IBM Walks Through Its Software Development History

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-06-10 Email Print this article Print

IBM has gone through a variety of software development schemes and methodologies—including traditional waterfall methodology, iterative styles of development and Agile development schemes with continuous delivery. Spurring these moves are demands for newer, better and faster apps, along with the advent of mobile, social, big data, the Internet of things and cloud environments, where rapid development is a must and DevOps is king. At the recent IBM Innovate conference, Senior Vice President and Group Executive for Software and Systems Steve Mills took attendees through the history of software development—including new tools like IBM's Bluemix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology. Combined with IBM DevOps services, developers and line-of-business operations are able to work together and develop faster-than-traditional methods via integrating all organizational systems, simplified testing and quality assurance, and faster access to feedback. This allows the continuous delivery of apps through more intelligent use of app analytics, better project management, increased ability for market tests and a more rapid release schedule of new features. Take a tour through IBM's software development history.

  • IBM Walks Through Its Software Development History

    by Darryl K. Taft
    1 - IBM Walks Through Its Software Development History
  • IBM's Software Development Transformation

    IBM has gone from the rigid patterns of the waterfall methodology to the fluid, flexible world of Agile development and continuous delivery to speed up software lifecycles.
    2 - IBM's Software Development Transformation
  • Development Guidance Principles

    The goal is to focus on tools not rules, support communities and have centralized development services.
    3 - Development Guidance Principles
  • More Effective, Adoptive Teams

    Diversity and complexity require teams to be more effective and adoptive. Team size matters. Small co-located teams are ideal for new projects.
    4 - More Effective, Adoptive Teams
  • Development Transformation Drives Change

    Agile development, community source and componentization, and software reuse drive change. Mills said, "We are the most prolific [software] reuse company in the world."
    5 - Development Transformation Drives Change
  • Outside-In Development

    Outside-in development is about focusing on the business stakeholders.
    6 - Outside-In Development
  • Agile Development Takes Hold

    Agile development is based on short iterations and frequent communication between developers. A good agile project will build something that meets customers' needs but may be different from the original plans.
    7 - Agile Development Takes Hold
  • Software Integration and Simplification

    IBM said reusable, flexible components and standards lead to integrated, consistent products.
    8 - Software Integration and Simplification
  • DevOps Is All the Rage

    DevOps is key to development in the modern world. This software development method stresses communication, collaboration and integration between developers and IT operations professionals. IBM views it as collaboration across the entire lifecycle. IBM's new Bluemix PaaS technology provides strong DevOps capabilities.
    9 - DevOps Is All the Rage
  • IBM's DevOps Point of View

    IBM looks at DevOps as a continuous feedback loop, with continuous planning, collaborative business development, continuous testing, and release and deployment as key functions along the way.
    10 - IBM's DevOps Point of View
  • IBM's IMS Goes Agile

    IBM's Steve Mills said the development for Big Blue's System z-based Information Management System (IMS) hierarchical database and transaction management system has gone Agile. Although IMS was initially built in the '60s, the IBM IMS team is selectively using Agile and DevOps practices to improve the product.
    11 - IBM's IMS Goes Agile
  • IMS Development Process

    IBM's IMS development process now includes agile development processes, including sprints and methods borrowed from Scrum and other Agile/lean techniques.
    12 - IMS Development Process
  • CICS Goes Agile

    Software development for IBM's CICS mainframe-based transaction server also has gone agile. CICS, initially known as the Customer Information Control System, was also built in the 1960's and has evolved through various development methodologies.
    13 - CICS Goes Agile
  • DevOps and CICS

    IBM's Mills said DevOps lies at the heart of CICS development, with continuous integration and the checking of the project status across all roles throughout the product lifecycle—from customer to developer and so on.
    14 - DevOps and CICS
  • Continuous Innovation Creates Success (CICS)

    Devising an alternative acronym for CICS, Mills said, "Continuous Innovation Creates Success," noting that Agile practices enable CICS to quickly integrate customer feedback and cut release cycle times in half.
    15 - Continuous Innovation Creates Success (CICS)
  • Balancing the Powers for Innovation

    Developers must balance existing systems of record versus systems of engagement to determine the optimal mix for ongoing innovation.
    16 - Balancing the Powers for Innovation
  • Different Systems, Different Speeds

    The frequency and speed with which IBM turns out software depends on the type of system involved. Systems of engagement, including mobile apps, require rapid deployments. Many enterprise cloud-based systems require frequent deployments. Systems of record, such as transactional systems or packaged enterprise apps, require few deployments.
    17 - Different Systems, Different Speeds
  • Adopting DevOps Is an Ongoing Journey

    IBM's Mills said the move from traditional waterfall development to Agile and DevOps is indeed possible for enterprise systems. However, proper steps need to be taken, including planning and adopting proper tools.
    18 - Adopting DevOps Is an Ongoing Journey

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