Tag Archive for 'David Richards'

WANdisco’s October Roundup

This month was a busy one for WANdisco and the Subversion community, with new releases of Apache Subversion, SmartSVN and uberSVN and of course, WANdisco’s very own global Subversion conference series, Subversion Live.

Subversion Live 2012 took place in San Francisco; Greenwich Connecticut, and London, bringing attendees sessions covering everything from Subversion’s future, expert-led best practice workshops focused on getting the most out of Subversion and a unique ‘Roundtable with the Committers’ session. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and put their questions to the core Subversion committers, in addition to networking with their fellow Subversion users.

We’ve had fantastic feedback from the community; here’s just some of the comments we’ve received about Subversion Live 2012:

  • Thanks for running the conference. It was really helpful. The SVN folks I met were great. A lot more approachable than the typical geek gathering!
  • Thank you very much for the information you passed to me over the Subversion conference, I have now installed uberSVN on my laptop and have started to play with it. I have also signed up for a few webinars in November to kick off some internal training. I really enjoyed the conference, it was very well put together. You and your staff are a very friendly and helpful team which made the event a pleasure to attend.
  • I look forward to attending next year’s event, with a bit more experience under my belt I hope to have some challenging questions for your developers.

See what else attendees have been saying, at our Subversion Live 2012 feedback blog. You can also find out more about the different Subversion Live sessions by reading our recaps of Day One and Day Two, and an in-depth look at the Subversion Live Keynote, and the What’s Coming in 1.8: Overview session.

The Apache Subversion community released another update to the SVN 1.7 series this month, with the release of Apache Subversion 1.7.7. This featured even more fixes and enhancements, including:

  • A fix for a memory read bug
  • Unknown password stores in configuration files no longer cause errors
  • “All tests successful” is now printed at the end of ‘make check’
  • Fixes for issues that could occur when applying Git patch files
  • Status no longer descends into dir externals following upgrade

A full list of what’s new can be found in the Apache Subversion Changes file. As ever, the latest binaries are available to download from the WANdisco website.

Subversion 1.7.7 binaries are also available through uberSVN, the free-to-download, free-to-use, open ALM platform, which was also updated this month. uberSVN ‘Chimney House’ Release 7 is the final release in uberSVN’s ‘Chimney House’ series, and features a new license comparison tool, in addition to a list of fixes and enhancements. The license comparison tool ensures that users are fully aware of license changes, through a pop-up that displays the current license information and compares it to the incoming license prior to installation.

Other updates include:

  • A navigation warning that alerts the user if they attempt to navigate away from the LDAP locations page without saving.
  • The ability to perform other actions in the uberSVN UI whilst update packages are being downloaded (admins only.)
  • Apache Subversion 1.6.19 and 1.7.7 binaries shipped with all new downloads.
  • Removing LDAP locations now presents a warning and option to remove the associated users.

More information on all the changes included in uberSVN ‘Chimney House’ Release 7 is available at the Release Notes.

We were particularly excited to announce the first SmartSVN release since we acquired the popular graphical client last month. SmartSVN 7.0.7 brings some useful enhancements and fixes to the SmartSVN community, more information is available at the SmartSVN 7.0.7 blog post.

If you have any comments or suggestions for upcoming releases, you can post your ideas directly to the SmartSVN team at our dedicated SmartSVN Suggestions forum.

There’s been lots of exciting press activity this month, including articles in MoneyWeek and Investors Chronicle. WANdisco was also featured in Talk Business, which welcomed WANdisco CEO and co-founder David Richards as their latest technology columnist in residence this month. In his first article for the publication, ‘Our Man in the Valley,’ David dishes the dirt on life as a tech company in Silicon Valley. David Richards also shared his top three ways to reduce software development costs at the WANdisco blog, covering:

  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery
  • Highly Available Source Code
  • Software Development without Geographic Constraints

If you’re looking to run leaner, meaner and drive IT costs down, be sure to read David’s  ‘Three Unconventional Ways to Manage IT Costs’ post.

WANdisco’s September Roundup

We have loads of exciting news for you this month, including a new release of Apache Subversion and the very first release of Apache Bloodhound, an exclusive podcast with Vice President of Subversion at the ASF Greg Stein, and of course, the news that SmartSVN has joined our existing suite of Subversion based products and services.

But first, we were proud to open a new development centre in Belfast, Ireland earlier this month. While in Belfast announcing the opening of our new office, David Richards, co-founder, CEO and President of WANdisco, met with Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster.

“We are aiming to achieve substantial growth within the next three years and the Belfast centre will play a critical role in that growth,” said David Richards. “Our strategy includes further development of our existing suite of products, development of new products for the high-growth ‘Big Data’ market and further expansion into Europe and China.”

Not content with one big announcement, we also brought you the news that we’ve added Syntevo’s SmartSVN product suite to our portfolio of Subversion products and services.

For those not already in the know, SmartSVN benefits Subversion end-users and system administrators, through a user interface that provides all members of a development team with a customizable overview of the most important files (e.g. conflicting, modified or missing). Other SmartSVN benefits include:

  • Complete platform independence
  • A rich set of features that takes full advantage of Subversion’s capabilities and eliminates the need for external tools
  • A customizable user interface
  • Extensive file comparison and merge utilities
  • Global customer support and training
We’re currently offering SmartSVN at 50% less than its previous cost, including one year of support! There is also a free download of SmartSVN Foundation available, which gives you the chance to trial SmartSVN Professional simply by choosing the evaluate option during installation. If you have anymore questions about what WANdisco acquiring the SmartSVN product suite means for your SmartSVN experience, we’ve just published a handy FAQ that should answer all of your queries! If not, please feel free to Contact Us directly.
This month, we also caught up with Greg Stein, the Vice President of Subversion at the Apache Software Foundation, to ask him a few questions about the Subversion 1.8 release, the ASF, and of course, his upcoming sessions at Subversion Live. You can listen to the podcast in full now and, if you haven’t booked your tickets to Subversion Live, you’ll find a bonus 30% discount code in the podcast!

Visit http://www.wandisco.com/svn-live-2012 for all the latest information on Subversion Live.

You may still have a few weeks left to register for Subversion Live, but this weekend WANdisco is attending another conference – the Jenkins User Conference in San Francisco. After having a great time at the JUC in New York we’re looking forward to meeting the Jenkins community again in San Francisco – be sure to look out for the WANdisco table, if you’re attending the JUC this weekend!
The Apache Subversion community announced another new release this month – Subversion 1.6.19 includes plenty of fixes and enhancements for users of the 1.6 series:
  • A fix for a server hang that could occur if a hook script failed to start.
  • A fix for a write-through proxy commit regression introduced in Subversion 1.6.17.
  • Partial sync drops properties when converting to adds.
  • A fix for the testsuite to avoid FAILs on APR hash order.

As ever free, certified binaries can be downloaded through our website, and also through uberSVN.

We were also excited to see the Apache Bloodhound team announce their very first release earlier this month.

Apache Bloodhound (Incubating) is a software collaboration tool based on the code base of Trac, the proven project management and issue tracking system. Bloodhound will include issue tracking, a wiki, and repository browsing.

The 0.1 incubating release includes:

  • A patched version of Trac.
  • A new dashboard view that unifies tickets, milestones and the user’s dashboard.
  • A re-theming of the interface to use bootstrap.
  • Preliminary multi-product support. This is the first step towards allowing multiple distinct products/projects to be tracked in a single environment.
  • Simplified installation with the inclusion of a number of plugins as standard.
Apache Bloodhound 0.1 incubating can be downloaded now at https://issues.apache.org/bloodhound/ Congratulations to the Apache Bloodhound team, on their first release!
Finally, we’ve been having a bit of fun this month cooking up some software-inspired memes.

Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook to see what else we come up with!

WANdisco Sponsors Leading Entrepreneur Festival ‘MADE’

We’re really excited to announce that not only will WANdisco’s CEO and co-founder, David Richards be speaking at this year’s MADE Festival in Sheffield UK, but we’ll also be sponsoring the festival.

MADE is described as “the Davos for entrepreneurs,” and its unique combination of networking opportunities, panel discussions, exhibitions, fringe events and quick-fire speaker slots is expected to attract 3,000 guests. The festival will feature 35 high-profile speakers, including David Richards and other leading business figures, such as Peter Jones, Doug Richard, Wayne Hemingway and Lord Bilimoria.

Speaking about the festival, Dragons Den star and MADE speaker Peter Jones said: “If you’re not at MADE, you’re never going to be MADE. You need to be there.”

“WANdisco is a fantastic company and a true Sheffield success story,” said Michael Hayman, chairman of MADE. “With global operations in Silicon Valley and a recent AIM flotation under its belt, this is a business that is a British world-beater. We are delighted that WANdisco is lending its support to this year’s MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival.”

We’re also really excited to see our ad in the official MADE programme, and in the local Sheffield newspaper, the Yorkshire Post. The backdrop for the ad is a local landmark: the Winter Gardens, which is actually just around the corner from the WANdisco Sheffield office!

Tickets for MADE are on sale now, or visit the MADE website for more information on the festival.

Unlimited Paid Vacation? Yeah Right!

This week we announced that rather than offering employees a set number of paid vacation days we would offer an unlimited number of paid vacation days. To many this sounds counter-intuitive.

“Doesn’t that mean nobody will come to work?”

“Yes but you don’t really mean unlimited…”

Just some of the common questions / comments I got when I ruminated the idea among friends. But I really believe we are on to something.

OK so here’s the logic. If we really trust and value our employees then this shouldn’t be a problem. We are not running some sort of Dickensian sweatshop where everyone clocks in at nine and is playing solitaire to bide time until the clock strikes five. I was walking back to our UK office late into the evening last week. It was dark but I could see the building in the distance. I was immensely proud to see that of the 3 or 4 floors, only 1 floor was still illuminated. Yes it was ours. Just about everyone was still there. Not because we were paying them to be there, not because anyone was forcing them to be there. They were there out of choice. They are a team that works together to get the job done.

It’s also a wonderful self-regulating mechanism. I was talking with someone from our excellent PR agency the other day about hiring. They ask the question are they “P-L-U’s?” an acronym for “People Like Us”. Now, more than ever, hiring managers at WANdisco will ask this question because for this to work everyone must be a P-L-U.

This is not some sort of fad or publicity stunt. It’s real. Actions speak louder than words: we value actual productivity more than biding time at the office, we trust each other to do the right thing, we recognize that work is not actually at the center of everyone’s universe, we have unlimited paid vacation days!

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

That Was the Year that Was – uberSVN & All That…

I suspect that I will always remember 2011 as the year when the curtain came down on one of the true greats – Steve Jobs. Great, not just in my world of Silicon Valley techies, but great for just about everyone else on the planet. Even though most of us never knew him we feel like we must have. We seem to use his stuff just about every day.

Apple’s success has had and will continue to have a massive impact on the design of computer systems and products. When we were thinking about uberSVN the very first thought we had was about the relationship between the product and the user. Ten years ago I don’t think that would have been the case. I guess you could call it ‘the pre-iPod days’ (the first iPod was released in October 2001 and was cast as “1,000 songs in your pocket”) before that, according to Jobs, music players were either “big and clunky or small and useless”.

Our customers told us that ‘old fashioned’ ALM was big-and-clunky; and they’re probably right! In many cases they were moving away from these ‘dinosaurs’ to a best-of-breed approach. Like Subversion for source control, JIRA, Redmine or Trac for defects & wiki, Review Board for peer code reviews, and so on.

When we launched uberSVN in April I talked about empowering users by giving them choice. Freedom to choose any combination of ALM tools that best fit the business requirements be it price or functionality, open source or closed source. How’s it doing? In short – amazingly well! To our delight it’s being used everywhere from Fortune 100 companies to the US Senate. I even got my 11 and 12 year-old children to install it on their MAC books – it took them only 5 minutes! Not sure how much use they get out of Subversion – but they did get double pocket money for their efforts! That really is the point of uberSVN. We have made an extremely powerful but complex product extremely easy to use and install by anyone and I think we succeeded in that regard.

We quickly followed-up with uberApps. Another ‘first of a kind’ product with an enterprise AppStore for software development tools. Now, with just a single click, it is possible to install a build & test product like Jenkins or even buy external QA resources from crowd-sourcing vendor uTest. This is another step in making ALM both usable and useful. Anyone, and I mean anyone can deploy these apps without special knowledge, experience or skills.

These products were developed in my hometown, Sheffield. It was our Christmas party there the other week and it really was astonishing to see how quickly we have grown. From a small office where we would “see what happens” we have grown to almost 40. There was a lot of laughing behind hands from my ‘friends’ from the south and lot’s of “ooop north” jibes. Well, in between wearing flat caps and racing whippets, the Sheffield team delivered an award-winning piece of software. uberSVN won 2 awards in the first year of its launch and we have seen almost 50,000 downloads.

Apache Subversion also continues to grow. Subversion is still the ‘King’ of source code management. More traditional Enterprises are turning away from old-fashioned / big-and-clunky ALM for Subversion. And SVN 1.7 (also released this year) has delivered a much-needed performance boost. Throughout the year I have been embroiled in various spats with the Giterons (Git fundamentalists who believe in the inerrancy of Linus) but only this month I have spoken to 3 or 4 companies that tried Git but had to pull it out due to various-and-sundry issues. Much more on that early in the new year, when we might just have a solution for those looking to use Git as more of a client to a central SVN server of record…

There was also some politics earlier in the year when one of our competitors used some pretty underhanded tactics to besmirch our good name. Unfortunately for them it worked quite well in our favor. We are, and always have been a big supporter of the ASF (we are even the only Subversion contributor to also be a sponsor). In fact, at the time of writing, we are in the process of proposing a new project for the ASF incubator. Again, lot’s more on that in the new year.

We also took some steps earlier in the year to solidify the Subversion community by acquiring SVNforum.org. I think we have done a pretty good job of updating the site software, Subversion Liveeradicating spam and generally making the site a useful, free resource for every SVN user. As part of our efforts for the SVN community we also hosted the first Subversion user conferences. Audiences in San Francisco, Boston and London attended “Subversion Live”. We are hosting Subversion Live again later in the year with a extended program.

So 2011 was a great year here at WANdisco but 2012 should be even better. We have several major product launches planned including a new (free) open source defect tracker / wiki, uberSVN Team, uberSVN Enterprise and a solution to the Git/SVN conundrum. In the words of ‘Potato Claus’ (the lead character in my kids’ favorite book from a few years ago) may I take this opportunity to wish everyone Happy Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Winter Solstice, and also local and regional winter holidays and celebrations.

Here’s a rather nice pictorial representation of 2011 from a WANdisco perspective (click to enlarge):

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants-WANdisco / uberSVN Achieves the ‘Made in Sheffield’ Mark.

In the 1740s Benjamin Huntsman developed a new technique for producing steel called crucible steel in his workshop in Sheffield, England.  Prior to this, Sheffield produced about 200 tonnes of steel per year.  Move on a hundred years, and, using Huntsman’s technique the amount had risen to over 80,000 tonnes per year – almost half of Europe’s total production.  Sheffield evolved from a small town into one of Europe’s leading industrial cities and England’s 4th largest city.

Sheffield was at the heart of the industrial revolution that started in Great Britain and spread to the rest of the world.

We are truly honored today because we have been given the right to use the “Made in Sheffield” mark in conjunction with our uberSVN product.  Dating back as early as 1297 the Made in Sheffield mark is awarded for high quality products made in the city.

Of course the initial intent of the mark was primarily to recognize the superior quality of the steel products made in the city.  But I’m delighted that the committee recognized that we have a new industrial revolution based on tech.  The first iteration was a ‘faux-revolution‘ – most of the dot-coms really weren’t doing anything sustainable or revolutionary.  But the one’s that survived and prospered really are.  Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer by a country mile, while Google and eBay dominate.  Not so sure about the likes of Boo.com [spent $188m in 6 months and then went pop], pets.com or webvan though.

Machine-based manufacturing in the late 18th century enabled the second, more explosive part of the industrial revolution with the development of steam-powered ships, railways, and later the internal combustion engine and electrical power generation.

A similar pattern is emerging in the tech revolution.  The creation of the world wide web as a pervasive network is revolutionizing almost every aspect of commerce.  This revolution started in Silicon Valley and spread quickly to every corner of the globe.

One of the side effects is that smart companies realize that location alone no longer provides significant competitive advantage.  Code developed in India and China is as good as code developed in Silicon Valley.  We took what some perceived to be a unusual step of moving our software development center to Sheffield a couple of years ago.  I think it’s very strange that so many US companies automatically locate their UK HQ in London or even Bracknell for goodness sake.   The UK in general loves to sterotype and apparently people in Sheffield live like the guys in “The Full Monty”, wear flat caps and breed whippets.  Do people in London spend all of their time rioting and looting shops I wonder?

The move for us paid immediate and tangible dividends.  Our award-winning uberSVN product is “Made in Sheffield”.  It’s terrifically successful with tens-of-thousands of downloads taking the software development tools space by storm.

Being born in Sheffield and coming from a long line of steel people this award probably means more to me than most.  I am very proud to be Made in Sheffield.

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

We are now a sponsor of Apache!

Apache Subversion WANdiscoI am pleased to announce that today we have become an Apache Software Foundation (ASF) sponsor.

I firmly believe that actions speak louder than words. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to open source and also our belief that the ASF is the right place for Subversion.  Any claims that we are at odds with the ASF should now be put to rest.

The ASF is a non-profit, volunteer-run foundation and this will help aid organizational, legal and financial support for a broad range of Apache licensed projects including Subversion. Other Apache Software Foundation sponsors include Google, Yahoo!, and Facebook, we are proud to join them. We are extremely grateful to the ASF.  This is a ‘safe home’ – Apache have led the way in community open source development since 1999 and they are no stranger to mature, pervasive open source technology like Subversion.

This announcement coincides with the inaugural Subversion Live Conferences.  Apache Subversion has certainly come a long way since its inception in 2000. With over 5 million users it is recognized as the leader in Standalone Software Configuration Management. Indeed, a recent Eclipse Foundation survey found that over 58% of Eclipse users use Subversion, making it the dominant source code management product by a huge margin.

Subversion is no longer a young upstart and we believe it has become critical to talk to Subversion users.  We must uncover the needs of enterprises both large and small.  Subversion may be mature but that does not mean that innovation stops.  The last 11 years (has it really been that long?) have been amazing.  To become the dominant technology in this space is the software equivalent of scaling Mount Everest.

Together, as a community we can do a lot more. May Subversion continue to lead the way for another 11 years and beyond!

avatar

About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A