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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

IBM Pulse Quick Bytes: Creative Developers Speak At dev@Pulse

Today, the development chapters played out to an excited crowd at the dev@Pulse event. My fellow social beat reporters shared blog posts about lightning talks by Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler (@cadler) and Reshma Saujani (@ReshmaSaujani), founder of Girls Who Code looking at how bold creative minds, digital natives and software developers are changing the world. There is also a great look at how Telltale games created the incredibly successful The Walking Dead video game series. Dan Connors also told us that they are now hard at work on a video game for Game of Thrones and shared a bit about what drives his creative and development teams, saying 

"bigger critics [i.e. rabid fans] drive us to create better content."

In order to explore the creative developer mindset, I set out to interview some bold thinkers and curious tinkerers in the dev@Pulse playground in the Ling Ling Club in Las Vegas' ultra cool Hakkasan Nightclub in the MGM Grand Resort. There were some really neat technologies available for everyone attending this first of it's kind developer event. Everything from AI drones to RC cars to virtual reality video game headsets. I chose to talk to three of the development teams showing off their innovative projects.

First up, Drones! Drones are a hot topic for many reasons, not the least of which is the low barrier of entry to adapt these small aerial vehicles to a variety of tasks. James Bennett (@Bennett2James) from the IBM Hursley "Internet of Things" team showed me a really cool drone. His team has programmed a Parrot AR drone to perform automated flight maneuvers with the NodeRed visual programming platform. NodeRed for the uninitiated is a way to visually program with the popular library for Javascript-based server apps, Node.js. With this prototype drone flight program, you could send a tweet to the @IBMIoT twitter profile with the hashtag #drone to activate the drone, sending up into flight levitating in the room. Watch my first Quick Byte video to see it in action!

The second tech pilot I want to show you is related to IBM Watson (@IBMWatson). Seth Packam (@smpackham) is a developer (you may know him from his work in the IBM Jazz developer community) working on a new pilot project to use the cognitive computing capabilities of Watson to create an intelligent and interactive question and answer forum on the IBM developerWorks website. Think of it like this, what if Watson was a "cognitive user" who could respond to your questions and comments in mere seconds in a stack overflow like forum. Would you like to discuss your programming problem with Watson and other human experts in context? I think this project has legs. Watch this second Quick Byte video to hear Seth's elevator pitch.

Third, but certainly not least, we have an update to the Liberty Car! The Liberty Car is an incredible "zero infrastructure" application server on wheels running WebSphere Liberty Profile on a Raspberry Pi mini Linux computer. The car can be controlled by your smart phone and it's also a mobile wi-fi hotspot. Very handy at conferences. I've spoke to IBM Technology Evangelist Tom Banks (@tom_will_banks) at other IBM conferences for my Quick Bytes video series. Today he told me about a very practical upgrade to the Liberty Car. The Raspberry Pi board is now encased in a roll cage! So even flipping mishaps will not slow down this incredible R/C vehicle. Watch this third Quick Byte video to see the new upgraded car in action!

Check out all of the talk on Twitter from dev@Pulse with hashtag #devpulse. I can share with you now that IBM will be hosting more developer events like this at future conferences and in new cities around the world. I encourage you to find me at Pulse and tell me "how you would use technology to change the world - in your local community or globally." I'll be talking to developers and technophiles all week long at IBM Pulse. Here is the first developer POV Quick Byte video.

See all of the social media stories from dev@Pulse in this Storify post.

Talk to you soon,
Ryan Boyles @theRab

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