Gabriele Columbro is an Executive Director at the Symphony Software Foundation, fostering a collaborative community and governance and driving the open (source, architecture, standard) strategy of the Symphony Open Source Ecosystem.
Matthew Gardner is the lead for BlackRock’s Genie and Symphony development team, within the Aladdin Product Group. The Genie and Symphony development team is responsible for the integration of Symphony into BlackRock, the Aladdin Genie which is BlackRock’s former messaging platform and other Aladdin tools.
On September 6th, BlackRock in London hosted a meetup along with The Symphony Software Foundation and Scott Logic on the Symphony Open Source Project – an enterprise messaging platform, which strives to solve common industry problems with collaborative development, and through transparency.
Gabriele started the session with an introduction to the Symphony Software Foundation, highlighting one of its major goals to create an enterprise friendly environment that encourages Open Source contributions. He, then, touched upon the organizational structure of the Foundation, and their collaboration with Symphony Communication LLC – the commercial service provider, and a key contributor to the Symphony Project. At the end of his presentation, Gabriele outlined how the foundation fosters collaborative development and their future roadmap.
In the second part of the talk, Matt spoke about BlackRock as a technology provider, introduced the internal chat application Genie Chat, and outlined the reasons for collaborating with Symphony. Next, Matt explained how BlackRock is leveraging the Symphony platform – it has replaced the default chat platform for the firm allowing 13000 users to collaborate productively. Then, Matt explained about how BlackRock is using the Client Embedding API for Aladdin interaction between Symphony and our main system, and for Aladdin presence in Symphony. Current work is focused on moving to using the REST API to set the Aladdin presence more accurately, for user account provisioning and for bots. As for future plans, BlackRock has been looking at implementing more bots and using the Client Extension API for Aladdin Application Extension.
Finally, Colin from Scott Logic spoke about collaboration and open source software. He led us on a brief journey of how the application development has evolved through the years, starting from desktop applications, through rich internet applications and the HTML5 era. He also mentioned the difficulties that arise when writing a single page application within the financial services and how the Open Source community has solved them by presenting a series of demonstrations with Open Source technologies such as React, Redux, Webpack, TypeScript, Atom, Electron, ReactNative, Bootstrap. Finally, he stressed on the importance of Open Source and collaboration to move forward, and how we can all join its large community.