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IBM Helps Software Developers Build Skills and Accelerate Innovation with Social Networking and Collaboration Technology


ARMONK, N.Y. - Addressing the rapid pace of information technology transformation across all industries, IBM today announced new social technology enhancements to developerWorks, to help software developers more easily work together on open standards-based innovations.

While developers have access to a wide variety of IT resources scattered across the Web, many are struggling to maximize their productivity and are faced with filtering through multiple networking sites just to get to the technical information they need. As a result, there has been no easy way for developers to quickly access and integrate this information to more quickly build their skills around key IT and industry trends while connecting and collaborating with peers.

IBM is responding to these requirements, with My developerWorks, combining the best in social computing technologies and professional networking into developerWorks, IBM’s leading online destination for more than 8 million IT professionals worldwide.

Now developers can more easily gain real-time access to key technology updates, connect with other experts around the globe and build critical skills requirements more quickly to speed development and bring new innovations to market faster -- from deploying complex cloud computing applications to architecting a smarter energy grid to building Java applications.

IBM recently surveyed hundreds of software development professionals across the globe to find out how they use online resources to build new skills and engage each other professionally. Nearly three-quarters said they use forums, blogs, wikis, and online newsletters to gain skills and communicate with each other. Nearly 65 percent said they want to start using social networking capabilities like those found on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace as a primary way to build new skills and collaborate with peers on one easy-to-use destination.

My developerWorks brings these social networking attributes into a single view for users, enabling them to build online relationships to create new groups, comment on and share content, build skills and grow a worldwide network of peers to drive innovation. Their profile can be customized to include contacts, preferred content, real time feeds from forums, blogs and wikis, and IBM’s developerWorks site. In the coming months, My developerWorks users will also be able to tap their social networking profiles on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, to expand their professional networks and collaborate on new technologies.

Building Smarter Skills

Based on Lotus Connections, IBM’s enterprise networking and collaboration technology, developerWorks members can now collaborate in a secure vertical network that connects people around a focused task or goal.

For example, as economic stimulus funding accelerates electronic medical records projects across the healthcare industry, developers are looking to more quickly gain skills around XML and open standards to facilitate greater data management and information integration features. Using My developerWorks, a developer can tailor their personalized homepage to receive content on XML healthcare standards, join professional groups on stay current on new skills resources.

Users can also select other experts from their XML group to collaborate on an upcoming project. For example, they can create an activity that invites others to join, devise, architect and deliver an electronic medical record proposal. As a result, the developer has gained a new skill set, established new relationships and generated a marketable deliverable. This new network of colleagues can also recommend each other for future projects and ongoing collaboration opportunities.

“Never has there been a better time to harness social technology to drive some of the world’s most important transformations, from energy to healthcare,” said Stephanie Martin, director of developerWorks. “IBM is the only vendor that can bring collaboration technology and content together to help developers maximize their productivity. They can tackle new IT challenges by quickly establishing a worldwide network of peers, gain recognition and easily find technical resources they need to succeed in their field.”

Additional features include:

* Real Time Access to Personalized Content: My home, a personalized landing page, lets the user follow their own activity, and the activities of others, in one central and customizable dashboard view. Tagging makes it easy to sort, track and navigate developerWorks’ extensive library of content, spaces, and forums. Users can customize their own feeds and events widgets, giving them a personalized view of content and events that interest them and improving productivity.

* Easy to use tools to showcase expertise and find like-minded peers: technical networking is more easily accessible using profile search or instant virtual business card recognition that helps like-minded developers identify and follow each other. In-line commenting features makes it easy for users to add input, ask questions, and follow responses, while ratings and recommendations lets them highlight their favorite blog posts and articles. Now users can quickly gain credibility in the technical community and find others they need to know creating a professional identity and network that will help them do their jobs better.

* Advanced collaboration technologies to speed innovation and development in a 24/7 environment: In a world where collective intelligence breeds innovation, collaboration is critical. Advanced collaboration features lets users find people to learn from and work with by searching profiles by keyword, tag, location or name to look for individuals with shared interests or expert skills. From there, users can create groups and activities that make it easy to work with others on a shared project allowing users to organize ideas, assign-to-do items, and collect comments, tapping into the knowledge of the eight million users of developerWorks.

“The fact that you can set up a project as an Activity and create a schedule for it with ToDo items is great. This allows me to organize my open-source projects and learning projects. I can use My Activities to set up a schedule and organize my research for my open-source projects,” said Paul Reiners , a Java Developer in Bloomington, Minnesota.

“Being able to collaborate with technology experts in this way is something that has not yet been accomplished in our era of Web 2.0.,” said Ken Milberg , president of PowerTCO, an IBM Business Partner. “I see My developerWorks as an important innovation where technology minded individuals will be able to work better with one another in a LinkedIn or Facebook type of environment.”

Accelerating Open Standards Innovation

For the past 10 years, developerWorks has been instrumental in advancing open standards and emerging technologies and making sure IT companies have the tools to support technology investments such as Java, Linux, XML and Cloud computing.

When developerWorks launched in 1999, many of these technologies were just emerging. Today, they are the building blocks for some of the most crucial transformations taking place in the industry and around the globe.

For example:

* developerWorks has grown to 8 million worldwide developers in the past decade, and has emerged as the largest and most visited global site to gain technology skills
* Available in 243 countries, as well as local language sites available in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Vietnamese, with Spanish coming later this year.
* Originally intended for just developers, today virtually all types of IT practitioners from startups to academics and business partners are using developerWorks to build skills on open-standards based technologies.
* developerWorks has grown over 40% outside of the US over the past year with localized sites available in five languages.
* Skills adoption around cloud computing has accelerated with more than 47,000 visits to cloud resources in the past three months alone.
* More than 850,000 developers access developerWorks monthly for Java, Linux and Open Source skills development.

Developers and other IT professionals can set up their profile and begin connecting with others by visiting:

IBM’s developerWorks delivers key skills for developers, students and startups to prepare for emerging opportunities around transforming healthcare, energy and goods transportation, as well as key technology areas such as cloud computing and social tools. For more information, visit:


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