity and quality. Carmen also spoke during the enterprise modernization (EM) kickoff session where Hayden Lindsey, Rational VP, talked about EM meeting DevOps. One of the big themes of Innovate 2013 is around DevOps, the enterprise capability for continuous software delivery that enables clients to seize market opportunities and reduce time to customer feedback. The idea is a collaborative approach for continuous software delivery, and demonstrates how IBM integrated development and operations tools and processes can help optimize the entire lifecycle of your applications. This represents a real cross-brand solution from IBM that can address the customer need for enterprise modernization.
The Solution Center was open for business with a busy reception for customers and Business Partners. Lots of demos, discussions and networking as you can see in this picture of the Continuous Integration on System z pedestal:
This morning was a real treat for attendees - two guest speakers with a common theme of Innovation and Staying Ahead. Eric Reis, author of The Lean Startup (#LeanStartup) talked about the necessity of failure to create that entrepreneurial leadership that can give your organization sparks of innovation. He talked about doing pivots (a concept familiar to those of us who use spreadsheets) to allow a change in strategy without a change in vision. He also talked about "innovation" accounting (not to be confused with creative accounting :-) that allows for different metrics to gauge the success of your innovative projects which often require an incubation period of learning in order to achieve the hockey stick of results that many business plans project.
Finally this AM was what many folks came to see, Steve Wozniak - the wizard of Woz :-) and co-founder of Apple computer. In an interview with Alan Brown, Rational CTO, Steve talked about getting started, how his passion is education, and how when he was a little boy, he told his dad he wanted to be an engineer and a 5th grade teacher. For those of us who love the mainframe, he shared his school tasks of using punch cards, how he loved the IBM 360, and he told the young developers that in addition to learning how to program new apps, they need to learn the back end systems to do anything exciting. You should have seen the line for his book signing! See the photo below: