Saturday, June 18, 2011

Open Source in action.

I've been with JBoss since 2005 and in that time I like to think I've experienced quite a bit about how open source works. It's been a wonderful learning experience for me and definitely turned me from someone who thought open source code and developers were somehow not as good as closed source equivalents into a person who knows that the opposite is most definitely the case!

Case in point: over the last 18 months or so we've been on an aggressive schedule for JBossAS 7, which has some pretty fundamental architectural changes in it. This would've been a challenge for any team (I remember how long it took us to implement HP-AS, for instance, and that team was also extremely skilled). But our teams are small and are responsible not only for development, but also for their communities too: open source means a lot more than just having your code in a public repository!

So these teams are putting in a lot of effort! They're pulling long hours too. Now of course that's not unique to open source or JBoss, but the developers are not doing this for their wages; they're doing it because they have a passion for open source and also for the history behind JBoss and our communities. They (we) believe that this is a game changer and not just another battle in the ongoing war. It's worth noting that I saw this in my Bluestone days too, both when we were independent and then part of HP. I think that the reasons behind that are very similar, only the protagonists have changed.

This release is also so fundamental to everything we are doing that even teams who wouldn't normally have much to do with AS are willing to pitch in, both during work hours and personal time. And what's more interesting is that I rarely have to ask them to help: it's a natural thing for them to do because they're as much a part of the AS community as others. From a personal perspective I've found the AS7 effort very enlightening. I've learned a lot, and much of it not just technical in nature. It is most definitely a good time to be in this role!

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