Obecto Tech Radar - May 2015

In our third edition of the radar, we have attempted to represent the radar in a way more approachable for customers and even non-technical people. How would you explain what the radar is to someone who’s never seen it before?

One of the biggest challenges is our industry is how to stay fresh. New technologies, tools and practices are coming in all the time — especially new unproven ones. Technology strategy will be at the core of most business strategies, and it is essential to have a plan how new technology is adopted.

To answer the question above, at Obecto, we think that the tech radar is a really good way to proactively seek for new ways to do our work and bring competitive advantage to our customers, while at the same time maintain focus on what we currently do as standard practices in our industry and maintain the Obecto portfolio of projects in production.

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Obecto Tech Radar - November 2014

The November 2014 edition of our technocalogy radar is the second edition of the Obecto radar.

It marks few important moments for our organisation:

  • Angular & Dojo 1.8 – we consider Angular fully adopted and a fine substitute for our previous choice Dojo.
  • Java 7 & Spring 4 – both Java and Spring were upgraded to their latest production-ready versions for the active ongoing and coming Java/Spring projects.
  • Symfony 2 – we like this framework, because of its architectural resemblance to Spring. This allow us to apply the same architectural principles in our PHP projects. At this point we consider migrating all ongoing PHP projects from CodeIgniter to Symfony 2. Consider checking out the Buy & Sell classifieds platform that Obecto had built entirely with Symfony 2 from scratch in just about 4.5 months.
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Building the First Obecto Technology Radar

This is a story of how overconfidence and being too skilled can sometimes cloud your judgement for the bigger picture. A story of how our company has managed to leave a train that was heading towards the end of its railroad. And how we learned to prevent that from happening again.

We started Obecto at the fall of 2008. During the period of 2008-2012, we were particularly focused on growing our company’s Flex expertise. For those that had never heard of Flex, this was a front-end technology developed by Adobe. It was comprised of a set of programming languages (ActionScript 3 and MXML), a byte-code execution environment (Flash & AIR) and a very mature set of quite sophisticated SDK and frameworks (Eclipse-base IDE, debugger, profiler, Cairngorm, Parsley, RobotMVC, etc.) As we were growing our expertise we had our own share of contributions to the open source community, namely the FLit framework — a light-weight Flex for Flash Applications, which was quite unique.

Our reputation and skill set grew to a point at which VMware trusted us to train over 80 of their finest engineers. We were also invited to taught Flex as a university course at the Sofia University

We become so damn good at Flex/Flash, and the technology was so powerful (even now the most popular Javascript frameworks are still not providing the same capabilities and levels of productivity), that our hubris blinded us from seeing the bigger picture and what was really happening in the technology world. We ignored all of the signs, even the total lack of support of Flash on the iOS devices and mobile in general, expecting it to be only temporary situation.

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Switching Off Comments

Anonymous blog comments, vapid video pranks, and lightweight mashups may seem trivial and harmless, but as a whole, this widespread practice of fragmentary, impersonal communication has demeaned interpersonal interaction.
—– Jason Lanier, You are not a Gadget. A Manifesto.

I realize I have never questioned the necessity of having a comments form in a blog. Somehow comments have always been inseparable part of my understanding of the concept of a blog. I hated the blogs and posts that had their comments disabled even though I leave comments rarely. When I’ve started setting up this Octopress blog not using Disqus was out of the question. Every blogger loves comments. Presumably they provide the reader with an almost instantaneous connection with the author and vice versa. And you’re getting this emotional boost every time you receive an encouraging response. And the more comments I got the better I felt. So what changed my mind about comments…

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Return to the Habit of Recording and Sharing What I Learn

During my Christmas vacation I was spending some time thinking about and exploring ways how to inspire my team at Obecto to expand its learning bandwidth. This has led me somehow to the Software Craftsmanship Manifesto and then to the Further Reading Materials where I have found the online version of the Apprenticeship Patterns Book. This book has caught my attention right from the start and in the next few days I felt the necessity to read the whole book.

Reading it led me to inspiration (one result of that is me spending the last 2 days of my vacation to setup and start this blog, and also writing this article) and many ideas about initiatives and ways to approach the learning process within my team. But more importantly, it helped me reignite and start nurturing my passion for the craft again. It led me to some important reflections and it reminded me about my long road.

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