Where I've Been: Airports, Hotels, and Offices

by Niel M. Bornstein

I've been working for Novell for about six weeks now, and it's been quite an adventure. Here's a summary of what I've seen so far:

I was in Minneapolis in late January and early February. When I tell them that, people tend to pity me, but in reality it wasn't very cold. In fact, one day it was colder when I left Atlanta than it was when I arrived in Minneapolis.

In Minneapolis, I worked with an existing team that was designing an Identity Management-based service-oriented architecture for a very large company. Quite interesting stuff, and it helped show me that I still have a lot to learn about IDM. Unfortunately, that project was put on hold for a while, so I only got to spend two weeks in a city that I'd like to get to know better.

After a week at home doing administrative tasks, it was off to the home office in Waltham for advanced JBoss training. There I met some fellow Novell consultants, and learned about how JBoss is put together under the covers. Interesting stuff, though it could have been more hands-on for my taste.

While I was in the Boston area, I spent a day at LinuxWorld Expo, where I finally got to meet Erik Dasque and Miguel de Icaza in person. I'm sure we'll be collaborating more in the future as I help Novell push Mono out to our clients in the field.

Speaking of Mono, I also travelled to Omaha this week to do a one hour presentation on Mono to a very large financial services organization. While I'm not sure they bought into it, it was a good chance to work on my presentation chops, and to see what the customers really think of Mono. There were some really good questions about moving to Mono from J2EE and/or Microsoft .NET.

Omaha was a very interesting city. From the architecture, I would guess that the city enjoyed a boom in the 1950s. Many of the buildings are faced with what I suppose is native rock; reddish-colored, and with interesting veins. Access to the city from the airport was very easy, just one long, straight, well-maintained road.

In between travels, I've contributed to a couple of proposals, including another SOA for a government agency and a couple of desktop Linux migrations.

In March I'll be going to Novell's annual BrainShare event, where I'll be co-chairing a BOF with my boss, Gary Ardito, on the subject "Service Oriented Architecture: .Net, Mono and J2EE - Co-exist or Pick A Path?" The questions from that client in Omaha gave me some ideas for the panel.

I've got some other leads for future work: a state government agency, a large entertainment company, a Canadian government agency, some firms in California. All in all, it's been a good start to my new job, and I look forward to more frequent flyer miles.

Where will my work take me next?