Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guest: on October 19 (tomorrow!), Clayton Coleman of IBM


Tomorrow (October 19), we'll be visited by Clayton Coleman of IBM. Please read his biology below and prepare some questions for him (as I will):
I'm the web interface lead for IBM Connections - IBM's enterprise social networking suite - and I'm also the team lead of the Files product within that suite.  I've been working in the social / collaboration space for about 10 years for IBM with a focus on web interface design - essentially everything between the browser and the server (which usually runs WebSphere, IBM's version of the Java EE server stack).  Connections has capabilities that most people are familiar with - we have profiles and activity streams (like Facebook), ad hoc communities (like Yahoo Groups), files (like Google Docs), wikis, discussion forums, blogs, ad-hoc lists and simple project management, and social bookmarking.  The biggest difference is that we are building products focused towards big companies, which means that we have to show how social networking improves productivity while remaining secure, rather than focusing on driving more ad revenue and more page views.  We use all of the technologies we can in the browser space - modern HTML5 concepts like Forms and Canvas/SVG, rich JavaScript interaction patterns, but also server side generation of content when necessary.  Usability is very important and we have to walk a fine line between using the newest spec features with a degraded experience for older clients, or having experiences that are only possible in the newest browsers.  We also have to be able to deploy our web applications into customer environments with minimal configuration and setup, but get high performance and maintainability out of the box.  In the past I've worked on web content management and personalization with rules engines as well as other internal document management solutions.
See you soon!