IBM at SXSW

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We were lucky enough to have Phil Gilbert, GM of IBM Austin Design Studio speak at Ravensbourne last month, and naturally while he was in London we asked to visit the Design Studio in Austin.

On the first day of our SXSW trip we took a cab ride out of the city to the IBM Campus on Burnett Avenue. The campus there is vast. I lost count of the number of doors we went through to get there. The studio is all contained on one floor with clusters of teams, breakout areas with large screens, lots of post-it notes and an amazing wall of class pennants. There is even a game room!

IBM has a summer camp and a winter camp and interns are selected from an international application. People work in small agile teams and are able to launch new products quickly. Whilst we were there one of the teams had just launched #bluemix http://www-01.ibm.com/software/ebusiness/jstart/bluemix/

IMG_8165IBM were also demo-ing a version of Watson with the #IBMFoodTruck. SXSW attendees were encouraged to tweet @IBMFOODTRUCK with their eating preferences and the truck would cook up that dish that day.

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Unfortunately the day we visited it was a belgian dessert crossed with bacon, which was certainly experimental! It was a great idea though and certainly got a lot of publicity. Whilst at the stand you were encouraged to interact with a mini version of Watson which could help you with recipes using your favourite ingredient.

We also attended the IBM party on the Saturday evening and it was full of employees and clients mixing together. It was clear there is a fantastically inspiring close community at IBM.

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