Over the last few weeks, the OpenClinica LLC team has spent a lot of time on future-based thinking. We have been taking an introspective approach and asking ourselves difficult questions. What kind of value should we deliver? What kind of community do we want to develop? What exciting possibilities exist for those who use our products? How do we get there and how do we start? Why are we spending time thinking about such heady things? Simply put, we are laser-focused on taking OpenClinica into the next generation.
As OC’s Software Applications Manager, I am uniquely positioned at the confluence of OpenClinica’s Ghosts of Software past, present, and future. In one sense, we are challenegd with a tangled web of brittle legacy code which, while stable, needs to be refactored. As such, we face the daily conundrum of “bandaid and patch” vs. “rip and replace” whenever we encounter unscalable and unsavory implementations. We literally make these decisions every day as we work on the new and improved Print CRF. The “New Print CRF” Kool-Aid has officially replaced our coffee machine and we are fully invested in a more modular architecture, which makes it hard to not dig in and REFACTOR ALL THE THINGS!
In addition to the above, we are in the midst of a tool suite change. We are moving away from Mantis as our IssueTracker and have been making the transition over to GreenHopper for JIRA for tracking our projects. Cal touched on this in his last email, as well. This process is taking more time than we originally anticipated, but for good reasons. First, we are busy getting 3.1.4 wrapped up and release ready. Second, we have been growing our staff and recently welcomed our new DevOps/Release engineering guru, Rob M. Rob has been carefully architecting a scalable role-based SSO solution for OpenClinica LLC’s internal tool suite, among many other things. Rob’s top priority is to make JIRA accessible and secure to allow for maximum visibility into our development process. We hope to continue growing our staff this summer to give us some much needed development horse power.
“Mantis seems to work fine, why change tools?” you may ask. JIRA provides vital project metrics and, more importantly, clear audit logs, traceability, and valuable integrations which help us cut down on documentation and release overhead and communicate more clearly with you, our community.
This is all a means to an end, friends! We realize we need to make the participation process easy, transparent, and engaging in order to foster a stronger community. Our community is what drives our innovation. You create our mission. You push our product forward. You are the reason I come to work every day. Just like you, I am passionate about what we are doing with OpenClinica, but passion doesn’t count for much without a proper bearing to know where the next step is. It is up to all of us to author our product’s story. Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts and together we have the power to change the world of clinical trial EDC.