Thursday, April 24, 2008

Maudit tabernac mon ami... you left us way too early!

This week I lost a very dear friend, Jeff Millar. We worked side-by-side at Vignette for 7 years. He was more than just a coworker or friend... he was in all respects a kindred spirit. A local obituary can be found here.

It sounds cliché, I know, but there is a hole in my heart that's ached all week. I just can't get over the shock that he's gone. Only 40 years old, and gone.

Jeff cherished language as an art form. This one's for you:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Time to mourn you now my friend. I'll miss you dearly.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Transparency - benefits and obligations

Whether in accounting, politics, or software - there's been an increasing amount of lip service paid to transparency. What a great word to fit into a sound bite. It conjures up images of light, and by slight extension, truth. Nobody wants to be in the "dark", so transparency must be good, right? In general, sure. But why - other than the feel good factor, why should anyone care about transparency?

Having personally observed this force at play in Open Source for the last year now, I see the key benefits of:
  • Holding people accountable - if all the facts are exposed, there's little to no wiggle room for any misunderstandings: intentional or not. Pass thru the data and minimize the "spin". Allow people to make decisions based on real data.

  • Fostering discussion - as a corollary to the above: examining data allows for questions, interactions, and analysis from several angles. Any results are more keenly understood, with less assumptions.
These are the true benefits, and more importantly obligations of transparency.

Specific to software, it's what RFPs and POCs have attempted to sift out for years. Nothing facilitates it better than Open Source. You have access to everything in the company, from the source code on up. Download the product, see it in action, read thru the docs -- and -- directly compare what it does to your key business requirements.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Alfresco Flying High

Who could ask for a better write-up on one's company than this one from CMS Wire? Is a solid IPO in Alfresco's future... we'll see.

All I can say as their Director of Solutions Engineering is this: we have significant traction with major accounts across key verticals, such as Government, Financial Services, and Media. In my 12 months on board, I've never been busier, more productive - or happier.

"Flying High" is very apropos.