Posts Tagged With: Kathy Brown

Proud to be an #IBMChampion

In one of the many jobs that I held, I remember someone telling me that they weren’t sharing knowledge of something because being the only person who knew that gave them job security. I’ve always felt that was foolish. If you’re the only person who knows something, you get stuck doing that same stupid, repetitive task whenever it needs doing. I can think of nothing more boring for a developer than hoarding knowledge. I don’t ever want to have to do the same thing twice – unless doing it the second time is showing someone else how to do it or demonstrating the way things “used to get done” before I automated the task.

So, it’s no surprise that I’ve always wanted to share whatever knowledge I’ve acquired. Sometimes, the knowledge I’ve got to share is so esoteric that people’s eyes glaze over and they ask me to stop talking. (Like the time I was about to talk for 30 minutes about Miljenko Grgich’s life story and how that related to the wine I’d poured, when my best man, Stu Shelton intervened…) Fortunately, in the IBM ICS community, among committed “Lotus” Notes professionals, any short or long blog post, knowledge sharing session or roundtables veritably demands the sharing of esoterica.

Now, here’s the thing. It’s not only encouraged – it is REWARDED.

I really wasn’t good at sharing outside my own work groups until about 2013. I was at Lotusphere (whatever it was called that year) and Marky Roden saw me singing karaoke. As horrid a singer as I am, I believe his thinking had to be ‘anyone who can risk that kind of humiliation can be a conference speaker’. He’d seen me answering questions on Stack Overflow (I’d gotten over a few hundred reputation points and he was shocked that he didn’t know who I was – no one did!) So, he told me I needed to become a speaker.

I’ve worked on that, but not made the breakthrough to the big time. I’ve blogged over the years, helped out with the DC Lotus Users Group (presented once!), participated in more IBM calls/sessions and gotten very involved in MWLUG. I even was on a panel at Connect 2017, talking to executives about technology trends. Then, when Richard Moy asked, I jumped at the chance to be the local host for MWLUG 2017, here in Alexandria, VA.

Nonetheless, I still have felt like I wasn’t doing all that much. I was living with The Imposter Syndrome. So, when time for IBM Champion nominations came round, I would nominate a few people and then cringe at the idea of nominating myself. I’d been nominated by others, but couldn’t get myself to fill out the paperwork. Howard Greenberg was the first to push me toward this. In 2016, Kathy Brown nominated me and pushed me to nominate myself. I wilted when looking at the paperwork, even though it was something I really wanted.

This year, I finally filled out the paperwork, to go with nominations from a few community members and, to my shock, I didn’t need to write a “it was an honor to be nominated” speech while talking about the great stable of Champions out there. I’m swollen with pride. I was named an IBM Champion.

I’ll get some swag. I’ll get a chance to participate more fully in our community. I’ll have a chance for some recognition at the various conferences. I’m excited about it and vowing to put even more effort into our community.

I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me along the way and those who played a particular role in this process. I hope that I can be your humble and obedient servant, sharing knowledge and helping build our community.

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Categories: Conferences, IBM Champion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sessions for #MWLUG2016

Looking over the announced sessions for MWLUG 2016 down in Austin, I’m excited. There’s a good mix of things you can use today and road maps you can apply in the future. I’m a developer, so all the Development and Best Practices sessions look interesting. The tough part will be picking which ones to attend (and record!)

Five sessions that jumped off the page at me are, in no particular order:

Debugging Java In Your Domino Applications with Julian Robichaux — Java just kills me sometimes. Heck, all of XPages does, but learning more about how to debug and troubleshoot is always useful.

Extreme Development: Pair Programming with Devin Olson and Mike McGarel — Now that Elvis Lezcano is aboard at DAI, we might have a chance to do some of this. He’s the smartest developer I’ve worked with, which I why this is the third job we’ve had together.

Think Outside The Box with Karl-Henry Martinsson — We’ve just been breaking into using REST services with jQuery and Bootstrap to present data, so getting someone else’s take on it will expand my ability to combine data from multiple databases to dazzle our users. (see Kathy’s session on dashboards for ideas she’s using for us)

Getting Your Hands on Graphs with Nathan Freeman — I have loved all the conceptual sessions and want to learn more. If Nathan can get me to understand, there’s no telling how far we can go!

A Modernized Developer’s Workflow with Domino/XPages with Eric McCormick — Workflow has always been a great strength of Notes, so getting modernized by someone who’s not spouting theory, but displaying methods in practice is exciting.

Now, before anyone complains about me not mentioning their sessions…. I’d like to sit in on about… 27 sessions. Since Marky has made no progress on the time machine and IBM doesn’t have anyone working replication of people instead of just data and design, I think I only get about a dozen sessions.

Categories: Conferences, Java, Xpages | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Copying property definitions for custom controls in #XPages

PropertyDefinitionSometimes, when I’m working on my applications, I’ll decide that I want to copy a property definition from one custom control to another. When using the standard properties interface, it’s a lot of work. You have to put the right information into the right fields and switch between tabs. It’s a real bother.

Interestingly, it never occurred to me to look at the .xsp-config documents until we started using SourceTree for source control.* I was looking at some changes and suddenly noticed that … the property definitions are right there! So, instead of slogging through manual editing of the definitions in the UI in Designer, I could just go to either the Navigator or the Package Explorer Eclipse view to open and edit the properties as simple XML.

    <property>
      <property-name>deletionAllowed</property-name>
      <property-class>boolean</property-class>
      <display-name>Allow deletions of attachments</display-name>
      <property-extension>
        <designer-extension>
          <category>Control information</category>
          <editor>com.ibm.std.Boolean</editor>
          <default-value>false</default-value>
        </designer-extension>
        <required>false</required>
      </property-extension>
      <description>Determines if attachments may be deleted,
Deletions are soft and may be recovered within recovery period.
(default: false)</description>
    </property>

So, if I realized that I needed that property on a different custom control, or I wanted to create a second property on the same control with a different name, I could simply copy-paste the code and edit it as necessary.

There is one pretty cool PropertyCategoriespiece of the property definition that seems only to be available when you edit the code directly. That’s the category definition. If you provide a category definition as shown in my code snippet above, then when you’re setting the properties of the custom control that you’ve inserted, it displays categorized properties as part of that category in the UI for ‘All Properties’. I urge you to make sure that if you do fiddle with the properties on the back-end this way, that you first give yourself examples by doing most of it using the UI for adding properties. As with anything else I do in XPages, I find myself wanting to get right to the code, not to use the UI provided by Designer.

It’s interesting that it actually does give you an option that you don’t seem to be able to get otherwise.

* I want to thank PSC for getting us to use SourceTree and bitbucket (while Kathy and Brad do some work for us) and to Paul Withers for his excellent Notes in 9 video on how to do it (for our internal ones).

Categories: Xpages | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Pause to breathe: a note from Lotusphere ’16

I have to be honest. I never knew that I was an introvert. I was always puzzled by the times in my life when I was afraid of people or just wanted to go somewhere quiet. I love reading and my ‘alone time’ reading has always given me that … space. On the other hand, I was in the drama club and on the debate team in high school. I even ran, very unsuccessfully, for student government. So, it was not until I was giving Kathy Brown a ride back to the airport from our offices (PSC is doing some work for us), that I learned about ‘outgoing introverts’. From what I understand, being an extrovert or an introvert is all about whether you gain or lose energy by interacting with others. So, while those of us who are outgoing introverts enjoy interacting with others, it can be draining. Someone who is an extrovert would be gaining energy through the interaction, but not me. I enjoy it, but it does wear me out.

Because we had lunch with James Weru, Clive Lightfoot and Roman Weber, I’ll have a post about their case story that they shared during the Opening General Session. It hits so close to what our company does, working toward the same purposes that I simply had to meet them and learn more.

So, having just spent a few hours being very social at lunch and between sessions, I just needed a quiet break. Just as I need to recharge my laptop and my phone right now, I need to recharge my personal energy banks. It’s easy to forget when attending conferences, that in order to ensure you get the most out of it – knowledge, contacts, tools and relaxation – you have to take care of yourself.

It’s been an incredible conference so far. Having stopped to write this, I feel ready to go back to shaking hands and telling stories.

Categories: Conferences, General Interest | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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