The view from the top of IT with TechWorld Editor Rohan Pearce
It's a sad ending and a new beginning for Techworld Australia. Last week we bade farewell to the site's founding editor: Rodney Gedda. For the 3+ years since the site's establishment Rodney -- Rodders to us here at the office, not to mention many outside it -- has nurtured the site and helped build up its reputation as a great resource for those at the coalface of IT.
For more than a decade Rodney was part of IDG, Techworld's publisher, working first on PC World and later our enterprise division publications of Computerworld, Techworld and CIO (of which he was deputy editor).
Rodney has moved on to Telsyte to work as an enterprise IT analyst -- a role in which none of us doubt he will do a tremendous job. You can expect him to still pop up in the IT media, with what will no doubt be insightful and useful commentary on the state of ICT in Australia and internationally.
I have always understood that there is something of a tradition in publications such as this -- and if there isn't then consider it to have begun now -- to bid farewell to an outgoing editor and engage in a somewhat self-indulgent introduction of the new one. So, here I am -- a geek and a journalist who, strangely enough, has also come via PC World and the enterprise division of IDG.
I have big shoes to fill, and while it won't be identical footwear to Rodney's -- he can generally be found wearing patent leather shoes, while I have a penchant for Dunlop Volleys ($30 at K-Mart!) -- hopefully I can live up to the standards he has set for Techworld when it comes to covering issues of interest to those who are creating, implementing and debugging software and IT systems. As well of those of us who unashamedly just love tech. If you get a thrill from installing a new operating system, you’ll feel right at home here.
I hope to approach the site in the same way as Rodney did: As partisan of technology and software development and as an unashamed fan of the amazing things that people can do when given access to a command line.
Although in the spirit of full disclosure I should note that Rodney was always a huge fan of KDE; I'm more of an Xfce kind of guy. We never came to blows about it; well maybe that one time...
I've had a long interest in IT and lurking somewhere in my filing cabinets are the CDs for RedHat 3.03. And a few early versions of Mandrake, Debian, and ... well, a somewhat disturbing number of Linux-based operating systems. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm the kind of guy who is generally more excited by node.js and e17 than by supply chain management.
Before slipping into Rodney's Hushpuppies (okay I may be getting a little carried away with the footwear here) I worked for PC World and GoodGearGuide as online editor, and I continue to work as the online and production editor for IDG's enterprise division. But most importantly, in my view at least, I'm an unashamed geek. I can be found far more nights than are healthy hanging out in Sydney pubs with developers and various IT types, hearing about the interesting projects people are working on.
I'll happily review an operating system like MeeGo, Peppermint Ice or Bodhi Linux; not just because that's my job, but because I find them exciting. (I even had the pleasure of reviewing the Satanic Edition of Ubuntu Linux for Techworld, though admittedly my musical tastes run more to punk and hardcore than metal.)
It is a fascinating time in IT. The growth of Cloud computing and mobility are two of the standout issues facing IT, and they are such incredible challenges, and incredible opportunities, for developers, IT managers and CIOs. And they are far from the only ones.
For those with an interest in open source, like many of Techworld's readers, it is a very exciting time. Forget Linux on the desktop -- who would have predicted that a Linux-based OS would now be the dominant platform for smartphones? (Of course, Android raises all sorts of questions about just how open open source should be; herein lies another blog entry, no doubt.)
On the flipside, open source software is still fighting serious battles -- compliance with OSS licences for example, and perhaps most importantly the battles over software patents that have been periodically occurring in several jurisdictions.
And that's enough from me (for now!) What is more important is you. We want Techworld to be a site that serves you. If you're an IT manager, we want to help you do your job better. If you're a programmer, we want to help you know what's happening in the world of software development. If you're running a business, we want to provide the resources you need to help you get IT right. And if you're a geek who just loves technology and the amazing uses to which people can put it -- we want to give you great stories to read!
Finally, if you are doing interesting things with IT, we want to tell your story. Do you have a totally out there idea for a start-up? Have you created a new software framework to usher in Web 3.0b rc2? Has productivity increased in your workplace since you ditched your word processor for ed and allowed direct SQL queries for your corporate DB instead of a CMS*? Let me know!
Or maybe you want to critique my choice of desktop environment, not to mention my appalling views on Django vs. Drupal, GNOME vs. KDE and EMACS vs. vi. Feel free to drop me a line at rohan_pearce at idg.com.au, or follow me at twitter.com/rohan_p. And strap yourself in, put on your stylish yet affordable footwear and, hopefully, enjoy the ride.
(*I suggested this once. I was at least 97% joking.)