IBM needs to find a new word for "residency"

by Volker Weber

Great new opportunity. Let me help with a brief translation, tongue firmly in cheek:

Residents will have an opportunity to be involved in a team effort, utilizing various collaboration tools to create an IBM Redbooks wiki providing a Deployment Guide for Lotus Notes and Domino Version 8.5.

You co-author a wiki.

This is a great way to give back to the community and your professions by sharing your expertise and experience while learning new skills and increasing your network of peers.

You don't get paid.

The structure of the guide will be based on the current IBM Redbooks publication "IBM Lotus Notes and Domino Version 8 Deployment Guide". The contents will be updated to reflect new function, capabilities and best deployment practices for Version 8.5.

Wikis, like books, don't magically update themselves.

This is purely a remote / virtual residency, which means you will not need to travel to participate. The ITSO will not pay for any expenses incurred during your involvement with this residency.

You are a resident of your home.

You will be expect to attend various kickoff, status, and review meetings (via conference calls and/or using other collaboration tools ...

Just as if you worked for IBM.


Maybe the kind souls that do this work could also write some advertising material for the product.

Adam Osborne, 2009-07-10

I believe that exists. And it is hiding somewhere. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2009-07-10

next time they should make it with the beta material it think it would be easier to attract people to play with "new" stuff and schedule the release with GA for the product.

that way there will also be better documentation at launch

Flemming Riis, 2009-07-10

I was rather put off the wikis when at a press conference (the infamous 'Chris Byrne' Bloggers one) where Rhonin said he loved the wikis as it saved him spending money on documentation...

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2009-07-10

Bill, for me this is a much better statement than the marketing speak you usually hear when IBM talks about their Lotus Wikis. And I have no doubt that as worse as the conditions are IBM will find some that think this is a fair deal.

Henning Heinz, 2009-07-10

Bill, I like straight talk. Saving money was the objective all along, but it took a Mike Rhodin to say it.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-10

there is a fine line between having people working voluntary at projects and using them as a free ressource to spare your own money.

So it boils down to a simple question. Especially in those economic tight times.

What would be in for me as a person if i would put my time and effort in there?

Thomas Schulte, 2009-07-10

Thomas: absolutely. I know several people who’ve participated in Red Book residencies in the past, and without exception they got a lot out of them. Specifically:

- You’re away from home, possibly even in a different country—always interesting!
- You’re working all day with fellow residents on the content
- Face-to-face interaction with IBM staff and co-authors
- Access to IBM software, tools and labs
- Many of the residencies were for brand new / pending products and toolkits, so you got early exposure to this stuff
- IBM covered your living expenses

Now, nothing wrong with doing all this in a wiki instead, but I can’t imagine it’s half as much fun or as fulfilling now. (i.e. replacing the above with conference calls and sitting in your own house).

So you have to be one hell of a driven person to do this, and I wonder how IBM think they‘re going to attract the talent for it.

Ben Poole, 2009-07-10

That was exactly what i meant Ben. I cannot see any benefit for the participants. And becoming a person with a "name" in the community is the only thing i can think of as a incentive for such efforts.

And this would be a weak one because i have read a lot of redbooks and i do NOT remember most of the authors names.

Thomas Schulte, 2009-07-10

There *are* benefits to participating, even with this model. But the benefits become more internal and personal to the participants, and it likely draws a different set than you'd get with the traditional residency (in the true sense of the word).

Many of the well-known names in the community have already "given back" in spades. So that's not as much of a draw as it may seem. The adventure of immersing yourself in a technology in the traditional format is gone, so it's not "special" in that sense. Your employer probably isn't going to let you go for a month to work on a wiki from your home office, where they might have let you travel away to do something like that. The new format doesn't hold that same type of allure. Finally, the well-known names who might have the most knowledge to start with are probably already swamped with projects. Adding in yet another intense volunteer effort isn't all that appealing, and they certainly don't need much more (or any more) street cred.

The flip side... those who ARE knowledgable but are on the fringes of the ASW community can use this to make the next step in their professional image. If you've never done writing or always wanted to do so, this is a good opportunity. Obviously, it's a huge amount of work, but you ARE sharing back with the community. Looks nice on a resume too. If you're working for yourself, having something like this in your resume/CV can be very impressive.

The important thing here is honesty. This is a cheaper option for IBM than the former residency program. Wikis have advantages and disadvantages over redbooks. We'll probably never go back to the old format. It is what it is.

This isn't the only IBM writing program that's gone to a cheaper "volunteer" format. Change is what it is. Each person just has to examine (or re-examine) what they get from participation, and make their decision accordingly. I know that's what I had to do...

Thomas "Duffbert" Duff, 2009-07-10

Duffbert, a virtual residency is much like a virtual girlfriend. ;-)

Thomas, with Redbooks you did not need to remember the authors. The authors used to give those Redbooks to their clients. Today they still can give them a URL.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-10

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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