April 28, 2010

Perforce User Conference Sneak Peak: Jonas Bovin of ALOC

MERGE User Conference

Jonas joined ALOC, a provider of financial software solutions, in 2008 to administer their Perforce installation. Since then Jonas has introduced Continuous Integration, SCM patterns and increased the company’s focus on SCM practices.


On May 12, Jonas will share his insight on SCM and discuss what he calls the maturity gap at the 2010 User Conference. Jonas was kind enough to answer a few questions on the subject.

Can you explain briefly what you refer to as the ‘SCM maturity gap’?

What we refer to as the SCM maturity gap is simply: the amount of knowledge and experience required to be able to comprehend SCM in the context of software development, hereunder SCM patterns and SCM systems.

Today a lot of team members on software development projects are lacking the prerequisites to understand SCM and subsequently work correctly and effectively with SCM systems. Users with a non-technical background such as testers, usability experts, designers, domain experts etc. typically have a higher SCM maturity gap than those with technical background such as developers.

A good example is the “dating pattern” language, which can help people be successful on dates. But if a person exhibits a maturity gap in “social interactions with the opposite sex”, he will not be able to use the patterns directly, without addressing the maturity gap.

Can you give us an example of how to bridge the gap?

The very idea of a pattern language is to bridge a maturity gap and enable people from different backgrounds to communicate. We recently implemented the elements of the SCM pattern language in a tool without exposing the underlying SCM system specifics.

If we use the dating pattern example (above) the maturity gap might be bridged by using online dating services, where the social interaction can occur in the comfort of the person’s home and without him/her stepping out of his comfort zone. The point is clearly to bridge the gap, as filling the gap is not feasible.

What information will attendees take away from your presentation?

SCM Patterns have been around for a long time now – but they are still limited, to some extent, to software developers and SCM masters. I will show them how we managed to get an entire team of people with different backgrounds and, in some cases, a high maturity gap to work correctly and successfully with patterns through a custom plug-in for P4V (the Perforce Visual Client). Hopefully what attendees will take away is the knowledge of how to bridge the gap if they should find themselves in this situation.

And, if there is attendee interest, we will release the tool.

You can hear Jonas’ full presentation at the2010 Perforce User Conference.