Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Presentations from IBM InterConnect 2017

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

I’m finally back home after what feels like a very long week in Las Vegas at IBM’s InterConnect conference. I promised that I’d post my presentations on SlideShare and I’ll add a few comments here on how each session went.

After an Inner Circle session on Sunday, my first public session of the week was an introduction to containers with WebSphere traditional. This played to a full room which suggests that there is significant interest in the use of containers for existing workloads. Indeed, that was the point of the second half of the session, to describe scenarios where it may make sense to use containers with traditional WebSphere. That’s not to say that it always does and, during one-to-one sessions during the week, I found myself repeatedly cautioning customers against rushing in to the use of containers, particularly with ND, just for the sake of it.

How to Containerize WebSphere Application Server Traditional, and Why You Might Want To from David Currie

My next session covered our new announcement around Microservice Builder. I’ll not say more here as I’ll cover this in a separate post.

Microservice Builder: A Microservice DevOps Pipeline for Rapid Delivery and Promotion from David Currie

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to deliver this session on Liberty and IBM Containers as it clashed with another that I was presenting. As touched on briefly in this presentation, one of the other announcements at the conference was for support for Kubernetes in IBM Containers. There was lots of excitement around this and I urge you to go and check it out for yourself.

WebSphere Liberty and IBM Containers: The Perfect Combination for Java Microservices from David Currie

On Wednesday I had a joint presentation with Brian Paskin looking at options for scalability with Liberty and containers. This was very much Brian’s presentation though so I shan’t post it here. There was an accompanying lab in the afternoon that looked at Liberty collectives and at IBM Containers.

My last session of the week was looking at some of the options when choosing a container orchestration platform: from Liberty collectives, through Swarm and Docker Datacenter, and Kubernetes with IBM Spectrum Conductor for Containers and IBM Containers. Many customers I spoke to this week were looking for a single definitive answer here but my response for now is still very much “it depends”.

Choosing a Container Platform for your WebSphere Applications from David Currie

Find me at IBM InterConnect 2017

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

I’m going to be at IBM’s InterConnect conference this coming week. If you’re going to be there too, there’s a quick run-down of the sessions I’ll be presenting below. The astute will notice that, due to a scheduling snafu, I’m supposed to be presenting two sessions at the same time on Tuesday. If you go to the Liberty/ IBM Containers session then I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with Tom – be kind to him!

If you want to chat about any combination of microservices, containers and WebSphere, you can find me on the microservices ped in the WebSphere area of the expo hall from 5-7:30pm on Tuesday and again from 3-5pm on Wednesday. I’ll be kicking off the latter with a live demo of Microservices Builder, of which more in another post. For Inner Circle customers, I’ll also be talking about this topic at 11am on Sunday.

HAJ-5451 : How to Containerize WebSphere Application Server Traditional, and Why You Might Want To
Date/Time : Mon, 20-Mar, 11:15 AM-12:00 PM
Location : Mandalay Bay South, Level 2 – Surf D
Presenter(s) : David Currie, IBM

BMC-7014 : Roundtable Discussion on Building Java Microservices with WebSphere Liberty
Date/Time : Mon, 20-Mar, 02:00 PM-02:45 PM
Location : Mandalay Bay North, Level 0 – Tropics A
Presenter(s) : Alasdair Nottingham, IBM; David Currie, IBM

BMC-7085 : Meet the Expert on IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty on Docker
Date/Time : Tue, 21-Mar, 02:30 PM-03:15 PM
Location : Concourse, Bayside B, Level 1 – Meet the Experts Forum # 1
Presenter(s) : David Currie, IBM; Tom Banks, IBM

HAM-5526 : IBM Microservice Builder: A Microservice DevOps Pipeline for Rapid Delivery and Promotion
Date/Time : Tue, 21-Mar, 03:45 PM-04:30 PM
Location : Mandalay Bay North, Level 0 – Islander F
Presenter(s) : David Currie, IBM; Jeremy Hughes, IBM

BMC-5983 : WebSphere Liberty and IBM Containers: The Perfect Combination for Java Microservices
Date/Time : Tue, 21-Mar, 03:45 PM-04:30 PM
Location : Mandalay Bay North, Level 0 – South Pacific A
Presenter(s) : David Currie, IBM; Tom Banks, IBM

BMC-7014 : Roundtable Discussion on Building Java Microservices with WebSphere Liberty
Date/Time : Wed, 22-Mar, 08:00 AM-08:45 AM
Location : Mandalay Bay North, Level 0 – Tropics A
Presenter(s) : Alasdair Nottingham, IBM; David Currie, IBM

BMC-2714 : Utilizing WebSphere Application Server Liberty in Docker Containers for Scalability
Date/Time : Wed, 22-Mar, 10:15 AM-11:00 AM
Location : Mandalay Bay North, Level 0 – South Pacific A
Presenter(s) : Brian S. Paskin, IBM; David Currie, IBM

HAJ-2718 : Utilizing IBM WebSphere Liberty in Docker Containers for Scalability (Lab)
Date/Time : Wed, 22-Mar, 01:00 PM-02:45 PM
Location : Mandalay Bay South, Level 3 – South Seas H
Presenter(s) : Brian S. Paskin, IBM; David Currie, IBM

BAS-5901 : Choosing a Container Platform for Your WebSphere Applications
Date/Time : Thu, 23-Mar, 10:30 AM-11:15 AM
Location : Mandalay Bay North, Level 0 – South Pacific A
Presenter(s) : David Currie, IBM; Tom Banks, IBM

Summer Holidays: Act Three

Monday, September 5th, 2016

This final instalment is mostly taken up with our actual summer holiday. Taking a holiday in Britain at the end of August can sometimes be testing the definition of summer and, as we set off for Pembrokeshire, we were heading in to gale force winds. To be fair, this kept the roads fairly empty and, when we arrived at Broad Haven, meant there were some impressive waves breaking against the sea wall. We were staying in a ‘lodge’ at the same place we’d stayed six years earlier when Duncan would have been about 9 months old.

St David's CathedralSurfBy the following day, the wind had died down enough that Christine and the children could test out their new wetsuits body boarding in the sea. Unfortunately the rain returned before too long and we had to test out the selection of board games in the lodge. Things weren’t much better the following day and we tested out the swimming pool in Haverfordwest before taking a trip to St David’s for a look round the cathedral.

Pembroke CastleEmma body boardingThe sun finally made itself felt after that and we spent two pleasant days at the beach. Duncan has thankfully learnt not to eat sand in the intervening years! On another day we visited the privately owned Pembroke Castle which was a trip down memory lane for me having been there during a junior school trip to Tenby. We fell in on a guided tour where there was a good selection of gruesome stories to entertain the children. It was also, slightly randomly, circus skills day, and the children greatly enjoyed the Punch and Judy show.

Marloes PeninsulaSealsWe also revisited Martin’s Haven where the martins are still in residence in the toilets! We debated a trip to Skomer Island but it was too late in the year to see puffins. Instead we just wandered the cliff top path, looking down on the seals and their newborn pups below.

Llyn IdwalAs with our last trip to Pembrokeshire, it was followed by a drive up to north Wales. In an unfortunate reoccurrence, Emma was once again car sick on that journey. We stayed a couple of nights in Caernarfon to be close to Christine’s cousin and extended family who were staying on Anglesey. We took the children for a walk round Llyn Idwal which was unfortunately shrouded in damp mist. Christine and her cousin did a run/walk up to the Glyders and such was the visibility that they managed to descend on the wrong side of Tryfan!

Dave in the seaNewboroughIn contrast, we had glorious sunshine for the following day’s visit to Newborough Sands, scene of the British Orienteering Champs in 1995. While the others set off along the beach to the island (at least it’s an island at high tides) I had a run round the 10K+ Commonwealth Trail Champs route which is signposted.

We relocated to Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostel for the next couple of nights but met up with Cath and family again at Pen-y-Pass for an assault on Snowdon. Thankfully, unlike our last Snowdontrip along the Miner’s Track, no running buggies or baby carriers were required and this time the children made it all the way to the summit of Snowdon. Unfortunately the cloud never lifted as forecast and it was pretty miserable on top, not helped by the café being closed and Emma was heartbroken that she wouldn’t be able to spend any money in the shop! We descended back down the tourist track in to Llanberis for the traditional refuelling at Pete’s Eats.

Wilderhope ManorChristine had a grant interview in Swindon on the Thursday so we departed Wales and spent a night in the rather grand YHA Wilderhope Manor on Wenlock Edge. The stay was even more grand for the fact that our ‘en-suite room’ turned out to be the bridal suite! The mere presence of a bridal suite is a good indication of why we have never been able to book a room here at the weekend when orienteering in Shropshire.

Whilst Christine attended her interview, we amused ourselves at the nearby STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway. It was billed as being an excellent way to pass STEAMa few hours and so it proved to be. There were a relatively small number of locomotives on display but this meant there was plenty of space to stand back and appreciate them. There were also lots of diversion for the children which meant that I could actually read some of the material on display. I hadn’t appreciated the extent to which Swindon owed its existence, or at least size, to the presence of the railway.

Paultons ParkThat brought us back home but, with Christine working a weekend open day at the University, I still had some child-minding to do and we decided to tick one more item of the children’s bucket list for the summer: a return trip to Paultons Park. The answer I posed at the end of my last blog post on this subject was 5 years, although Emma has managed a trip there with school in the interim. The children’s tastes have certainly matured and we only had one ride in Peppa Pig World (although this was possibly my worst with Duncan attempting to spin our cabin as fast as he could!). Thankfully the queues are somewhat shorter in other parts of the park, including the new rides in the Lost Kingdom. Emma demurred at some of the rides but this only spurred Duncan on and sadly he was the one who still needs to be accompanied by an adult on many of them! In the end, Emma caved in and joined us on everything. The only ride we didn’t do (although Duncan was definitely eyeing it up) was the Edge.

Summer Holidays: Act Two

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Dyrham ParkWe returned to pick the children up from Monmouth the following weekend, stopping off at Dyrham Park on the way back. Quite apart from it being a convenient place just off the M4 to stop for lunch, the children had last been there when the roof was in the process of being replaced following a fire and were keen to see how it now looked. The scaffolding that they had previously ascended to look down on the roof was all gone and, at least externally, the property was once again looking in fine form.

Emma runningChristine and Duncan runningOn the Sunday Christine took Emma along to the Junior parkrun in Southampton. Emma must have enjoyed it as she was persuaded out their again the following weekend where, despite getting a lower place, she managed to beat her previous time. Duncan also decided that he would go round this time with Christine. Thankfully he managed to maintain a respectful distance behind is older sister! All of this now means that I’m the only one in the family never to have run a parkrun despite being the first to register for a barcode! Duncan climbingI ran home whilst Christine and the children went to investigate what turned out to be an open day at Woodmill Outdoor Activities Centre. This gave them a chance to test out their climbing skills yet again.

Spinnaker TowerChristine and I took it in turns to mind the children the following week. I took them down to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on the train for one day. We went up the Spinnaker Tower first which, to be honest, was a bit of a let down. Other than a view out over the Solent to the Isle of Wight there really just isn’t much to see. There was quite some queue to get in to the dockyard itself but we can return on our ticket at any point during the next year and won’t have to suffer the queue again. After a stop for lunch we headed over to see the Mary Rose in her new dry state. Mary RoseIt’s very well done with the skeletal remains of the one half of the ship on one side and the retrieved contents was laid out on the other in decks as it would have been found on the ship. Unfortunately I think the sheer age of the ship and the remarkableness of the fact that any of it actually remains today was lost on the children.

HMS WarriorEmma had been to see HMS Victory before with school and Duncan will go this year so we then took a look around HMS Warrior. Despite the fact that pretty much only the shell is original, the children still got much more out of out this. Later in the week we took a trip out to Mottisfont to check out the Beatrix Potter trail. On what was a sunny day, it was absolutely heaving and I think the children may finally be starting to outgrow some of the activities (although not the ice cream at the end!).

Howzat!Excitement for the following weekend consisted of a trip to the Ageas Bowl, this time to watch women’s Twenty20 cricket. It was every bit as exciting as the men’s game and the home side of the brightly clad Southern Vipers played a convincing victory over Loughborough Lightning. It was then back to work for Christine and I with the children attending summer camp at their school for the next week.

Summer Holidays: Act One

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

The Summer school holidays began with an event of mixed emotions as I coaxed the ailing (flightless and quite possibly sightless) juvenile crow that had occupied our back garden for the past month or so in to a cardboard box. Whilst I was out at work, Christine and the children deposited it at the local vets. What its fate was there we don’t know. It does, however, mean that we are no longer woken early by its cries for food and that we can hang the washing out unmolested!

Go ApeThe fun started in earnest at the weekend when we took the children to Junior Go Ape at Itchen Valley Country Park. Emma has been angling to go for some time now. They are both old enough/tall enough to be able to go round on their own so Christine and I could watch from ground level. Go APeUnlike the adult version, you’re attached permanently to a wire from start to finish which places some limits on what you can do but means that there is no chance of them falling and there is no faffing around with clipping and unclipping the whole time. They also get to go round the two loops on offer as many times as they like in the hour slot which, in Emma and Duncan’s case, was lots!

ExburyExburyExburyI looked after the children for one day the next week and we took a trip down to Exbury Gardens. The gardens are probably not at their best at this time of year but I was still taken aback by quite how deserted the place was. ExburyWe went round the family trail which was educational for all and then took a ride on the train. We’ll have to return again in the autumn or spring.

Camping PodFor the second half of the week, Christine and the children were checked in to a ‘camping pod‘ at South Downs Youth Hostel which they all seemed to enjoy, even if they did spend rather a lot of time waiting for Southern Rail.

Bristol ZooBristol ZooThe children were staying with Christine’s parents for the second full week of the holiday. We drove them up and met up with Christine’s brother and family at Bristol Zoo on the way there.Climbing It’s amazing how much they pack in to such a small area and it’s certainly the equal of Marwell.

Whilst away, the children enjoyed some more high altitude action with a return trip to the climbing wall at Llangorse Lake.

Back to the Brecons

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Pen y FanFor the first week of the Easter holidays we returned to the same cottage that we stayed at two years ago for the JK (having decided not to go up to the JK in Yorkshire this year). It was an action packed week with walking, running, cycling, swimming, canoeing and climbing, with a fair amount of dodging showers thrown in for good measure!

Here’s a quick run down of the week:
Friday: Arrived early evening having spent rather too much of a beautifully sunny day sat on the M4!
Saturday: Managed a quick walk down to the canal before the rain arrived. Headed to Brecon to stock up on supplies.
Sunday:pen-y-fan-2016-2.jpg Made the most of all the rain by going to visit the waterfalls above the Talybont Reservoir. Made it back from our walk just as the hail descended. I managed to time my run in the evening for the return of the sunshine.
Monday: We returned to the scene of the JK relays (Pwll Du) for the Rogue Runs ‘Gilwern Grunt’ race. The children were marshalling with their grandparents which meant both Christine and I could run. The hail ceased just in time for the start. Running through the mine workings was fun although my progress on the ascents/descents was pretty poor. Christine bagged a prize for third lady. We headed to Big Pit afterwards although sadly they weren’t running underground tours that day.
Tuesday: Gerry and Sue took the children climbing at Llangorse and Christine and I headed out on our bikes. We took the Taff Trail up to the top of Talybont Forest and then had a quick walk up Craif y Fan Ddu before heading for the tea shop. It began to snow heavily whilst we were sat there which wasn’t so much of a problem as the freezing cold rain it became as dropped altitude on our way back to the cottage.
Wednesday:pen-y-fan-2016-7.jpg The weather finally took a turn for the better and we spent a fun few hours paddling along the canal from Brecon (trying to catch the electric hire boats!).
Thursday: With a clear day forecast we finally took to the hills, climbing Pen y Fan and Cribyn via the Corn Du ridge. The snow on the way up certainly added to the excitement for the children. Most memorable for the adults was the orderly queue to take your photo at the summit of Pen y Fan!
Friday: Time to pack our bags and make our way back to Southampton via a night in Monmouth.

Rome Retreat

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

ColosseumWork took me to Rome at the end of this week, facilitating a code retreat for some of my colleagues at the local IBM lab. The retreat itself followed a format we’ve used numerous times before with a focus on pairing and TDD although for the first time we also introduced a session on BDD. Starting with a plain English (or Italian) description really did seem to help the participants avoid starting with a focus on the details of the implementation. The experience also made me realise how much you are dependent on being able to understand the communication between a pair when trying to coach them!

I had a few hours to spare in the evening in which I seemed to manage to cover most of Rome on foot and, with the hotel being based near the Colosseum (I could see it from my room window), I managed to get a quick trip round the inside before it was time to depart for the airport. Unfortunately Fiumicino was in disarray following a fire two months ago which meant we spent around an hour sat on the tarmac. I’d certainly like to return to Rome when I have more time to explore but the trip did remind me that I should do so at a time of year when it’s a little cooler!

Guernsey Camping

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

GuernseyThis post could equally have been called ‘Not the Austrian Alps’ as that was meant to be our summer holiday destination but we left things too late and somehow it ended up being too expensive or too complicated to get there. I’m not sure how we ended up on Guernsey instead though other than perhaps it is easy to get to from us with a choice of flights from Southampton or ferry from Portsmouth, Weymouth or Poole. We took the last of these which provide to be a bit of a rough crossing (Emma ensuring that we were in the majority of families that had at least one sick child).

We were staying at La Bailloterie camping which had a definite feel of end of season about it. Perhaps not surprising given the weather for the first few days we were there. We managed to dodge the showers fairly successfully though, enjoying the local beaches and visiting some of the many underground attractions when the rain became more persistent: La Vellette Underground Military Museum is full of memborilia from the German occupation but could do a better job of telling the story whereas the aquarium just looks tired. Thanks to a tip off from Christine’s brother we also enjoyed the view from Victoria Tower in St Peter Port (you get to let yourself in using a key from the nearby museum).

The weather brightened up as the week went on and we expanded our range of beaches. Originally we’d planned a visit to one of the neighbouring islands but after the ferry crossing nobody fancied it much! Instead we settled for walking across the causeway to Lihou Island.

All told, a good break and, although Guernsey has some fantastic spacious beaches, I’m not sure we’ll be rushing back there. It just seems a waste to spend 3 hours on a ferry and arrive at somewhere which is still very English (the local supermarket stocked produce from Tesco!). Time to start booking next year’s holiday in Austria…