The Datapower Boot Camp Story

About
IBM’s Datapower is a hardware device that speeds up to wire speed the processing of XML(a widely accepted data format) and is very fast compared to software, how ever much of the capabilities of this hardware is not known well enough for the IT industry to take full advantage of the device. We had recently formed a Datapower competency to enable and to educate the IT industry on Datapower. The team is headed by Manu (the captain), with me, Sateesh Balakrishnan, Vanishree and Sobha being the tech experts. We organized a boot camp which completed on 23rd of this month. Many people were skeptical whether a team from India could successfully pull it of as Datapower was a very new product and our technical capabilities were not yet published. To this our second line manager Jagan Karuturi remarked in one of his conversations “If there are any skeptics out there we will prove you wrong. Proud to be part of this team”.

Rajashree always does a wonderful work; she had arranged the bookings of participants for the boot camp. The first week sessions were handled well by Tapan Verma a veteran instructor and a good friend of mine. Second week we had to deliver a POC (a mock scenario of customer situation and how to solve that) and then give the participants guidance of certification on Datapower.

The POC Challenge:
We had created the demo POC and the full setup was in working condition as per plan. The software setups, the configurations, testing all were complete and we were well prepared. But sinusitis, fever, cough and cold took me by surprise, and my father and mother were leaving for Haj this same time. One of the comfortable things in working with IBM is its work flexibility, because of this I was able to work from Kochi and attend to both. On the day we had to show them the POC I was in hospital and Vanishree called me on the phone, saying ‘SOS, we are not able to connect to database it seems that we might have to cut short on POC …’ We had so little time to solve things, so after investigation we found that the database was missing, some one deleted it !!!, must be by mistake, then with my instructions through the phone Vanishree recreated the database and made the necessary reconfigurations and successfully completed the POC. We had a fully prepared scenario and solution at hand, but that very moment when it was about to be demoed it was not working. Working as a team makes things a lot easier. To say in short let me use Sateesh’s own words ‘Vanishree Rocked in tight situations …’ she was the one who was facing the crowd of participants. On the phone she was cool, calmly followed every step and was determined to make the DB integration work “Well done Vanishree”.

The Certification Challenge: To Be Datapower Certified.
Datapower certification is not an easy one to score pass mark, I was the only one till date from Asia Pacific and Europe who had cleared the certification. So unless the participants had a clear idea in their minds about the toughness of the test and taking the preparation seriously failure is inevitable. We had two participants from Poland to attend the trainings. Manu was looking forward to me from a perspective to mentor them on clearing the certification. I was still under fever but we needed to gear up the participants technically as well as prepare them mentally to clear the test. Strategies were already in place some of them cleared the sample tests which was a good sign. Again we worked as a team and interacted with the participants with help of Sateesh being the onsite moderator and myself talking to them remotely from Cochin. We wanted at least 50% of the participants to clear the test that was target set by Jagan. We found people spending studying their books, doing research on the web on xml, xslt, XML Schema, SSL, digital certificates, security, and Datapower configurations. Some of them were using pen and paper to check their progress with preparations. The result was excellent! 86% of participants were able to clear the test . We hope that others would be able to clear it in the near future.

By the end of this training we had enabled companies like Wipro, Accenture, CTS, TCS and others on Datapower. It feels good to contributing to the development of IT, participating in its growth as it continues to boost our economy. Sateesh and Vanishree were with the participants throughout the training; their contribution to the success of the boot camp is enormous, Sobha had given valuable inputs when we were creating the POC scenario. Overall it was a great team effort under our captain Manu. He says Datapower is his baby, well now that baby is growing up we all want to make him a proud father.

P.S

Sateesh and Vanishree are now Datapower Certified :)

And Yes if Any one based out of Asia/Europe was certified before Aug 11, 2007 let me know,  guys from Asia/Europe settled in US not considered ;)

Comments

  1. You did a great job! I enjoyed the training session and cleared the certification too!! I just posted a post about the cert and searched for it and landed here!! Kudos to all of you!

    http://thiya.net/2007/11/24/tech/ibm-websphere-datapower-certified/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Yaseen,

    Where should I look for information about these kind of boot camps...I am working with an IT services company in Blore on Datapower(something like POCs)

    I have worked on MPGW,XML Firewalls,WS Proxy,SOMA at something more than basic level, but not getting a clear direction on going futher...it will be grateful if u provide me some inputs as to go about doing advanced stuff on this appliance.


    Thanks
    Venkat Karhtik
    venkat.karhtik@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Venkat Karthik

    Thanks for dropping by and spending time here. When our team organizes events like this we publish the events to companies. Rajashree K Rao is in charge of education and a project manager you can contact her by email rajashra@in.ibm.com. We also have some programs for our (IBM) partners in which case request should come via your company.

    You can also mension that you read about the boot camps in my blog and i had told you to get in touch with Raj.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Yaseen,
    Thanks for the reference, I will defnitely get in touch with Rajashree.

    Also regarding the latest REDP on datapower "IBM WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances Part I: Overview and Getting Started (REDP-4327)", is not available on the IBM site ,it would be grateful if you could send me a copy in case you have it.

    Thanks
    Venkat Karhtik
    venkat.karhtik@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry for the wrong email id....the correct one is venkat.karthik@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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