There’s a snappy new website about IBM’s Ideas Lab in the UK. It talks about the kind of people who work here, and has links to a virtual tour of the site, a Smarter Planet video, blogs by recent graduates Ed and Clare, a simulation game, and some pictures of shoes.
Welcome to the IBM Ideas Lab – the recruitment marketing team have been working on a bit of a rebrand of the UK Software Labs in reaching out to students and graduates.
Check out the microsite here. Students and grads can find out about what it is like to work at the labs and some of the cool things that people work on here. We want to shout about all the fantastic stuff that comes out of the ‘Ideas Lab’ and attract males and females from all degree backgrounds into these roles.
So where are all those brilliant biologists, fantastic philosophers, genius geographers, clever chemists, marvellous mathematicians…? You’ll have to come up with your own descriptions for English, History, Psychology… but they should apply, too.
[oi! I’m an historian thanks very much Peter! … hmm… enlightened English graduates? psuper psychologists? hintelligent historians…? – Andy … and if you want to read more about what life is like at Hursley, there was a lovely piece in the Sunday Times “Inside the IBM Dream Factory” a couple of weekends back]
I’m over in the US at the moment, and I was out of the office all of last week as well, but I see that the BBC has been visiting my friends and colleagues at the Hursley mothership.
The coverage is in two parts. Firstly there’s a nice article on the BBC News website which talks about the history of Hursley, some of the software developed at the lab such as CICS and MQTT, and (of course) Andy Stanford-Clark’s twittering house.
There’s also a set of interviews with IBMers such as Kevin Brown talking about the twittering Hursley minibus, in the May 5th episode of the Digital Planet podcast (here’s a direct link to the MP3). The IBM coverage starts from around about 17 minutes in to the programme.
So, if you were wondering what wild and wacky things we get up to at Hursley – we do a lot of different stuff, and it can be very cool indeed 🙂
This week I’ve been at IBM’s IMPACT 2009 conference in Las Vegas, along with a lot of my colleagues from IBM Hursley. As I wrote over on my personal blog, this is an event aimed at Smart SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and the Smarter Planet… but the synergies between them are bringing in all kinds of interesting themes and topics from the emerging technology space, including virtual worlds and gaming, social computing, and green / sustainable computing.
We’ve briefly mentioned INNOV8 on eightbar before. It’s a serious game for business and education aimed at teaching the principles of Business Process Management. The latest version was announced at IMPACT this week. INNOV8 2.0 is playable on the web, and has a set of new scenarios covering Smarter Supply Chain, Smarter Traffic, and Smarter Customer Service. The trailer is great – very movie-like 🙂
One of the first Hursley-related things I wrote about here on the eightbar blog back in 2006 was how much I enjoy helping with our annual schools event for National Science and Engineering Week in the UK – Blue Fusion (the event website has gone AWOL at the moment but here’s a link to the press release).
This year was no exception. This is now the fifth year that I’ve been a volunteer. Unfortunately I only had room in my schedule to spend one day helping this time around, so I choose to host a school for the day rather than spending all day on a single activity (that way, I got to see all of the different things we had on offer).
So, yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting six intelligent and polite students from Malvern St James School and their teachers – they had travelled a fair distance to come to the event, but despite the early start I think they did really well.
I won’t go into too much detail and spoil the fun for people who might read this but have not yet taken part in this week’s event, but I think we had some great activities on offer. I twittered our way through a few of them. My own personal favourite was a remote surgery activity. You can’t see much in this image (it was a dark room) but the students basically had a “body” inside a box with some remote cameras to guide their hands around and had to identify organs and remove foreign objects.
There was also some interesting application of visual technology / tangible interfaces – a genetics exercise using LEGO bricks and a camera which identified gene strands, and an energy planning exercise which used Reactivision-style markers to identify where power stations had been placed on a map (sort of similar to what we built in SLorpedo at Hackday a couple of years ago). We also had some logic puzzles to solve, built a, err… “typhoon-proof” (ahem) tower, simulated a computer processor, and commanded a colony of ants in a battle for survival against the other school teams.
Once again, I thought this was a great event – just amazing creativity on show from the folks at Hursley in coming up with such engaging exercises. I hope the students had as much fun as I did!