Bruce MacIsaac is responsible for the method libraries included with Rational Method Composer, including the IBM Practices Library and the Rational Unified Process (RUP). He has over 20 years of software development and process development experience. Bruce has been a driving force behind the Rational Unified Process and the Eclipse Process Framework for the last 10 years.
What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?
In 2000, I said to Philippe Kruchten that I hated process, because too often it imposed an unnecessary burden that detracted from getting the work done. So he hired me to help fix the problem!
How do you keep up with changes in the industry?
You have to pick areas of interest and focus on those. We have communities of practice within IBM for sharing information in specific interest areas. Many organizations have similar communities. There are forums, blogs, and newsletters. I use an RSS feed reader to consolidate information from various sources and periodically skim for topics of interest.
Which (future) standards do you see as important?
There are a number of standards that may be important to how we document and enact processes.
- The Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) continues to evolve.
- We have been moving beyond the OMG Software Process Engineering Metamodel (SPEM) standard to allow organizations to define their own elements and rules for modeling process. These extensions may be part of a future standard.
- The SEMAT initiative is working on a new OMG Standard for an essential framework for software engineering.
- There is ongoing work to extend BPMN to address modeling concerns not yet addressed by that standard.
At some point, I expect these standards will start to converge.
What communities, forums, or user groups do you turn to for help or technical insight?
I recently created the developerWorks community for Rational Method Composer and Practices, and I support the two forums that we have on Rational Method Composer and Practices, as well as the Eclipse Process Framework community So I am more in the business of giving help than receiving help. That said, there are some excellent communities for agile both inside and outside IBM, although I am not an active participant.
What interests you outside of your job?
My passion is dance, including ballroom, folk, swing -- you name it.
In addition to his day job and passion for dance, Bruce co-authored the book Agility and Discipline Made Easy: Practices from OpenUP and RUP. His current focus is on providing complete solutions for such areas as agile development, systems engineering, and enterprise modernization, and enabling such practices to be automated on the Jazz platform.
This week, he strengthens this focus through his latest developerWorks article Document and automate processes with Rational Method Composer and Jazz: Part 1. The value of methods in an agile world. As you read, think about this: What process information is important to document to avoid misunderstandings, and what information should just be in people's heads?