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A View of Relativity Fest from the Developer's Seat

Keely McKee

Relativity is a platform that invites developers to customize workflows, add functionality, and use the software in entirely new ways—and it’s humbling to see how actively the developer community adds to its versatility. At Relativity Fest, we bring developers as well as end users together to dig deeply into the ways they can do more with Relativity.

Chris Dyroff, manager of Relativity development at Kiersted Systems, recently sat down with me to share what he learned last year at Relativity Fest, how he’s put these lessons into practice, and why he’s returning to Relativity Fest this October.

Keely: What is your role at Kiersted Systems?

Chris: I make software to enrich our Relativity environment and extend the capabilities of our internal users.

Out of the sessions and workshops you attended at last year’s Relativity Fest, which did you find most impactful?

Definitely the Introduction to Platform Development workshop. This session provided a great cross-section of the different APIs available within Relativity and put them into a very digestible presentation. It offered hands-on exercises, too, which helped solidify what we were learning. I also really enjoyed meeting some of kCura’s custom development team members. Another favorite was Top Five Requested Custom Dev Solutions. This one showed me that there are a lot of resources available to developers and other roles, as well. It covered the tools available on-demand to users, and seeing them was validating because I had already built tools similar to ones kCura discussed.

I also thought it was really insightful to sit in a room with industry experts, specifically at Brent Ozar's sessions. He’s a recognized SQL Server maven. I got to ask specific questions about how my application might be interacting with a Relativity database on a very physical level. That kind of direct access is hard to find through other channels.

How have you applied these lessons to your work?

Exposure to all of the different APIs and how the pieces fit together helped me develop better solutions for my company. But there were some ready-made solutions that we took from the custom dev team at kCura as well. One that we were interested in immediately was the File Validation agent, which searches for document files and reports the results. It complemented our existing workflow, and we were able to obtain the source code to analyze exactly how it worked.

The other big takeaway for me was the Relativity Services API. This has come a long way from when I first looked at it. After talking to kCura developers and seeing the shape of things to come, we've decided to move toward the RSAPI for many of our tools.

Outside of the sessions and workshops, what was your favorite part about Relativity Fest?

There's just no substitute for being able to meet other developers using the technology you do. You can easily get into design and best practice discussions and learn so much, so fast. As the platform continues to grow, Relativity Fest gives you the best exposure to this community. Rather than strictly relying only on the available documentation, it’s way more valuable to talk to people in different positions who have to solve similar problems.

Plus live band karaoke. That was awesome.

What are you looking forward to at this year’s Relativity Fest?

As a developer, I want to learn about the platform, I want to see where the platform is headed, and I want to know how the industry is responding. Relativity Fest is the best place to explore those questions.

Every time I go to a kCura event I’m reminded of how many people use the software and want to learn more about it. It’s really invigorating and inspiring to be around so many people who want to improve their skills and knowledge. That's what I'm looking forward to the most.

Chris Dyroff is a platform development manager at Kiersted Systems, a Relativity Premium Hosting Partner. He has more than five years of experience supporting legal technology solutions. Keely McKee is a member of the marketing communications team at kCura, specializing in content development.

If you’re interested in contributing an article about your experience at Relativity Fest, please let us know.

Don’t want to miss out on sessions like the Introduction to Platform Development workshop and the Top Five Requested Custom Dev Solutions? Registration for Relativity Fest VI is open, so sign up now.

Keely McKee is a member of the creative team at Relativity, specializing in content development.