March 12, 2013

Citrix at Merge 2013: Look Ma, (Almost) No Administrators!

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You can’t help it if you’re an overachiever. When Citrix, the cloud and mobile technology leader, decided Perforce could be the optimal versioning solution, it did so with one hand tied behind its back, figuratively speaking. That’s right: This rapidly growing global corporation has created what it calls the Citrix Perforce Standard Environment without needing full-time administrators.

“After attending several of the Perforce roadshow events there seemed to be some interest in Perforce at Citrix — particularly around how we implement and manage Perforce in a nonstandard, non-recommended environment,” says Lee Leggett, a software engineer on the Build & Services team in charge of Perforce at Citrix in the UK. In his five years as part of the group, he has worked on a variety of different projects including maintaining and expanding the automated build system infrastructure and Perforce administration. His co-presenter at the 2013 Merge Perforce Conference concurs: “We had heard great things about the larger Perforce conferences, and wanted to take this opportunity to share our story,” says Jason Leonard, also a software engineer on the Build & Services team.

Leonard, who is architecting a complex global distributed build system for XenApp and XenDesktop, first encountered Perforce at Adobe, where he quickly became an administrator, though he is primarily a programmer with experience in everything from embedded microcontrollers to web and desktop applications. The key to Perforce’s success at Citrix, say Lee and Leonard, is elegance, vision and dedication.

“Engineers like simple tools, so if there is something complex they will strive to make it simpler. Always have a vision no matter how far-fetched it may seem. But most importantly, ensure you have a team that is dedicated and authoritative to Perforce in your company,” Leonard said. You can hear Lee Legget and Jason Leonard present their talk, Perforce Standardization at Citrix: Coping with Change in a Growing Global Organization, at Merge 2013, The Perforce Conference, April 24-26 in San Francisco.