My name is Jerry Neal and I am the architect for the Rice KRAD (Kuali Rapid Application Development) module. My 'home' Kuali institution is Indiana University, where I have been for 14 years now. Over half of my time at IU has now been spent on Kuali (wow!), being one of the first developers to work on Kuali (actually I think I was the first developer to work on Kuali (not counting the IU contributed code), but that is a story for another time). As many know, the work on Kuali began by putting together a development framework known as the KNS (Kuali Nervous System). After helping with this work I moved on as a developer on the KFS project, and later a development manager. About two and half years ago, I joined the Rice team. My sole focus on Rice has been development of KNS version 2, KRAD!
Like Eric mentioned our hope for this blog is the community will become more connected with the ongoing work in Rice. I dare to say there are not many projects like Rice that cover such a wide range of technical concerns. This leaves us with no shortage of interesting topics to talk about! As you might guess from my background, I will primarily focus on KRAD and the work being done for 2.3 and 2.4 (upcoming releases of Rice). However I also want to dive into topics like:
- Why were certain desicions made for KRAD?
- What is the vision for KRAD?
- Why should I use KRAD at my institution?
- What have been the big challenges? What have we learned?
To finish this intro I would like to say a few words about Eric and the rest of my collegues on the Rice project. I have met many great developers during my time at IU and Kuali, but none that I respect more than Eric. What impresses me most about Eric is not his incredible amount of knowledge, but how great he is to work with. He doesn't constantly try to show how smart he is and how ignorant everyone else is, as so many in our field do (sidenote: I saw a study done on students graduating college and 80% indicated they believed their intelligence was above average, which of course is impossible by the definition of 'average'!). I look forward to the information Eric will share which I know will be valuable for all of us.
This 'modesty' trait is one that I see in all of the Rice team members, which makes for a great working environment. I could easily write a blog about each of my Rice collegues and the value they bring. It is interesting the unique experience and perspective each bring. Since I will be talking so much about KRAD though I wanted to mention one collegue in partcular, Brian Smith. Earlier I referred to KRAD as 'KNS Version 2', but really it is KNS Version 2 and KS UI Version 2! Brian was the lead developer on the initial UI framework in Kuali Student built with GWT, which included a lot of great stuff. Many would be bitter to find out their work was being abandoned and they now had to start over with a new framework. Not Brian. From day one he was very engaged and determined to make the effort a success. We work very closely on design and without his participation the framework would lack many of the great things it has today.
Repeating what Eric said, these are really busy times and it will be a challenge for us to find writing time, but we hope to have a new post for you at least once a week. Help us expose the blog to others who might be interested by sharing the link http://blog.rice.kuali.org.
Kuali Rice KRAD Architect
Senior Developer, Indiana University