So RSDC UK is over and I’m finally getting a chance to blog about it. It was cool to meet so many old friends and new make new connections. There were even some blog readers that were able to recognise me IRL by mentally adding 6 years and a beard on to my blog picture Very impressive!
I think it was the best UK Rational event for a long time, and there were some great speakers. Unfortunately the chairs were uncomfortable, some of the rooms too small and the venue would do well to invest in some air conditioning. I suspect that going to an event at the Royal College of Phyicians in the height of summer (assuming we ever have one in this country again) would be enough cause to need a doctor. Regardless of that, and the amount of walking up and down stairs I did, I think it was a great event. The buzz was mainly about the Jazz platform and associated tools (RTC, RQM, RRC).
The conference was opened by Graham Spittle (IBM SWG UKISA VP) and Danny Sabbah (IBM Rational Worldwide VP) who set the scene well for Erich Gamma (in real life) and Grady Booch (in Second Life). Unfortunately the Second Life link went belly up and we did’t get all of Grady’s keynote. Which must have been extremely annoying for Grady since it was 3:30am for him! Erich then took over and gave an excellent Rational Team Concert demo (RTC). When he started his demo I was a bit worried he was going to cover all of my planned demo too, but fortunately it didn’t overlap completely. Since he did the Monday keynote and I did the last slot on Tuesday there was enough time and quantity of information for the delegates so a little overlap didn’t hurt. Erich also did a panel discussion on Agile development in the context of Geographically Distributed Development along with Scott Ambler and Julian Holmes moderated by Anthony Kesterton.
The great TQ (Terry Quatrani) was also present speaking on Agile Modelling, I had a meeting to attend so unfortunately didn’t get to see her speak which is a shame because she’s always great. I did speak to people that did go who just confirmed that I’d have rather gone than have a meeting!
Following the break it was then time for me to speak along with Linda Weedon of PwC and Matt Archer (also of IJI) on “CUPID – Implementing the IBM Rational Unified Process at PricewaterhouseCoopers” which is all about our experiences in deploying UP using a practice based approach. I think the session went really well, we had some pertinent questions which is always a good sign of people staying awake and listening To close the day Ian Spence gave an excellent (as usual) talk on “Conversations in Context: Using Use Cases on Agile Projects”. Following an excellent dinner and a few glasses of wine kindly provided by a competitor it was time to commute home and eventually get to sleep at around 1am. It’s much easier at conferences when you’re staying at or really close to the venue! During the dinner there was a caricature artist or two wondering around who came to our table. Naturally we volunteered Ian to be caricatured and I managed to take a quick pic with my phone of him with his Mad Scientist caricature.
Ian Spence - the Mad Scientist
It’s a little known fact that Ian is also a Kung Fu master which is why his hand appears blurred in this pic. Fractions of a second later my phone was whisked from my hand at the speed of lightening.
Day 2 was for some peculiar reason started 30mins earlier than day 1. This didn’t impress me, especially since like most people I hadn’t noticed until I was texted while on the train on the way in. Fortunately I was early enough anyway to get there on time. Mike O’Rourke opened the day with some description of the Rational 2.0 Roadmap (Jazz and future products). Rumours were confirmed about Rational Project Management and Rational Enterprise Reporting being released Q1 next year.
Ivar Jacobson then gave an excellent keynote on “Back to basics: Getting Good Software Quickly and at Low Cost” which focussed on using practices in a smart way, not following processes. I’ve seen Ivar speak many times, and many times on practice based development, which isn’t that surprising since I work for him but it’s always entertaining to hear the man speak.
I also had some meetings on Day 2 but the sessions that really stood out for me were Peter Eeles talking on “The Rise of the Development Environment Architect” which was based on his paper on DevelopWorks. This is an excellent formalisation of something that has been part of my job for some time. I also enjoyed Derek Holt’s talk on “RTC and the Agile Development Strategy”.
Finally to wrap up Day 2 I presented on own this time on “Live Jazz: Process Execution in IBM Rational Team Concert”. This started off with a demo of EssWork in Eclipse, shell sharing with RTC and creating a new process by composing practices as described in Ivar’s slideware at morning keynote. I then started executing my new process in RTC. It was the end of a long two days in a really hot room so I kept it quite light and I think it went well – and hopefully the audience got something different and new from the talk. If you are now kicking yourself that you missed this talk, fear not I’ll be repeating most of it as part of a webinar I’m doing in October – more details here.
Thanks to all those who attended my talks and came and said hello, especially those that read the Mac Daddy! I’ll post the slides in a few days