If the title of this blog has you confused with the 2006 movie "Snakes on a Plane", don't worry, half the room of engineers shouted out that same thought when I innocently stated
a virtual service when I'm on a plane?"
I guess my analogy was a bit exaggerated as (1) there's WiFi available on most flights and (2) I've never receive a whole heap of requests from customers flying at 35,000 feet and having trouble editing virtual service images. I was simply trying to make a point to the 20+ engineers and architects that were disputing my claim that our customers would often need to edit virtual services when they are "offline" or simply "not connected to their central DevTest Portal".
You see, the key thing we were talking about was version control for the artifacts you create and edit in the new DevTest Portal. Now that this portal is has been built, we want to make sure it can truly address your multi-user, single install, collaborative environment needs.
When we created the DevTest Portal, we made a few assumptions:
1. Users would not have to install on their local machine to access the DevTest Portal capabilities
2. The artifacts and projects opened, saved and edited within the DevTest Portal shall remain on the server that runs the portal
3. Users would eventually need change control, version control, ability to edit without overriding eachother since this is a shared environment
So, when designing our DevTest Portal version control solution last week, the engineers in the room (yes 20+ engineers were questioning me in an environment similar to a US Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing) asked the question "would the user ever need to edit a virtual service offline?"
And that was the "Yes" response I will never live down. If only my team understood that as a product manager, it is my job to always say "Yes" to the edge case they present!
Alas, here I am, writing a blog to ask your opinions on this subject to both make sure I didn't just make some odd edge case assumption and to see what the real truth is on creating, editing, updating, etc in a shared environment.
So, do you consider the use of the DevTest Portal something that you would need to do when you do not have access to a shared environment?
In this case, would you have a local install and then need to upload your local files to the shared DevTest Portal?
How many of your users would have this scenario: example is it the 90/10 rule that the 90% of users wouldn't while the 10% power user would?
Do you ever see a need to edit a VSI on a plane? [1/2 joking here]
I will all leave you with this text message our trusty architect robertwilliams sent to me in the late afternoon this Sunday to just hit the point home:
Yes, he really was on a plane. Yes, he really did want to edit a VSI (because that's all he wanted to do after waiting for the plane to refuel for 2 hours). I'm never living this one down, am I?
Your thoughts, commentary and additional judicial questioning is welcome in the comments below.
PS - Quick shout out to my fellow product managers who left me hanging during this "discussion" as they pretended to respond to very important emails during my questioning. Bharath_Vantari Chris_Kraus - you guys are awesome. #sarcasm #jk