As probably one of the last ones I'm just now back from Lotusphere 2012 (well past Friday actually). With the work pressure leading into Lotusphere I always take vacation immediately following Lotusphere. This year was no exception but instead of a week I took two. There was many reasons for this decision but it's not a decision I regret by any means. Only thing is that reflections from Lotusphere linger longer before being captured in writing which is a good way for me to work through the event.
As always Lotusphere is part real work (products, booth, customers), part catching up with friends (some which you only see once a year), speaking, socializing with friends/coworkers/customers and part networking. It is a mind boggling week that starts Saturday night and concludes Thursday afternoon where the place is suddenly empty and all that remain is the stuff you did. This year was no exception besides being more busy than ever. As highlights are surely the IBM Champion recognition at the OGS, participating in the Social App Throwdown and having extremely good conversations with IBM around the future of IBM Lotus Domino and Lotus Notes.
One thing is certain - I left Lotusphere relieved. Relieved that for the first time in a couple of years I feel that IBM is on the right track with the platforms. I finally feel that IBM is "getting it" and that the appdev team is on the right track. Of course I would like to see more OSGi sooner and better XPages/server runtime integration but I'm sure BM will get there.
Another thing that relieved me was a much clearer statement of direction. IBM was much clearer in articulating how OpenSocial is going to be central going forward and how collaboration using web technologies and mobile is going to be the center of what they do. Being social and being it online is core.
Another thing is that I left Lotusphere more certain than ever that the move from Lotus to IBM Collaboration Solutions (ICS) isn't a bad thing. It may not even be important or worth talking about. Things change. Names changes. Technology changes. We - as a community - need to move past the name discussion and focus on the solutions we can and should build. As true as ever - </bitching><doing>
As a developer I have been asked a few times to name my 3 take-aways from Lotusphere 2012. It's always tough but they will have to be:
- learn Websphere (it is really not as bad as you might think)
- OpenSocial is going to be very much a part of your toolbox if you're going to develop for Notes/iNotes/Connections going forward - API access to your applications (including existing ones) is going to be a key to your success