During my break from IBM, one of my goals was to directly re-learn some of the technology shifts over the past recent years. In particular, I have the following two goals:
Explore the areas of mobile, cloud, visualization and analytics through hands-on development. Ironically, I’ve done a lot in all four years here while at IBM, but at high strategic levels and through the leading of development teams, with only minor amounts of coding. I’ve missed the years I used to spend in addictive whole solution development — being truly responsible from everything from concept to design to architecture to implementation. (The first few products I built for Cognos were very much like this: I was essentially a one person design, development and QC team until the concept was matured enough to build a full team around. At IBM, the solutions we built tended to be so large that it was almost impossible to have them be the result of a single person only, even during the initial stages.)
Design and build using the latest techniques, tools, and thinking. During the past six years at Cognos and IBM, we had settled on methodologies, principles and tools that were probably quite leading edge at the time. But recently a lot of new thinking and technologies have emerged. It’s time to step back and re-evaluate the full landscape of what’s available to me.
Over the past couple of weeks, while resting and enjoying the wonders of both my family and Canadian camping, an idea for an interesting mobile experiment has emerged. I’m calling it Phlow, and I’m going to use that as my testbed for my self-education. I have no illusions about making a fortune through application development. This is strictly something for me to do on the side to satisfy my two goals above.
And you know what? That’s more than enough. I can’t believe how excited I am! This is going to be fun.