Concluding DevCon XI
By B. Victor Chakravarty, Enterprise Architect
Nearly 170 I.T. professionals participated in the eleventh semi-annual Developers’ Conference (DevCon) on July 21. The conference theme was Tool Time. Four items in the State developer toolbox was showcased. Taken together, these are some of the most important tools right now for our continued stewardship of State applications.
We have adopted the Atlassian suite for tracking & collaboration in the application support arena. Denise Brigham started with the purposes of the three tools (Jira for issue-tracking, Confluence for secure wiki, and Greenhopper for build-management), and then articulated how to interface with Numara FootPrints, the call-center tracker. Nicki Bistrais followed with a demonstration of how the three Atlassian tools are actually being used within the State. Tom Lynch concluded the session with how the Atlassian suite has been incorporated within the application development lifecycle in the Department of Transportation.
Given our deep investment in the Microsoft stack, we have finally embraced SharePoint. Denise started with a general overview of SharePoint and its capabilities, as well as the prototype applications document repository that has been built with SharePoint. Doug Averill showcased the DHHS Service Center application built with SharePoint, especially such features as building & searching metadata, the Active Directory-based audit trail, etc. Steve Campana concluded the session with the service model and the fee structure.
As computing/communication devices become more commoditized, OIT is under increasing pressure to deliver its applications to myriad consumer devices, especially mobiles & handhelds. After surveying the current reality, Victor Chakravarty articulated a scenario where OIT may implement a Bring-Your-Own-Device model in the future, via a Universal Device Manager. The session also covered how to analyze customer device & application requirements, as well as the Mobile Enterprise Application Platform for device-independence.
OIT is on the verge of rolling out the Internet Explorer 8 browser, the Office 2010 productivity suite, and the Windows 7 operating system on workstations statewide. Eric Erskine, Marshall Grover, and Bob Corum jointly covered the proposed standard builds for the three products, the testing plan, and the rollout schedule. This is a massive effort with many moving parts, therefore, it elicited the maximum number of questions. OIT remains firmly committed to accommodating all legitimate business requirements, while at the same time hardening the configurations for increased security and streamlined administration.
First launched during the spring-summer of 2006, the DevCon has grown into the premier peer- mentoring medium within the state I.T. community. It also provides an open forum to directly engage the OIT executive management. Finally, it is one of the few events that bring together the entire state I.T. community, spanning both the Executive and non-Executive branches. All conference materials have been posted on the DevCon XI site (Intranet-only). The strong attendance confirmed yet again the enduring value of DevCons. We look forward to the same passionate support for the upcoming DevCon XII, to be held sometime in January.