Tuesday, July 7, 2009

IBM Rational Open House

Today a bunch of us at IBM Rational Software lab at Bangalore conducted this 'Rational Open House' event. It was done at 3 places in Bangalore (EGL Pyramid, EGL Rational Lab, ISL Manyata) and 1 place in Gurgaon (ISL Gurgaon). The idea behind the event was to let people in the lab know what we do in Rational, create a buzz about Rational tools and jazz.net, and also get some customers, after all money is an important thing :).

I was showcasing Rational Insight at EGL Pyramid along with few other folks who were showcasing other Rational products, including the 'rock star' Rational Team Concert. I say rock star because everyone who came wanted to know about it, and fell in love with it after seeing it. The story was the same at EGL Rational Lab and ISL Manyata. RTC was hogging all the limelight, rightly so, as its a great product.

There was quite a bit of interest in Rational Insight. Everyone who came was impressed by what she/he saw. The ability to summarize organization wide information in a dashboard, the ability to drill down to the exact cause of a problem and the ability to design a report in like 15 seconds really impressed people. Also Cognos has been a leader in BI space for a long time, so even though this is Insight's first release the underlying cognos infrastructure helps in gaining user confidence.

A few words about Jazz.net and RTC before I close. Jazz.net is the place where anyone can see what we are doing in the Rational labs, quite a few products are hosted there. Anyone can register and see all the plans and workitems for these products. This is not open source (nothing is free), though some source code is available for download. This is an Open Commercial way of software development. Our development process is open, which means our customers can see what is going on, they can provide feedback/requirements/comments early in the development process. Open development is one of the main reasons why open source projects do well. But IBM did not want Jazz platform and products on top of it to be open source like Eclipse.

According to me Open Commercial should be model for software development everywhere. After all money has to be made and salaries have to be paid, so you cant make everything open source. But you can make everything open, you can let your customers/users see what is going on, and let them interact directly with developers. Otherwise developers are hidden from customers and vice versa with layers of customer support and product managers. A direct interaction between users and developers is good for everyone. Also if you do things in open you try to do things better as everyone is watching :).

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