Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Western Canada Lab Managers Meeting, so while I have put this in with the other conferences, it is an odd fit. But as I was able to take away from the expererince some insight as to what others are doing with regards to their enterprise, it works as a conference for me. So what was this take away? Well first, I was happy to see that many Computing Science programs are starting to look seriously into mobile development – on the iPhone and on Android. I also like some of the ideas around virtualization. Some of the managers are looking into ways of virtualizing desktops to help green their operations and of course there is quite a bit of server virtualization. The challenge with desktops as opposed to servers is that on the desktop, you need to be able to handle discrete inputs and displays as desktops are not designed to be headless – something that makes server virtualization much easier. A number of departments are also going toward Linux, moving away from Windows only environments for their introductory labs.
What makes this interesting for me is that the mobile development is one of those items within the Horizon Reports that are suggested as trends and technologies to watch. I really doubt that the managers would have ever seen these reports, but I do like how “by hook or by crook”, the writing is on the wall for the exploration of mobile technologies. Linux and virtualization is another idea that is hinted at through these reports. It is refreshing to see how the reports and the activities in the field are lining up.