By: Amy Wohl (email@example.com)
Usually you go to a developer conference to look at new tools and new versions of tools and to hang out with real technical people. Certainly, there was plenty of that at the Rational Developer Conference last week in Orlando
But there was something else. You picked up on it right away in the opening keynote. It was a kind of buzz, an enthusiasm, a feeling of "this is really cool," that was all-pervasive. Everywhere, people were clustered in groups large and small talking about everything from the very cool videos on the Rational YouTube site -- some ads, some developer contributions -- to the cameras and laptops everywhere that let you record your own statement of "what keeps you Rational." And everywhere they were trying out new stuff. My favorite thing was a piece of Preview software that allows Developer Collaboration.
Then there was the fact that the conference was simultaneously taking place IRL (in real life) and also in Second Life, on line, complete with avatars for some recognizable Rational characters, like guru Grady Booch and marketing VP Scott Hebner. (Last week I also attended another virtual reality conference, hosted by IBM and MIT at the MIT Media Lab, in which Second Life, a busy company these days, also figures. Of that, more in another post.)
Or maybe it was just the feeling that we were finally pulling all the pieces together -- enterprise software development and Web 2.0 development style and interfaces.
Even a fervent non-programmer like me (the last time I wrote code it was in
FORTRAN) couldn't help but get caught up in it all. I almost wanted to develop something. I think that means it's time for me to get back to my day-time job -- observing the Information Industry.
Several strong themes emerged at Rational besides the Buzz. I'll talk about them in my next post.