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Monki Gras is here again. You should come!

Monki Gras is now pretty well established as a thing on the conference circuit, and I am pleased to announce that I will be running the show again next month in London on January 30th and 30th.

The theme this year is Sharing Craft – looking at codified principles and approaches to knowledge sharing in delivering goods and services faster and more effectively. How can one discipline inform and improve another? How can design improve operations and vice-versa, for example? Breakthrough innovation tends to happen when practices or insights in one community are applied to another. Statistics, and now data science, are another fruitful area where one craft is informing another.

Companies like Etsy have made great play of the notion of Code as Craft, but at Monki Gras 2013 I want to turn this on its head and look at Craft as Code. Any craft is a knowledge base, but how can it be passed on most effectively? In the age of Github we’re seeing new types of mentor and apprentice relationships emerge, where following means learning.

For more insights into the conference theme check out this post ON SF AND THE SHARED CRAFT BUBBLE.

We will of course be bringing you only the very finest craft beers and artisan foods at the conference. Monki Gras is of course still the conference where craft beer meets craft technology. The dinner and party on day one is set to be truly legendary, worth the price of admission alone.

So if you’re interested in the future of software design and development – and more importantly how to get things done more effectively right now – you should sign up here.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Opinionated Infrastructure: Watson Finally for Developers, IBM Thinks Grassroots

In this video I talk about the importance of location and great coffee in creating fantastic developer experiences – why platforms need to work with web developers in metro centers, for IBM and everyone else. The Watson API is here. Welcome to the Village Hall!

Categories: Uncategorized.

Opinionated Infrastructure: The Internet of Coffee Machines

This video explains why the Internet of Things is something all business people should be thinking about, with Shoreditch, popups and Barista coffee as a backdrop. Hope you enjoy it. And you should come to my conference next week if you don’t already have a ticket.

As ever, sponsored by the cool folks from IBM PureSystems.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Java: 43 is the new 23. But where is the Framework? Hadoop as a language phenomenon.

How java got its mojo back jax 2013 from James Governor

I gave a keynote address at JAX last week with a talk entitled “The Upswing: How Java got its Mojo Back”. RedMonk has been tracking the Java resurgence pretty closely, and the talk was actually reprise of an 2011 JAX keynote on the same subject.

Jaxenter did a great precis of the talk here:

Younger developers clamour for newer JVM interlopers like Ruby and Scala, and naysayers such as Tim Bray, who recently claimed that Java isn’t relevant, abound.

The point that these critics are missing though, is that Java isn’t just a language – it’s a platform, and a terrifically robust one at that. Has it peaked? According to Governor, maybe. But then, so have the US and Europe – and they don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. After all, as Governor crucially pointed out, when web companies grow up they turn into Java shops. To date, Linkedin, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, and Facebook, among a host of other web powerhouses, have all turned to Java in recent years to power them into maturity.

Looking to the future, Governor said that web frameworks are the best way to understand language adoption. After all, Ruby was just a curio until Rails came along, and Django, and Node.js have led adoption of their respective languages. Despite a tonne of options, Java still has yet to develop a leading framework – and Governor reckoned that to see explosive growth once again, it will need one.

Thanks Stephen for the maths underpinning the thesis that frameworks lead language adoption.

One area the author doesn’t mention from my talk is Big Data – many of the leading data management tools are JVM-based – see Hadoop (Java), Storm (primarily written in Clojure), Kafka (written in Scala), Cassandra, and Apache Giraph (Java). Many Organisations are now choosing data tooling based on affinity with Hadoop, which means sharing Java libraries. Hadoop is a Java language phenomenon rather than simply a JVM phenomenon.

It’s not an accident that Hadoop was written in Java. Doug Cutting made an engineering decision to do so. Engineers keep choosing Java for high scale environments, even some that are younger than 43.

Categories: Uncategorized.

New Kingmakers and the Enterprise: On Purchasing, Technical Competence, Webification, $500k developer salaries, Developers Loving Marketers, and IoT

I was at SAP TechEd, recently, and we recorded this show about how Enterprise IT is changing. We discuss how the Web is changing the enterprise, from a cultural and technical perspective. The renaissance of technical competence, and the need to bring developers closer to the user. Marketing and Internet of Things are two fantastic opportunities for developers to make a difference to the companies they work for. Oh yeah I also talk to Raspberry Pi.

It’s nearly 20 minutes long, but well worth watching, in my opinion, if you want to understand RedMonk’s current take on the world.

Categories: Uncategorized.

One chart that tells you everything you need to know about GitHub going mainstream

github pwn

Yesterday my colleague Donnie posted this chart, to immediate effect. Hundreds of retweets later, with developers rubbing and nuzzling into the data like cats to catnip, and I still wasn’t sure what the data meant.

Donnie had originally noted that it represented falling market share by Ruby, which is seemingly obvious from the graph. And yet…

And this is where I need to be careful, because Donnie has a PhD in biophysics, while I am merely data curious. I am sure the post he will write will clear everything up

But in the meantime the graph as far as I can really shows just what a mainstream phenomenon GitHub has become. While just a couple of years ago GitHub was still heavily skewed towards the Rails community, which had grokked the value of the social coding platform, today Ruby is just one of the languages significantly represented there.

Rails developers were the new Kingmakers that helped propel GitHub to dominance, but now others have joined the party.

The free wheeling Post Open Source Software (POSS) folks churning out Javascript libraries are still growing their share of the total platform, but everything else is seemingly stabilising.

One reason Java is now so well represented is that the open source foundations – first Eclipse and then the Apache Software Foundation – are now onboard.

The movement of entire communities to GitHub is best represented by the Perl graph. At first glance the chart screams “Perl is cratering.” But in fact what are seeing is 21000 Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) projects being ported to GitHub in late 2009.

That said, according to this data composed by Adam Bard, we may indeed be seeing some softening of Perl on Github.

When I look at the chart above I see GitHub emerging as a mature platform, used by a broad range of developers, communities and technologies. GitHub is no longer just about Web Development, but rather all mainstream development.

Git is hard to use and grok, but GitHub made it social and consumable by a broad range of constituencies. Which is why its going to hit 5m developers by year end, according to Donnie.

In summary the chart above is beautiful but dangerous. As far as I can see it shows us that Github is now not about outliers. The Social Coding model is now mainstream. Forking isn’t scary anymore.

Categories: Uncategorized.

RedMonk IoT conference: Things and Identities

In case you missed it I am running an IoT conference in London on December 3rd. Wrote a post over at ThingMonk blog today, talking to a world where even doorways are on the Social Graph.

“Things, like people, have identities. Even some lego sets now have unique identifiers on every piece. One of the most interesting aspects of the current disruption in identity management, driven by cloud and SaaS adoption, is the question of identity management at vast scale – when we get beyond authenticating people, and into authenticating devices.

What happens when your toothbrush has a unique identifier?”

We’ll be examining these questions at ThingMonk. You should book a ticket here, or email me if you’d like to become a sponsor.

Categories: Uncategorized.

The way stones settled in bonfires


The way stones settled in bonfires, the way nuts cracked in the hearth, the shape of kale stalks pulled from the ground, the people or sounds one encountered at the midnight hour at a crossroads or stile–all were windows to the future. Some of these rites foretold forthcoming deaths, a predictable message in view of the holiday’s long association with the dying, and one that in Ireland persisted in the aftermath of the potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century. But where killer epidemics declined in potency and the demographic fortunes of young people began to improve, at least after infancy, the spells and omens of Halloween increasingly focused upon future marriage prospects: who, when, whether one would marry; whether one’s partner would be handsome or faithful or chaste at marriage.”

Poetic Thoughts on Samhain by Nicholas Rogers. A window on the future? At RedMonk every day is Halloween.

photo credit – Pendragon Bonfire and Firework Display – 2nd Nov 2013.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Opinionated Infrastructure: Further Thoughts on Why The Future of Business is Reactive

I have been thinking a lot lately about the changing relationship between businesses and the infrastructures that support them – under the term Reactive Business.

“We need to be reactive because you can’t predict the future and they will need new technical architectures to support the change, which look a lot more like Web computing. Agile, bursty, lean – that’s the future of business.”

I don’t mean businesses shouldn’t have a long term plan. Of course they should, but they also need to be more agile, more responsive to change, and more customer focused. Infrastructure is there to support customer requirements rather than other way around.

Anyway – the subtext here is my sponsor for this video series, IBM PureSystems, is building integrated hardware and software that will enable its clients to become more responsive to change. Traditionally IBM and its customers were a lot more comfortable with the status quo, but today software is eating the world and the future of business is reactive.

Oh yeah – ignore the date on the video above. Our next IBM PureChat is on December 4th. The show is a Google Hangout where we talk live about issues of the day in cloud. Below is a recent episode about Cloud Standards.

Categories: Uncategorized.

SAP Consigns Everything Pre-HANA to history. In-memory First Development

sikka teched2013 raftery

This week at SAP TechEd we got the clearest statements yet that the software giant is embarking on another fundamental architectural revolution. The core message – from now on everything the company builds will be designed to take advantage of in-memory computing, based on the company’s HANA architecture.

I like to describe the history of tech as a repeating pattern: implement, re-implement, rinse and repeat. Every few years a tech wave comes along that requires a fundamental rethinking of application and systems architectures. There is nothing new in IT other than implementation details.

SAP represents this trajectory canonically, in terms of the transition from mainframe to client/server, from SAP R/2 to SAP R/3.

Tech revolutions can be viewed through various lenses – as series of transitions in user interface models, for example – but invariably these revolutions are underpinned by improvements in storage and memory technology- consider the transition from punch cards to tape and tape to disk, and now to disk to solid state storage.

And so it is that SAP embarks on the next big transition, to a world where everything is based on in-memory computing. SAP isn’t waiting for the transition from disk to solid state first. It is doing the Wayne Gretsky thing.

With a storage revolution where do you begin but a database?

SAP HANA began life as a project by SAP co-founder and major shareholder Hasso Plattner to build an in-memory text processing engine. The results were impressive enough in performance terms that Plattner decided to take the next step- moving on to the creation of a columnar database running in memory. The results were this time impressive enough that Hasso wanted to get back in the game of of building enterprise software at scale.

Timing is of course everything. With the market declaring SAP was no longer an innovator, with customers angry at changes to licensing terms which looked as if SAP has decided to sweat existing assets and customers with maintenance charges, rather than innovating, with new market entrants such as dominating in the cloud, SAP needed major surgery.

And so Plattner nudged his way back into active management, pushing SAP back its roots as an engineering company of the German School. The guy tasked with leading the charge was SAP CTO Vishal Sikka.

Revolutions of course, are painful and there will be collateral damage.

SAP’s Business ByDesign play to create a suite for the mid-market from the ground up is now looking like collateral damage. This news story makes brutal reading – claiming SAP spent 3bn Euros on ByDesign for a return of fewer than 500 customers. I have written before about HANA and the High Cost of Low Volume.

ByDesign is just too slow for the new era of high performance. Like I say, timing is everything. ByDesign now looks like SAP’s last stand of the last client/server era. While nominally a Software as a Service app, it was designed to run on x86 servers from 2005, with attendant memory and storage.

In terms of integration of components, with solid separation of concerns, and significantly reduced redundancy versus the broader R/3 era suite ByDesign was to some extent a technical triumph. It was however implemented for the past, not the future, and as such its going to be implemented again… on HANA.

But then again, so is everything in the SAP portfolio.

As Sikka said in his confident keynote:

“We are steering into this disruption… Every technology is coming to HANA. We can achieve a dramatic simplification. Get rid of the redundancy. the artifacts of inefficiency, getting rid of all this complexity.”

Sikka used a lovely metaphor to explain his thinking – the Tesla.

When you look at one, and start comparing it with a normal car the difference is stark. The Tesla is not like a Toyota Prius, a half way house on the way to the electric, digital future. It is the future.

“When you have a look around there is nothing there. Where is the Engine? The paradigm of HANA is like this. all the moving parts are gone, replaced by solid state, non-moving things.”

I think I made pretty solid use of the same metaphor in this video. You should watch it. Although the point I am making is that hybrid has a role to play.

In this case its that looks more like the Prius than the Tesla. SAP is going to rewrite everything for the new storage and database era. on the other hand, the erstwhile innovator, recently signed up to a nine year deal to keep running on Oracle database.

There will be collateral damage in a variety of its ecosystems as SAP doubles down on a new architecture, but now it looks more like a technical leader again, rather than a company trying to keep up with industry changes.

Categories: SAP.