Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!! I hope everyone is having a great holiday. I thought now might be a good time to look back over the year and review some of the technology I’ve dealt with.

Surface Pro 4: Last year I got a Surface Pro 4 tablet. I started the process of switching to it instead of my aging MacBook Pro. While I REALLY like the hardware and how everything works there were just a few issues which got on my nerves so bad I couldn’t ever completely make the switch. As far as performance, I experienced about the same performance as my MacBook. It performed very well and was a solid machine, just some hardware issues (i.e. Bluetooth issues, Wifi issues, etc.). I still use the Surface Pro quite a bit, to markup designs, use as a whiteboard, light gaming and a few other things all of pretty much use the pen. I still take notes with it as I like writing with the pen.

Polymer: At Red Pill we’ve totally made the switch to using Web Components for everything with great success. Our customers love the applications we’re delivering. They look nice, perform well and are infinitely upgradable. Next in that progression is to figure out a continuous integration solution for delivering applications to a domino server. Which in my mind, shouldn’t be too complex with most of the work needed on the server side so that the Domino html directory is available via scp or something similar. The difficult part will be the backend plugins.

Design First Methodology: Another initiative we’ve undertaken is a change in how we develop applications. We’ve moved to a design first methodology which is now starting to show it’s potential. A designer gathers the requirements, designs a solution and is available during the development process for any tweaks or changes to the workflow or layout or even individual components. This is producing much nicer applications that are simple and takes a lot off the developer’s plate in terms of deciding how things look and work.

JavaScript Workflow: Our JavaScript workflow still consists of bower, npm and gulp. This stack is proving to be quite powerful and provides the ability to run a local server for development. We’ve got developers spread out across the world and these tools are working surprisingly well. Everyone is using their own editors but the workflow remains the same. I did a session at Engage that outlined this process. While it was a bit hurried and we had drama leading up to that session everything seemed to go off without a hitch. I’m also aware that it is a boring topic I think it was well received.

Switch from Full Stack developer to JavaScript Developer: I’ve pretty much left Java behind me and now concentrate solely on JavaScript and Web Components. This transition hasn’t been too painful for the most part and I think for me personally has been a much more fulfilling path.

Red Pill: Over the past year, Red Pill has started picking up quite a bit of business. Our team grew from 3 developers and a designer to a team of 6 developers, a project manager and a designer with Peter being a full time CEO handling customers and some of our project management requirements. We’ve all got more work than we can do and things are going well and should continue to do so.

Personal Life: This past year saw the birth of my 3rd Grandchild, Olivia Rae. She is now walking and talking. She started walking at 7mos and has been non-stop go go go.

Looking Forward: This next year will be a busy year I think. We’re expecting to have to grow Red Pill again (which is good) and we plan on delivering DIG (our portal solution) to a production environment. Polymer 2.0 and the Web Component 1.0 spec are set to come out with better TypeScript support. I’m pretty sure I’ll still have more work than I can do next year (which is good, kinda). I’ll probably start moving farther away from delivering solutions onto Domino and probably start delivering to some other solution (iis, apache, node.js, who knows what).

So, until next time…. Happy Coding.



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