May 2, 2012

Version Everything Road Trip, Day 1

Version Control

perforce road trip silicon valley

Whew, busy day! Today well over a hundred Perforce users joined us at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to get a taste of new Perforce products and solutions, including Commons, Chronicle, and P4Sandbox.  

What really struck me is how much everyone can identify with the problems we're seeing. Emails, network drives, all these different places that make it easy to lose track of important data. Pretty much everyone starts nodding their head when they hear about Commons: a simple, safe place to store files and collaborate with a team. Coming as most of us do from a software background, that sounds prosaic in a way. Using a good version management system for source code is part of our DNA now as an industry.  

But the tools and the process that we take for granted in software just doesn't exist yet in other parts of the company. I can say this from experience. When I first started working in the marketing department, I was frankly shocked at how hard it was to collaborate on documents, slide decks, and spreadsheets. We have plenty of tools we can use, ranging from hosted project management systems to wikis. And I know folks who work with sophisticated document management systems.

perforce road trip silicon valley

So if everybody understands the problem, and there are a lot of tools available, why is this still so painful? To be fair, the problem was really more acute in software development. If you can't let several people work on source code simultaneously, and keep track of different copies of source code, you're never going to ship product. We're going to bring the version management solutions that software teams take for granted to the rest of the company. And, we're building support for the latest and greatest Agile development workflows into our core software development solutions.

Well, that's it for now. One plane ride down, seven to go, and off to San Diego tomorrow. Hopefully I can stop by my favorite lobster burrito restaurant on the way in from the airport. (Note to boss: please schedule more business trips in San Diego!) Keep your eyes on the Perforce web site and blog for more information on the great new solutions we're rolling out.

Registration is still open for our Version Everything Road Trip. RSVP for your spot here.