• August 19, 2019

Rocket.Build 2019: Reimagining Rocketeer experiences

What The Masters is for golfers, the US Open to tennis players, or Band Aid is for music fans, is Rocket.Build for Rocket Software. Having said that, why are these 5 days, 120 hours, 439.200 seconds of intense prototyping and teamwork so important?

It’s because, now in our 6th year, we have more than 200+ Rocketeers participating from all Centers of Rocket Excellence (CORE) throughout the US, EMEA, China, India, Japan, and Australia.

For this year’s process, each team submitted ideas about innovating within four themes: AI-driven next-generation experiences, deep data discovery, and disruptive user experiences.

These 5 days are the essence of what we live and breathe here at Rocket. We push and challenge ourselves every day, not to just deliver the best experience for our customers, but to also reinvent ourselves every day as well. So, that brings me to the fourth theme of this year’s Rocket.Build: “Reimagine Rocketeer Experience.”

Why is it essential to continually reimagine yourself?

At Rocket, we are serving the underserved customer market. However, in today’s fast-moving world, customer requirements and needs are changing along with outside world economies. However, to put our customers first, we also need to put ourselves in a position to react and adjust swiftly and efficiently to avoid unnecessary cycles, or even worse, developing something great, but not what a customer needs.

When you challenge yourself to innovate and reimagine continually, certain things are rock solid. There are core values in our solutions that our customers use and consider to be a real help for their daily business. When reimagining an experience, we need to make sure we are not accidentally removing those things.

We also need a strong focus on the things that need improvement. One needs to make sure they understand the product in detail, and not be shy about asking questions and interacting with the people who are using those products—the actual users! That will help you identify the real areas that you need to reimagine. Remember, a smaller list of things to change is always better than changing many things that make little or no impact on the user.

Another aspect of significant product development is simplification. When a popular user community exists of experienced experts with a wealth of knowledge spanning the features and functions added over decades, newer users can be confused and intimidated.

It’s crucial to pinpoint features and functions that are no longer required by users. This also includes features that might not be used on a daily basis. Identifying those set of features allow you to focus on things that users want and need.

Reimaginative development also means to revise existing technology. With that, I don’t mean we jump on every new technology simply because it’s hot and fresh. Instead, take advantage of new technologies and use them when-and-where it makes sense. It doesn’t mean that the existing technology used is the “wrong” one. It might have been the perfect choice at the time when the decision was made to use it, but given the current speed on how new technologies are coming up, there is a good chance that they might be an even better fit.

There are many fresh ideas and projects being tackled during this week’s Rocket.Build hackathon that is just focusing on Reimagine Rocketeers experience. Following some of these guidelines above should help foster another great set of projects being developed. In the end, this week of collaboration and creativity will benefit customers and end-users who are certain to feel the impact of reimagining experience!

Timm Zimmermann

Timm Zimmermann 3 Posts

Timm is a Director for Data and Analytics R&D at Rocket Software. He has worked in the enterprise data management for almost two decades - service in a number of roles including Db2 for z/OS development and consulting global mainframe customers worldwide.

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