A couple of months ago I was asked if I could go to India as part of the BIRT Roadshow. For me, this was a no brainer. I love to talk about BIRT, and this was a chance for me to return to a part of India that I have visited in the past. My previous trip to Bangalore was in 2009 was spent working with several companies that were interested in learning BIRT and building a solid foundation from which to build business practices. Over the two years since my last visit I have seen steady growth in the number of people in India who are leveraging BIRT in applications they are building and have had a chance to work with many of them.
As I began working with the team responsible for organizing the event I was told that this could easily be the biggest BIRT Roadshow yet. My part included giving a series of three different presentations. The first was a general overview and history of the BIRT project, next an overview of the emerging marketplace trends, and finally an overview of how Actuate is responding to the market trends with its value add products. Now, I have given some form of these presentations before to audiences around the United States and Europe. When I saw the setup for the room, I was blown away. The team told me this was big, but WOW, this is REALLY BIG.
The day of the event, we are all there bright and early to get everything setup and do sound checks. Once everything was setup we were already getting a chance to interact with some of the people attending the show. From some of the questions we were getting, and the number of people expressing their appreciation for Actuate making BIRT, I knew that BIRT had definitely taken off in India since my last visit.
The show started with an executive overview from Pete Cittadini including awards for some very active contributors in the BIRT Community. As I took the stage with one of Actuate?s best technical presenters and product demonstrators, Mark Gamble, it was clear that this was going to be a great event. For all the presentations I have done, I have never had such a large audience as engaged and energetic as the audience was in Bangalore.
We did have a technical glitch related to our network during the presentation that cost us valuable question and answer time. However, immediately at the close of the presentation large sections of the audience came forward with lots of great questions. It was so exciting to hear all the great things people are doing with BIRT. Both Mark and I were completely surrounded with people wanting more information and to answer questions related to their project.
As a member of the Actuate team that first started working with developers and partners in India several years ago, it is very rewarding to see such growth in the use of BIRT and Actuate?s commitment towards future success. Part of this commitment from Actuate can be seen in the team on the ground in India, headed up by Sandip Sharma and Nilesh Karania, working with the folks from all over the country on a daily basis.