IBM Launches New Bluemix Garage, Cloud Foundry Dojo

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-03-22 Print this article Print
IBM bluemix platform

"Usually what happens is after a client spends some time in a Bluemix Garage and starts building applications and delivers value, it starts to grow within the company," Diaz said. "The company wants to operationalize the method of using Bluemix and using the technology more efficiently."

Meanwhile, IBM also announced it has opened a new Cloud Foundry Dojo in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Michael Fraenkel, IBM's distinguished engineer in Cloud Foundry, will head up the facility, which is aimed at helping developers become Cloud Foundry committers, Diaz said.

It can typically take upwards of a year for a developer to gain committer status on an open-source project, he said. In some cases, it can take even longer. The Cloud Foundry Foundation offers this approach to gaining committer status in as little as six weeks, which is called the Cloud Foundry Dojo. The program allows developers to master Cloud Foundry by working shoulder to shoulder on the foundation projects with other Cloud Foundry engineers.

"It's a little different than the Bluemix Garage in that the Bluemix Garage is about working with clients to build applications using IBM Bluemix, along with Cloud Foundry and our container technology," Diaz said. "However, Dojos represent a different way of how to do open source. When we stood up the Cloud Foundry Foundation in December of 2014, we tried to improve the state of the art in open source development. When you look at how open source is done, typically a developers gets engaged in the community and then over time, they become a committer and they have the ability to change and influence code. What we wanted to do as Cloud Foundry was to accelerate that process of a developer being productive, understanding the system and being respected enough to become a committer. The thinking was if we could accelerate the committer status then we could accelerate the number of participants in the community."

So the idea within the Cloud Foundry Foundation was to create and have people sponsor physical locations or Dojos, where Cloud Foundry committers could pair up with other developers and work on projects in the Cloud Foundry code base and then over time that would accelerate the ability for those new developers to become committers and add more value to the code base, Diaz said.

With that in mind, Cloud Foundry members began to sponsor Dojos. Pivotal sponsors one in San Francisco, GE has one in San Ramon, Calif., and EMC has one in Cambridge, Mass., with plans for another perhaps in New York City. This one in RTP, North Carolina is the first one sponsored by IBM.

"The interesting spin here is that we're evolving the way open source is done," Diaz told eWEEK. "We've been in this open source game for many years and we’re learning how to get people engaged in the open source community and become more productive more quickly. So if you can design a physical space you can progress a developer’s knowledge so much more quickly. I think you'll see other open source organizations following suit as well."

In a blog post on the new dojo, Diaz was a bit more eloquent.

"When developers help developers, it translates to accelerated innovation," he said. "This new learning space serves as a training ground for aspiring Cloud Foundry developers, while simultaneously driving new innovation and continuous improvement to Cloud Foundry open source projects. The entire open source developer ecosystem—adopters and contributors alike—can benefit from a growing base of skilled Cloud Foundry developers and the increased pace of innovation thanks to shared code."

Moreover, in his post, Diaz also features a comment from Cloud Foundry CEO Sam Ramji on the need for the dojos: "The dojo method provides a truly immersive approach to learning the process and methodology required to become a Cloud Foundry committer," Ramji said. "By ensuring developers are educated on continuous innovation and paired programming, the dojo helps ensure a culture and skills match for full-time committers to the project."

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, says the new IBM facilities in France and North Carolina address different, though complementary needs.

"The Bluemix Garage in Nice aims to expand IBM's Bluemix PaaS cloud solutions and services in the EU zone, bolstering at extending the work being done at the company's London Bluemix Garage—which was launched in 2014," he said. "Like other IBM Dojos, the new facility in RTP is designed to give developers hands-on experience with IBM's cloud tools and Cloud Foundry solutions. Both of these new facilities obviously aim to improve developers' cloud skills and the work they perform either individually or for their employers. But they also clarify IBM's belief in the key roles developers hold in shaping and driving cloud innovations. The company isn't alone in that belief but the extent of IBM's Garage and Dojo strategies underscores the depth of the company's respect for and understanding of developer communities.”


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