Tag Archive for 'sheffield'

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WANdisco Host Apache Meetup for Local Developer Community

This week, core members of the Apache Software Foundation, Greg Stein and Hyrum Wright, have been visiting WANdisco at our offices in Sheffield, UK. To celebrate, we hosted a special, one-off ‘Apache in the Pub’ event at the Rutland Arms, giving the local developer community the opportunity to meet these prominent ASF members, in the local pub!

The event was a great success, with a packed room of developers all debating open source topics: Subversion, Apache, Python, and of course the brand-new Apache Bloodhound project. We even got to hear some of Greg’s tales from his time at Google!

The event attracted much attention on Twitter. Here’s a selection of our favourite tweets from Apache in the Pub attendees:

  • Looking forward to a pint @RutlandArms with @gstein & @hyrumwright of @theasf tonight courtesy of @wandisco & @gistwire
  • @WANdisco @rutlandarms Apache in the Pub was a good event with a great turnout. Big thanks to you both for organising and hosting.
  • Good beer @RutlandArms and interesting people did fix bad day. Met a bunch of new bods from @WANdisco and talked about #bloodhound 🙂
  • @WANdisco @dchetwynd Hope everyone who came had a good time – those who didn’t missed out!

Thank you to our local GIST Foundation, and the ASF, for helping us host this free event for the local developer community. After receiving some great feedback, and being overwhelmed by the full attendance, we’re convinced the local community wants to see more of these sorts of events. If you have any ideas or feedback on community events you would like to see in the local area, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment at the blog, or alternatively Tweet or email us.

We hope you all had a great time at Apache in the Pub, and we hope to see you at another WANdisco-hosted event soon!

WANdisco Host Apache in the Pub

Fancy an evening in the pub with core members of the Apache Software Foundation? This week, director and former chairman of the Apache Software Foundation, Greg Stein, and Apache Subversion release manager Hyrum Wright, will be paying a visit to WANdisco’s Sheffield office. To celebrate, WANdisco and the Apache Software Foundation, in cooperation with the GIST Foundation, will be hosting a very special, one-off Apache in the Pub event at the Rutland Arms pub in Sheffield, UK, giving the local developer community the opportunity to meet these prominent Apache Software Foundation members, and discuss all things open source, including the new Apache Bloodhound project, Python, and Apache Subversion.

If there’s time, maybe we’ll even hear how Greg launched Google Code, or some of his other war stories from the cutting edge.

This event is completely free, simply visit the Apache in the Pub Eventbrite page. And as an extra bonus, they’ll be a free pint for everyone who arrives on time!

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

uberSVN ‘Blake’ Released with Streamlined Subversion App Store

The holiday season may be nearly upon us, but things are far from quiet at WANdisco! We’ve been busy working on our uberSVN open ALM platform for Apache Subversion, and are pleased to announce that uberSVN 11.12 (Blake) is now available! This release marks a major update for uberAPPS; uberSVN’s integrated app store for extending Subversion. With uberSVN 11.12, we have made it even easier to add apps to the uberAPPS store, and have added the option of making installed apps visible or invisible, on a per-user basis. Other key enhancements include:

  • A more helpful screen when uberSVN is unable to connect to the uberAPPS store.
  • Repository support for anonymous reading. When enabled, the repository can be accessed/read without the need to authenticate.
  • The option to switch to and from the latest version of Subversion – version 1.7.2 – with the innovative SVNswitch tool.

As you may already know, uberSVN is developed entirely in Sheffield, UK (it was even awarded the prestigious Made in Sheffield mark earlier this year!) so what better way to codename our releases, than after local Sheffield pubs? uberSVN 11.12 is codenamed ‘Blake’ after the Blake Hotel pub in Walkley, Sheffield, and after successfully releasing uberSVN 11.12, we thought there was no better way to celebrate the release of Blake, than having a few pints in the Blake!

uberSVN is free to download and easy to install, and gives users the freedom to build their own, customized ALM platform from the open and closed components they want to work with. It also comes with social coding capabilities, to make collaboration easier – particularly across distributed teams! Simply visit http://www.ubersvn.com/download to download the brand-new version 11.12; or check out our Top 10 Reasons to Try uberSVN, for more info on what uberSVN has to offer!

More information on uberSVN 11.12 is available at the Release Notes.

March of the uber

Admin Console - LDAP

So, we thought it would be good to give you a ‘broad stroke’ update on what’s going on in the world of uberSVN. Firstly, you’ll probably have noticed that another update recently appeared; a modest interim fix that sorts out some niggles encountered by Subversion 1.7’s early adopters. If you didn’t catch the update, here’s what changed:

uberSVN – Release 11.11

What’s New

[Portal] It’s no longer possible to browse to cached screens without re-authorization. (ESVNB-2157)

[Portal] We’ve cleaned up the layout of the uberSVN login screen. (ESVNB-2265)

[uberAPPS] We’ve changed our back-end server to use the C3P0 connection pooling library to improve the handling of long running connections to the database. (ESVNB-2267)

What’s Fixed

[svnSWITCH] We’ve fixed an issue where running with Subversion 1.7 stopped the repository browser from working. Also fixed is the problem with repository browsing that occurred if you switched to Subversion 1.7 when using SSL. (ESVNB-2468) (ESVNB-2473)

[svnSWITCH] Windows XP users are now able use the SVNswitch tool. (ESVNB-2471)

[svnSWITCH] Activating Subversion 1.7 no longer stops commit activity from being reported on the dashboard or repository activity stream. (ESVNB-2472)

The bigger picture

This is the 7th update in the 7 months since our first release – from that you can probably work out the release cycle that we’re aiming for, and so far hitting. This release tempo should also tell you that there’s been no slow-down here at WANdisco’s Sheffield-based software forge – indeed, if cities had middle names, Sheffield’s might be ‘Industrious’, and it’s hard for a developer of software tools to not be inspired by a city that unexpectedly became the world’s supplier of industrial tools.

If that allusion to Sheffield’s heritage seems like big talk from a small “upstart”, maybe it’s because we know we’re on to something and we’ve got the potential to change the game, if we can keep on course, and keep on delivering regular improvements. To this end we’re very happy with the results we’ve got from an Agile approach. Keeping your releases bite-sized but regular forces you to keep the focus on stuff that works rather than trying to build Rome in a day. Of course, in an office with a giant slide, who needs to ride the waterfall?

Now we’d concede that this might give the impression that the big changes are never coming, in fact you can be sure that they are. Our Suggestion Website has given us an invaluable insight into what many of you like about uberSVN, but more importantly it tells us what holes we need to fill. Full LDAP integration, Defect tracker, anyone? We are hard at work on plugging both into uberSVN, as well as a few other things-that-you-want. Of course, there are lots of features and capabilities that fall outside the scope of what we can build ourselves, we’ll still be able to deliver these through uberAPPS, which will soon benefit from another round of enhancements, and some cool new APPS for you to buy

It’s your turn

For us, uberSVN’s social coding element is important because software development, at its best, should be a conversation – sometimes, an argument. So we’ll ask again, keep asking us for stuff, most definitely keep telling us what we’re doing wrong. Most of all, keep talking.

Not given uberSVN a try? It’s here, it’s FREE, and so easy to install your kids could do it – in fact, ours did. http://www.ubersvn.com/

GIST Meetup!

This week we attended a meetup with the guys from the GIST Foundation. The GIST Foundation is a knowledge sharing organisation for the digital / tech community. This meetup was focused on apps developed for the Sheffield Appathon – a competition for students in Sheffield.

The winning App Solar Helper was beautifully designed with an impressive commercial strategy. The guys behind it – Ste Prescott, Rumning Du, Jonathan Barker and Michael Wain did a great job, and we can’t believe they’re only in their second year of university! We know they’ll go far in the future. Thanks GIST, for giving exciting young talent a platform to showcase their work! After the presentations we all went for a curry and a pint. Can’t wait to see everyone at the next meetup!

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.

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