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IBM Unveils Bot Exchange, Code Patterns for AI, Blockchain, More

IBM this week unveiled sweeping new development initiatives designed to help open source coders tackle some of the industry's most challenging technologies, including bots programming, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchains, data, cloud and more.

The company's new offerings are designed to help enterprise developers get a handle on the vast array of open source options when they need to get started on a project best served by using open source assets but aren't sure exactly where to start.

Specifically, IBM launched:

  • The IBM Bot Asset Exchange, featuring ready-to-use, domain-specific conversation logic for programming bots, to which developers can contribute and from which they can consume various code helpers.

    The IBM Bot Asset Exchange
    [Click on image for larger view.] The IBM Bot Asset Exchange (source: IBM)
    It reportedly enables developers to deploy bots using the IBM Watson Conversation service to whatever platform they choose.

    "The exchange is built on the principles of community and leverages a shared economy, so developers can learn from one another, while earning prizes and recognition through a point system for active users," IBM said. "With the market for chatbots exploding -- and only expected to continue to rise -- this exchange gives developers the ability to quickly discover, configure and deploy their own bots."

  • More than 120 Code Patterns, curated packages of code, project repos, documentation and other resources to help solve real programming challenges, under the umbrella IBM Code initiative.

    IBM Code
    [Click on image for larger view.] IBM Code (source: IBM)
    The code patterns cover various areas such as analytics, API management, AI, blockchain, containers, data science and more. They feature different deployment models -- cloud, hybrid, offline, on premises -- and, at this time, just one pattern type: composite. They cover finance, gaming and retail industries. For example, some patterns featured on the site include:

    • Fingerprinting personal data from unstructured text
    • Build a blockchain insurance app
    • Use Spark SQL to access NoSQL HBase tables
    • Perform a machine learning exercise

    "These patterns do the dirty work for the developer -- they are curated packages of code, one-click GitHub repos, documentation and resources that address some of the most popular areas of development, including AI, blockchain, containers and IoT," IBM said. "These patterns will help developers get right to the task at hand, giving them more time to innovate and build."

  • The IBM Coder Community, providing challenges, learning paths and more to developers using IBM technology provided in the IBM Code initiative.

    "IBM Coder provides a variety of challenges and learning paths for developers to grow their skills, as well as the opportunity to connect with IBM developers and open source communities around the world to share best practices and learn from one another," IBM said.

    Open to developers of all levels, the community is free to join. It features competition and reward/recognition features. IBM described how it works thusly:

    • Developers complete a variety of challenges to grow their skillsets and reputations. IBM Coders get access to educational resources, guides, and best practices that will help optimize code and establish themselves as technology leaders.
    • Members discover and transparently discuss content and code with other like-minded developers. IBM Coders get exclusive access to these technology leaders, whose sole focus is to engage with developers and help them make their communities successful.
    • Developers are rewarded for their contributions. "We want you to reap the rewards for helping to build the IBM Code Community," IBM said. "You'll be recognized with various tangible and intangible rewards like access to exclusive IBM events and products."
    • Developers are guided through technical journeys. IBM Coder Learning Paths are offered to IBM Coders and bring together code, content and community into guided education paths the progress a developer's knowledge and community reputation for specific technology and industry domains, the company said.

The company said the above tools and programs are part of the IBM Developer Way, which enables developers to work more effectively and learn important skills to advance their careers. "IBM provides code that works, documentation and guidance on the latest technologies, and a community of advocates and IBM developers to help answer questions and guide coders through challenging projects," IBM said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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