BT Java Web21C

BT’s Java SDK

As I mentioned recently, I now work in the Web21C SDK team. The SDK provides a simple API for programmatically accessing various web services that BT provides, including SMS, conference calls and location services.

The SDK is in public beta, and is currently free (with daily usage limits). Up to now it’s only been available for those crazy .NET folks, but the next release (on Monday, all being well) will extend that to Java, PHP and Python. Rumour has it that Ruby’s in the works too.

I’ve been having a play with the Java version – here’s a sneak preview…

Agile Enterprise

Cultural blocks to adoption of agile development

A recent article in the New York Times describes the issues of introducing ‘The Toyota Way’ to non-Japanese factories.


Apple and DRM-free music

I’ve never quite understood the attitude of people who won’t buy an iPod for the sole reason that the iTunes music store uses DRM – after all, no-one forces iPod owners to buy music from iTunes, rather than ripping it from CDs they own or obtaining unprotected MP3s elsewhere. As DRM schemes go, FairPlay isn’t too bad (allowing you to burn the music to a CD, for example).

Web 2.0

The blog as online identity

In You Are Not a Username, Jason Kolb suggests that the blogosphere is really just a large, losely-coupled social network, and that your identity on that network is your blog’s URL, not a username.

I think this is an area that needs to be explored further because I really don’t like the concept of having a separate account at every site I belong to. It really should revolve around my personal Web site, wherever that may be, and that should be the end of it. It’s a simple matter of relabeling the blogosphere as a social network and layering some existing technology on top of it to add some more value.

This sounds very much like the type of thing you can do with OpenID. For instance, using the OpenID Comments for WordPress plugin, your blog becomes an OpenID server, and you can identify yourself on other OpenID-enabled sites simply by specifying your blog’s URI as the OpenID provider.

[tags]identity, openid, blogosphere, community[/tags]


A gentle nudge

…to Alkesh “the one without a blog” Vaghmaria to get a real post up :-)


I’m now on the SDK team

It looks like Paul Karsten has succeeded in making the case for more developers: Paul, Alkesh and I are now part of the Web21C SDK team (they assure us there’s plenty of Java as well as .net, and if we’re really good they might even let us play with Ruby).

This is good news on several fronts – Paul’s team seems to be one of the few remaining places in the company where in-house developers are still valued, they’re as keen all things XP and agile as we are, and as far as I know this is the first time anyone’s succeeded in moving an established team to a new project en masse since the new ‘resource management’ strategy was introduced.


The other kind of SOA (reprise)

Jason Kolb has an insightful post today on the same kind of issue that I was talking about in the other kind of SOA.


Fighting Developer Abuse

This ThoughtWorks recruitment ad is pure genius.

General nonsense

I guess I need a thesaurus

…looking at the titles of the two posts I made on the 17th.


Rating a company by its coffee provision

Marc McNeill makes some interesting observations on how you can judge a company by the coffee facilities it provides its employees. He lists, in order of decreasing clue:

  1. Vending machine that serves [quality] coffee on free vend.
  2. Kettle and filter coffee / Cafetiere to make my own.
  3. Kettle. I buy my own instant coffee.
  4. Vending machine that serves [quality] coffee that I have to pay for.
  5. Vending machine that serves [tasteless] cofee that I insert coins into.
  6. Vending machine that serves [tasteless] coffee that I insert a vending card into.

Where I work, we have a choice of options three or six. We also have another, that slots in one side or the other of number four:

  • Coffee bar that serves [quality[ish]] coffee that I have to pay [through the nose] for.

At the training centre where I’ll be on Wednesday (formerly a BT site, now run by Accenture), they’ve managed to find another option, which I guess ranks (and having tasted the coffee, I choose the word rank advisedly) at around 4.5:

  • Vending machine that serves [tasteless] coffee on free vend.