Monday, December 03, 2007

BTS presentation and open source evangelism

I will probably forget to post this if I keep on delaying it, but it is better now than having to wait for a screen cast accompanying it.

- Who among the Seneca BSD (and CPA) students have not said "I hate Rose!!"?

We have to use the 2001 version of Rose (before it was bought by IBM) and with no expectations of getting the latest version, we struggle so much for several semesters while using it.

We don't know how to use it since it has a lot of usability problems and we are not being taught how to use it properly. After using the software for 3 semesters, I have met fellow students that are in my semester who still pass the rose model to each other sequentially since they do not know how to make the import/export ability to work.

In my team, I was the "merger". I would have to merge everybody's work and after a few semesters I kind of learned how to do it, therefore, I decided to give back to the community, by teaching the 2nd year students (including my friend Zad) what I learned by myself over several semesters of "trial and error".

The benefit of that was that I got rid of a feeling that I was keeping the knowledge for myself if I didn't share it and it felt good to get students saying to me "Thanks, now I know why we are using Rational Rose"

Once, I fed them with a good Rose meal, I decided to give them some open source dessert...
I told them about how far I got by taking the Open Source course and how much I dare to try things that I was always reluctant to try because I was afraid of trying new things. I also told them that it was a really good learning experience if you want to see how far can you push the bar. I warned them that it wasn't for everyone since it is really demanding and requires you to stretch yourself in ways that you have never done before.

This presentation has allowed me to receive appreciation from my classmates and has allowed me to practice my desire to teach in the future, which I think can be a really noble profession if done the proper way.


  1. Nice post. There are also some open source UML toolkits like Umbrello and bouml (which I used). Unfortunately they are not accepted for your BTS work. Rose, as difficult as it is, still seems to be industry standard.

  2. Cesar, IMHO I don't believe that is the industry standard anymore.
    A couple of my friends are good developers and they told me that most of them use Visio, which is much simpler for them, but they have also told me that they have Rose licensing and that "sometimes" "some" architects have used it.

    We use Rose because it is strongly used by IBM and that was the "big fish" that came to Seneca and sold us what they want to be the standard.