Continuing our series of posts introducing you to some of the developers behind WebSphere Liberty, meet Hiroko Takamiya

Hiroko is a security developer for Liberty in Raleigh, NC but when she was a child in Tokyo, she successfully auditioned to sing on TV. She ultimately followed her tech interests into computing but she’s curious about how life would have been if she had gone into showbusiness. She concedes though that she was not good at wearing wigs and probably gave the make-up and costume staff a hard time!


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After completing a degree in Physics at the University of Tokyo, a professor strongly recommended she apply to IBM, so she did. She’s been programming in Java for more than 10 years and has been in the Liberty development team for about six years. She works in the Security team on issues that have been reported by customers regarding the security features in both WebSphere Application Server and Liberty.

“Running diagnostic tools and analyzing trace files to narrow down the cause is exciting – it feels as if I am reading a good mystery novel as the culprit is revealed to me”

The best part of her job is that she gets to work with experts from customers’ teams, from IBM, and from other companies too. It’s exciting seeing everyone bounce ideas around, drawing their skills together to investigate issues and track down the causes of a problem. She’s learned that looking into customers’ system issues is often a great opportunity to take a hard look at their whole environment and make it more secure. When an end-to-end security scenario starts to work, everyone cheers and celebrates. And on the occasions when it all gets stressful, she appreciates that her teammates always staying good-humoured despite everything.

“WebSphere and Liberty are the most fun projects I’ve worked on. I have fun with the team around the world.”

When she lived in Tokyo, she worked as a part-time receptionist for the Noh Theatre. Noh theatre, as an art, is the oldest form of Japanese theatre. Before she joined IBM in the US, she travelled Europe for a month. She speaks English and Japanese and is currently learning Spanish too.

On the National Noh Theatre: “I miss the place so much”

She’s a big fan of technology too. Her earliest computing memories are of working on a hardware board that goes into computer slots whilst at school, and of printing holiday cards on the home PC. In her everyday life, she loves mobile technology because it helps her connect with her family and friends around the world. And she’s couldn’t do without her personal assistants, Watson, Alexa, and Siri. She’s currently trying to train them to do home automation tasks in response to her voice commands. Her favourite thing she’s done with Liberty is getting it running on a Raspberry Pi.

More from Hiroko

Hiroko has co-authored an article on WASdev.net on building single-sign-on projects with Liberty and she’s developed a custom Liberty feature, the Custom User Registry. You can find out more about her OpenID Connect work in these videos:

Something random about Hiroko


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“When I was very small, I successfully auditioned for a TV show and sang with stars as a child singer. “

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