Spring is a time of birth and renewal. And three companies that I visited on a drive last week around Boston’s high-tech corridor exemplify that truism.
Our first appointment of the day was with ZeroTurnaround, a company that began in the eastern European country of Estonia as a Java outsourcing shop in 2007, but has since transformed itself into a company that wants to “help software eat the world even more quickly,” according to its COO, Alex Laats.
JRebel is the company’s first product, a Java productivity tool that plugs into a JVM to enable faster changes to applications. Now there is also LiveRebel, a testing or production environment that automates releases to make those happen more quickly.
Helping software “eat the world” faster is part of the culture there. So are standing up at your desk and round-the-clock club music. Boylston Street’s a long way from Estonia.
We next stopped at Red Hat’s Westford, Mass., office to visit with the JBoss team. Director of integration and BPM Pierre Fricke welcomed us, and we joked about how JBoss has kind of been forgotten since its acquisition about seven years ago by Red Hat. JBoss started its life as a Java application server, then went the SOA route while that technology was hot.
But as Fricke demonstrated (and as you can see in my article), JBoss is entering a period of renewal by putting the finishing touches on its “intelligent integrated enterprise” solution.
Without getting into specifics about how much of Red Hat’s revenue is derived from its enterprise Linux distribution and its JBoss middleware division, it was clear by the construction work going on at the company’s office that the company anticipates growth, both in revenue and in staff.
Red Hat has based its product line on open-source projects, bundling them with services and add-ons. This view of open source as becoming foundational for enterprise software was shared by Dave Jabs, CTO at AccuRev, another company we visited, in Concord, Mass. Jabs also told me that many companies in the SCM space have adopted open-source Git so users can share code between implementations. This is one of the reasons that AccuRev created GitCentric, so enterprise software companies can leverage Git while maintaining their centralized version control.
AccuRev has traditionally worked in the SCM space. Now, CEO Peter Shields told me the company is taking a new approach with the message that it is aiming to transform software-development processes. As Jabs said, traditional SCM requires the integration of assets (read: code) with work items, and managing both of those things concurrently. But AccuRev is working to enable companies to view assets based on business value (so management can have more visibility and traceability), while allowing engineers to be able to cherry-pick the changes they need to adapt to customers faster.
Of course, Jabs noted that developers are free to do task-level management with AccuRev’s solution if they so desire, but the idea is to look at AccuRev as helping businesses create software assets that bring value to the organization by releasing products faster, with more features and higher quality—not to create code and then see if it brings the value the business needs.
Three companies, all taking advantage of the season for renewal and rebirth to stake new claims in their respective markets.
David Rubinstein is editor-in-chief of SD Times.