Coursera just started a class on IBM Blockchain. The course is being taught by two IBMers, Ant Cole and Dave Gorman. If you are a developer interested in learning about Blockchain, check out this free 6 week course being offered by Coursera. Here is the complete course description:
“About this course: If you’re a software developer and new to blockchain, this is the course for you. Several experienced IBM blockchain developer advocates will lead you through a series of videos that describe high-level concepts, components, and strategies on building blockchain business networks. You’ll also get hands-on experience modeling and building blockchain networks as well as create your first blockchain application.
When you complete the course, you should understand what a blockchain business network is, how to build and model a simple blockchain solution, and the role of the developer in creating blockchain applications.
If you successfully complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion and an Acclaim badge. You’ll need to pass several end-of-section quizzes and a final exam that include multiple choice, true and false, and fill in the blank questions.
This course does not cover Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in detail.
Who is this class for: Software developers who are new to blockchain.”
Enrollment is free or you can seek a certificate for a small fee.
As posted by Gabriella Davis and Chris Miller, it appears that Greenhouse is going away. The content, or at least some of it, is moving to DeveloperWorks. But it appears that the changes reach further than that. DeveloperWorks is also undergoing major changes as announced by Sandy Carter.
You get $1700 worth of stuff for the low price of $399 per year. That includes access to Bluemix, softlayer, and even a free voucher for a certification test (usually $200). If you’re going to be taking a certification test soon, you might consider spending the extra $200 and getting a premium DeveloperWorks account too.
(CORRECTION: The website has since been updated to describe the certification test as “Complimentary certification test for IBM Certified Application Developer Certification”, not simply a test voucher for any test.)
I see the long term goal of combining Greenhouse and DeveloperWorks. But I’m wondering what will be lost in the process vs. what will be gained. Change is great when it is an improvement, but learning to navigate a new site can frustrate and lose users.
As they say, a rolling stone gathers no moss; also a frequently moving website gathers no followers. GreenHouse has been growing by about 1500 new users per month. How many of the 150,000 Greenhouse members will be lost in the transition?
OK IBM, be sure to tell me when I need to update my article on instructions for downloading the Connections Plugins and when I will need to update my Greenhouse Sametime Community configuration settings.
Lotusphere, IBM Connect, IBM ConnectED. Whatever you call it, There is a 4 question Anonymous survey asking for your feedback on what you would like to see in 2016.
It is done by Survey Monkey. Go Here and speak your opinion. My opinion is not so anonymous. I find Las Vegas to be the most useless city in the country.
A few weeks ago I mentioned on the first day of IBM Connect conference that it is clear now beyond any doubt that computing power is becoming the next utility like electricity, phone, water, and cable TV. I predict that there will come a day in the very near future when few companies will still have their own physical data center.
This article at thestreet.com is more proof of that as the gaming industry is the first to make this move. But even more interesting is that IBM, not Amazon, Google or Microsoft, is leading this trend. This adds even more credibility to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business and why I see it eclipsing Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps in the coming years as businesses of all sizes seek more business-directed solutions than what those consumer-focused, consumer-driven businesses (Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) can provide.
The times, they are a’changin’! In the shifting sands of technology, IBM is proving to be the Rock of Gibraltar.
CNN Money just conducted their annual survey of technology and investment experts to determine which 4 technology companies are the best investments in the industry. Apple, Amazon, Google, and IBM are what they describe as “The Four Horsemen of Tech”.
Microsoft and Dell are no longer on that list. And as recently as 2 years ago Research in Motion might have been expected on that list. The CNN article describes the changing of the guard is due to the shift from PCs to mobile and cloud solutions. I think it goes deeper than that.
Apple, Amazon, and Google are all following the same track that led Microsoft to its fame and glory days by riding the fast-but-fickle success opportunities provided by the consumer market. They are simply the latest fashion trends. In this list of top performers, IBM is the dark horse, being the only one not involved in consumer products whatsoever. They also just celebrated their 101st birthday this year. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Rides on the consumer wave are relatively short. Google is 16 years old, Amazon is 18 and Apple is 36, though Apple’s great surge came in the last 6 years starting with the introduction of iOS. For reference, RIM and Dell are 28 years old and Microsoft is 37 and they are already declining. They too, based their success heavily on consumer products and are now feeling the consequences. Yes, RIM’s BlackBerry is intended to be a business tool, but it is a consumer device first and foremost. It is considered even more personal than a personal computer (PC). One might argue that Microsoft also makes software for business, but their primary focus has always been on consumers and their foray into the business product market has depended on consumer-driven brand recognition. Also, because many of their products service both business and consumer needs, they are driven by consumer markets. (See RIM.)
Similarly, the focus that led 3 of the current Four Horsemen to their place in the lineup has a consumer emphasis: mobile devices and advertising. Apple’s iPhone and iPad redefined mobile. Google has Android devices and search (advertising). Amazon is into selling (and advertising) along with the Kindle for a mobile presence. All of them are also dabbling in cloud services for businesses. Then there is IBM, the seasoned veteran of business solutions. What makes them part of this leadership crowd? I isn’t just for their SmartCloud solution, I think it is the fact that they have stayed true to their earliest beginnings. Unlike all of the other players, IBM has focused their attention, with laser beam precision, on the proven stable base of the business market.: They provide business solutions for businesses. IBM has resisted the temptation to cross the line into the consumer market, even at the urging of experts and loyal customers who pushed to have Lotus Notes repackaged for consumers. Doing so in the short term would certainly win consumer approval and thus fend off the consumer-led push for the Microsoft Outlook mail client to be used at both work and home. But that would have forced IBM to chase the whim and fads of consumers rather than staying focused on long-term needs of businesses.
When it comes to technology, IBM is all business.
I predict we will see a rise and fall of all 3 of the consumer-driven horsemen in CNN’s list, replaced with 3 new ones as the what’s-hot list changes. I also predict that IBM, with it’s exclusive commitment to serving up business solutions, will continue to stand at or near the top as it has for decades. For consumer products, you shouldn’t care. But for your business, it matters.
Impressive marketing: Not only can Microsoft get 750 million people around the world to pay for Microsoft Office, but they can get 300,000 students to proudly compete to show off their word processing skills at a worldwide certification test competition.
Meanwhile, it’s considered a big deal that 1 million people have downloaded Symphony, a free alternative. That is only 0.1% of the Windows PC market (I can’t speak for the other operating systems). P.T. Barnum clearly underestimated the birth rate of suckers. (or whoever said it)
If you are a Lotus professional, you could do a better job advising your management of their options. Save your company a few hundred thousand dollars and you’ll be a hero. Some companies have a cost reduction incentive program where you can get 10% of the first year’s savings. Unless you work at Microsoft, that’s a big chunk of change to leave on the table.
Some news is worth revisiting…
I am very curious to know how many of you have tried Symphony or Apache Open Office? If your company uses MS Office, do you know how much your company is spending on it? Have you presented the alternatives to your management? What was their response?
That’s right. You read the headline correctly. I’m not the only Lotus professional working on the Office 365 project. My friend, a fellow Lotus professional just joined the team. Surprisingly, I didn’t know anything about it until a week before he started. Now you might be asking yourself: “What would Microsoft need Lotus professionals for?” No, it has nothing to do with things like mail migrations. It’s all about BlackBerry Enterprise Servers and messaging. I think this illustrates more than ever that if you have universal skills, like understanding the concepts of messaging or troubleshooting, you are highly marketable, regardless of the details of what product those skills are used on. It’s not about being a professional of a particular brand. It’s about being an expert of a process. Conceptual understanding transcends the syntactic details. Demonstrate that and you will display higher value (DHV).
Now for some quotes you might hear among us Lotus experts at the Microsoft:
“What do you mean, I can’t paste a screen shot in a Lync IM chat?”
“Where is the ‘Send and File’ feature?”
“You mean if I want to file a message into multiple folders, I have to make copies of it?”
“Why does everybody CC everyone on the team for every email? Don’t they have discussion Dbs for that?”
“What do you mean, we don’t have a knowledge base? How do we collaborate? Oh, CC everybody.”
“I’ll just Google that, uh, I mean Bing it.”
“I could do this so easy in a Notes app!”
“How do I create a reminder on my calendar?”
“Notepad++ ? Don’t let anyone see you using that.”
“Where is the workflow in this app?”
Yes, my friend, welcome to the team.