Posts Tagged ‘SDK’

IBM InterCONNECT 2016 as Cloud Fest for App Dev

February 29, 2016

IBM spent the last week of February announcing a constant stream of Cloud deals that focused mostly on various aspects of App Dev. All IBM software is now enabled for private, public and hybrid cloud.  It announced expansion of Bluemix public, dedicated, and local services, IoT and the Weather Company, a growing suite of cognitive APIs for Watson, and hybrid object storage. These should be no surprise to DancingDinosaur readers who have seen a steady trickle of IBM Cloud announcements for months. Let’s sample just a few:

IBM/vmware execs (Alan M Rosenberg/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

IBM senior VP Robert LeBlanc and VMware COO Carl Eschenbach

For DancingDinsosaur, this announcement: IBM and VMware Announce Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Adoption, was the most eyebrow raising. IBM and VMware have jointly designed an architecture and cloud offering that will enable customers to automatically provision pre-configured VMware SDDC environments, consisting of VMware vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN on the IBM Cloud. With this SDDC environment in place, customers will be able to deploy workloads in this hybrid cloud environment without modification, due to common security and networking models based on VMware. This appears intended to encompass SoftLayer too as just another new application environment.

Apple’s Swift development language adds more developer news: IBM to Bring Swift to the Cloud to Radically Simplify End-to-End Development of Apps. IBM has become the first cloud provider to enable the development of applications in native Swift, unlocking its full potential in radically simplifying the development of end-to-end apps on the IBM Cloud. This announcement is the next phase of its roadmap to bring Swift to the Cloud with a preview of a Swift runtime and a Swift Package Catalog to help enable developers to create apps for the enterprise.  DancingDinosaur, a former wannabe developer, is a fan of Swift as well as node.js and Go. Where were all these nifty tools when I was younger?

Watson is another longtime favorite of DancingDinosaur: IBM Announces New and Advanced Watson APIs on the Cloud. New and expanded cognitive APIs for developers that enhance Watson’s emotional and visual senses will further extend the capabilities of the industry’s largest and most diverse set of cognitive technologies and tools.  IBM is also adding tooling capabilities and enhancing its SDKs (Node, Java, Python, and the newly introduced iOS Swift and Unity) across the Watson portfolio and adding Application Starter Kits to make it easy for developers to customize and build with Watson. All APIs are available through the IBM Watson Developer Cloud on Bluemix.

And just in case you didn’t think these weren’t enterprise-class announcements: IBM and GitHub Form Strategic Partnership to Offer First GitHub Enterprise Service in Dedicated and Local Hybrid. IBM and GitHub plan to deliver GitHub Enterprise as a dedicated service on Bluemix to customers across private and hybrid cloud environments. By working with IBM Cloud, developers can expect to learn, code and work with GitHub’s collaborative development tools in a private, environment with robust security capabilities. GitHub and IBM, through this strategic partnership, aim to advance the development of next generation cloud applications for enterprise customers.

IBM WebSphere Blockchain Connect – A new service available to all WebSphere clients is designed to provide a safe and encrypted passage from their blockchain cloud to their enterprise. Starting immediately, enterprises currently using IBM’s on-premises software can tap these new offerings as an on ramp to hybrid cloud, realizing immediate benefits and new value from their existing investments. Blockchain is just one part of a series of tools intended to make it easier for developers to unlock the valuable data, knowledge and transaction systems. Also coming is fully integrated DevOps tools for creating, deploying, running and monitoring Blockchain applications on IBM Cloud that enables the applications to be deployed on IBM z Systems.

Blockchain still may be unfamiliar to many. Recognized most as the technology behind bitcoins, it should prove particularly valuable for IoT systems by providing a mechanism to securely track any of the various things. It enables what amounts to trustless transactions by eliminating the need for an intermediary between buyers and sellers or things and things. For those who want open trustworthy IoT communications without relying on intermediaries blockchain could provide the answer, facilitating the kind of IoT exchanges people have barely begun to imagine could be possible.

Finally, IBM Unveils Fast, Open Alternative to Event-Driven Programming through the Bluemix OpenWhisk platform, which enables developers to quickly build and link microservices that execute software code in response to events such as mouse clicks or receipt of sensor data from an IOT device. Developers won’t to need worry about things like pre-provisioning infrastructure or operations. Instead, they can simply focus on code, dramatically speeding the process.

DancingDinosaur is Alan Radding, a veteran information technology analyst and writer. Please follow DancingDinosaur on Twitter, @mainframeblog. See more of his IT writing at technologywriter.com and here.

Two Mainframe Career Futures

September 20, 2011

From a career standpoint, are these the best of times or the worst of times for mainframe people? If you read the front page of last Sunday’s Boston Globe, it looks terrible. If you listen to IBM, it couldn’t be better, and some job boards appear to back up IBM on this.

Boston Globe writer Katie Johnston started her piece this way: Brewster Smith specialized in mainframe systems for 35 years in the technology industry, recently converting his employer’s mainframe to servers that use newer programming languages. When Smith completed the project in July, his company laid him off because his skills no longer fit the new system. “It will take at least two years to train you to be productive,’’ he recalled his Concord, N.H., employer telling him. “Why do that when we can just hire someone off the street and they’ll be productive immediately because they know the languages.’’

Smith recently got a call from John Hancock Financial Services. The conversation ended quickly when the hiring manager found out he didn’t have experience with the current Microsoft Windows development framework.

IBM takes a decidedly different view. In a recent survey sponsored by the IBM Academic Initiative, it reports customers and business partners placed a high priority on the need for mainframe skills: Over 85% ranked mainframe application development skills as strongly required or required within their organization. These results point to an increasing need for organizations to groom the next generation of mainframe development skills.

As Johnston noted in her piece:  There is a dark side of tech, an industry in which skills and people can quickly become obsolete and some companies, believing high unemployment will give them the pick of ready-to-produce workers, don’t provide training. In fact, many companies demand candidates with skills that perfectly match their requirements.

There are very few jobs anymore where the skills you originally mastered will keep you securely employed for a decade or more. Almost every job skill in the computer industry is fleeting. Just think of all those Symbian programmers who recently had mastered a key mobile technology only to be reduced to near irrelevance by the rapid rise of smartphones with totally different operational attributes.

One high level IT manager in a leading mainframe shop puts it this way: There are some professions– dentistry, the priesthood, psychology, law– which require that members of that profession acquire a vast amount of knowledge and skill early and then can coast along for the next 40 years simply using that knowledge. Or maybe not. You can’t go skiing at Vail or golfing in the Virgin Islands without running into educational seminars for doctors or lawyers.

Then there are other professions, like IT, where everything one learns is obsolete within ten years or sooner.  You have to keep learning new things just to keep abreast of the technology, notes the IT manager.

Both types of professions can be rewarding, he concludes, if you go into them with the proper attitude. And that attitude is that you have to be willing to learn, even if you have to do it on your own nickel and your own time.

Are there programmers out there, asks the IT manager, spending 10 hours a week expanding their skills but learning the wrong things?  Undoubtedly.  Good IT managers not only should encourage their staff to broaden their skills but guide them toward which skills will be most valuable going forward even if they are not given the budget to support it.

The hybrid zEnterprise provides a valuable opportunity for mainframers to expand their skills into Linux, Java, and soon even Windows. The hybrid mainframe can handle SOA and mobile technologies and play in the cloud. Start familiarizing yourself with these technologies.

Today, every mainframer has access to other means to gain leading edge skills. All they need is a smartphone in their pocket. Apple and Droid provide rich SDKs to develop apps and marketplaces to distribute those apps. One mainframer leveraged his mainframe knowledge and rudimentary Java skills to write an iPhone app that sent a photo of he took of a wiring mistake to the trouble ticket system. The wiring got fixed, the company streamlined a process, and he demonstrated a valuable leading edge skill. The lesson: both old and new IT dogs must continually learn new tricks.


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