Giant Steps: A Small Distributed Team’s Experience with Rational Team Concert (Beta)

Brett Hackleman (Band XI International, LLC), John Cunningham (Band XI International, LLC)

Tools · Short Talk

Tuesday, 15:10, 10 minutes | Room 209/210 | Download in iCal Format


Brett Hackleman

John Cunningham

We first heard about original Eclipse developers from Rational building a new set of Eclipse based tooling at EclipseCon in 2006. We didn’t know where that effort was going, but we continued to observe from afar as it developed, content using the collection of standalone tools we had (Eclipse, Subversion, CruiseControl, Skype, Bugzilla, and a Wiki) for our small, distributed, agile team. However, after being awarded a US government grant that comes with some significant reporting demands, we wanted to reassess our project management and development tooling.

At the Eclipse Summit Europe 2007, the Rational Team Concert (aka Jazz) team invited us into their beta program. At first glance, it appears targeted at large organizations with lots of developers and necessary infrastructure support teams. But, after reviewing the demos and online documentation at, we were curious – could a small team make use of this tooling? Would this tooling relieve us of the infrastructure burden or increase it? And would it be any better than the collection of tools we were already using?

This talk discusses our experiences in adopting the Rational Team Concert tooling for a small, distributed team of three people, each located in a different geographic location. We'll discuss what gaps the new tooling filled in our open-source toolbelt, and what pieces felt right or wrong. We will explore the pros and cons of the Team Concert Beta from both a project management and reporting perspective, as well as from an Eclipse developer’s perspective. Time permitting we'll give a short demo of what we consider truly noteworthy.

Brett Hackleman is an agile/XP software developer with Band XI International. In his past life he was a member of the Embedded Java Enablement Team (eJET) in IBM's Pervasive Computing Group, where he worked for 6 years in the Telematics and RFID domains. Before that, Brett was happily employed by Object Technology International, Inc. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering (NC State University) and works to support his flying and snowboarding addictions.

John Cunningham leads Band XI International, a small software and services company started in 2005 that builds everything using Eclipse tooling and OSGi service-oriented bundle architectures. Although most of his work today is done in Java (and some Ruby), he really learned the most while working in LISP and Smalltalk. Mr. Cunningham has been building and managing software for 20 years in a wide variety of domains as a consultant and line manager. He has worked for Andersen Consulting (Accenture), Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Travelers Insurance (Citigroup), Object Technology International (OTI), and IBM. Mr. Cunningham holds the following degrees: BS in Mechanical Engineering (Columbia University), MS in Mechanical Engineering (University of Massachusetts/Amherst) and an MBA in Finance (University of Connecticut).

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