SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Microservices Expo

Agile Computing: Article

Who Are The All-Time Heroes of i-Technology?

From Ada, Countess of Lovelace to Jamie Zawinski

Don Ferguson

 

Brief Description: Inventor of the J2EE application server at IBM, now with Microsoft

Further Details:

As an IBM Fellow and chief architect for IBM Software Group, Don Ferguson was the original chief architect for the WebSphere family of products. He joined IBM Research in 1985, and was the chairman of the Software Group Architecture Board, which oversees the architecture and integration of WebSphere, DB2, Lotus, Tivoli and Rational products.

"One of my goals in life," he once blogged, "is to teach my daughter (8 years old) and my wife (a dentist) to be able to build meaningful WebSphere applications."

More recently, in January 2007, he was recruited away from IBM by Microsoft, where he is now a Technical Fellow in Platforms and Strategy in the Office of the CTO.

A quality thinker and writer, here is an example of vintage Ferguson:

"I like Java for some things. I have to admit that I like PHP's associative arrays and integral support for simple string/variable behavior. I also think there are metaphors for programming that we need to give to other communities. There is a whole cadre of SQL programmers out there. They need to be able to implement and use services without throwing out what they learned. Some business professionals understand simple flow charts for decisions, decision tables/trees and sequences of if ... then ... Some business schools teach structured english. I am not sure these folks would like PHP or Java. I am struggling with how to surface lots of programming "models," with a focus on matching the concepts and tools with the pre-conceived biases of the community.

I think there is a huge role for XML over HTTP. It is ideal for many, many scenarios. We struggle with the WS-* family of specifications. I have read many of them, and helped write some of them. I do not think that they are as thick as the XML specs but I cannot dispute that the space appears to be complex. We strive for 'composability' and 'incremental consumption,' which we hope allows people to only learn the concepts their applications need."

Ferguson's interests - a refreshingly strange foursome - include "distributed systems, transaction processing, performance, and karate."

Other SYS-CON stories about Don Ferguson:

Microsoft Snags Don Ferguson, Former IBM Chief Architect – "Father of WebSphere"
Published Jan. 15, 2007

Birth of a Platform: Interview with Don Ferguson,"The Father of WebSphere" (Part 1)

Birth of a Platform: Interview with Don Ferguson, "The Father of WebSphere" (Part 2)

Birth of a Platform: Interview with Don Ferguson, "The Father of WebSphere" (Part 3)

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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