Applications are moving to the cloud. It’s time for developer tools to move, too

The cloud developer landscape is changing rapidly. Every day, there are new tools, new patterns, new technologies, and new frameworks for developers to learn and use. In cloud-native development, cloud architectural patterns like microservices require that developers rethink how they develop applications. Testing environments are more complex. Requirements for consistency in production environments and even basic setup and configuration for developer environments can be time-consuming operations. Developers need better tools to keep up with this quickly changing landscape.

That’s why we’ve joined a new working group at the Eclipse Foundation — the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group — whose goal is to accelerate the creation of those cloud-based developer tools. This is a vendor-neutral working group with members from a broad set of companies who work together to define standards for creating and using cloud-based developer tools.

We are working together to:

  • Define de-facto standards to drive broad adoption of cloud IDEs and container-based development tools
  • Enable an ecosystem for extenders and developer tool providers via these standards
  • Integrate with key enablers for cloud native development, CI, and test automation

Why do standards matter?

While standards may sound counter to rapid innovation, they are key enablers of extensibility, and interoperability. There are de-facto standards emerging for cloud-based tools in workspace definitions, extensions for languages support, tracing, and debugging. Our work group focuses on getting developers to adopt these standards. In turn, this will make the cloud-based developer tools interoperable with other cloud technologies. I believe that once we establish cloud development tools standards, it will enable a marketplace ecosystem for extensions which in turn benefits users and our customers.

Cloud native is a new way for developers to think

Developers are always trying to develop applications faster. Cloud-native tools, running in the cloud, will give developers new capabilities that leverage and exploit cloud capabilities from the very start of their development process. In turn, this lets developers test, build, monitor, and deploy applications faster in an environment that mirrors their production systems. This high fidelity development environment will enable productivity, so developers can focus on their work and innovate faster.

Some use cases where I can see how cloud-native developer tools will speed and improve development include:

  • Simpler setup and installation of development dependencies
  • Accessible, easy-to-use tools for A/B testing, always-on monitoring, and testing experimental aspects of development
  • Browser-based development to lower the barriers of entry for developers working in the cloud

The way that this will enhance how developers can get started and quickly create, test, monitor, and deploy applications is hard to overstate.

An example of cloud-native tools that we’ll champion in this group

One of the Eclipse projects that I’m excited to see championed through this new workgroup is Eclipse Codewind. This tool is an IDE extension that bundles performance and monitoring tools and enables you to develop in containers within your own IDE. You can make changes against all of your apps using the simple extension and instantly see how those changes perform in your development cluster. Tools like Codewind will help you develop better-performing, error-prone applications faster than ever.

The working group is just getting started, and their are a lot of great things we are going to accomplish. The participants are from leading companies and their developers work in many exciting projects at Eclipse, so working together on standards will benefit all of our companies.

Get involved

If you are interested in promoting interoperative tools that run in the cloud, standards that allow those tools to be extended into any cloud, and an ecosystem to support the adoption of the standards and cloud-native hosted tools, view our Charter and ECD Working Group Participation Agreement (WPGA), or join the ECD Tools mailing list.

If you’re a developer who wants to enhance cloud-native development tools, check out the projects at the Eclipse Foundation. I’d say that for cloud tools as well as other projects, there a a bunch of great projects doing innovative things in open source at Eclipse. It’s a great way to work, and a great group of developers driving key innovations.

John Duimovich

Digital Developer Conference: AI & Cloud

About the conference

Looking for hands-on experience and real-world examples of application modernization? Do you want to infuse AI in your business processes? Then register now for the first IBM Digital Developer Conference: AI & Cloud. At this free, half-day online conference, you can participate in:

  • Keynote sessions featuring client success stories and applicable insights from leaders in AI and cloud technologies
  • Breakout sessions and hands-on labs covering microservices, open source data and AI technology, cloud-native apps, and more

At the conference, you’ll configure your own container-based cloud environment, solve challenging problems with deep learning, and identify model bias in AI through collaboration with industry experts.

Sign up today – and encourage others to attend as well. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to advance your development skills, earn cloud-native and machine learning badges, and collaborate with many industry experts.

Who should attend?

Cloud developers

The cloud-native developer track will give developers insights into key technologies to rapidly build secure applications that can be managed and optimized across multiple cloud providers. Get up to speed with new open source tools for native container-based development, testing, and deployment, and learn best practices for creating secure microservices-based applications. You’ll also get hands-on with the IBM Kubernetes service and learn how to deploy containerized applications.

Machine learning developers

The machine learning developer track is ideal for developers and data scientists interested in collaboration across teams, using top open source tools and scaling at enterprise speed. Learn how to build, train, deploy, and manage effective models while getting experience in recognizing and avoiding model bias.

Important dates

Registration for the conference opens Friday, October 4, 2019. The conference is held on different days in different regions, so see below for the date for your region.

  • North America: Saturday, November 2
  • India: Saturday, November 9
  • Europe: Thursday, November 14
  • Asia: Saturday, November 23

Register for the Digital Developer Conference: AI & Cloud

Hania Ibrahim

EclipseCon EU: Let’s talk open source

EclipseCon EU: Let’s celebrate open!

EclipseCon EU is almost here – October 21-24 in Ludwigsburg, Germany. We’re excited to sponsors both the main and co-located OSGi Community 20th anniversary events this year, but mostly we’re looking forward to connecting with you around ways to accelerate your journey to cloud.

From fun hands-on coding challenges to incredible speakers, we know it’s going to be a great event. We hope you’ll stop by the IBM Developer booth to connect.

Test your coding skills: Cloud-native workshop and QuickLabs

Workshop: Build-a-bike Tuesday, October 22 – 09:00 to 12:00 in Seminarraum 5
Liberty Bikes is a four player, elimination game built using the latest technologies of Jakarta EE 8 and MicroProfile 3.0. Come build your first (or 100th) microservice as you create an AI to compete in a battle royale against your fellow attendees. In this workshop, you will develop a complete microservice, leveraging a MicroProfile Rest Client to seamlessly integrate and communicate with an existing application. Can you become champion of the grid?

Code for Swag QuickLabs: We challenge you to use your coding skills for . . . some cool swag. In 15 minutes or less, with a few lines of code, explore some of the latest in Java, open source, frameworks, and more. You can then claim victory and a special prize.

Your open source journey to the cloud starts at the IBM booth

In addition to great speakers, here are a few of the topics we’re most excited to chat with you about:

Book signing: Wednesday, October 23 from 14:30 – 16:00
Meet the authors and get a free “Developing Open Cloud Native Microservices: Your Java Code in Action” ebook.

Code for Swag QuickLabs: Get your hands on the code and add to your swag collection with one or more of our labs featuring Kabanero, Open Liberty, Kubernetes and more.

Build cloud-native apps and microservices: Experience the power of the Open Liberty cloud runtime for building cloud native apps in a fun, interactive game, Liberty Bikes. Open Liberty provides fully compatible implementations of Jakarta EE and Eclipse MicroProfile.

Modernize existing apps for cloud and containers: Explore tooling, skills, and recommendations for getting the most out of your existing applications as you move to the cloud. Join IBMers who are actively working with customers on modernizing their apps using open technologies including Open Liberty, Eclipse OpenJ9, Jakarata EE, Eclipse MicroProfile, Spring, Reactive and more.

Kabanero: Find out about this new open source project that brings together Knative, Istio, and Tekton with new open projects Codewind, Appsody, and Razee into an end-to-end solution to architect, build, deploy, and manage the lifecycle of Kubernetes-based applications.

** Hear from IBMers on topics covering app modernization, cloud native development, new open source projects, machine learning, Eclipse projects, communities, and more.

Eclipsecon image

Session Date/Time Session Title Speaker Name
22 Oct: 09:00 – 12:00 Build-A-Bike Workshop Ryan Esch Andrew Guibert
22 Oct: 14:30 – 15:05 How Java9+ helps you React- Reactive Programming? Jayashree S Kumar
22 Oct: 14:30 – 15:05 Jakarta for dummEEs Kevin Sutter
22 Oct: 14:30 – 15:05 Intro to Eclipse Codewind – simplified app development for the cloud! Tim deBoer
22 Oct: 17:00 – 17:35 Mastering your Eclipse IDE – Java tooling, Tips & Tricks! Noopur Gupta
23 Oct: 09:30 – 10:05 Modern Development — How Containers are Changing Everything Steve Poole
23 Oct: 09:30 – 10:05 Make testing Enterprise Java more joyful Sebastian Daschner
23 Oct: 10:15 – 10:50 OSGi in Action: How we use OSGi to build Open Liberty Alasdair Nottingham
23 Oct: 15:10 – 15:45 Thirst-quenching streams for the reactive mind – A comparison of OSGi Push Stream API and implementations of Reactive Streams Mary Grygleski
23 Oct: 15:10 – 15:45 Evolve Java APIs and keep them compatible using API Tools Vikas Chandra
23 Oct: 15:10 – 15:45 Test Dockerization Mamatha J V
23 Oct: 15:10 – 15:45 OpenJ9 a Lean, Mean, Java Virtual Machine for the Cloud Billy Korando
23 Oct: 16:15 – 16:50 EGit Essentials, Tips and Tricks Lakshmi Shanmugam
23 Oct: 16:15 – 16:50 Migrating Beyond Java 8 Dalia Abo Sheasha
23 Oct: 16:15 – 16:50 Java EE, Jakarta EE, MicroProfile, Or Maybe All Of Them? Sebastian Daschner
23 Oct: 16:15 – 16:50 Promises in Java: Using Promises to Recover from Failure BJ Hargrave
24 Oct: 10:15 – 10:50 Java and Containers – Make it Awesome! Dinakar Guniguntala
24 Oct: 13:00 – 13:35 Streamline Integration Testing with Testcontainers Andrew Guibert Kevin Sutter
Neil Patterson

Let’s talk modern development at SpringOne Platform

SpringOne Platform, 7 – 10 October 2019 in Austin, TX, is right around the corner, and it’s shaping up to be an exciting conference. From a fun, hands-on quicklab, to all the incredible speakers discussing Spring, Java, Reactive, .NET, Kotlin, and cloud, covering the latest in technology — we’re excited to connect with you.

Test your coding skills: Automate and accelerate cloud-native Spring with Appsody and Codewind

Moving workloads to the cloud introduces a steep learning curve for developers accustomed to traditional web application development. In a hands-on quicklab, take a look at Appsody and Codewind, two technologies that simplify development of containerized cloud-native applications. In 15 minutes or less, with a few lines of code, you’ll be able to start building cloud-native applications like an expert without having to be an expert in all the cloud-native technologies. You can then claim victory and a special Austin-themed prize.

Join us at IBM booth #P10!

Hear from IBMers about their work in cloud-native

Session date/time Session title Speaker and location
Wednesday, 9 October
4:20pm – 5:30pm
Metrics for the win: Using Micrometer to understand application behavior Erin Schnabel
Ballroom D
Wednesday, 9 October
5:40pm – 6:10pm
Modern development: How containers are changing everything Steve Poole, Pratik Patel
Ballroom F
Thursday, 10 October
10:30am – 11:40am
Collaborative contract-driven development Billy Korando

Explore cloud-native at the IBM booth #P10

Quicklab: Cloud-native Spring featuring Appsody and Codewind: Get your hands on the code and kickstart your day with a lab that will get you building cloud-native applications like an expert, featuring Austin-themed merch and more.

Kabanero: Find out about this new open source project that brings together Knative, Istio, and Tekton with new open projects Eclipse Codewind, Appsody, and Razee into an end-to-end solution to architect, build, deploy, and manage the lifecycle of Kubernetes-based applications.

Java: Hang out with IBMers who are actively contributing to the open Java communities, including Spring, Open Liberty, OpenJ9, Jakarata EE, MicroProfile, and more.

Open source @ IBM: IBM continues to deliver innovative ideas as open source projects. Find out about the latest and greatest directly from key contributors to Kabanero, Appsody, Eclipse Codewind, Razee, and more.

Maya Reyes

Oracle Code One: Let’s talk open source, Java, cloud, and . . . cool socks

Code One 2019 is almost here! Join us September 16-19 in San Francisco. We’re excited to be sponsors this year, but mostly we’re looking forward to connecting with developers around Java, open source, cloud modernization and cloud-native app development.

From fun hands-on coding challenges to incredible speakers, we think it’s going to be a great event. We hope you’ll stop by booth 3101 to meet us.

Test your coding skills: Cloud-native workshop and QuickLabs

Workshop: Hands-on, open cloud-native development with Kabanero and Java [HOL6624]

Monday, 16 September, Room 3024A

Choose the time that works best for you! 12:30-2:30 PM or 2:45-4:45 PM or 5:00–7:00 PM

Explore modern, cloud-native app development that uses Java and the latest open technologies in this deep dive hands-on workshop. The workshop lets you use Kabanero, a new open source project that integrates popular open source projects (Tekton, Kubernetes, Appsody, etc) and delivers a simplified, seamless development experience.

Code for Socks QuickLabs: Booth 3101 We challenge you to use your coding skills for . . . cool socks. In 15 minutes or less, with a few lines of code, explore some of the latest in Java, open source, frameworks, and more. You can then claim victory and a special pair of socks.

Challenges include:

  • Cloud-native development with Kabanero
  • Getting started with Open Liberty
  • Akka and Kubernetes: a symbiotic love story
  • Intro to Kabanero and Spring

Come talk open source Java

Join us at Booth 3101 to talk about the newest cloud-native, Java open source projects at IBM, including:

  • Kabanero: Find out about this new open source project that brings together Knative, Istio, and Tekton with new open projects Codewind, Appsody, and Razee into an end-to-end solution to architect, build, deploy, and manage the lifecycle of Kubernetes-based applications.
  • Open Liberty: Experience the power of this cloud runtime for building cloud native apps in a fun, interactive game, Liberty Bikes. Open Liberty provides fully compatible implementations of Jakarta EE and Eclipse MicroProfile.
  • Cloud-native Java: Talk to IBMers who are actively contributing to the open Java communities including: Open Liberty, Eclipse OpenJ9, Jakarata EE, Eclipse MicroProfile, Spring, Reactive and more.

Socialize with other Java developers and get your books signed

Cloud-native Java networking evening: IBM is excited to co-sponsor the first networking evening at Code One. The event brings the Jakarta EE and Eclipse MicroProfile communities together for a time of celebration around the significant achievements of the past year.

Book signing: Meet the authors and get a free “Developing Open Cloud Native Microservices: Your Java Code in Action” ebook. Tuesday, September 17 from 2:30 – 4:00 PM.

IBM sessions at Code One

Hear from IBMers on topics covering cloud native development, new open source projects, machine learning, communities, and more.

Session Date/Time Session Title Speaker Name
16 Sept 12:30-2:30 PM Hands-on Lab: Open Cloud Native Development with Kabanero and Java [HOL6624] Steve Poole, Graham Charters
16 Sept 2:45-4:45 PM Hands-on Lab: Open Cloud Native Development with Kabanero and Java [HOL6624] Steve Poole, Graham Charters
16 Sept 5:00-7:00 PM Hands-on Lab: Open Cloud Native Development with Kabanero and Java [HOL6624] Steve Poole, Graham Charters
16 Sept 5:00 PM Seven Principles of Productive Software Developers [DEV2118] Sebastian Daschner
16 Sept 5:00 PM Creating a Cloud Native Microservice: Which Programming Model Should I Use? [DEV1573] Emily Jiang
16 Sept 5:00 PM FaaS Meets Java EE: Developing Cloud Native Applications at Speed [DEV3080] Chris Bailey
16 Sept 5:00 PM Ignite Session [IGN6313] Grace Jansen
16 Sept 6:00 PM Your Java Code Just Needs a Little Injection: It Won’t Hurt! [DEV3631] Gordon Hutchinson
17 Sept 8:45 AM Java Application Security the Hard Way: A Workshop for the Serious Developer [TUT2851] Steve Poole
17 Sept 12:30 PM Let’s Talk About Communities [BOF3992] Billy Korando
17 Sept 1:30 PM Beyond Jakarta EE 8 [DEV1391] Ian Robinson
17 Sept 1:30 PM Overcoming Obstacles: Using Next-Gen Tools to Streamline Your Move to the Cloud [DEV6686] Erin Schnabel
17 Sept 2:00 PM Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: Myths and Reality [DEV6005] James Weaver
18 Sept 11:30 AM Configuration: JSR 382 [DEV2207] Emily Jiang
18 Sept 11:30 AM Condy? NestMates? Constable? Understanding JDK11 and JDK12’s JVM Features [DEV3407] Dan Heidinga
18 Sept 11:30 AM Breaking Stereotypes [BOF3757] Mary Grygleski
18 Sept 11:30 AM Fast, Efficient Jakarta EE for the Cloud [DEV4576] Alasdair Nottingham
18 Sept 12:30 PM Hands-on Java EE with Docker and Kubernetes – BYOL [HOL1138] Ahmad Gohar
18 Sept 1:30 PM Bulletproof Java Enterprise Applications for the Hard Production Life [DEV2122] Sebastian Daschner
18 Sept 4:00 PM Fantastic Data Consistency Techniques and Where to Find Them [DEV3922] Gordon Hutchinson
18 Sept 6:00 PM Streamline Integration Testing with Testcontainers [DEV3744] Kevin Sutter
18 Sept 6:00 PM Streamline Integration Testing with Testcontainers [DEV3744] Andrew Guibert
18 Sept 6:00 PM Share What You Know, Become a Speaker, and Get Accepted at Events [DEV5993] Mary Grygleski
19 Sept 9:00 AM Eclipse MicroProfile: The Present and the Future [BOF2200] Emily Jiang
19 Sept 9:00 AM Modern Development: How Containers Are Changing Everything [DEV2849] Steve Poole
19 Sept 9:00 AM Modern Development: How Containers Are Changing Everything [DEV2849] Andy Watson
19 Sept 9:00 AM You Have Nothing to Say? Let Us Help You! [BOF3734] Mary Grygleski
19 Sept 10:00 AM Striving for More-Productive Development Workflows [DEV2115] Sebastian Daschner
19 Sept 10:00 AM Reactive Microservices in Action [DEV4322] Emily Jiang
19 Sept 10:00 AM Stop Feeling Stuck! Design Your Career and Overcome the Plateau [DEV6010] Kevin Sutter
19 Sept 10:00 AM Stop Feeling Stuck! Design Your Career and Overcome the Plateau [DEV6010] James Weaver
19 Sept 12:15 PM Data Visualization, Processing, and ML (on the JVM!) with Apache Zeppelin [DEV2237] Pratik Patel
19 Sept 12:15 PM Data Visualization, Processing, and ML (on the JVM!) with Apache Zeppelin [DEV2237] Mo Haghighi
19 Sept 12:15 PM Making Java a First-Class Citizen with Machine Learning [DEV1306] Dan Heidinga
19 Sept 12:15 PM How to Get Along with HATEOS Without Letting the Bad Guys Steal Your Lunch [DEV2850] Steve Poole
19 Sept 12:15 PM How to Get Along with HATEOS Without Letting the Bad Guys Steal Your Lunch [DEV2850] Graham Charters
19 Sept 2:15 PM Microservices with Docker and Kubernetes: Best Practices for Java Developers [DEV2043] Ahmad Gohar
19 Sept 2:15 PM Migrating Beyond Java 8 [DEV2100] Dalia Abo Sheasha
19 Sept 2:15 PM Team Diversity the Successful Way [DEV6012] Mary Grygleski
Neil Patterson

Call for entries: IBM launches IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator Powered by IBM LinuxONE

We have seen that launching and scaling a startup continues to be a challenging journey for early-stage entrepreneurs, and we have all heard the statistics that a large number of startups fail.

That’s why today, IBM announced the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator Powered by IBM LinuxONE designed to build and scale the next generation of fintech and healthtech companies with solutions engineered to keep their sensitive data highly secured.

Over four phases – call for entries, startup identification, an in-person workshop and ongoing mentorship – selected startups will work with IBM and our collaborators IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech, MEDICI, the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, and Healthtech Women to help them develop their ideas into sustainable and scalable companies.

The selected startups will have access to technical workshops from IBM, an experienced network of business and technical support, connections to Queen City Fintech’s 300 business mentors, business value design assistance, curated curriculum specifically designed for startups, and up to $10,000 monthly in IBM Cloud technology credits that can be used within that month to access IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services running on IBM LinuxONE. By the end of the program, the cohort will have had the opportunity to each receive up to $120,000 in credits.

Phase I: Call for entries

Starting today, we’re looking for early-stage fintech and healthtech founders from around the world who need access to the resources required to help them build world-class applications and technical solutions.

By helping companies build scalable solutions, while providing a highly secured platform for development, the program is designed to drive business and social innovations across the financial services and healthcare industries.

Nominations for the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator are now open. This program is designed for early-stage, pre-Series A startups from across the globe that are less than five years old and have less than $1M in revenue. Startups should have a website and matching email address. The application process will remain open until August 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Phase II: Startup identification

Over a 12 week period, IBM will work with IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech, MEDICI, the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, and Healthtech Women to review startup applications and select fifteen early-stage fintech and healthtech startups with technical and business best practices.

For startups in the healthcare and financial services space needing to protect highly sensitive data in cloud native applications, LinuxONE is designed to offer a highly secured environment, and is capable of scaling as their companies grow. LinuxONE also provides the highest level of uptime and availability for companies that rely on uninterrupted service.

Phase III: In-person workshop

IBM will host an in-person workshop, which will take place over four days in Charlotte, North Carolina the week of November 18, 2019. The workshop will include agile design workshops from IBM, technical expertise from IBM engineers, business value sessions from IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech, MEDICI, the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, and Healthtech Women by helping the startups to refine their ideas, and will conclude in a demo day where founders will present their solutions to IBM partners, customers, and the venture capital community.

Phase IV: Ongoing mentorship

To create a long-term, successful accelerator, IBM will provide virtual mentorship to this cohort of entrepreneurs, consisting of monthly one-on-one engagement and quarterly all-hands with IBM technical personnel over a two-year period.

The cohort will also receive virtual business mentorship over a one-year period, which includes monthly one-on-ones and quarterly all-hands. After one year of mentorship, the cohort will be invited back to a second in-person demo day.

Diversity and inclusion

IBM recognizes that diversity and inclusion are integral to a company’s strategic and profitability objectives—solidifying the connection between customer satisfaction and winning in the marketplace. IBM values opportunities for businesses owned and operated by minorities, women, LGBT+, disabled veterans, and other disabled persons.


Melissa Sassi

Developer relations down the stack

IBM recently closed the acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion, underscoring the huge and growing importance of hybrid cloud infrastructure. My colleague Marek Sadowski has become a subject matter expert in containers, Kubernetes, and server-side Swift, although he started out as a full stack developer advocate, a robotics startup founder, and an entrepreneur.

Marek Sadowski presenting

Marek has 20 years of enterprise consulting experience throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Middle East, and Africa. During his time at NASA, he pioneered research on virtual reality goggles for the system to control robots on Mars. After founding a robotics startup, Marek came to work at IBM. I talked to him about his experience in DevOps advocacy.

Marek Sadowski presenting in a classroom

Q: One of your focus areas in developer relations (DevRel) is containers. How is advocating for a DevOps technology different than advocating for an API or application?

Good question. When working with containers, engineers think more in terms of the plumbing and ideas of DevOps and the ease of expanding your infrastructure footprint. In contrast, when you talk about APIs, you try to make application development the center of gravity for the discussion.

When discussing APIs with developers, you talk about how one could consume the API in a robust way. Let’s take the IBM Watson API as an example. Our team will talk about how you can create and run SDKs for developers to consume APIs in their own language, such as Swift (for mobile) or Java (for enterprise). You look at the consumer of your API and discuss how you can produce the API, protect yourself, and do the billing.

Getting back to containers, you speak more about plumbing of the cloud when discussing container technology. How do you manage containers? Expand them? Manage their workloads? Deliver and test new versions?

It quickly becomes apparent that these are two separate concepts. Containerization deals with how your back end is working and proper maintenance of your application, which attracts people from a DevOps background. When you talk about APIs, that’s a completely different story. Your thought paradigm changes to be the point of view of the consumer. How does the consumer find the API? How can developers consume the API?

I speak at conferences on both subjects areas. I’ve found that people who develop applications are more interested in the look, feel, and developer experience of the application. Whereas, with containers, it’s more about back end, load balancing, and seeing issues from a system administrator’s perspective.

Q: Many people are familiar with DevRel with a focus on software engineers, but DevOps is a different community entirely. How do you focus on that community?

There is a division. Everybody is interested in new things like Kubernetes and Docker, but not too many want to perfect their skills to the point that it’s their daily job. So many developers want to know how to spin up a container and a service inside the container, put it in their resume, and be done with it. Developers may be interested because it’s fashionable or it’s a buzzword. However, you can find a lot of people who are running services in containers and have specific questions: sysadmins who want to monitor containers and assure security, load balancing, and other aspects of administration. It’s a completely different audience from developers who consume APIs and create a cool web application. They are two different communities and you have to give each community different content.

For example, in a hackathon, it’s very difficult to create large deployments in containers. It’s about an optimization of development and operations more than application coding.

Marek Sadowski with other IBMers

Q: How have you had to change your approach to DevRel when moving to DevOps advocacy?

Previously, when I ran workshops focused on application developers, they usually had a few goals: understand our API, consume data from API endpoints, and create a simple “Hello World!” type of application. Developers in these workshops ask questions about high-level ways of architecting applications, for example with Watson, in mobile applications or web applications, or a chain of processes.

On the contrary, when I speak about DevOps and containers, developers in the audience want to spin up the services, see how they scale up and scale down, investigate how the services behave when something is failing, and how to ameliorate security issues. It’s a completely different approach. They are not interested in building something new; they want to perfect their approach to deployment.

Here’s an analogy I can give to people new to this field. It’s like inviting a painter and a plumber to a party. They both do similar things, yet the painter wants to make a painting that you can hang on the wall, and the plumber will rarely speak about the type of piping he’s using inside your walls. Both are doing something in your house, but the painter is thinking about the people they will attract and the paint (our APIs) to ensure a pleasant viewing experience. Whereas, the plumber just wants to get the job done and never touch it again. The plumber wants to make changes as rarely as possible and focus on stability, while the painter wants to create more new paintings. They have different approaches based on their different goals.

Q: You also give talks on Swift, specifically on the server side. Most people know Swift from the iOS development side, so why is it useful on the server? How do you get developers to think of it as a server language?

Server-side Swift is a relatively new development. I compare the current state of server-side Swift to where Java was 24 years ago. In 1996, I started writing a server-side application using Java. It was a novel concept at that time! The same thing is happening now with Swift, as developers are moving the Swift language to the server. There are a lot of reasons why. One of the simplest is that you write in the same language on the server as you do for your mobile app, and in that way you can use the same data constructs, thought processes, and personnel resources on both systems. You don’t need different systems or frameworks to talk to the database or the cloud.

Every mobile app nowadays asks you to connect to the internet for AI, messaging, and social media. Even simple games allow you to exchange information or have a conversation with people all over the world. If your app and back end are written in one language like Swift, it makes these data exchanges simple and transparent.

Some people say Swift is a fashionable language to learn. Since you have the option to write apps in Java or JavaScript, you can also write them in Swift. Apple made Swift open source, similar to the way Sun Microsystems opened up Java. You can now write applications in the cloud or on any platform. For example, OpenWhisk allows you to write event-based Swift functions in the cloud without any DevOps code.

With Swift, developers are attracted to the beauty of the language and the ability to write one language from mobile to cloud to make your application better and easier to maintain. You can enjoy writing in your language of choice and expand the capabilities of the environment you love. If you are an iOS developer, maybe you can become a full-stack developer. Developers love the story that they can become something more and participate in the full stack development process.

Marek Sadowski at a meetup

Q: How did you get into developer relations?

I had just come to the United States from Poland as the founder of a startup, and the purpose of the move was to expand my company. They say that 99% of startups don’t succeed right away, and founders often need to bootstrap while in an existing job. I was told that working in the cloud is the key factor in a lot of industries, but I had little exposure to those technologies. On the other hand, I had built up skills talking to investors, and as an entrepreneur, I was able to understand what was important to startups. I also had a robust background in Java development and different IT technologies; I had a career as an architect supporting banks and other EMEA enterprises as a Java professional, demonstrating systems to customers.

There was an opening for a mobile-first developer advocate, and despite having no mobile or cloud experience, I convinced the interviewer that I was the perfect candidate due to my ease of speaking with developers and presenting technical subjects in an accessible manner. I enjoy explaining complex topics in a simple way through demos and example projects.

My hiring manager asked me to build a small mobile app as an employment test, which connected to IBM Cloud to exchange information between the user and a back end. I enjoyed the task and found I was good at it! After two years, I migrated to more cloud technologies and more IBM APIs. Eventually, I started to find interest in Kubernetes and containers, and realized containers are a field with amazing growth potential.

I must say, the thing that attracted me the most to DevRel was the opportunity to learn and convey new technologies to developers out there, and use my talent for explaining complex things in a straightforward manner.

Marek Sadowski snowboarding

To get in touch with Marek, feel free to reach out on any of the channels listed on his IBM Developer profile page or see him speak at an upcoming IBM Developer SF Meetup.

Dave Nugent

Hackathon in Melbourne resulted in innovative response to Australian bushfires

Here in Australia, we have all grown up seeing the devastating effects of natural disasters. We have also seen how organizations, like the Country Fire Association (CFA) and The Australian Red Cross give hope to affected victims through their recovery efforts.

Personally, the one thing that I love about programs like Call for Code is the way it brings together developers, designers, and digital enthusiasts with the intention of building solutions for organizations that do amazing work during times of need.

With its inaugural launch last year, Call for Code definitely achieved this and certainly inspired developers all over the world that they can help make a difference!

This was the first time that a Call for Code hackathon was run in an Australian city and developers stepped up and answered the call. As the IBM Developer Advocate based in Melbourne, I was especially proud of the effort that our local creators showed over the weekend and the way in which everyone worked together to solve the problems at hand.

We saw some great solutions being built out over the weekend from gamified bushfire community-plan generators, to early detection and responsiveness solutions for emerging natural disasters.

The event was held July 6-7. Burritos were served for lunch on Saturday with tons of snacks to keep everyone fueled up throughout the day. On Sunday, folks munched on burgers to keep everyone working hard until the 1pm finish. Developing a solution is hard work!

The judges were really impressed with the solutions that the Melbourne teams built over the 24 hours and had a tough time awarding a first and second place.

Second place: Team 4

Team 4 came in second place. They built a gamified app that assists in the building of a community’s bushfire readiness plan. Developed with guidance from the CFA mentors, the isometric game was built in Unity using Node.js and runs on IBM Cloud. Judges were impressed with the smooth and clean graphics, plus the easy-to-use interface. It was a great intuitive user experienced backed up by a solid IBM Cloud backend stack.

melbourne cfc hackathon Pictured left to right: Raoul van Engelshoven, Maize Wallin (@maizewallin), Chris Barber (CFA), Ben Peterson, Thomas Ingram (@Vertexxyz), Jacqui Pringle (Australian Red Cross), Richard Deveraux (@LowLines, Team 4), Steven Cooper (@DeveloperSteve).

Winning team: Team 2

Team 2 won first place in the hackathon. They created their mobile app by leveraging the existing “Get Prepared” Red Cross mobile app functionality and added facial recognition via Watson Visual Recognition.

On the stack side of the app, Team 2 built their mobile app by using Outsystem, which allowed them to build a cross platform and then connect up the backend via an API.

For the backend of the app, they used Node-RED and found it particularly handy to get API routing from a mobile app up and running really quickly. It was especially helpful for being able to redirect data flows into a number of different AI/ML models once the data from the app was available in the database.

About Team 2 and how they met

Like other teams who go on to submit to Call for Code, both Christopher Bossard and Isaac Rossado did not know each other before the hack. They met at the Melbourne event and decided to form a team on day 1. Both worked tirelessly around the clock throughout the 24-hour hackathon. Both Bossard and Rossado found the energy to persevere through the 24 hours through their love of the challenge of building out something that could save lives and make a difference.

Isaac, who is a Full Stack, devops, and CI/CD engineer, said he was able to relate with end users that they were building their application for based on his personal experience of encountering natural disaster recovery. “Growing up in Mexico, I had to live through a few natural disasters and the recovery efforts that followed helped inspire the creation for our app,” Isaac said.

team 2 at melbourne cfc hack Pictured left to right: Raoul van Engelshoven, Ben Peterson, Chris Barber (CFA), Isaac Rossado (Team 2), Christopher Bossard (Team 2), Jacqui Pringle, Ben Peterson, and Steven Cooper.

Special thanks to the IBM Developer team and the work they did to make it happen. Shout out to Ben Peterson, Cong Nguyen, Oscar Adinolfi, Natasha Kojokari, and Rahul Soans.

I’d also like to thank Raoul van Engelshoven, Chris Barber from CFA, and Jacqui Pringle from the Australian Red Cross. And finally, a super special thank you to Emma Howchin, the awesome Steve King, and superstar AlvinthePom for all the help and countless hours they helped in making the event all it could be.

I’m super proud of all the people who answered the call and spent time building solutions that one day may help people facing natural disasters. Connect with me on Twitter @DeveloperSteve to check on future events in Melbourne!

Check out the tools that Team 2 used in their solution

Did Team 2 inspire you? There’s still time to create and hone your solution! Call for Code submissions close on July 29 at midnight PST. Answer the call now.

Here are some of the technologies that Team 2 used:

Stuck on ideas? We have just the thing: our first-ever Solution Starters! They’ll give you ideas and kits to help you create your own Call for Code solution!

Steven Cooper