Jeff Maaks

Developer Enablement: Getting Out of Our Own Way

Blog Post created by Jeff Maaks Employee on Dec 15, 2015
We developers share a passion for possibility — we see the future and it is built on technical innovation.  I remember back when IBM released OS/2 Warp.  I was blown away by this revolutionary operating system: I can easily virtualize practically any version of DOS, Windows, and OS/2 simultaneously!?!  And I can simulate a LAN for development and testing of multi-user applications?  And all this for about $99!?!  Yes, I know that in today’s world where products like VMware and XenServer are pervasive you’re probably thinking, “Well, duh!”  But as a start-up software developer in the early 90’s (that had been struggling with developing and testing a large LAN-based application), I found OS/2 Warp to be an incredibly powerful tool that enabled me to do amazing things I couldn’t do before.  What many of us thought back then was, “If only IBM could get out of their own way, OS/2 will kill the competition!”Os2W4.png


Sometimes I feel we’re the same way at HDS.  We’re consistently rated as a great place to work and as one of the most ethical companies.  Plus we have some really, cool, solutions and made a couple great acquisitions recently.  But when it comes to developer enablement, it seems that sometimes we just can’t get out of our own way.


I’ve been told, “Dealing with HDS from a development perspective is nothing short of challenging.  Not only is documentation lacking, but existing interfaces are difficult to work with or incomplete, not to mention almost a complete lack of SDKs.  This is not purely around application integration, but also operational automation.”  It’s clear that our developer community is hungry for more, more, more APIs and developer-focused materials.


We can do better.  We WILL do better.


It’s not that we aren’t making progress.  According to The Register, “Hitachi Data Systems has impressed with what they can offer.  If you need OpenStack done right, HDS will compete with HP, IBM or Ericsson head-on and deliver.”  We’ve released Kubernetes on the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform.  We’ve released several Open Source projects on GitHub.  But can you easily find this information?  Is it done well with good documentation, examples, etc.?  Sadly, no.  We have more work to do to provide easily-findable and usable developer materials.


With that said, I’m now working to build a Developer Advocacy team at HDS and I need your help to learn about what matters to you and what you want from HDS.  Armed with your needs, my team and I will advocate on behalf of you, our customers, partners, and prospective customers that are building automation and integration against our product and solution APIs.  We’ll make sure our engineering teams know what you need.  And we’ll make sure you get as much timely and accurate information about our APIs and developer resources as we can make available.  The first step is to overhaul the Developer Network on the HDS Community and posting more developer content for products beyond Hitachi Content Platform.  We’re also creating more developer training and are planning to host a hackathon or two in 2016.  We have released some software to Open Source and will be releasing more soon.


What do you think?  Share your stories and perspective — what are we doing well, where can we improve, and how can we best help developers like you succeed?  Do you want to know more about specific product/solution APIs?  How about Open Stack and DevOps?  Feel free to reply here, or contact me directly at jeff.maaks at or @JeffMaaksHDS.  I’d love to hear from you.  And if you’d like to be involved in helping build our developer community please let me know.  We want to ensure what we’re building meets your needs.


In exchange for your feedback and/or suggestions, two commenters selected from a random drawing** will get their choice of an HDS Ogio backpack or Energi 5K+ battery pack.  The drawing will close out on Friday, January 15 at 5pm PST, but feel free to leave comments afterwards.


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Stay tuned.  I’ll share a bit more about myself and what we’re working on in the coming weeks.  You’ll see a different side of HDS as we start getting out of our own way. 

** Void where prohibited.  Winners will be selected from a random drawing, with one entry per user that provides a substantive (for example, more detailed than "I agree") comment with their experience or a suggestion.