We’re pleased to share the first release of a new mobile application that surfaces IBM Developer content in a convenient, efficient, pocket sized format for iOS and Android.
The mobile app began life as a chatbot concept that we’ve been training to navigate the open source ‘code, content and community’ material on developer.ibm.com. It takes time to train chatbots well. The bot works mainly as a natural language search in this release, but we have ambitions to evolve it during the coming months.
You can tell the chatbot what you want to build, or ask questions about the technologies that interest you, and it will offer suggestions based on the site content that has been indexed. If you ask about combinations of technology, for instance, Kubernetes and Python, the bot is able to search for patterns and articles that overlap those subjects.
We felt that the natural home for a chatbot was within a mobile app, and that it made sense to offer more context and conventional navigation in a mobile platform. We created compact mobile views for navigating material on developer.ibm.com. We’ve started to experiment with more awareness of geographical locality, and a person’s evolving development interests.
On opening the app for the first time, you choose a few technologies that interest you, and that presents an initial feed based on those choices.
We developed the app from first design sketches, to publication on the app stores in around 10 weeks. With support from our managers, we set up a small self-organized team of volunteer engineers, designers, corporate staff and project managers, and worked through a scrum process to produce this first version of the app.
In some ways, this is an experimental approach, as we quickly share, observe, solicit feedback, and evolve. Try it out and let us know what you think! Tweet us @IBM Developer.