Monday, May 23, 2005

Rational Conference Report 1

I'm at the IBM Rational User Conference in Las Vegas. It's seriously hot outside the hotel, but I've just been inside the whole morning, listening to a succession of keynote talks.

Born to run - software

The first keynote address was set up almost like a rock music event. Loud music and subdued lighting, with an occasional sweep of in-your-face spotlights. In such an environment I find it really hard to strike up a decent conversation with the guy next to me. I guess I should be accustomed to this by now, but I don't quite understand why software executives always choose to frame their appearances like this.

Besides the software executives, we had a voice group called Toxic Audio, singing a new Rationalized version of "Taking Care of Business" - and also providing choral punctuation to the extended demo.

Business-driven development

Rational presents what it has been doing in terms of a three-part triangular model - Business, Development and Operations. (I've seen this model before at the Atlantic launch.)

There are some important disconnects between these three. What I've heard this morning is mainly about two of these disconnects, and how Rational tools and processes may be used to overcome these disconnects.
  • The procurement disconnect between business and development. Managing IT as a business, portfolio management, etc.
  • The deployment disconnect between development and operations. Synchronizing quality and change.
However, there are some other important disconnects that they aren't talking about. In particular, there is very little mention of any disconnects between Business and Operations. I spoke to one Rational manager about this, and he thought this was because the material was largely targeted at an audience of developers.

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