Joining Roundarch / Merapi Positioning

On March 9th I began a new position in the role of Technical Architect and Evangelist at Roundarch. As I stated in my previous post, this was a difficult decision to make.

Now that I’ve had a couple months of settling in, I’m happy to say I’m enjoying my new role and the team at Roundarch very much.

Roundarch is not just an RIA or technology shop. We are specialized in Information Architecture, Graphic Design, User Experience, Technology and SEO. Our work is in serving clients, and our process provides unique advantages to the fortune 100/500 enterprises we engage with.

Now that I’ve had some time to get to know many of the 175 people that make up Roundarch, I’ve learned to appreciate Roundarch‘s holistic approach towards solving problems. Although we do have experts that work within a discipline, we do not develop solutions in a vacuum. There is a belief at Roundarch that all disciplines (IA, UX, Design, Business, and Technology) should inform each other. This adds up to a group professionals who’s combined background includes graduate and post graduate level training in; HCI, Computer Science, Design/Art, Business Administration, etc… all working together as a team to create solutions for our clients. That process is exciting to be a part of.

There were many incentives that influenced my decision to join Roundarch. A few highlighted reasons are:

  1. Leadership that believes in the success and direction of the company.
  2. Working with my friend Dave Meeker on Merapi
  3. Working with my new friend and mentor Gary Schwartzbard in the Roundarch RIA practice.

1. The Leadership

Roundarch‘s history comes from years of working under the Deloitte and WPP flags. Our owners saw a distinct value in the people that became the founding members of Roundarch and purchased the practice from Deloitte. It is a testimony to the leadership that many of the founding employees are currently managers, directors, and VPs even today. This is a leadership the has a clear vision of serving it’s clients and valuing it’s employes.

2. Dave and Merapi

Another part of my on-boarding to Roundarch was working with my friend Dave Meeker to develop Roundarch‘s capability’s to offer unique services leveraging Merapi. Most recently we’ve done this by assisting Tesla Motors in the release of their new Model S electric car. You can read more about our involvement with Tesla on the Roundarch blog and in this press release.

Shortly after the release hit the web, there was a bit of a surprise in the Merapi community about our positioning around Merapi. Pieces of the text were (validly) interpreted by some to read that Roundarch now owned / had purchased Merapi. This is not the message that Dave or I intended to publish. Roundarch has and will invest time and money in promoting and developing the Merapi technology, however, we view the open source effort as a key part in the success of Merapi.

Last week my friend Andrew Powell raised some concerns over the future of Merapi, and the position of the open source project. For those of you in the RIA community, you’ve probably seen Andrew give talks about Merapi over the last year. He’s been instrumental in helping develop the concepts of Merapi and has helped promote the technology in a great way. Moving forward, Andrew will sit with me as co-chair of the open source project and help to ensure that a community focused version of Merapi’s Flex/Java connectivity thrives.

This week Andy, Dave and I spoke about what might be the clearest, mutually beneficial way to position Merapi for the community and companies like Roundarch that want to invest in developing commercial solutions with it. Here’s what we came up with…

The open source / community effort will be known as:

Merapi or The Merapi Project

The Roundarch commercial effort will be known as:

The Roundarch Merapi Platform

The open source effort will target developing a solid core for Flex/AIR and Java. Andy and I will be handling how to approve members of the community who would like to contribute on the project. We’ll likely be asking for individuals or corporate entities to contribute first by submitting patches and then elevate their status to full commitor rights. This effort will begin this summer.

3. Gary and the RIA practice

At Roundarch we don’t follow the typical manager / employee hierarchy. Instead, each employee has their own career counselor. I consider it a privilege to have Gary as a counselor and mentor. It’s been my pleasure to get to know and work with him on a few projects already. Even in the current economy, we’re in need of additional resources for this team and others. Contact me at adamflater [at] gmail [dot] com if you’re interested in finding out more about Roundarch.

So.. that’s a rather lengthy source-code-less post for me.

thanks for reading the update.. more to come on RIA development soon

2 thoughts on “Joining Roundarch / Merapi Positioning

  1. Elad Elrom

    Contraz Adam, sound like it will help the Merapi project, which is great for the entire Flex community.

  2. Eric Fickes

    This is all so exciting Adam, way to go! BTW, I’m still blown away by Tesla using Merapi.

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