ApiOPS and Test Automation at DevOps Finland Meetup

Couple of weeks ago at Tampere goes Agile the question was what’s beyond agile and partial answer was DevOps. I’ve read about DevOps before and tried to introduce it to use in my daily job but new things move slowly. So, it was good time to hear more about DevOps and how others are using it at DevOps Finland meetup about ApiOPs and Test Automation. The meetup was held at GE Healthcare building in Vallila and organized by Eficode. Delicious coffee and sandwiches were from Warrior coffee. Here’s my short notes about the topics discussed.

APIOps

Jarkko Moilanen, talked about APIOps – Focus on Iterative and Collaborative Design-First driven API development. How to automate and streamline API-strategy and development process. But what’s APIOps? In short, APItalist creates strategy and APIOps troops implement it.

APIOps

The talk was more about mindset related to developing APIs than tools but Swagger was mentioned for representing your API and SoapUI for testing. For API management Moilanen talked about APInf which is an API management platform.

Test automation with Robot Framework

Eficode guys talked about Test automation with Robot Framework which is a generic test automation framework for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). It’s originally developed in Nokia Networks 2005 and open sourced in 2006. Robot Framework uses keyword-driven testing approach and it’s capabilities can be extended by test libraries implemented either with Python or Java. Robot Framework is quite big in Finland but to get the work forward and more known worldwide there’s now Robot Framework Association put together by Eficode, Omenia, Reaktor, Eliga, Knowit, Qentinel and HiQ.

Automating payment terminal testing

After some technical difficulties with projector we heard intro to Robot Framework with Selenium2Library and saw video about using it. Selenium is a suite of tools to automate web browsers and with Selenium2Library you can use it with Robot Framework to easily implement and maintain automatic browser testing of your web application. Another use case which I find interesting is for testing REST APIs.

You can use Robot Framework in many was as we saw with the demo of a machine for automating payment terminal testing which Eficode had built (slides, blog post in Finnish). It was a Shapeoko 2 CNC milling machine where Arduino parsed g-code sent over terminal bus, payment terminal was captured with Tesseract OCR and it was controlled by Robot Framework running in Raspberry Pi. They had extended Robot Framework with new libraries for communicating over serial bus and reading images from Raspberry Pi camera.

What you can do with Robot Framework is up to you as the framework doesn’t limit you.

Future of DevOps Finland

The last talk of the meetup was about the future of DevOps Finland. DevOps Finland was started in 2013 by Erno Aapa and now the load is distributed over new planning team to keep things active. Sharing is caring and so we were encouraged to share our experiences and war stories about DevOps by talking in some future meetup.

Some possible future themes for the meetup were also discussed.

  • Infrastructure Orchestration
    • e.g. Coreos, Mesos, Kubernetes, AWS tools, Rancher.
  • DevOps on Windows
    • PoweShell and Azure.
  • DevOps without computers
    • AWS lambda, heroku, dokku, aws beanstalk, Google app engine, IBM Bluemix. (DevOps as a service).
  • How to move ops work to developers?
    • Hubot, configuration management, continuous delivery.
  • Security.
  • Ops do Dev. Dev do ops.
  • How to handle corporate IT?
  • Configuration management system
    • Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Salt.
  • Continuous integration
    • Jenkins, circleCI, Travis. Alternatives for Jenkins.
  • Working with legacy systems
    • Handling existing data, migrating legacy operations to modern operations, using old hardware to create a cloud.
  • DevOps in the cloud
    • what cloud services to use? Why?, developing in the cloud, build promoting practices
  • Measuring, monitoring, logging
    • elk-stack, Kafka, sentry, newrelic, loggly, graylog, practices & different needs
  • Containers
    • Docker, LXC, Xen, VMware, Qemu

Newsletters for software developers

Software development is one of the professions where you just have to keep your knowledge up to date and follow what happens in the field. But as normal information overload is easily achieved so it’s beneficial to use for example curated newsletters for the subjects which intersects the stack you’re using and topics you’re interested at. Here are my selection of newsletters for software developers covering topics like web and mobile development, user experience and design and general topics. For more newsletters for developers you can check what for example Dzone wrote.

The power of newsletter lies in the fact that it can deliver condensed and digestible content which is harder to achieve with other good news sources like feed subscriptions and Twitter. Well curated newsletter to targeted audience is a pleasure to read and even if you forgot to check your newsletter folder, you can always get back to them later :)

General

Hacker Newsletter
Weekly newsletter of the best articles in Hacker News.

Status code
A language agnostic roundup of the latest ideas, releases, trends, events and must-read articles from the programming world (think C, UNIX, algorithms, editors, protocols)

Mobile development

iOS Dev Weekly
Hand picked round up of the best iOS development links published every Friday.

This Week In Swift
List of the best Swift resources of the week.

iOS Dev nuggets
Short iOS app development nugget every Friday/Saturday. Short and usually something you can read in a few minutes and improve your skills at iOS app development.

In depth Mac and iOS articles archives

Java

Java Web Weekly by Baeldung
Once-weekly email roundup of Java Web curated news by Eugen Baeldung.

The Java Specialists’ Newsletter
A monthly newsletter exploring the intricacies and depths of Java, curated Dr. Heinz Kabutz.

Java Performance Tuning News
A monthly newsletter focusing on Java performance issues, including the latest tips, articles, and news about Java Performance. Curated by Jack Shirazi and Kirk Pepperdine.

Database

DB Weekly
A weekly round-up of database technology news and articles covering new developments, SQL, NoSQL, document databases, graph databases, and more.

HTML and CSS

HTML5Weekly
Weekly HTML5 and Web Platform technology roundup. Curated by Peter Cooper.

CSS Weekly
Roundup of css articles, tutorials, experiments and tools. Curated by Zoran Jambor.

Web development

Web Development Reading List
Weekly roundup of web development–related sources, selected by Anselm Hannemann.

Versioning
SitePoint’s daily newsletter, which features the latest web development news.

Hacking UI
Newsletter for designers, front-end developers and product managers.

Scott Hanselman
Includes interesting and useful stuff Scott has found over the last few weeks and other wonderful things.

The Modern Web Observer
Biweekly email newsletter about current issues and trends in front-end web development. It is much like a commentory on the important current news and articles related to front end development.

Web Design Weekly
Links to the best news and articles to hit the interweb during the week.

MergeLinks
Weekly email of curated links to articles, resources, freebies and inspiration for web designers and developers.

For front-end developers there’s “How to keep up to date on
Front-End Technologies”
page which lists newsletters, blogs and people to follow.

JavaScript

JavaScript Weekly
Weekly e-mail round-up of JavaScript news and articles. Curated by Peter Cooper.

A Drip of JavaScript
“One quick JavaScript tip”, delivered every other Tuesday and written by Joshua Clanton.

SuperHero.js
Collection of the best articles, videos, and presentations on creating, testing, and maintaining a JavaScript code base.

Node Weekly
Once–weekly e-mail round-up of Node.js news and articles.

User experience and design

UX weekly
Five links each week with the best UX writing, process, analysis, and critique from around the web. Its content lies at the intersection of user experience design, game design, and tech industry critique.

GoodUI
Monthly newsletter where the author will share ideas on how to improve customer conversion and ease of use.

Sidebar.io
To satisfy your web aesthetics with list of the 5 best design links of the day. The content is manually curated by a couple great editors.

Userfocus
Updates you monthly about the happenings in the UX/usability arena.

UX Design Weekly
Best user experience design links every week, published every Friday.

Ops

DevOps Weekly
Weekly slice of devops news.

Web Operations Weekly
Weekly newsletter on Web operations, infrastructure, performance, and tooling, from the browser down to the metal.

Microservice Weekly
Weekly newsletter of articles regarding microservices.

Notes from Owasp Helsinki Chapter Meeting 27

Security is important part of software development and often it doesn’t get enough attention or developers don’t know enough about it. I have been following Troy Hunt on Twitter for some time and as he was coming to Owasp Helsinki Chapter Meeting #27 it was great opportunity to hear about application security at first hand. Especially about hacking yourself first. The event was held at Life Science Center in Keilaranta and although it didnt’ provide much new information about security and how to protect against hackers, it was nice event. The event consisted talks presented by Troy Hunt: 50 Shades of AppSec and Hack yourself first.

50 Shades of AppSec

50 Shades of AppSec

The first talk was “50 shades of appsec” which covered a broad spectrum of what’s happening in our industry and how challenging it’s becoming for those of us working in AppSec to keep ahead of the attacks. Troy covered everything from the social aspects of hacking through to some of the more obscure attacks and the increasing challenges we have as defenders.

There was some nice bad examples how not to do things and hilarious examples how even criminal masterminds are fallible. Asking questions in StackOverflow with an account tied to your real identity, take a photo with iPhone and not clearing the EXIF data (which has location info).

“50 Shades of AppSec” talk didn’t provide much new information which I wouldn’t have read from Twitter or other news sources but was entertaining anyways. Good presentation matters.

Hack yourself first

If you’re protecting applications against attacks it’s good to know how attackers can exploit your application’s security holes. The online attacks against websites has accelerated quickly and the same risks continue to be exploited. These are often easily identified directly within the browser; it’s just a matter of understanding the vulnerable patterns to look for.

Troy Hunt’s “Hack Yourself First” talk was about developers building up cyber-offence skills and proactively seeking out security vulnerabilities in their own websites before an attacker does. It looked at website security from the attacker’s perspective and how to exploit common risks in a vulnerable web application. As usual the issues were quite basic information and could be easily identified and fixed with right knowledge and tools like Havij and Fiddler.

One interesting example was to use Fiddler to proxy your device’s traffic and look how remote server communicates with it and even decrypt HTTPS. You can e.g. edit request and response and change values sent to mobile. One example is to change the value for admin and see if the mobile application validates it on every request or do you really get admin rights to the application or service. Practical example was capture the traffic sent to British Airways mobile app and see the WiFi password list for free WiFi.

Or is it?

Second interesting example was about using WiFi Pineapple. To trick devices to connect with “known” wireless network, capture and circumvent it’s traffic. You did know that devices broadcasts the SSIDs they have previously connected and with devices like Pineapple you can easily see it and then do some magic.

WiFi Pineapple and captured SSIDs.

Q & A and afterwords

Views from Life Science Center Sauna

The questions and answers section was quite active as security is an interesting topic. There were good questions like how do you verify companies you use, like you’re using Freedome from F-Secure? It’s about choosing the least risky option. Better than WiFi at airport without VPN. You don’t really know.

Other interesting topic was about how security people don’t understand development and developers don’t understand security. It’s about working together and not just security people saying “There are vulnerabilities, fix those.” More cooperation would be better and it needs support from higher up to work together.

Afterwards the event had reserved the sauna on the 7th floor which provided also nice views over Laajalahti and some refreshments. Time to network and try to do small talk although I’m not the most social person. I wasn’t surprised that Troy didn’t join us to the sauna but it was nice that he had some time to talk in the lounge.

I didn’t get the Owasp sticker but I got some crafty swag from Nixu and Troy also provided one month free pass for Pluralsight which has courses to educate yourself

One of the crafty takeouts from the event camera cover sticker for laptop. Who is paranoid about infosec?

Will be busy month after to see all Pluralsight courses

Thanks to the organizers and event sponsor Nixu. Nicely noticed that Hunt is in Europe and to get him to talk about security. I also got a ride home with some good tips about restaurants in Tallinn which was nice. Thumbs up.

Fujitsu Forum 2013: view to human centric intelligent society

Munich in Autumn isn’t maybe the most predictable travel target but for many decision-makers, experts, project managers, IT architects, consultants and users it’s the place to go when Fujitsu’s largest IT-event in Europe took place on 6th and 7th November. I was one of the invited bloggers to visit Fujitsu Forum 2013 and again it was very insightful and exciting two days. With the motto “Reshaping ICT, Reshaping Business and Society” there were over 11,000 attendees around the world getting new information and looking for strategic and operative options for modernising and developing their IT.

Fujitsu Forum 2013

Fujitsu Forum 2013 in Munich is Fujitsu’s largest IT-event in Europe and was this year attended by more than 11,000 IT experts from around the world. With keynotes, breakout sessions, expert talks, exhibition and evening event the Fujitsu Forum is good place to get new information and looki for strategic and operative options for modernising and developing IT. Just like last year, I was invited by Fujitsu LIFEBOOK4Life campaign with three other insiders aka bloggers to spend couple of days at the Forum and to get insight what the future of IT might look like.

This year the Forum was held with the motto “Reshaping ICT, Reshaping Business and Society” and the focus was more about how the technology affects us and how we can make it work for us. Or in business words: “How to combine business processes and IT to form a stable basis that will ensure growth and success in the future.” The main topic was reworked from last years’ “Reshaping ICT – Reshaping Business” and the ICT trend could be easily seen from the buzzwords I heard also this year. Consumerization, BYOD, tablets, virtualization, in-sync, cloud and “One workplace – on any device” were still hot topics but maybe not so strong than last year as most of the hype has passed.

Fujitsu Forum 2013 starts
L4L team and insiders at press lounge

Sessions

Our great LIFEBOOK4LIFE team had planned two keynotes and one breakout session which meant the days wouldn’t be so packed and we would have time to share our insights and to stroll at the Exhibition area.

We started with Defining Your Workplace Strategy: Our Recommendation to IT breakout session by Meinolf Althaus (Fujitsu) who told us how to manage the different users’ needs for the workplace. The three points were: Analyze your users and create user profiles (one size does not fit all); Accommodate multiple devices, operating systems, delivery technologies; Rely on a partner which offers an end-to-end portfolio.

Last year we missed the opening keynote but this year we were wiser. The opening keynote provided a view to Fujitsu’s technology and services vision: human centric intelligent society. The keynote presented the idea behind the “human centric intelligent society” vision and also the exhibition was also built on the three dimensions presented on the keynote: Technology and infrastructure and integration (optimize ict systems from end to end); process and information (power business and society with information); people and innovation (create innovation through people). The main point was that we are in a global village and virtually everything and everybody are connected in one extensive network. But with global village come some challenges both in business and society sense. For example social media is more pervasive and the volume of information is astounding. The question is, how do you mine, analyze and act upon that data? For more detailed information check Marco Rossi’s short recap of the session and how Fujitsu’s services address this topic.

Our last session was on Thursday and I have always liked Dr. Reger’s presentations which are both informative, clever and witty. The CIO Session: “All things considered” – How the internet of things changes our world gave us good ideas what are the technology trends that are going to affect our lives and businesses in the next few years and how the world could look like when every possible machine has it’s own IP address.

Internet of things = there is no people and cat has IP address – Dr. Joseph Reger

In short “All things considered human centric intelligent society is the internet done right. The job is done by the things for the people. Internet of things will make our lives more complex but with multiple opportunities.”. The road to Internet of things isn’t yet paved and there are still many problems to solve like starting with IPv6 becoming mainstream, standards to control the devices and security issues. Reger gave some Sci-Fi like examples what kind of possibilities the Internet of things will present to help our everyday life for example by sensing different things and acting based on that information. It’s worth to check out the video recording of the session from the Documentation or read the written recap by Fujitsu’s Marco Rossi.

Virtually everything and everybody are connected
Everything will have IP address, like light bulb

Overall, I have to admit I didn’t get a good grasp about the message of the Fujitsu Forum 2013 which had a bit different aspect to cover than last year. The same ideas were on the background but from my Fujitsu Forum 2012 insights the message is easier to pinpoint: “The work and workplace is changing to support mobility and working anywhere anytime. The borders between business and private life are blurring, consumerization (same devices home and work) and BYOD (bring your own device) are coming more common. We should think more about user-oriented workplace. In the future the devices we use will be more diverse and we have more of them. Thus there will be need for virtualization, syncing data and support for “One workplace – on any device” ideology. Different tasks have different needs for the device so we need a dynamic desktop experience.” Maybe the topic felt this year more vague as I attended two keynotes which had more abstract than concrete ideas how the workplace might look like compared to last years’ three breakout sessions.

If you weren’t able to attend the Forum or some particular session you can re-experience the Fujitsu Forum 2013 and watch or download the presentations from Fujitsu Forum 2013 documentation page.

Exhibition

Between the breakout sessions and keynotes we had time to check out the exhibition are with 250 highlights from the portfolio offered by Fujitsu and its partners. I especially liked innovative ideas like The Office 21: Intelligent Desk which showed how to make the physical desk better and the unified communication & collaboration setup (article by FujitsuFans.com) which presented how video conferencing and sharing ideas can work more seamlessly. I also didn’t know that Fujitsu also makes ATMs.

Some highlight from the exhibition in 15 seconds: ATM, retail solution, unified communications, U904, T904, mainboards, displays, Eternus parts, intelligent desk, cad.

And of course as a technology geek getting my hands on to Fujitsu’s new LIFEBOOKs Ultrabooks with IGZO display was nice. Both the versatile T904 convertible ultrabook/tablet and the ultra-slim U904 were beautiful devices and I especially liked how the RJ-45 port was designed. Also the semi-rugged STYLISTIC Q704 tablet had nice use cases and accessories to support it.

The Office 21: Intelligent Desk
360 degree video conferences and collaboration

For more detailed information about the different topics presented at the Exhibition check the Fujitsu Fans -blog with the forum tag and the YouTube playlist. I just don’t understand how Abassin who keeps the Fujitsu Fans blog (MixBlogeu in YouTube) had time to do so many hands-ons and interviews at the Forum :) If you’re interested to know more about the new LIFEBOOK Ultrabooks U904 and T904 check the hands-on articles from the Fujitsu Fan blog as they present nicely what kind of Ultrabooks they are.

LIFEBOOK Ultrabooks with innovative RJ45 port
Hologram showcase

For visual view and to get the overall feeling of the Fujitsu Forum 2013, Fujitsu DE has made day 1 impressions and day 2 impressions in pictures on Flickr.

Networking and entertainment

And lest the whole two days be just about technical topics there was an Oktoberfest themed evening event on Wednesday. This year the event provided something different and was more social than previous years’ concerts with Anastacia (2011) and Amy McDonald (2012) which were also nice. At the “Oktoberfest” there were special Bavarian dishes, such as crispy roast chicken (Hendl), spiced strips of pork belly (Hüttenspeck) and of course pretzels (Obatzda und Brezn) and excellent beer. And it was not just food and drinks as there were playful games like sawing a log, throwing a pint, hammering nails and throwing balls. If the games weren’t for you, you could take a ride in a carousel, ferris wheel or swing (schauke).

Oktoberfest by Fujitsu Forum 2013. G’suffa.
Accidentally half a chicken. And weissbeer.

The Oktoberfest atmosphere was something like this:

Summary

Fujitsu Forum 2013 is over but the new insights are just starting to form up to new ideas how to do things better. This was my third visit to the Forum and every year has been interesting and a bit different and great on their own kind of way. This year the sessions, keynotes, I listened were more about ideas than doing and they gave a good view how the future might look like with trends like Internet of things and how Fujitsu sees the future and business through their “human centric intelligent society” vision. I also got to see great looking Ultrabooks, interesting new concepts and products and I really liked the Oktoberfest themed evening event which was more social than previous years’ concerts.

The three days in Munich went fast and it was again great to visit Fujitsu Forum and to see other Insiders and the campaign crew. Thanks LIFEBOOK4Life and Fujitsu.

Fujitsu Forum 2013

Getting ready for Fujitsu Forum 2013

In two weeks time it’s again that time of the year when business- and IT decision-makers, experts and specialists, project managers and IT architects, consultants and users travel to Germany to visit Fujitsu’s largest IT-event in Europe: Fujitsu Forum 2013. And that’s also the destination where I’m going as I’m one of the bloggers invited by Fujitsu’s Lifebook4Life campaign to visit the forum. This year the event is held 6th and 7th November at the ICM in Munich and there will probably be over 12,000 attendees around the world getting insights and looking for strategic and operative options for modernizing and developing their IT.

The motto this year, “Reshaping ICT, Reshaping Business and Society”, highlights the key theme that is addressed by all aspects of the event: How to combine business processes and IT to form a stable basis that will ensure growth and success in the future. So what can you expect from Fujitsu Forum 2013? The event overview gives you some idea about the different topics covered but let’s look which events I’m looking forward to the most.

The presentations I picked from Keynotes and the list of 52 Breakout Sessions for my Fujitsu Forum 2013 agenda span all of the three conference tracks, “Create innovation through people”, “Power Business and Society with information” and “Optimize ICT systems from end to end”, and cover topics like cloud services, creating value from enabling innovative IT models with mobile technologies and information security and data protection. Overall I selected 10 sessions to my agenda but pruned it to one Keynote and four Breakouts as you don’t have time for every interesting topic.

Defining Your Workplace Strategy: Our Recommendation to IT by Meinolf Althaus (Fujitsu), 6 November, 10:00, Room 13b

Adopting new computing devices and delivering concepts to provide optimized workplaces for the different user roles within a company present a new challenge. An optimized end-to-end selection, from back-end to workplace devices and a suitable combination of desktop delivery methods is essential to guarantee high availability, flexibility and user satisfaction. This session looks at the various ways to identify the ideal workplace strategy.

Leveraging Advanced ICT to Support Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision by Tatsuo Tomita (Fujitsu), 6 November, 13:00, Room 4

Leveraging ICT to generate New Value for society is essential to enable sustainable growth and advancement of societies. This session highlights how Fujitsu’s R&D is being leveraged toward realizing a Human Centric Intelligent Society envisioned by Fujitsu, by supporting the Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision, to be achieved through Three Actions: Create Innovation through People’s Activities; Power Business and Society with Information; and Optimize ICT Systems from End to End. We introduce how it will contribute to societal growth and realization of a prosperous society in which people can thrive.

Intelligent Workplace. Greater Efficiency. Here is the answer! by Anand Srivatsa (Intel) and Dieter Heiss (Fujitsu), 6 November, 16:00, Room 13a

There are fundamental changes taking place in society, new technology and changing demands are redesigning the workplace. The enterprise workplace will dramatically improve interactions across applications and between workers, driving productivity and improvements in work quality. This session will show you how new technologies support you at your workplace and how to ensure efficiency in and outside the office.

Keynote: The CIO Session by Dr. Joseph Reger (Fujitsu) and Ed Goldman (Intel), 7th November, 10:00

“All things considered” – How the internet of things changes our world

Powering Healthcare Information – improve and secure the healthcare data value chain by Lester Russel (Fujitsu), 7 November, 12:00, Room 5

Healthcare costs are rising and the burden of managing long term conditions threatens to destabilize whole economies. Clinical information has to flow smoothly to ensure a seamless patient journey through the healthcare system and the safe practice of medicine has special requirements in terms of the data value chain. The right information, in the right place, at the right time. This session will give examples of how IT can power healthcare in new and exciting ways and underpin the radically different processes we need to adopt, if we are to avoid meltdown in our healthcare systems.

And of course you should not forget the Exhibition with 250 highlights from the portfolio offered by Fujitsu and its partners which has always been interesting. I’m looking forward to get hands-on with Fujitsu’s new LIFEBOOKs with IGZO display like the versatile T904 and the ultra-slim U904 and check out the semi-rugged STYLISTIC Q704 tablet.

And lest the whole two days be just about technical topics there’s the Oktoberfest themed Evening Event on Wednesday. Excellent entertainment and networking opportunity with drinks together with special Bavarian dishes, such as crispy roast chicken (Hendl), spiced strips of pork belly (Hüttenspeck), bread and dripping (Schmalzbrot), chive bread, savory cheese spread with pretzels (Obatzda und Brezn). Hmmm, and now I’m hungry :)

Until then, read about my insights from last year’s Fujitsu Forum 2012 where I was invited by Fujitsu’s Lifebook4Life campaign and follow me on Twitter (@walokra) for upcoming insights from Fujitsu Forum 2013. See you all on 6th and 7th November at the ICM in Munich.

Fujitsu Forum 2012 has insights for the future of IT

Germany is known for it’s technology expos like CeBIT but for more detailed and in depth view about the state of information technology you might want to go to Fujitsu Forum like I did a year ago invited by LIFEBOOK4Life. This year it’s held November 7th and 8th at the ICM in Munich and enables you to get an insight what the Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company and world’s third-largest IT services provider thinks about information technology and where the IT is going.

Fujitsu Forum is the largest IT-event in Europe which is visited by professional users and IT decision-makers, as well as Fujitsu channel and technology partners. In 2011 more than 10,000 IT experts from around the world attended the Fujitsu Forum in Munich. And I was one of them invited by Fujitsu LIFEBOOK4Life campaign. As I’m a LIFEBOOK4Life Insider there’s a chance to visit the Forum also this year so let’s look what events I’m looking forward to the most and why I would want to visit those.

Fujitsu Forum 2012’s motto is “Reshaping ICT – Reshaping Business”: How to combine business processes and IT to form a stable basis that will ensure growth and success in the future. Kind of redefinition of last year’s “Reshaping IT” theme. With keynotes, breakout sessions, exhibition area and expert talks there is plenty for everyone to see and listen. But as I last year got to experience the time is not enough for everything so you must choose your own agenda which is made easier with the Individual Agenda Builder.

My agenda contains mainly topics about how the workplace in changing and what new devices there is to expect and their use cases. As a software developer the technical development affects the software and provides new innovative ways to use software. So it’s good to know which things are just around the corner or little further away. Here is my take of the events I look forward to the most (my Fujitsu Forum 2012 Agenda, pdf). I think the events’ descriptions tell all the reasons to participate. It was hard to pick just three but managed to get it down to one Keynote and two Breakout Sessions.

Keynotes – strategic perspectives:

Keynotes are addressing the questions like “The direction of future IT developments?”, “Which technologies will be on the CIO agenda?” and “What strategic factors will be of importance to decision-makers?” and although as working in a big corporation it would be interesting to know how the CIO thinks, as a tech geek more interesting one is the future IT development. From the Keynote sessions I would attend “Deriving Value from the Connected Economy”.

“Deriving Value from the Connected Economy” by Benno Zollner, Fujitsu and Kim Stevenson, Intel:

The world is changing as new technologies enable information, opinions and idea sharing like never before. Such rapid evolution is breaking down the barriers for creating businesses and economic value. We see an opportunity to harness the knowledge and ideas of the world’s population as large- scale business potential. We have tools available to be ahead of the curve in supporting this transition; and more solutions become available. Having the right strategy to produce solutions customers want, leverage technology and enable employees is paramount. Inspiring examples of the strategies and tools that are needed to pace ahead of these transitions and enable value creation for company.

Breakout Sessions – IT perspectives:

There is around 50 breakout sessions which discuss technologies, best practices and innovative solutions that are relevant to the modernization and further development of IT so you can’t attend every one of them. For more business oriented people there is “the benefits and threats of the cloud”, “in-memory computing for “big data”” and “solutions for data centers that cut costs and increase IT flexibility” but for technology oriented geeks hearing about “new developments in IT mobility” and “behind-the-scenes looks at current IT-research” is something to look forward to. So “Tablets & More – Cool scenarios for hot devices” and “The War between Enduser Devices” are obvious choices.

“Tablets & More – Cool scenarios for hot devices” by Meinolf Althaus, Fujitsu

Media tablets and mobile centric applications are new top priorities for business users and IT. How can combinations of current and new technologies help you to securely and efficiently merge the opportunities offered by business and privately owned devices? Find out about the effective and secure blend of accessing business and private IT environments from new mobile devices.

“The War between Enduser Devices” by Thomas Meyer, IDC

New formats for enduser devices are appearing very quickly. Netbooks, Ultrabooks, Tablets, new types of thin clients and also operating systems such as Android are raining down on IT departments. This analyst presentation looks at what can be expected in the near future. Which device for which purpose and how to deal with such a complex range.

Expert Talks – specialist know-how transfer:

Sometimes a specific in-depth know-how is required and Expert Talks are the place to attend. They are focused on specific topics and supplement the strategic approaches outlined in the keynotes and the concrete information presented in the breakout sessions with specialist discussions in small groups. Expert Talks are ideal for those who want to exchange information, discuss specific issues in detail and share ideas with other specialists. There is many topics to choose like “How to mitigate the headache caused by BYOD?”, “Secure your valuable data: Easy to use and scaleable security solution”, “Android tablets in Business Environment – A challenge for CIOs?”, “New LIFEBOOK notebooks meet trend of consumerization” and “Oracle Applications Strategy”. Would like to go couple of those but my agenda is already full.

And between the events it’s a must to visit the exhibition which holds 3,500 square meters of innovations and presents over 250 highlights from Fujitsu and its partners. For example I look forward to get hands-on with Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q702 hybrid tablet PC and Windows 8 running on new touch devices and hear about a brand new way of running desktop environments.

But there is also something more. On the Wednesday evening singer-songwriter Amy MacDonald takes the stage at the Fujitsu Intel Celebration Night. Not to forget the delicious bratwursts and weissbier which I hope are provided also this year :) Technology, entertainment and nourishment: what could a professional user wish more?

Fujitsu Forum holds many interesting keynotes, sessions, insights and experiences which I last year got to experience. The chance to do it again this year is open so let’s hope I get to travel to Germany for Fujitsu Forum 2012 experience, meet other Insiders and see NDA devices like last year the Ultrabooks which Fujitsu released this Summer.

LIFEBOOK4Life Ultra Test Flight adventure starts

Fujitsu’s LIFEBOOK4Life is here again with “Ultra Test Flight” and new challenges for Insiders. This year it’s about Ultrabooks and the Autumn will be full of interesting tasks to fulfill. In the end if successful the Insiders can keep their Ultrabooks, be it U772 or U572. Last year I took part in Fujitsu’s “LIFEBOOK4Life: Accept no boundaries” campaign and tested LIFEBOOK S761 laptop. It was very interesting couple of months. This year is not going to be any different and looks like it will be even more exciting.

LIFEBOOK4Life: Ultra Test Flight challenges 40 independent IT- and lifestyle-bloggers (called Insiders) from all over the world to a quest through virtual airport passing all stations from check-in to the gate. Each station contains a solo and a group task in which the Insiders unveil the features of Fujitsu’s Ultrabooks (U772 and U572) in aspects of mobility, reliability, elegance, connectivity and security. In the end if an Insider solves at least seven test tasks he or she can keep the Ultrabook. There is also extra bonuses with a change to go to Fujitsu Forum 2012 in Munich, which I went last year, and the Top 10. will get a flight voucher.

There are total of 10 test tasks and couple of extra tasks for the enthusiasts. Last year there was overall of 15 tasks but unfortunately the project site is not available anymore. It was and will be quite brain teasing and interesting to solve those with travel themed and somewhat tongue-in-cheek like articles. For example “mobility” contains a task to pack a lightweight luggage with the five items and “security” is about discussing and showing which security feature is your favorite. “Elegance” is for thin-telligence and design & style as “connectivity” is for 3G/UMTS and 4G/LTE. And the fifth theme “reliability” is about features which combine German engineering with Japanese quality.

Fujitsu LIFEBOOK U772 unboxed

LIFEBOOK4Life: Ultra Test Flight started last Friday which was convenient as the same day I got my package from the local post office. As usual, everything starts with unboxing and as a special Silver Insider (last year went the extra mile and expressed extraordinary commitment) my package contained a red LIFEBOOK U772. In short: Intel Core i5-3427U (2.8 GHz, 3 MB), 4 GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 14″ 1366 x 768 LED backlight and Anti-glare screen, 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4, 3G/UMTS, 4G/LTE, (WxDxH): 327 x 225 x 15.6 mm and 1.4 kg. I will later write a short review about it.

The project has also something for everyone. You who can take part in a raffle and win a flight. To improve your chances of winning you can earn badges which gives you an extra raffle ticket. Just comment on 10 different blog articles, “Like” 10 different blog articles, share 3 articles with your friends on Facebook and log in on 6 different days.

You can follow my quest at the LIFEBOOK4Life site from my profile or follow me in Twitter.