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Features Interviews

Tanmay Bakshi at 12, A Prodigy who not only Codes, but Inspires.

Last week at the IBM developer Summit, I had a chance to chat with a young champ called Tanmay Bakshi. Tanmay is 12 year old and he is the world’s youngest IBM Watson Programmer. He isn’t just a software developer but also an Author, Keynote Speaker and a Honorary IBM Cloud Advisor. Tanmay had his first iOS app, tTables, accepted by Apple when he was just 9 years old. Let us read Tanmay Bakshi’s Interview.

What got Tanmay to Technology and Coding?

He started coding when he was 5 years old. I was amazed when I heard him say that; For a moment, I couldn’t even remember, what I was doing at 5. Today, Kids have great access to Technology and Gadgets. When groomed well, it empowers you to do something super awesome!

Like it does for many of us, Technology excites Tanmay as well. He didn’t just stop at being amazed, but took a step to learn and create something which is phenomenal. At first, he was super excited to first see his name on screen and whatever he types on screen. It was just a magic for him.

He couldn’t stop laughing while he explained about how he helped fix his teacher’s computer in his senior kindergarten.

His first app, tTables was primarily designed for children: You answer multiplication questions and, depending on your knowledge, you hear applause or the ominous buzzing of bees.

Tanmay says, Swift is his most favourite. Scripting languages aren’t very powerful with Syntaxes. However, you end up using them because performance matters. Swift is a perfect mix of everything. You can either use it like a full fledge programming language or you can use it like a scripting language like Ruby or Python. Swift is even cross platform now and that gives it an edge among other programming languages at this moment.

How should Kids approach Programming?

According to Tanmay, Dedication and never give-up attitude is what matters than anything else. One has to solve problems and learn new things. Start with one language and others will be easy to pick up. Coding isn’t all that difficult, he says! Tanmay has also written a book called “Hello Swift!: iOS programming for kids and other beginners”.

This year’s Apple WWDC also saw the company showcasing Swift Playgrounds, an interactive app for iPad which helps kids and aspiring developers to learn Swift Programming easily through activities and games.

Tanmay Bakshi's Interview

What does Tanmay like to do?

While I asked, if he loved creating games or tools? His answer quite amazed me. He says – “I like making open source tool which can be useful for the developer community and also general public. Something like AskTanmay, where you get answers to questions asked and not just documents like Google does”.

This documentary on IBM Watson: Smartest Machine ever built influenced Tanmay on his research; and his tool, AskTanmay is a web based NLQA system built of IBM Watson’s Cognitive Capabilities in the NL Field.

Tanmay has learned most of the coding on his own, playing on his computer and online tutorials after school. Learning from Videos has definitely helped him and he believes in giving back to the community. He runs a YouTube channel which has over 89 videos on technology learning and he spends time with his subscribers to solve their problems related to programming, Watson, Maths and Science.

Role of Parents, How did they really help him?

Tanmay’s parents do encourage Tanmay’s ambitions and are a part of his efforts in problem solving. While many parents are worried about the screen time their children get, Puneet says – Tanmay isn’t using computers aimlessly; He has a motive and we would always support him for what he does. As a parent, you need to understand kids. They have open minds and lots of time. They can think fearlessly.

Tanmay-Bakshi-ParentsPuneet further added in – we adults have a fear of losing; whereas with kids, thats not the case. Tanmay doesn’t even care if his program is going to crash the computer. He just plays with his code and his machine. He loves doing that.

“Provide the right set of resources to your kids, and while you give, you also monitor if they are using it right. That’s a very important thing to do. If it is heading in the right direction, provide even more resources so that, they can excel in what they are doing”, says Puneet.

What next for Tanmay?

Tanmay is currently working with his mentors from IBM on creating various IoT enabled devices. He wants to continue making videos for his YouTube channel and build more and more applications. He also wants to write more books on Swift, Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning, IBM Watson and more. Tanmay is also a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan and hopes to get his book autographed by the legendary bollywood actor.

While we were having this conversation, his hand gestures and confidence was worth admiring. I wasn’t getting a feel of talking to a kid anymore. All I could see was an App inventor sitting beside me, explaining about technology and how it is going to touch lives. Yes, I was inspired as well.

Hope you enjoyed reading Tanmay Bakshi’s interview. Let us know your thoughts.

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General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

IBM Introduces Enterprise Cloud Marketplace with Global Partner Ecosystem

IBM today launched a new Cloud marketplace that brings together IBM’s vast portfolio of cloud capabilities and new third-party services in a way that delivers a simple and easy experience for three key user groups within the enterprise – developers, IT managers and business leaders to learn, try, and buy software and services from IBM and its global partner ecosystem.

The launch of IBM Cloud marketplace represents the next major step in IBM’s cloud leadership. This single online destination will serve as the digital front door to cloud innovation bringing together IBM’s capabilities-as-a-service and those of partners and third party vendors with the security and resiliency enterprises expect.

The marketplace offers a gateway for IBM’s vast global business partner ecosystem to tap into the growing $250B cloud market opportunity, with instant access to IBM’s rich intellectual capital, array of services and software capabilities and access to IBM’s vast enterprise client network. For partners, IBM’s cloud marketplace provides a global path to the enterprise and new opportunities to collaborate with a network of channel partners in its ecosystem to generate new revenue streams driving cloud innovation.

This marketplace will serve as a cloud innovation hub where technology meets business with hundreds of cloud services from IBM, partners and third party ecosystem.  Clients can access a full suite of IBM-as-a-Service with 100 SaaS applications, IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service with composable services, the powerful SoftLayer infrastructure-as-a-service and third party cloud services.

Today’s news is the next significant step in IBM’s continued march toward building the most comprehensive cloud portfolio for the enterprise.  This year alone IBM announced:

  • $1.2 Billion investment to expand its global cloud footprint with SoftLayer
  • $1 Billion in cloud development with the launch of Bluemix, Platform-as-a-Service enabling much of IBM middleware to the cloud.
  • $1 Billion in the launch of a new business unit, the Watson Group for cloud-delivered cognitive innovation.
  • Acquisition of Aspera, Cloudant and Silverpop bringing the total to $7 Billion invested in 17 cloud acquisitions since 2010.

“Increasingly cloud users from business, IT and development across the enterprise are looking for easy access to a wide range of services to address new business models and shifting market conditions,” said Robert LeBlanc, Senior Vice President, IBM Software & Cloud Solutions. “IBM Cloud marketplace puts big data analytics, mobile, social, commerce, integration —- the full power of IBM-as-a-Service and our ecosystem — at our clients’ fingertips to help them quickly deliver innovative services to their constituents.

Building a Best in Class Ecosystem of Cloud Service Providers

IBM cloud marketplace offers an ideal environment for business partners and independent software vendors to monetize their solutions as cloud services for the enterprise, Several IBM partners including SendGrid, Zend, Redis Labs, Sonian, Flow Search Corp, Deep DB, M2Mi and Ustream have featured a wide array of cloud services on IBM marketplace for enterprise clients.

“IBM has brought together a full suite of enterprise class cloud services and software and made these solutions simple to consume and integrate, whether you are an enterprise developer or forward looking business exec,” said Andi Gutmans, Zend CEO and Co-founder. “We will support the rapid delivery of our applications through the IBM Cloud marketplace, enabling millions of web and mobile developers, and many popular PHP applications to be consumed with enterprise services and service levels on the IBM Cloud.”

“Most cloud marketplaces are tied to one specific product offering. If you don’t use the particular service for which the marketplace was built – even if you’re a customer of other products by the same company, that marketplace is irrelevant for you,” Jim Franklin, CEO of SendGrid. “But the IBM cloud marketplace will be available to all IBM and non-IBM customers. Whether you’re using BlueMix, or SoftLayer, or another IBM product, the IBM Marketplace will be there to serve you. As a vendor, being able to reach all IBM customers from one place is very exciting.”

How the IBM Cloud Marketplace Works

Clients can conveniently discover, test and experience hundreds of IBM and partner enterprise-grade cloud services online that are open, scalable and secure. Content is dynamically served up by job role and service pages offer easy, intuitive access for those interested in categories such as Start-ups, Mobile, Gaming and others. .For example, an enterprise DevOps team is looking for a better way to develop new technologies to meet fast-changing needs of the business.   Until now, they would have searched across the Web, looking at vendor sites to piece together solutions.  Today, they can consolidate their evaluation, immediate trial and purchasing of both IBM and third-party applications in the IBM cloud marketplace and or contact IBM directly for a purchase.

IBM’s cloud marketplace has three key components:

For Line of Business Professionals: Busy business professionals from across the organization are looking for a fast, easy way to find  user-friendly applications that are secure and scalable.   IBM Cloud marketplace for business will serve as a single stop where business and IT professionals can learn about, deploy and consume over 100 SaaS applications ranging from Marketing, Procurement, Sales & Commerce, Supply Chain, Customer Service, Finance, Legal, and City Managers.

For Developers: IBM’s Cloud marketplace — Dev provides an integrated, get-started-now, cloud-based development environment where individual developers, development shops and enterprise development teams can quickly and effectively build enterprise applications via leading services and application protocol interfaces (APIs).  These applications can be easily and securely integrated in hybrid on premise and off premise cloud environments. It is uniquely built on an open environment so developers can choose any open source or third party tools and integrate apps, as needed.  Building on IBM’s $1 Billion investment in Bluemix, Platform as a Service, today IBM also announced the expansion of Bluemix with 30 cloud services, bringing advanced big data and analytics, mobile, security and devops services to developers and bringing enterprise developers into the cloud.

For IT Departments: IT managers want infrastructure they can configure and control to select their own suite of services, hardware and software; as well as reliable and scalable technology that is easy to access and implement.   Cloud marketplace — Ops provides a secure set of cloud services built on Softlayer that help clients deploy cloud services. support high performance businesses at enterprise scale.   SoftLayer gives clients the ability to choose a cloud environment and location that best suits their business needs and provides visibility and transparency to where data reside, control of data security and placement with a choice of public, private or bare-metal server options.    Services include Big Data, Disaster Recovery, Hybrid environments, Managed Security Services, Cloud Environments for Small and Medium Business among others. For instance, IT managers will be able to access two new IaaS offerings from IBM’s Big Data and Analytics portfolio in the Cloud Marketplace. InfoSphere Streams will allow organizations to analyze and share data in motion for real-time decision management, and InfoSphere BigInsights will make it easier for developers to use Hadoop to build secure big data apps. With the addition of these new solutions, IBM now offers more than 15 solutions from its Big Data and Analytics portfolio, Watson Foundations, for business users in the Cloud Marketplace. IBM’s Enterprise Content capabilities will also be available to help knowledge workers actively engage and manage content in a trusted cloud environment.

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General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

IBM MobileFirst: End-to-End Enterprise Mobile Solutions and Platform

Today’s workplace is now undeniably a mobile enterprise. Anytime, anywhere transactions and a blurring of lines between corporate and individual can make organizations feel vulnerable. For all the good that comes with mobilizing the workforce, there are challenges: maintaining security and compliance, managing multiple device platforms and addressing complex mobile requirements.

To be successful in embracing mobile for driving growth, enterprises must have an integrated strategy for mobile, cloud, big data, social business and security. Through IBM MobileFirst, IBM is providing companies with the essential tools to take advantage of new business opportunities being enabled by mobile. In addition to meeting mobile-specific requirements, the portfolio leverages deep technology services for rapid integration between social and cloud services as well as back-end technologies that help secure and manage strategic processes. With the addition of Cloudant to its portfolio, IBM has extended its data management capabilities with database-as-a-service for web-scale and mobile applications.

IBM-Mobility

IBM MobileFirst begins with a mindset – allowing innovative enterprises to see opportunities that can be gained by bringing resources together to strengthen customer engagement, whenever and wherever the customer wants, and on the customer’s favourite device, which is often mobile. Whether it is transforming customer acquisition strategies, streamlining business processes, or boosting product and service innovations, a lot can be accomplished by focusing on mobile computing environments first.

As enterprises are always looking for new ways to fully engage their customers, IBM MobileFirst offers true end-to-end mobile solutions, guiding businesses from strategy to insights. By extending network applications and web experiences to connect to enterprise data, businesses can unleash the full interactive power of their solutions. IBM helps enterprises build an agile and scalable approach to app development, including a superior user experience across multiple devices and platforms, using the strongest native, hybrid, or web code. By building a single, cross-platform app, enterprises lower the risk and reduce total cost – while still delivering a rich experience.


IBM’s solution also helps businesses manage their mobile enterprise more efficiently, allowing them real-time visibility and control at the app, device and network layers across device types and operating systems. This gives them the confidence to oversee ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) and ‘choose your own device’ (CYOD) initiatives, which is critical as employees become more dependent on smartphone and tablet access to perform their jobs. This is key to mobile enterprise productivity.

From a customer perspective, this solution gives them the confidence in the business via secure transactions across devices around the world. This increased agility helps encourage more mobile engagements. IBM helps businesses optimize digital and mobile experiences and drive the online conversation when mobile connections, location services, and insights and combined to make contextual offers. This creates new value and drives loyalty and satisfaction.

In this below Video, Learn how leading enterprises rise to the top, including ROI, analytics, integration, and security:

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General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

What does Cloudant acquisition mean to IBM?

IBM acquired Cloudant early this year. This acquisition helps the company extend its data management capabilities with a JSON database-as-a-service for web-scale and mobile applications. Delivered as a fully managed cloud service, Cloudant eliminates complexity by enabling developers of fast-growing web and mobile apps to focus on developing their applications without the need to manage database infrastructure or growth.

ibm-cloudant

Cloudant serves as the standard data layer for the next generation of web and mobile applications. They deliver distributed DBaaS coupled with Replication & SYNC, search and web scale under one API. Their cloud services business model is available in 34 data centers around the world today. The rapid growth in Systems of Engagement use cases has led to the emergence of developer-centric technologies supporting continuous iterative creation and deployment of applications. These new capabilities include NoSQL databases based on open source technologies, designed to support flexible data types and often delivered as a fully managed service. Cloudant accelerates and extends IBM’s Big Data and Analytics portfolio, specifically data management capabilities, with a NoSQL, JSON database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for web-scale and mobile applications that has been tuned and optimized for delivery on SoftLayer.

Cloudant also is integral to IBM’s MobileFirst solutions and enables developers who use Worklight to quickly create flexible, reliable and scalable apps that include a variety of structured and unstructured data. Cloudant sits squarely among key IBM growth initiatives including: Big Data and Analytics, Cloud and Mobile.

The acquisition of Cloudant is expected to close in 1Q14. Following the close, Cloudant will join IBM’s newly formed Information and Analytics Group led by Senior Vice President Bob Picciano, a business unit within the IBM Software & Systems Group.

Cloudant’s DBaaS extensively leverages the availability, elasticity and reach of the cloud to create a global data delivery network enabling applications to scale larger and remain available to users wherever they are located. In addition, the Cloudant managed cloud service:

  • Stores data of any structure as self-describing JSON documents
  • Leverages a multi-master replication system and advanced distributed design principles to achieve elastic database clusters that can span multiple racks, data centers, or cloud providers
  • Enables global data distribution and geo-load balancing to provide high availability and enhanced performance for applications that require data to be located close to users
  • Provides full-text search, advanced geo-spatial and temporal querying, and flexible, real-time indexing
  • Integrates via a RESTful application programming interface (API)
  • Enables easy data replication and sync for mobile applications, with open source, device-native software libraries
  • Offers 24×7 monitoring and management by its Big Data experts