Sydney Training and Community Feedback

I had the recent good fortune of traveling to Sydney to deliver a “much sought after” scheduling of our “Building Analytic Solutions with Pentaho” class.  We did little advertising but it was packed (12 people, the maximum we ever do for public classes).

I love doing training courses for more advanced topics, like the Analytic solutions course.  I love it because it’s a chance to converse with other practitioners and share knowledge, experience, and war stories.  These experiences, and the camaraderie is invaluable when one tends to be the “lesser known” topics at an organization.  It’s GREAT to hear about open source adoption in the enterprise; stories of countless millions being saved, people feeling empowered to make their infrastructure and applications what THEY want instead of what their VENDORS want.  It’s just nice to connect with people of similar interests.

It’s also a chance to hear some validation for strong points and deficiencies in Pentaho’s open source strategy.  I have my own opinions, as someone who uses the software day in day out on real customer problems.  It’s great to hear that others either feel the same way or disagree; because that’s the nature of this community driven process.  It doesn’t really matter what I think the product should be like (I work for the vendor right?) it matters what customers and community want.  I think feature X is awful, doesn’t work properly and is total crap.  OK.  If community members find it entirely suitable for their needs, and say “Go work on feature Y” then that’s PERFECT.

This is the most effecient part of open source:  The closer you are to your customer, the closer you are to your market, the closer you are to the pain or joy, the more likely you are to make better product.  Cutting out the middle men (in many cases, account managers and product managers and development managers, etc).

Thank you, Sydney trainees for sharing your praises and criticisms.  I’ll bring them to those that can actually do something about it (ie, Java Jockeys). 

PS – Based on the training people like more of our product than dislike AND I was right about Feature X.  🙂

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