MashupCamp 5 in Dublin

I and a few of my team have just registered to attend and participate in MashupCamp 5 which is being held at Trinity College Dublin on 12-13th September.

The two days are being run as an open space/unconference with a preceeding Mashup University on the 10-11th. We will be bringing Lotus Connections along to show and play with, with the aim of discovering integration points between social computing within the enterprise and beyond the firewall. There’s already a proposed discussion item about “Mashup Adoption Issues Across the Enterprise” which sounds promising.

So, if you are going be sure to look out for us. I don’t know yet how we will advertise our presence or anything! IBM are a sponsor of the event so maybe we can get some goodies or something. The list of attendees includes Stephen O’ Grady from Redmonk, who I look forward to meeting.

First day

Well, my first day at IBM Ireland has drawn to a close, and so far so good. The team seem great, and certainly full of enthusiasm and no little amount of talent. Given the warnings about traffic I set off quite early and ended up grabbing a paper and a coffee in a nearby village as I arrived at the site way too early. After getting in a little later I sat in on the daily team meeting, and spent the rest of the day in a fairly typical fashion for a new joiner – getting my laptop set up and attending a couple of meetings. Of course, I have the advantage that I know all of the ins and outs of the company and it’s systems, so at least I’m saved that headache and learning curve.

There’s a few noticeable differences between DSL and Hursley – DSL is not a cashless environment in the same way as Hursley, which makes things easier and less hassle as you don’t have to worry about loading money. There are two canteens and a sandwich bar (which was very good) and loads of vending machines. I’m in a large, very open-plan office which is fine. Other than that, things are pretty much the same though I’m sure other differences will become apparent over time.

I’m using a loaned T42 Thinkpad at the moment whilst we wait for a hardware order to come through. I’ve installed the internal Linux client based on RHEL 5 as I had on my old laptop, and am just waiting for the various IDs to come through before I can get going in anger.

Over the next few days I’ll be spending a lot of time getting up to speed with both Lotus Connections and the work the team are doing at the moment. Then starts the job of getting on with helping the team to define and deliver new features and function into the next Connections release. On first impressions, it’s going to be fun!

Farewell Hursley

Today is my final day in the WESB development team, my final day in the Hursley lab, and bar a couple of days holiday my final day in IBM UK.

Thing is, I’m too excited about moving to Ireland and starting my new role in Lotus to get too emotional about leaving. When I started here as a grad I shared the common view that I’d stay for a couple of years, get some good training and a good name on my CV then go off to find something new. The thing is that like most of my peers I found that life was too good in IBM and especially in Hursley. Nearly nine years later and I’m finally off. It’s been a great place to work, and a superb bunch of people to work with. However I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a little stale in my current job. I’ve spent all of my time in probably the two most interesting types of job in the lab (product development and lab services) and the time is right to try something new. Yes, I’ll still be in a development role, but a fresh product, fresh organization and fresh surroundings will provide new energy. As I’ve stated before, I’m looking forward to thinking about stuff which appears in a browser to an end user rather than designing and writing middleware. The Lotus Connections calls I’ve been on already have proven that I’m making the right move. There’s going to be some exciting stuff happening in the future of the product.

The next time I write an entry in this blog we will be over in Dublin and I’ll be getting ready to start my new role on Wednesday. Can’t wait!

Explaining my work

I’ve just had a realisation. I’m listening to IBM VP Jeff Schick talk about Lotus Connections in a podcast. He starts off by talking about how Connections as social software for the enterprise is building on what sites like MySpace and Facebook have done for the general web consumer. I think that my new role might be the first I’ve had which I can easily explain to my family without a glazed expression coming across their faces 😉