IBM developerWorks turns 10

Company cites efforts to push standards on developer-driven Web property

IBM this week is marking the 10th anniversary of its IBM developerWorks Web site, which features resources for software developers and IT professionals.

With developerWorks, IBM sought to foster adherence to industry standards, company officials said this week. "Instead of building a developer portal that talked about DB2, we built a portal that talked about Java" and XML and Web services, said Dirk Nicol, IBM program director for emerging technology. He was the lead in setting up developerWorks, which has seen its traffic grow from 200,000 unique monthly visitors in 1999 to 4 million visitors per month now. (A quick look at the site Thursday, however, does show a degree of DB2-related material on the site's "Popular content" link.)

"The growth that we've seen is directly attributable to how we have evaluated the needs of the involved IT professional," said Stephanie Martin, director of developerWorks at IBM.

DeveloperWorks has enabled IBM to get feedback on emerging technologies. The company's WebSphere middleware platform was one beneficiary, said Nicol. However, the intent of developerWorks has not necessarily been to build new products but to build marketplace skills.

"If we don't have Java and XML and Linux skills in the marketplace, we can't sell our products," Martin said.

Having used the site as a place to promote technologies such as the jCentral search engine, which crawled the Web for Java code, developerWorks now is the domain for topics including cloud computing and IBM's "Smarter Planet" effort to promote interconnected, intelligent devices that leverage analytics. Other efforts will include tutorials and information on health care standards, privacy, and telecommunications.

The company added social networking capabilities to the site via the My developerWorks extension unveiled in May.

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Paul Krill

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