So those of you that follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram know this - but last week, I was lucky enough to attend ProgPower 2014 in Atlanta. I made the first ProgPower 15 years ago here in Chicago, but this year's line-up really was a no brainer for me. So we all have our own musical tastes. Mine have shifted in the past 15 years or so. I used to really love the power metal style - think Helloween, Stratovarius, etc. along with progressive - my readers know how much of a Dream Theater fan I am. The past few years have seen me drift from power to metalcore and technical metal/djent. Think Killswitch Engage, Periphery, and the likes. But when I saw the line-up for ProgPower 2014, I had to attend. Here was the line-up: ProgPower XV Country of Origin Need Greece Orden Ogan Germany Leprous Norway Overkill USA Seventh Wonder (playing Mercy Falls in its entirety) Sweden Stratovarius (playing Visions in its entirety) Finland Withem Norway Divided Multitude Norway Voo
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I am really excited to announce that I have accepted a position on the executive committee of the Board of Directors of Lumity as the Outreach Director. As a current board member, this just extends my involvement. I have been lucky enough to help with the business development processes and performance the past two years, and in July took over as the chair of the Operations Committee. My new role is slightly wide open in terms of specifics, but it will let me get more involved in an organization I believe in. Lumity has really double-downed our investment in STEM and Workforce Development. This summer, the organization hosted a Summer Youth Employment Program that had real impact on lives. I saw our Executive Director, Kara Kennedy, get really emotional this morning on the impact it is having on her. I am lucky to be able to give back to the community on a topic I believe in to much. We can only improve the quality technology professionals in the marketplace if we start in the schoo
Have you ever wondered what other companies plan on doing with IBM Domino? Now is your chance to find out. PSC has committed to collecting feedback from Domino users worldwide, and sharing the results of this survey back to the community. Please take 30 seconds to answer the questions below and share this URL via social media. The more responses gathered, the more valuable this information is. Let’s work together to capture the big picture view of where companies see Domino in their future. The poll will run until October 3rd, 2014. We will release the results on October 6th at http://www.psclistens.com/ibm-survey-results.aspx - or you can enter your email in the survey to get them emailed. We are not doing this to gather anyone's info for solicitation. This is about trying to get a handle on active use and strategy around the IBM Notes & Domino products. We plan to share the data with the community so we can all have access to the numbers. You can access the survey at http:/
So my blog turns 11 today. [add comments about number of blog entries]
PSC Group, LLC has published a new video on why having great talent is so important to a successful company. Having worked here 13+ years, I find this video to be spot on with our PSC approaches and values or team.
Over the summer, PSC Group received two recognition's that I wanted to highlight. The first was back in June. PSC was named one of 'Chicago's 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For' for the third year in a row. PSC Group was also named to the Inc 5000 for the second year in a row, jumping over 1000 places since last year. This is a testament to the amazing team at PSC Group. Congratulations to everyone!
BP110: The Mobile Distruption - Why XPages Development is targeting Mobile First from John Head
MWLUG 2014 is less than two weeks away! Are you attending? PSC Group will be there two. First, you can meet us in the vendor showcase. We will be talking about our services and solutions and will be all ready to talk about how we can help you. We also have 4 sessions given by PSC Group team members. Don't fall asleep using Relational Databases: Using Hibernate with XPages Toby Samples Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 11:30 AM - Gerald Ford room Domino is THE all-purpose Application Server that fits all of your needs even if those needs involve relational databases. Hibernate is an object-relational mapping library for Java and can be used with XPages. The framework can help you easily combine the relational databases that you have with the secure, flexible environment you already know and love. In this session I will demonstrate that with a little setup Hibernate allows you to treat records in a relational database in a similar manner as Domino documents in a Domino Database. You wi
I am at the IBM Digital Experience conference for the first time. Of course, that leads me to doing the compare and contrast with the other major IBM event I have attended, IBM Connect/Lotusphere. About 700 people here, and 85% of the sessions are technical. And from what I have seen, there is a great community of partners and customers here. I have spent most of my time in the business / customer story sessions. All of them have been pretty good. One item I wanted to really highlight was the Opening General Session. The contrast is so huge. First, there is no teleprompter. No script being read. I am sure there was an overall script, and lots of practice. But I never once felt like I was being spoon fed. Gary Dolsen, the new Vice President for IBM Digital Experience, who just took over for the retiring Larry Bowden, set the tone perfectly. It was rehearsed but not memorized. Gary knocked it out of the park. Next up was Doug Gieger to talk about the products specifically and a few
PSC and Intuit Quickbase are proud to introduce our new partnership. Come celebrate with us and enjoy the amazing views of Downtown Chicago from the penthouse floor of the Swissotel. Network with local QuickBase users and learn about our new partnership with PSC, a Chicago based services firm. PSC is an expert in integrating dynamic reporting and collaboration. Admission includes: Networking with other QuickBase users Cocktails & Appetizers Chance to win Blackhawks memorabilia You can sign up here
As you probably guessed, I turn 40 today. Not sure if I should look at this as an accomplishment or milestone or a warning - but it's a good day. No longer 'a kid' - but still 'the kid' to many. With June being such a rough month for me, and this June being even harder, this July is special. That number '40' I was never sure I would make. But at 40, I find contentment with who I am. I have a great family, especially those closest. Wonderful friends. Awesome coworkers. I am part of many wonderful communities - IBM, Shacknews, YRs, Chicago. I find myself happy with the man I have become. Confident in my abilities. Proud of my accomplishments. Challenged by my work. A real future to strive for. I accept that I am emotional. Layered. Complex. Passionate. Focused. Driven. It has taken many events in the past year for me to embrace all of those words. They are who I am. I no longer shrink from being called any of them. I stand proudly and own them. Life is about accepting who you are. Wh
Today is Memorial Day in the states, the day we remember and honor all of those that have fought and served this country in our military. I thought I would share a few stories of my grandfather. John "Jack" William Head was a veteran of World War 2. A marine who fought in the battle for the Pacific. He was on Guam. He was part of the 3rd marine Division assault. Unfortunately the Marines were dropped on a beach at surrounded by a high ridge. Japanese soldiers opened fire immediately and the Marine casualties were high. Your grandfather was the Master Sergeant and every one of higher rank was killed on the landing. Dad's men were pinned down by rifle and machine gun fire from on top of the ridge, so Dad took two men with him and started up the ill to try and open a path for the men on the beach. The Japanese saw them coming and began to roll live grenades and mortar shells down the hill. The two men with Dad were killed. He was badly injured and rolled back down the hill. He was place
Last month, Celia Hamilton of SocialBiz User Group, interviewed me to talk about XPages and the work I am doing at PSC Group. Here is their blurb about it: John Head was kind enough to share some of his time with me recently to have a conversation about XPages and mobile development. John's background in coding and current role in business development at PSC Group give him a unique outlook when talking about technology. From his perspective, he looks at what customers want when they need his company's services; his focus is finding out what technology is best suited to their needs. Press the play button below to hear our conversation about these topics: What John does with PSC Group What customers are really looking for when building a web application If you are still building client-only applications, you are the problem, not the solution What developers can do to their web apps today to make them ready to go mobile tomorrowYou can also read a transcript of the interview if you prefe
Today the news tells us that one of the Lotus/XPages community has let us, much to early. Tim Tripcony was one of the good guys. No,Tim was one of the best guys. Besides being smart and talented, Tim was a gentle soul who loved to share knowledge. I remember many chats with Tim talking about XPages, something new he was working on, or music. I will always remember seeing Tim at the first MWLUG in Chicago - just after he cut his long hair. I didn't recognize him at first. We laughed at my confusion. Tim's response at the time was 'well, I might have cut off my hair, but my technical skills weren't because of my hair!' ... Tim, you might have left us, but your technical skills aren't all we will remember. Rest in peace my friend - I will miss you.
IBM has the first public webinar around IBM Mail Next since unveiling it at IBM Connect this past January. I thought I would highlight a few thoughts and questions I have. (before I go on, IBM did say this was a point in time and nothing was set in stone and everything was subject to change. So keep that in mind as you continue reading please) The webinar was mostly high level about the process, but we did see two specific 'demos' (more on that later) around the calendar timeline and faceted search. First, I think the design concepts shown by Scott detailed that IBM is trying to do more than build a new web email client. There is real innovation being attempted. I see that innovation in the flat list of attachments and links from the search results. I loved that. I want that right now. We also got an updated detailed architecture slide: This slides confirms that IBM Mail Next is being targeted at web / cloud deployments first. Yes, you can see Domino in there - prominently. But
I have talked about Lumity before on my blog, but I wanted to share why I think it's mission matters. Here is a great video that we created for our Annual Dinner earlier this month: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfRFqTxOIjY I am proud to be involved with Lumity as a board member, and helping with the services arm, but the STEM initiative is something I really believe in. My career path was not a straight arrow, and my STEM schooling as a kid really had an impact. I am looking forward to hands-on involvement later this month with a school career fair visit. If you would like to get involved, please contact me. You can also donate here.
Yesterday, Microsoft made quite a few announcements around OneNote. Here is a list of what is new: OneNote for the Mac OneNote is free! OneNote API and a bunch of apps - including IFTTT! OneNote email address Web Clipper OneNote Eye Lens for Windows phone - and I would love to see this on the iPhone That is a long list of stuff! This excites me. I use both OneNote and Evernote. Yes, both. Why? Great question. For work stuff, I mostly use OneNote. It connects to my ecosystem that I use daily like nothing else I have seen. Tied together with Outlook, Office, Sharepoint, and Lync. That connect is really powerful - but the real power is in the group sharing of notebooks. Using OneDrive or SharePoint, the power of group notebooks is amazing. PSC has teams using OneNote for our projects and the amount of data in there is out of control and head spinning. Yes, Evernote has the ability to share notebooks - but it requires everyone have a premium version. And I find the synching and team col
For all of my friends and followers in Chicago - if you work for or participate in a not-for-profit, this free technology seminar is for you: Clearing up the Myth: The Cloud and Nonprofits - Free Nonprofit Technology Seminar - Please join us on February 26th at 10 AM and invite your nonprofit friends and colleagues. At this seminar you will learn: What exactly IS "The Cloud"? Why do I need to know about cloud computing? How will it help my organization? What and who are cloud providers? What about security and storage of data? You're invited to attend a FREE cloud computing seminar hosted by Lumity. You’ll learn everything you need to know about what the cloud is, how to transition to it and how to use it once you’re there. Mark Litwin, a Technology Solution Professional will guide you through the process so you leave with a full understanding and the confidence to make the change. What is "the cloud"? It's a server that’s accessible to you anywhere there is internet, not just at
So in my session with John Beck at IBM Connect 2014 - I put this slide up and just watched the reaction of the room. So I am just going to let this generate some discussion before I post more about it later this week ...
IBM Connect 2014 is over and many are writing their impressions on the conference. I won't go into rumors or thoughts about the future in my musings, but there are a few things I would like to recap. The first is the Opening General Session, otherwise known as the OGS. Reading the other thoughts on the OGS out there, I realize I am in the minority on my reaction. I thought the OGS was exactly what IBM has been trying to achieve the past few years. I thought it hit the target market very well and the main audience for the OGS - the press and analysts walked away quite happy. The old school, die hard Notes administrator or developer who comes to Connect, or still calls it Lotusphere, is not the target of the OGS. They haven't been for years. Let me explain why I think that and then give a few thoughts on the OGS itself. I was quite lucky to participate in three years of the IBM Connect / Lotusphere blogger program. Besides the great seats at the OGS, we were invited to the press confer
As the year closes, my anniversary at PSC Group is upon me. 13 years since I walked in with the intention of working here about six months. It's been a great 13 years with no end in site. Looking forward to a great 2014!
PSC Group has released a brand new video customer testimonial on our work with TCA Holdings, LLC and our SharePoint 2013 work. You can learn more about the solution and the experience our customers have with PSC Group by watching it here: You can read more about the solution here If you are interested in any more information about the solution, or how PSC Group can help your company achieve results such as these, please contact me!
One of the amazing aspects of my job is that I get to work with amazing people. Today shines the spotlight on that. Besides being named a 2014 IBM Champion, I am beyond honored to be working with 4 others who were named IBM Champions today. Kathy Brown is a returning IBM Champion, and Andrew Barickman, Mark Roden, and Brad Balassaitis are new for 2014. Congratulations to the entire team!!!!
Getting the email this morning that I was accepted as an 2014 IBM Champion. It is both an honor and a challenge. Being an IBM Champion is about representing the IBM Collaboration Services in the wild as best as you can. Thanks for those that nominated me. Here is the entire list.
I was honored to be asked to speak at The Sales Association Midwest 2013 conference in November. The event was focused on sales best practices, tools, and techniques for sales organizations and individuals. It was a great experience for me - especially since it was a brand new audience and community. Looking forward to giving this presentation more in 2014!
I am once again honored to have the privilege to speak at IBM Connect 2014. I am speaking with John Beck, Business Unit Executive, IBM, but this year we decided to start fresh. Our topic is "he Mobile Disruption - Why XPages Development is Targeting Mobile First." This is an executive / strategy focused session on how mobile is becoming the primary development platform choice. We will look at this topic from the perspective of an XPages platform, but expect IBM MobileFirst, IBM Worklight, and IBM Websphere technologies to show up in the presentation. See everyone in Orlando in January!
The section of the IBM Connect 2014 session "AD214: What's Next? Application Modernization Roadmap for Socializing IBM Notes and Domino" that is my section has been posted to Youtube via Social Business User Group. Check it out here:
There was a very interesting posting on TechCrunch by Semil Shah this morning entitled Rethinking the Seductiveness of Mobile-First. The artcile talks about some reasons why an application should be targeted at the web first, not mobile. Here are the high level points he makes: Some markets make mobile-first simply unnecessary or unviable. Relatively speaking, easier to recruit web developers versus mobile developers. Faster cycles for iterations, testing, and moving toward product-market fit. The web provides a strong foundation to build a brand and harness virality. Mobile can be thought of as an extension, not the foundation. What I find interesting about these points is that it sounds almost exactly like the old rich client vs. web discussion 10 years ago. For instance, if a market is not mobile viable, how viable is the web? Why not use a disconnected model like the Notes client? Mobile-first is the future, across every vendor and technology. In 10 years, we won't even thin
It was many years ago (sometime in 2002) to be exact, when a big box arrived via UPS. What was in it? This is the original OpenNTF.org 'server' that the website lived on for many years until more hardware was added. Today, the OpenNTF.org website is many servers at host Prominic. I will always remember being one of the second tier of supporters, including Vince and many others. Bruce is retiring his position as OpenNTF.org director today. I think his election by the community as director says far more than his election as chair by the other directors. It's time for new blood and others in the community to step up. Bruce's commitment to OpenNTF.org and the community built around 'Lotus' is one of the strongest out there. Change is healthy, and I know Bruce is looking forward to the new journey he has undertaken. I know Bruce will do well - he knows nothing else. #thanksbruce