Last Wednesday, in the middle of an unusually hot week in September, IBM’s Hursley Park campus (where some of the WebSphere Liberty developers are based) threw open the doors of Hursley House to present a public showcase of technology, the Festival of Innovation.


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Hursley Park is the biggest software lab in Europe and has been IBM’s main development location in the UK since IBM took over the site from Vickers Supermarine (who worked on the Spitfire) in the 1950s. Not all IBM developers in the UK are based at Hursley so the event was an opportunity for IBMers from around the UK to gather in one place and show off their cool ideas.

Hundreds of people came along, including clients, business partners, academics, students, and pupils from local schools. The event was covered by the local BBC News team, South Today, who ran a segment that evening which included a full 5 seconds screentime of Liberty microservices developer AdamP demonstrating GameOn! and the Liberty Car:


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I was wrangling IoT Dinosaurs in the orangery (yes, really), among the atmospheric ferns and other greenery:

Nearby, was the IBM Bluemix-connected foosball table:

I didn’t actually get any further than the orangery as I was kept busy talking almost constantly about the dinosaurs all afternoon. But, on brief dashes through the House for food and toilets, I saw a few of the displays, including the IBM Cloudant demo of their distributed nodes, each running on a separate Raspberry Pi:

…the Lego robot that solves Rubik’s Cubes:


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…and, what looked like, IBM Watson playing Guess Who? with world leaders…or something…(I’m honestly not sure as I didn’t get time to ask; ping Dale Lane if you’re curious):


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And there was a keynote by ultramarathon runner Simon Wheatcroft who is blind and has been working with IBM to develop an app that enables him to run an ultramarathon through a desert.

There was way, way more going on than I could even see and everyone seemed to be having a good time. There are a few more pics and comments on Twitter at #IBMFest. Looking forward to it happening again!

Thanks to @andysc for the last two photos.

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