September 12, 2013

The Simplicity of Streams


On September 10th, I presented a live DevTalk webinar for developers on using Task Streams for better, faster software development. Check out the recording here.

Here's my big admission for the day...

Before moving into my recent role as an Open Source Community Developer, I was a UI developer at Perforce for 10 years, working on P4V and Streams.

It's pretty well known around the “Perfortress”, that I'm a big fan of Streams and that I love me some dev streams.

It seemed natural for the creatives in marketing to ask me to do a little talk and demo on Perforce's new lightweight Task Streams - first for the Perforce MERGE 2013 conference in April and then a DevTalk Webinar!

That wasn't much of a confession, here it is:

I had never even heard of Task Streams.

I went to Gabe Weiss, the P4V tech lead and asked him to run through a demo for me. Task Streams was so trivial to use, the demo took him only 32 seconds.

I pretty much panicked. Marketing had given me a 30 minute conference slot. What was I going to do for the other 29 minutes and 28 seconds?

There's no dilemma too small or too big…that I'm not willing to make into Gabe's dilemma. I sat down in his office and refused to leave until he agreed to present Task Streams with me at MERGE 2013.

He agreed.

So I got to thinking ...

I'm a developer and I've used Perforce every day for the last 10 years, and yet, I don't have a clue why Perforce had to make branching more lightweight.

Like a vulture, I picked clean every server and support engineer's brain. I learned more than I thought a UI developer could about that weird low-level server stuff - concerning the relationship between branching, metadata, and table locking. More importantly I discovered how it affects server performance and branch administration overhead.

The good news is, our “Holy Hand Grenade of Branching” presentation at MERGE 2013 worked out great. In fact, it went so well that I was invited to a conference in Tokyo, by our Japanese partners at Toyo Corporation, to present Task Streams. After talking about Task Streams at two conferences, Gabe and I were ready to open the flood gates to the web.

If you want a peak at what's happening under the covers with Perforce's lightweight Task Streams, take a look at our down and dirty DevTalk webinar.

I'm telling you, it's a game changer. Once you go Task Streams, you'll never go back.