Daily Archives: November 2, 2006

IBM Bloggers

One of the fun parts of blogging using WordPress is that you see how some people reached your blog. I just noticed:

torrez.us/archives/2005/08/29/387

and chased it down, only to learn that it came from blog post The Unofficial List of IBM Bloggers from the blog of Elias Torres. I looked up his name the internal IBM phone book — known as “Blue Pages” within IBM — and learned he is also an IBMer. [1]

Elias’s list refers to another list, The Hitchhiking Blogger’s Guide To IBM Blogs.

On investigation I learned the referral to this blog came from a comment to Elias’s post by Chris Abbey, another IBMer who is also a long-time and colleague of mine.

I had another interesting referral last week. I noticed a link from a blog, then pursued it and found, on examination, that it seemed to be the work of an IBMer. I looked up his name in BluePages, and found out that not only was he an IBMer, but he and I had the same manager! The chap I knew as “Josh” on our regular department calls is in real-life Josh Poulson, author of Josh’s Weblog —
Deja Moo: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before
. If you look at the URL of that blog you see it is part of pun.org, so Josh is clearly a man after my own heart. I confirmed this in the extensive instant-messaging session that we had shortly after I located his blog.

I’ll send a note to Elias with a link to this post so he can add me and Josh to the list.

Notes:

1. The first internal IBM phone directory was put together back in the late 70’s by Peter Capek. I knew him back in the 60’s when he was at Courant. He was at Research when I joined IBM in ’87. He participated in some of the earliest IBM studies on open-source and was the Research representative on open-source activities for many years. [2] He and I were among the co-authors of a paper on open-source in a special issue of IBM’s System Journal devoted to open-source: A history of IBM’s open-source involvement and strategy.

Peter retired in the summer of 2005.

2. Peter was the first person from Research to make the argument that IBM’s support of open-source activities would assist in recruiting efforts. I used it in the Jikes proposal.

His prediction proved right. For example, Rob O’Callahan was active in Mozilla while a graduate student. He came to work at Research in part because he was allowed to continue his open-source work. He left Research to return to his home country; he now works for Novell.

Another well-known open-source developer, Sanjiva Weerawarana, did open-source work while at IBM Research; he also left to return to his home country. Sanjiva is a founder of WSO2. He is active in Apache and is one of the key figures behind the Sahana project.

There are still many more opportunities to do open-source based activities at IBM than say, for example, at Microsoft. However, since then other players have gotten into the game. Google is the most notable; it employs many well-known open-source developers. For example, Greg Stein, Andrew Morton and Rob Pike. There are also folks who used to work at IBM Research in Almaden who left for Google. I understand one of them left IBM because of he was unhappy with our open-source process; though I expect most left to put some of those google-zeros in their paychecks.

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