In a short blog on its website, SAP has announced the launch of a Cloud Foundry Dojo in Walldorf. It claims to be the first Cloud Foundry Dojo outside of the USA. As there is already one in London this makes it the second outside of the USA and the first in Germany. SAP will be presenting more details about its Dojo at this week’s Cloud Foundry event in Frankfurt.
The Dojo has come about as a result of the work SAP has been doing on the BOSH OpenStack CLI. It has been leading this project since November last year and has been working with SUSE engineers. Opening the project up to become a Dojo will widen the developer base and speed up the delivery of new software.
What is a Cloud Foundry Dojo?
A Dojo is a mechanism to speed up involvement in a Cloud Foundry programme. On the Cloud Foundry Dojo website it says: “It can typically take upwards of a year for a developer to gain committer status on an open source project. In some cases, even longer. The Cloud Foundry Foundation offers a unique approach to gaining committer in as little as six weeks, which we call the Cloud Foundry Dojo. The program allows developers to master Cloud Foundry by working shoulder to shoulder on the foundation projects with other Cloud Foundry engineers.”
SAP has been dipping its toes in open source for a number of years. As well as having some open source projects of its own it has been increasingly visible at open source events. This latest Cloud Foundry announcement is an extension of the support SAP has shown for Cloud Foundry since 2014.
A change to the way SAP developers work
In his blog, Marco Voelz says: “…the expected working model is different from how I’ve worked before – inside and outside of SAP. We pair program. Every day. From beginning of a work day until the end. Home office or a different location is no reason to not work in a pair: The colleagues from SUSE are located in Nuremberg, so we use screen sharing to work with them. We work test-driven. We have one-week iterations. Sounds great, right? Talking to the developers in the team there is one sentence you keep hearing over and over: ‘I wouldn’t want to work differently anymore’.”
For SAP customers and developers this news will come as a welcome surprise. It will be interesting to see if this new approach to development gets greater traction across the wider organisation. SAP has already done a lot to improve its delivery times, especially around security fixes and patches. What customers will hope is that it can now improve its delivery of new features especially to its cloud-based products.
Like many other big vendors SAP is getting involved in open source. While this announcement is around Cloud Foundry which SAP is a strong supporter of, there is still a long way for it to go. It has yet to really embrace giving away its own code to open source. Last year, Den Howlett, Diginomica suggested that SAP should consider contributing HANA as an open source project.
Little has changed inside SAP since Howlett published his piece. It has not moved to open source HANA and SAP is far from being as engaged in open source as Microsoft and IBM. Meanwhile SAP continues to face stiff competition from cloud-based competitors. Open sourcing some of its products could just be the edge it needs to keep that competition at bay.
So far, SAP has managed to get 10 developers through the Cloud Foundry Dojo program. While it’s not many, it is a start.