As promised in my previous post, here are the recordings of the talks done by our awesome Community people.
The order below is the order at which they were planned in the agenda (no favouritism!). Sadly, the camera battery died during the recording of the talks before lunch. As such, the talks of Yannick Spillemaeckers (University of Ghent) and Elmar Weber (Cupenya) were not usable :-(. Their slides can be found online though:
Here are the recordings of the talks. The slides can be found here.
The Activiti Community Day in Paris last week was a blast. The venue, the talks, the attendees … all were top notch.
For the people that weren’t able to attend this time (I’m sure you had good excuses … right?), don’t worry. We’ve recorded most of the sessions (and the slides are already online a couple of days). The first batch of recordings, those about Activiti 6, are ready and on Youtube.
The rest of the sessions will follow in the next couple of days.
This presentations goes into what Activiti v6 is, what the changes are and why we slap a 6 sticker on it.
V6 will be shipped with a new UI. This presentation shows it live in action, running against the v6 engine.
The questions after our presentations. You can clearly see how much more relaxed we are after the two presentations beforehand all went very well :-).
The Activiti engine was born five years ago and we started with version 5.0 (a cheeky reference to our jBPM past). In those five years we’ve seen Activiti grow beyond our wildest dreams. It is used all across the globe in all kinds of cool companies.
The last couple of months we’ve been working very hard at the next evolution of the Activiti engine. The core engine is undergoing a huge refactoring and we’ve got plenty of cool new stuff enabled by these changes up our sleeves. So after five years of version 5, we believe it is time for Activiti version 6!
We’re currently working on having all unit tests we have to run green on the Activiti 6 engine (almost there!). And yes, because that question will come first thing in the comments anyway, version 6 is fully compatible with version 5 (database schema, API’s, concepts, etc.).
We’re launching the new engine and unfolding all the core changes and plans at our Activiti Community Day in Paris (10th of June – only three weeks away). So let me repeat what I said in my previous post: If you are working with Activiti today, you don’t want to miss it. If you plan to use Activiti, you don’t want to miss it. It will be a major milestone and you will have the opportunity to witness it from the front line and influence it.
Attending the Community Day is easy, it’s completely free and you just need to register here: https://www.alfresco.com/events/global-activiti-user-day. Places are limited, so be quick!
Hope to see you there! And looking forward to show all the Activiti 6 sweetness!
As I wrote two days ago, we are organising an Activiti Community Day, 10th of June in Paris. In case you missed that post, read all about it here.
I’m very happy to announce that the registration is now live for this awesome event: http://www.alfresco.com/events/activiti-user-day . So register quickly and make sure your spot is reserved!
It’s been a while since the last one, but now it’s back (and how!): the Activiti Community Day!
And it’s going to be a Community Day that will go in the history books: not only have we arranged a superb location right in the heart of Paris (with a panoramic view over the city), we also have huge news which we will announce at the event. Activiti is now five years old, and it has grown more than we ever anticipated and it is used all over the globe in all kinds of industries and ways beyond our imagination. In those five years, we’ve learned a ton of how people use Activiti and how they want to use it going forward. So, in the past months, we’ve been working hard at the next evolution of the core Activiti Engine. And what better place to announce and show it than on the Activiti Community Day?
Do I hear mumbling of Activiti v6? No Comment. 😉
And if that wasn’t enough already, we’re currently lining up some top-notch speakers with real-life Activiti experience in very interesting environments. More about that soon once we have further fleshed out the agenda.
If you are working with Activiti today, you don’t want to miss it. If you plan to use Activiti, you don’t want to miss it. It will be a major milestone and you will have the opportunity to witness it from the front line and influence it. We don’t just plan to show it, we plan to really discuss the roadmap and ideas for the very future of Activiti!
Oh yeah, did I already mention it’s completely free? No entrance fee thanks to sponsoring from Alfresco!
So block your agenda and arrange your travel:
10th of June 2015, Espace Montmartre : 5, rue Saint Eleuthère 75018 Paris (very close to the Sacré-Cœur basilique)
Details of the venue: http://www.groupe-pearl.com/location-salles-paris/espace-montmartre. When there’s a registration page live, I’ll post a new blog.
Interested in doing a talk during the Community Day? Do reach out to us (here below this post, on twitter, email, …)! We still have a couple of slots open!
My good friend Josh Long did an interview with me about Activiti and Business Process Management in general. I must admit, I was quite nervous before the recording, as I had never done a podcast before (note : the editors at SE radio did a really great job 😉 ).
All feedback, as always, much appreciated!
With the Activiti 5.17.0 release going out any minute now, one of the things we did was writing down documentation on how to use this release together with Spring Boot. If you missed it, me and my Spring friend Josh Long did a webinar a while ago about this.
You can find the new docs already on github master (scroll down to ‘Spring Boot’ section): https://github.com/Activiti/Activiti/blob/master/userguide/src/en/ch05-Spring.adoc#spring-boot. You can also see we switched to Asciidoc for our docs a couple of weeks ago. And GitHub renders that natively, which is awesome.
While I was writing the documentation, I created a sample application to verify all the stuff in there actually works. You can find that example here: https://github.com/jbarrez/spring-boot-activiti-example. It has tags for each of the steps (which match the steps in the docs). So to start, checkout tag step-1 and so forth.
This is the first ‘official’ release of the integration (it was in snapshot versions before), so do give it a spin and let us know what you think about it!
Once every while, the question on how to create a pull request for Activiti is asked in our Forum. It isn’t hard to do, but specially for people that don’t know git it can be daunting.
So, I created a short movie that shows you how easy it is and what you need to do to:
Looking forward to your awesome fixes and features in a pull request!
Edit: Zoltan Alfattar mentioned to me on Skype there is a better way using branches:
@jbarrez Nice, however creating separate branch would be the better https://t.co/nco8rRZlk3
With which I agree fully. However, for people who are new to Git, it might be too complex to grasp. But surely have a look at the link if you are interested in doing it in the ‘proper’ way.
Last month, we’ve released our very first version of our cloud offering around Activiti. If you missed it, there’s a short press release here (scroll to section about Activiti). Doing it as a cloud-first release has provided us with very good feedback. Not only on the deployment and setup side, but also from partners and potential customers who can easily play around with it.
As mentioned in the press release, all of this will be available on premise in a couple of weeks from now (if all goes according to plan and we keep appeasing the software development gods, which up till now seems to be the case!).
One of the cool things you can do in the Activiti Cloud is model your BPMN 2.0 processes in our completely rewritten web modeler. There are obviously many other cool things to do, but let me get back to those in later blogposts. The only thing you need to do to create BPMN 2.0 processes, which are fully ready to run on the Activiti engine, is to create an account on https://activiti.alfresco.com. With such an account, you can model BPMN 2.0 processes without any limitation. Anyone can do it, no strings attached.
I uploaded a movie to Youtube showing how easy it is:
Of course, as one needs bread on the table, there are also options if you want that something more (eg. the analytics, options for apps, etc), you want this on-premise (with cool stuff such as LDAP integration and all that stuff you want on premise) or you are looking for support on the Activiti Engine only. Anyway, contact Alfresco Sales if you think this is something you want!
A couple of weeks ago, there was a stir (again) about remote working and its succes and/or failure: it was reported that Reddit, the website where many people lose countless of hours, were forcing all their employees to move to SF. After a similar thing happened at Yahoo last year it made me think about why remote work is such a huge success for us at Activiti and Alfresco.
You see, I’m a remote worker for more than five years now. First at Red Hat and then at Alfresco. I worked a couple of years as Java consultant before that, so I’ve seen my share of office environments (checking my Linkedin, it comes down to about 10 different office environments). I had to go to these offices each day.
Comparing those experiences, I can – without exaggeration – say that I’m way more productive nowadays, working from home. Many people (both in and outside IT) ask me how I do it. They say “they couldn’t do it”. Maybe that’s true. Maybe some people need a lot of people around them. But for the kind of job I am into – developing software – I believe having a lot of people around me doesn’t aid me in writing higher quality software faster.
Anyway, like I said, I did some thinking around it and I came to the following “rules” which I have been following all these years which I believe are crucial (at least for me!) to making remote working a success.
(comic from http://www.dilbert.com/ )
Having a separate space to work is crucial when wanting do serious remote working. Mentally it is important that you can close “The Door” of your office space when you finished working. It brings some kind of closure to the working day.
Many people, when they work from home, put their laptop on let’s say the kitchen table. That doesn’t work. It is not a space that encourages work. There are distractions everywhere (kids that come home, food very close by, …). But most importantly, there is no distinction between when you are working and when you are not.
My wife and kids they know and understand that when The Door is closed, I’m at work. I can’t be disturbed until that Door opens. But when I close The Door in the evening and come downstairs, they also know that I’m fully available for them.
The second rule is related to the first one: what to put in that room. The answer is simple: only the best. A huge desk, a big-ass 27″ monitor (or bigger), a comfortable chair (your ass spends a lot of time on it), the fastest internet you can buy, some quality speakers, a couple of cool posters and family pictures on the wall, ….
This is the room where you spend most of your time in the week, so you need to make it a place where you love to go to.
Often, I hear from people which company allows for remote work that their company should pay for all of this. I think that’s wrong. It’s a two-way street: your company gives you the choice, privilege and trust to work from home, so you from your side must take care that your home office isn’t decreasing anything compared to the office gear you have. Internet connection, chair and computer monitor are probably the most important bits here. If you try to be cheap on any of those, you’ll repay it in decreased productivity.
Your partner is of utmost importance to make remote work a success. Don’t be fooled by the third place here, when your partner is not into it, all the other points are useless.
It’s pretty simple and comes down to one core agreement you need to make when working from home: when you are working from home you are not “at home”. When you work, there is no time for cleaning the house, doing the dishes, mowing the grass, etc … You are at work, and that needs to be seen as a full-time, serious thing. Your partner needs to understand that when you would do any of these things, it would be bad for your career.
Many people think this is easy, but I’ve seen many fail. A lot of people still see working from home as something that is not the same as “regular work”. They think you’ve got all the time in the world now. Wrong. Talk it through with your partner. If he/she doesn’t see it (or is jealous), don’t do it.
More than a team in an office, you need to communicate. If you don’t communicate, you simply don’t exist.
At Activiti, we are skyping a lot during the day. We all know exactly what the other team members are currently doing. We have an informal agreement that we don’t announce a call typically. You just press the ‘call’ button and the other side has to pick it up and respond. It’s the only way remote work can work. Communicate often.
Also important: when you are away from your laptop, say it in a common chat window. There is nothing as damaging for remote workers as not picking up Skype/Phone for no reason.
The last rule is crucial. Working remote is based on trust. Unlike in the office, there is no physical proof that you are actually working (although being physically in an office is not correlated with being productive!). You need to trust people that they do their job. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to check up on people’s work (for us, those are the commits) and ask the questions why something is taking longer than expected. Trust grows both ways.
The second part of this trust-story is that there needs to be trust from the company to the team. If that trust is missing, your team won’t be working remote for long. At Activiti, we are very lucky to have Paul Holmes Higgin as our manager. He is often in the office of Alfresco and makes sure that whatever we are doing is known to the company and vice versa. He attends many of the (online) meetings that happen company wide all the time so that we are free to code. There is nothing as bad for a remote team as working in isolation.
So those are my five (personal!) rules I follow when working from home. With all these bad press from the likes of Reddit and Yahoo, I thought it was time for some positive feedback. Remote work is perfect for me: it allows me to be very productive, while still being able to see my family a lot. Even though I put in a lot of hours every week, I’m still seeing my kids grow up every single day and I am there for them when they need me. And that is something priceless.
Does this sound cool to you? Well, at Alfresco we are still hiring people to work on Activiti!