I spent yesterday at Sun's Midwest Java Technology Days event in Chicago (actually, Rosemont, a suburb right next to O'Hare). I live and work in the Chicago area and the Sun marketing folks who ran the event were nice enough to let me attend. I had a chance to attend some of the sessions and talk informally to several individuals and small groups about GlassFish. As a software engineer (with a checkered past that includes stints as a consultant and university instructor as well as a software engineer and architect) I usually find it refreshing, humbling, and encouraging to spend time with people actually using the sort of software I work on , and yesterday was no exception.
One very interesting conversation I had was with a project manager who wanted to know how open source projects really work. From his point of view as someone who might consider using open source software in a project for one of his clients. (I answered from my experience on GlassFish, not that this makes me much of an expert.)
- How to ensure quality of the code in the project. (Require clean unit test runs and peer review before changes go into the repository. Run automated builds and tests. Promote thoroughly-tested weekly builds and releases we do on GlassFish.)
- What kind of support can people in his position get for open source projects. (No-cost advice from the community and paid product support from a vendor like Sun.)
(It was far less of a sales pitch than I just made it sound like; I really enjoyed that conversation.)
One developer who had downloaded GlassFish wanted to know how to do something specific that would be equivalent to what he was doing with another app server. Luckily for me, GlassFish does what he wanted and I was able to point him in the right direction. Maybe the most rewarding single moment of the day for me was when this developer left our conversation clearly very excited about working much more with GlassFish.
In case anyone I met with reads this, many thanks for taking the time to talk.