December 2016

Building the Future of Rocket

When I sat down at my kitchen table in 1990 to write the code that would become our first product, I never in a million years imagined that one day I’d be heading up a company with nearly 1500 employees and hundreds of products used by millions of people every day. But even as Rocket has grown, I’ve never lost sight of the fact that it all comes back to engineering. Without our great engineers  we wouldn’t be where we are today.

That’s why I’m so passionate about our creating the time and space for our engineers to get together and build what’s next for you. A few weeks ago we welcomed more than 150 engineers as part of our third annual Rocket.Build event. They came to Boston from places as far afield as Russia, China, Australia, the Netherlands, and South Africa (among many other countries) to spend five days thinking about—and building—the Rocket Software products, features, functions, and solutions of the future. The 40 teams that participated were selected from hundreds of submissions because their ideas best supported our focus on innovation in service of our customers and partners.

What We Built

I had the chance to meet with all of the Rocket.Build engineers and was blown away by their passion, dedication, and creativity. The products not only impressed me, but I was proud of the fact that we put the IBM ecosystem front and center. Rocket is 100% committed to our relationship with IBM, and many of our hackathon projects dovetailed with our ongoing work with our biggest partner. We had teams working on blockchain (have you ever tried visualizing your blockchain?), virtual reality, mobile, QMF, Db2, IMS, Alchemy, Spark, R, Git, the cloud, and more. We got outside of our comfort zone and used technologies that we don’t work with all the time. One of my favorite projects involved a VR tour of our office in Dalian, China—built by four Rocketeers who work in that office. Putting on that visor and using technology built by our own developers was an incredible experience.

So why is Rocket.Build such a big deal to me? After all, we code every day, and Rocket has hundreds of products and features in the works at any given time. It all comes down to one word: collaboration. Rocketeers who may not know each other—and may never even work together remotely—come together in one place to share ideas and get to know each other outside of their normal environments. Seeing teams with Americans, Germans, and Russians working together is something I’ll never forget. We believe in collaboration. We believe in globalization. We believe that we are all stronger when we work together – with each other, with our customers, with our partners.

As the CEO of Rocket I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of this company. And while nothing is certain, after spending a week with 150 of our technical experts (ranging from brand-new Rocketeers to folks who’ve been here for decades) I have to say that when it comes to innovation and engineering and software development, you are in great hands with Rocket.


Andrew J. Youniss
President and CEO, Rocket Software, Inc.