IBM Bloggers

One of the fun parts of blogging using WordPress is that you see how some people reached your blog. I just noticed:

torrez.us/archives/2005/08/29/387

and chased it down, only to learn that it came from blog post The Unofficial List of IBM Bloggers from the blog of Elias Torres. I looked up his name the internal IBM phone book — known as “Blue Pages” within IBM — and learned he is also an IBMer. [1]

Elias’s list refers to another list, The Hitchhiking Blogger’s Guide To IBM Blogs.

On investigation I learned the referral to this blog came from a comment to Elias’s post by Chris Abbey, another IBMer who is also a long-time and colleague of mine.

I had another interesting referral last week. I noticed a link from a blog, then pursued it and found, on examination, that it seemed to be the work of an IBMer. I looked up his name in BluePages, and found out that not only was he an IBMer, but he and I had the same manager! The chap I knew as “Josh” on our regular department calls is in real-life Josh Poulson, author of Josh’s Weblog —
Deja Moo: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before
. If you look at the URL of that blog you see it is part of pun.org, so Josh is clearly a man after my own heart. I confirmed this in the extensive instant-messaging session that we had shortly after I located his blog.

I’ll send a note to Elias with a link to this post so he can add me and Josh to the list.

Notes:

1. The first internal IBM phone directory was put together back in the late 70’s by Peter Capek. I knew him back in the 60’s when he was at Courant. He was at Research when I joined IBM in ’87. He participated in some of the earliest IBM studies on open-source and was the Research representative on open-source activities for many years. [2] He and I were among the co-authors of a paper on open-source in a special issue of IBM’s System Journal devoted to open-source: A history of IBM’s open-source involvement and strategy.

Peter retired in the summer of 2005.

2. Peter was the first person from Research to make the argument that IBM’s support of open-source activities would assist in recruiting efforts. I used it in the Jikes proposal.

His prediction proved right. For example, Rob O’Callahan was active in Mozilla while a graduate student. He came to work at Research in part because he was allowed to continue his open-source work. He left Research to return to his home country; he now works for Novell.

Another well-known open-source developer, Sanjiva Weerawarana, did open-source work while at IBM Research; he also left to return to his home country. Sanjiva is a founder of WSO2. He is active in Apache and is one of the key figures behind the Sahana project.

There are still many more opportunities to do open-source based activities at IBM than say, for example, at Microsoft. However, since then other players have gotten into the game. Google is the most notable; it employs many well-known open-source developers. For example, Greg Stein, Andrew Morton and Rob Pike. There are also folks who used to work at IBM Research in Almaden who left for Google. I understand one of them left IBM because of he was unhappy with our open-source process; though I expect most left to put some of those google-zeros in their paychecks.

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 21, 2006 at 11:56 | Permalink | Reply

    James,

    Been there, done that. See http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/pmuellr?entry=five_things

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Welcome to IBM Planet Nice meeting you Dave and you don’t have to worry about sending me good ol’ mail: pingbacks, trackbacks and referers will do. I’ve added you and Josh to the list. BTW, as with everything else in IBM, we have another list, so you might want to add yourself to that one. […]

  2. […] So who do I tag? I might as well go straight to the top: Mr Schwartz? My favourite reasonable conservative – Jon Swift. Open source maven and IBM change agent Dave Shields. Usability and interface expert lisa riechelt. And close to home- what about you Anne? […]

  3. […] couldn’t find the Jeff’s name in the list of IBM Bloggers, so I will send him an email with a link to this post and the suggestion that he start an external […]

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