Second Annual Innovation Week

Earlier this month, at Rosetta Stone’s Fairfield R&D Center, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, our Rosetta Stone Software Development and Quality Assurance department held its second annual Innovation Week.

During Innovation Week, we pause our work on the near-term, corporate-product roadmap and spend an entire week delving into, and experimenting with, new technologies.

During our inaugural week, in 2009, a number of new technologies were identified that have subsequently made their way into Rosetta Stone products and services. Most notable was a proof of concept for using Adobe AIR, which has since become a key component of the Version 4 TOTALe experience.

Projects this year were just as varied and promising. Some developers investigated interesting technologies like Unity, Node.js, Hadoop, Neo4j, MongoDB and PhoneGap, while others created prototypes of the Rosetta Stone experience on emerging platforms based on Cisco iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Still others explored new teaching methods and game ideas, or created internal tools to support integration testing, release management, and product support. Many projects incorporated or extended proprietary technologies, such as the Rosetta Stone speech engine.

The week culminated with an afternoon at the Court Square Theater, where everyone enjoyed popcorn and soft drinks, while each team presented its project to the department, focusing on what worked, what didn’t, and what was learned. These presentations (and demos) gave everyone the opportunity to benefit from all of the projects.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and to Ori Ratner, our software architect, who organized this year’s event.

We have no doubt that these projects will continue our tradition of utilizing the best technology available to make Rosetta Stone the fastest and easiest way to learn a language!

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Rob Vance

Rob Vance brings over 20 years of technical, operational, and systems development expertise and leadership to the Rosetta Stone team, and has an extensive track record of building, delivering, and operating high-volume, technology-based solutions in a variety of organizations and industries. Prior to joining Rosetta Stone, Rob was the CTO at Atlanta-based Marketworks, a market-leading eCommerce application service provider. Rob has also held technical leadership positions in both Fortune 500 and early stage companies, contributing to major initiatives at AOL, IDX, Microsoft, CompuServe, and H&R Block. Rob received his BA with a major in Computer Science from Hiram College in Ohio.
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