Rocket.Build 2020: Leading Innovation
There’s a feeling of code in the air. Yes, it’s that time of the year again—although a bit late, no thanks to COVID—when we let our grey matter twist and turn as we prepare ourselves to fail and fail again. Who knew failing could be so exciting and informative? But like all Rocket.Builds, the intention is the same: innovate, fail, and then build upon those failures until we can create something that can be of Legendary Help to our customers.
It is the very core of Rocket Software to create technology offerings that focus on the customer. This idea of customer-centric innovation propels and encourages me and so many other Rocketeers to participate in this annual event and to prove our worth (in our own ways).
It is hard to imagine any other single event or congregation where so many like-minded people meet to achieve the same goal. The desire to create something new and useful, that will help the company reach its goals, becomes the singular focus of Rocketeers over the course of the event. This drive shows the commitment each Rocketeer has, not only to innovation, but to Rocket. It is the very essence that makes Rocket.Build important.
At each Rocket.Build event, we look forward to meeting, collaborating, and solving problems that we, as a team, have selected. Although we are working physically apart, we are working together towards a singular goal. And on top of that, Rocket actually encourages this kind of innovation and collaboration, and provides the technology and human resources to help.
Each year, Rocketeers are encouraged to select a problem or technology that is different from our day-to-day work and is challenging to us. For example, this year I choose to focus on RUST drivers for the Db2 open source community. Rocket has become a leader in the open-source community, and hopefully, with innovations like mine, we can further make a mark in the open-source world and encourage the next generation of developers to use Db2. The language is new to me, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. Focusing on this project will give me a chance to learn something new, while at the same time, contribute to the common goal.
With Rocket.Build 2020 being a virtual event for the first time in its history, it does offer some unique challenges. Typically, socializing with other teams and the face-to-face interactions with developers is a huge reason for participation in the event and helps to encourage a feeling of community. Also, Rocket always treats us to mouthwatering food and snacks to power us through the event.
However, having it as a virtual event has its own upside: it helps us get accustomed to a new work culture—remote working. This will be the new normal for the long term, and it is great to have this opportunity to prepare. Also, it’s exciting to have multiple people online at a time as we struggle through common problems. Sometimes, you can hear our kids shouting from the background or trying to type on our keyboard, which poses a different kind of challenge. The virtual event is still very exciting, only in a different way.
As a Rocketeer and a participant, I always focus on the problem at hand and try to solve as much of it as possible. No one is expecting a complete solution from the event. I encourage first time Rocket.Build participants to focus on planning and working in small, achievable chunks. It doesn’t matter if you fail; just try to give it your best and present your project in a meaningful way. And if you have done well, you will be rewarded.
So, to all Rocketeers who are participating or who are planning to participate, I will say, “try, fail, and fail hard.” That way, when you finally create something you’re confident in, it becomes impossible for them to fail you.