Thursday, January 31, 2008

Think globally, link locally (updated)

Today I attended my first meeting in the local (i.e. Danish) Eclipse users group called, today's topic being the use of Eclipse RCP for the primary front-office business-applications in a bank, such as teller systems and in call centers.

In Denmark, banks are rarely among the early technology adopters -- to say the least (I assume this is partly due to the severe regulation in the sector). Not just adopting, but broadly betting on Eclipse RCP for in-house development is thus a bold decision, even when it's warranted and desired by the business users. It goes against the grain of the ten year industry-wide push of browser-based solutions, and didn't happen without some amount of "idea sales"; the architect having to refocusing his/her language to the audiences at hand (easier when you stick to the facts and leave the evangelism behind.)

The meeting featured a presentation, a demo, and lots of discussions about design trade-offs, architecture, etc. amongst the apprx. 25 attendees. Useful, inspiring, and not doable by IRC! This kind of face-to-face meeting around such a focused subject is a rare event indeed.

My message is thus: Find and join your local Eclipse user group - if you can't find one, go start one yourself. Show up, share, discuss, link up with people with similar interests.

Update: The Eclipse Wiki contains a page of local communities.