IBM Index: A Community Event for Open Source Developers


The first-ever INDEX community event, happening now  in San Francisco, is an open developer conference featuring sessions on topics including artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, cloud native, containers, APIs, languages, and more.

The event will also feature a keynote presentation from The Linux Foundation’s executive director, Jim Zemlin, who will discuss building sustainable open source projects to advance the next generation of modern computing.

Angel Diaz, VP of Developer Advocacy and OSS at IBM

In this article, we talk with Angel Diaz, VP of Developer Advocacy and OSS at IBM, who explains more about what to look forward to at this event.

It looks like there’s a heavy Open Source flavor in the Index conference lineup. Tell us more.

Angel Diaz: Absolutely. There are 26 different developer sessions related to Open Source at Index — covering everything from Building Cloud Native Applications Best Practices, to Open Main Frame, and everything in between.

Open Source is the reality of the enterprise stack today. Open Source has brought compute, storage and network together in OpenStack. It’s brought unity around 12- factor applications in Cloud Foundry. It’s brought the world together around microservices via the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Docker and Kubernetes. And it’s brought the industry together in serverless around projects like Open Whisk. When you look at data, we’ve been democratizing to the masses around Apache Spark and Data Science — and in AI, projects like SystemML and TensorFlow are bridging the gap between the information and the insights you can get with that data. With transactions — Open Source is of course behind the hyperledger and re-establishing what a transaction is through Blockchain. If it’s hot and if it matters in the enterprise stack today–chances are it’s Open Source.

Linux obviously was a huge part of IBM’s heritage with Open Source. Tell us a little bit about the modern outlook of the company as Open Source has grown up so much, and the role that IBM sees itself playing in the community?

Diaz: In this second renaissance of Open Source that we’re in today, IBM and our partners have clear centers of gravity around cloud, data, AI, and transactions. It’s very important as an industry to create these centers of gravity. When you’re creating an open platform for cloud, data and AI, it’s important that you’re bringing together communities — where code bases, use cases and developers are all equal. That’s how you create a great platform as vendor too. That’s how you create an environment where everyone can benefit. Open Source innovation around cloud, data and AI is really the outlook for how IBM built our cloud. We’re trying to make the IBM Cloud the best platform for any Open Source developer.

And how you consume Open Source is as important as the code you write. IBM has been doing Open Source since the 1990s. It’s a huge part of our strategy. From the days of Linux, Eclipse, Apache, to where we are now — we have the IBM Open Source Way. It’s how we culturally think about and leverage Open Source. It describes to the world how we at IBM do Open Source at scale. We don’t just use Open Source, we contribute as much as we use. And in the Open Source Way, we talk about how we have operationalized Open Source at scale across IBM. These methods are best practices that any enterprise that wants to learn how to do Open Source should take to heart.

For example, what is the Open Source etiquette? Don’t be a talker, be a doer. Don’t flaunt your title, don’t be a drive by committer, start small and earn trust. Most importantly, be authentic. Anybody that wants to build an Open Source program or be a citizen of Open Source should take a look at this. How you behave in Open Source is just as important as the code that you build.

There are a lot of great events out there. Let’s hear why any enterprise developers that care about Open Source should be at the Index event next month?

Diaz: It’s a great opportunity for developers who are embedded in the second renaissance of Open Source to meet their peers in these centers of gravity around cloud, data and AI. It’s a vendor neutral event, where we will be bringing together developers across the globe to build these Open Source technologies. Everything from Kubernetes to OpenAPI, Tensorflow, Spark — every Open Source community. It’s a great opportunity for you to go, participate, very inexpensive, developer-to-developer, no marketing. Index will be a conference to learn about these technologies and their place in Open Source.

Don’t miss the opportunity to join the conversation February 20-22 at INDEX.