Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, shiney new blog and big new plans

Hello Community!

Hope you enjoyed the festive season. This blog is about a talk I carried out last month to some students in Singapore about how to deploy apps to OpenShift via JBoss Developer Studio (JBDS). I purposely didn't blog immediately to allow for the dust to settle in a sense, so that I could give a more objective review of the day.

Before I continue any further, I must express my gratitude towards Alan Ho, Charles Tang and Xinjun Li in the Marketing division in Singapore who helped set it up. Thanks also go to Burr Sutter for his EAP 6 on demo which is on Vimeo.

Let's start by recapping the talk. We showed students how to deploy apps to OpenShift by using JBoss Developer Studio. JBDS allows people to deploy their apps to OpenShift through a few mouse clicks - negating the need for the command line. 

Given that it was my first formal demo I think that it was fairly successful - I'd give it a 6.5/10. There were bound to be issues that I couldn’t really predict - the WiFi failed but iPhone tethering saved my skin!

2 important points about students. They tend to be shy about asking questions and love free stuff. Our bright idea was to give away some sets of headphones for those who asked 'interesting' questions. Unfortunately - that failed. Perhaps we should tell them what they'll win first!

After the talk, several of the students spent about 45 minutes asking genuinely interesting questions about JBDS and OpenShift. It was really heartening to see people keen to use JBoss in their graded work and personal lives too.

See? Not everyone was asleep!

The reason that I am looking forward to speaking with students is that while I was a student (up until very recently), I felt that JBoss could do better in terms of engaging with students in general. Now that I am an employee, I have a chance to change that. In the short term, we've decided to go out to some of these events and have some fun with the demos. That's it - just enjoy ourselves. We shouldn't expect people to just jump on the bandwagon immediately - those things take time. The long term goal is a bit more complex:

There isn't any existing JBoss User Group in the country at the moment. Ideally, these talks would be planting the seeds for a fully self-sufficient developer community. In essence, that's the big question for the year - how successfully can we plant the seeds of getting people interested in our technology?

All in, I’m really glad I had the chance to conduct the talk. There are improvements to be made and I’m looking forward to carrying on in 2013 for sure.