Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

18 May 2007

Visions of the Future

We were fortunate to receive two visits from Damon Poole, founder of AccuRev, to discuss the use of AccuRev at DeLorme. I remembered speaking with Damon several years ago at SD East, and it was that conversation which made me interested in what AccuRev had to offer. This meeting was no less impressive.

We discussed our experience moving from Visual SourceSafe. The SCM part of our transition was minor, but our move from a 1980s era massive build system to continuous integration was huge. We changed nearly everything about how we manage the code for projects, largely due to our greater flexibility with AccuRev. Since making large changes is so simple with AccuRev, we opted to address items which had been on the todo list for years. Damon asked a lot of good questions and clearly saw this painful transition as something AccuRev could help other companies with. Be that as it may, I would not trade my experience from November to March for all the tea in China.

Damon then took some time, in both meetings, to break out what he terms "concept cars." These are very much like real concept cars in that they indicate, in a general way, where a company is going but the concept vehicle and the final production vehicle are usually different. He walked us through three PowerPoint presentations which outlined several important future areas of development for AccuRev. Though we were hardly sworn to secrecy, I feel the need to be a little vague here. The research tool, which we saw first, looks extremely powerful with features I know will be useful during the bug hunt, but more especially for release engineering.

The dashboard tools he showed, however, got the biggest reaction from me since it appealed to me both as a developer and as a tech lead. During the demonstration there was a point when I just blurted out, "Once this tool comes out, you can pretty much just start printing your own money." Trust me, if you are an AccuRev customer you will be buying this add-on. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is going to be beating a path to their door. Suffice it to say, that at the end of the meeting our super smart, hard dealing Department Head said, "How much?" and "When can I cut a PO?" Unfortunately, this software is not yet in the can, but perhaps we can jump into the beta program for it. In any case, the vision of the future looks great for AccuRev, since they are not a company who is going to rest on their laurels.

That reminds me...I should make a t-shirt on the front: "AccuRev Old School", on the back a picture of the dashboard concept design and: "I used AccuRev before they went double platinum".

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