IBM Redbooks are developed through a unique residency program that teams IBM technical professionals with Business Partners, clients, and IBM product development staff. A team of residents is chosen through a competitive nomination process to come to the U.S. and learn about a product in-depth. Those non-native residents who come to the U.S, come for a maximum of 4 weeks, during which time they meet with colleagues at one of the ITSO centers. They focus on a particular assigned topic and learn and educate themselves about new products and processes. They acquire hands on lab experience in an internal, simulated learning environment (not a customer environment) while in the U.S, which includes, running processes, engaging in discussions and sharing ideas. They take detailed/copious notes while in the U.S., but then return home in order to synthesize and enhance their topic focus (for several weeks), thereby further expanding upon what they’ve learned. While back home, they correspond with their ITSO project leader via email/phone to analyze and further discuss outcomes and observations. The project leader then compiles and writes a Redbooks publication using feedback and results from all those involved in the project. This rough draft is then sent to the editing team to create the final version cleaning up English as a second language issues, spelling, grammar, graphics, punctuation, clarity, readability and style.
Residencies focus the skills and experience of marketplace professionals on the practical application of leading-edge information technology to client needs. They are personally directed by a skilled ITSO professional, typically an acknowledged leader in the subject field. Each residency offers residents the opportunity to return with new knowledge immediately applicable to their local business needs.
The best professionals from IBM field and development, from IBM Business Partners, from clients, and from the marketplace are eligible to be residency team members, called residents. While some residencies have special requirements that limit participation, the ITSO aims to have at least one in three of its residents be from the marketplace for most of the residencies it conducts.