We Build The Tools and The Tools Build Us

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jason Silva spoke in the OGS at IBM Connect today about exponential growth and how the tools we have build have built us in return. That has certainly been the road for many of the Notes developers over the last five years. XPages was built and has built Notes developers into web developers. That’s not the first time I’ve talked about that topic, it was something I spoke about after IBM ConnectED last year, when it became apparent developers speaking at the conference had stepped beyond what was just provided to us.

But developers have also embraced disruption. Tim Tripcony was great at shaking us out of standards ways of thinking and developing. WatrCoolr was a mind-blowing Domino app at the time; Tim was the first committee for OpenNTF Domino API; and by encouraging me to speak at BLUG (as it was at the time) about PhaseListeners. The OpenNTF Domino API has been disruptive to development, initially just making development easier, but now adding things like XOTS, graph, and even Domino on Liberty via CrossWorlds. Tools like LDCVia and Darwino have added new possibilities for working with Domino data, way beyond what’s been provided by DAS.

But the tools that have been built for us have empowered us to be disruptive. Since 8.5.3 it’s been possible to build standard web applications to run on Domino. It’s not been heavily embraced and I feel like I am late to the party when I think about Rene Winkelmeyer, Mark Myers (phew!) and Sven Hasselbach. We’re now splitting database from application in Domino. Disruption, but it’s how the pols that were built have built us.

And yesterday John Jardin showed how to use Bluemix to provide web sockets with Domino. And during the OGS, XPages solutions by WebGate leveraging and providing OpenNTF tools received great press, changing lives in Africa.

The tools that have been built have changed the way we develop and work. And the rate of growth has become exponential recently. Will IBM be able to keep up over the coming years? I think that’s the wrong question. We don’t need them to. We just need the data, micro services like Watson and platforms like Bluemix. We just need the kinds of communities that only exist within the IBM collaborative solution space. We just need the desire and passion to dream. The tools provided for us have built us into a community that is unique, have built us to be comfortable moving beyond just Domino or transforming Domino into something more than what it was intended for.

What the future holds, none of us can tell. But the tools provided by IBM have certainly built me into someone capable of choosing the path I want.

AUTHOR - Paul Withers

Paul Withers has been an IBM Champion since 2011, has been an OpenNTF Board Member since 2013, has worked with XPages since 2009, co-authored XPages Extension Library and was technical editor for Mastering XPages 2nd Edition. He is one of the developers on OpenNTF Domino API as well as contributor to a variety of other OpenNTF projects.

  • patrick kwinten | Feb 1, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    you are certainly right! we are limited by our imagination and creativity allthough hindered by the technology we use

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