Daily Meetings & Distributed Teams

For many years I’ve been working in distributed teams, for different companies, for different projects. And there is one important thing, that distinguish one team from another. It’s how team meetings are organized.

I mean “Morning Standup”, “Weekly Standup”, etc.

For traditional (non-distributed) company it’s easy, just get together in the morning. According to schedule or just when everybody are ready to talk.

Fixed schedule is much more important thing for a distributed worker. For distributed team there is no morning, just Skype and different timezones. And also, person on other side usually needs some preparation before call. Turn off music, wear headphones, turn on microphone and camera, etc. Get dressed :)
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RESTful using Spring Framework

I don’t need to say that RESTful web services are very popular this days. So, you need it, for sure, but what to choose? I’ve tried different Java frameworks for REST, most times it was Jersey and Spring MVC, and think that for most cases Spring is the best option for building RESTful applications using Java.

If you already have a Spring app, then you don’t need to make complex configuration to start implementing RESTful API with Spring. Just configure view resolver for JSON, and use standard annotations like:
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Comparing Google Gmail Apps

gmails That’s happened that I’m using Android and iOS devices at same time. I mean I have Android phone to make calls, and iPod Touch for applications and internet. So, I’m having both of them at my pocket all the time.

As I said, Android is for calls, iPod for apps, but there is an app that I have on Android as well. It’s official client for Gmail. Same app, made by Google itself, for same Google service, just Android version and iOS version.
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Hsoy Templates – client- and server side templating

Introducing “Hsoy Templates”, a html templating library for modern web. The main goal was to make a templating library with easy to use syntax, that can be used on both server and client side. It have HAML syntax, and compiles into Java on server side and JavaScript on client side.

Actually it’s a version of Google Closure Templates (.soy templates) with HAML syntax.

Why you need this?

In modern web development it’s very common to update some parts of current page by data received from server, but the problem that it’s annoying to write and support same HTML view two times – for Client and for Server. Just breaks DRY principle.

Hsoy Templates gives you a way to write such templates just once, and use it on client-side, and on backend.

Features:

  • one template (a *.hsoy file)
  • HAML syntax (see http://haml.info/)
  • fast
    • compiled into Java (so can be used from Groovy, Scala, Clojure, etc)
    • compiled into Javascript (so can be used from Node.js)
  • based on Google Closure Templates library
  • commercial friendly (Apache 2.0 licence)

Weird story behind Smartsy Corp

After publishing my previous post, about working with Arnaud Saint-Paul and Smartsy Corp, I got a lot of feedback from people who has same problems with Smartsy (and people behind this company). I mean, I found a lot of guys who were working for same company, but never get paid. Some guys tried to go to court, but anyway, didn’t receive any money.

I’ve made some investigations, contacted some of them, we discussed their experience, their problems with getting money, etc. And now I’m trying to put it together, onto one page. I believe, I need some time to gather all details, so this page is going to be updated.
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Working with Arnaud Saint-Paul and Smartsy

Introduction

For the last few years I’m doing consulting for various startups and web companies, mostly for server-side development using Java, Groovy, Grails, etc. Few months ago I’ve contacted Jose Comboni, from San Mateo, CA, who was looking for a consultant for French company called Smartpaper (founded by Arnaud Saint-Paul and Gerard Ayache). The company has been moving to US, with a new name “Smartsy” (or Smartsy Corp). We made a deal, signed an agreement, and started working.

Disclaimer: This article is my personal opinions. No guarantee is given that the information provided in this article is correct, complete, and up-to-date. All the trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

Structure

Smartsy – is a corp registered in California, US. Previously called as Smartpaper, and Smartsystem, and was working in France. Smartsy is a mobile app for iOS and Android + web application based on Grails.

Managed by:

Process

It was strange that nobody was really concerned about project, fast results, etc. It takes days to receive answer for urgent questions, and about a month to get all details. It’s common for enterprise, but unusual for startup which is trying to save each cent and get result as fast as possible.

More strange was that some parts of the project were lost. Just an outdated version in “zip” file, no git/svn, no history, nothing. I mean, previous developer just didn’t provide sources for his last work, so we had only compiled binary on test server, and an outdated snapshot of sources. It was my fault that I didn’t pay attention to this facts.
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Why i’ve switched from Ubuntu to Mac

I’d used linux and Ubuntu for many years, both on server and on desktop. Main reason it was stability of linux. Linux was much more stable than Windows, where you need to reinstall it every half a year, and anyway, you’ll get a lot of crashes.

Few years ago Ubuntu has really ugly UI and lack of features for desktop users. But things are changing, right now it looks much better, developers are adding features, one by one. But, at other hand, after every added feature we get a lot of added bugs :( It’s okay, sadly, but it’s a rule of software development. The problem that nobody want to fix them. It’s cool to add a new feature, but fixing a bug isn’t, because nobody sees it. So, there is no motivation to fix bugs.

As a result – we have unstable OS. Gnome crashes few times a week, have a lot of UI issues, wifi problems, hibernate problems, multi-monitor problems, slow as a snail, and seems that you need to reinstall it periodically, etc, etc :( So Windows becomes more solid at this point.

Ok, it tries to be like Mac OS. But right now it more like a very ugly Mac OS.

Looks like Linux have lost its advantages and opportunities at desktop market :( So, I just bought a Macbook Pro.

PS linux is still doing good on servers, i’m talking only about desktop

Yandex – most popular search engine in Russia

buy viagra uk next day delivery – an alternative to Google in Russia. Its same as Google, it’s a search engine, it’s a maps, mail, it’s context advertising, it’s blogs and blog search, news search, money (like Google Checkout, or Paypal), moikrug (= LinkedIn), etc, etc. Except Android, maybe. It even have an Yandex flavored version of Chrome, and Google Chrome suggests to use Yandex as default search in Russia (!!! can you belive???). See more at safe site to buy viagra online

Yandex have about 60% of market in Russia, as you see Google isn’t so popular there. Why? Dont know. Its something different about the Russian, other mentality maybe?

Google is working hard. Maybe some Google products sucks in Russia, but not so much. Its Google Maps, for example, that have maps only for a a few major cities, Yandex Maps have good and more detailed maps for most cities in Russia. But it’s not the rule. Gmail, in other hand, much better than Yandex Mail.

As about search – russian language is complicated, but it’s must be not a problem for Google. They have offices in Russia, and also have a lot of Russian-speaking developers in other offices (as i heard that Ireland office has a lot of guys from Russia). They can hire smartest people, and they do, but no luck.

I know some numbers, and can say that there is no big difference in quality of search results. Maybe there is an other thing: people who want to see results in russian – they strongly prefer Yandex, because Google’s SERP is a mess of english and russian sites. Who wants to see results in english – prefer Google, but it’s not a lot of people. But even more, Yandex is trying to make a deal with this – it’s just released an improvement for search engine, and now it can understand what sites language is better for current search query and for current user. Its not so easy, btw.

Well, as you see, it’s doing very good, I really like this company, and… we’ll see.

Disclaimer: I had worked in Yandex some time ago as a product manager, btw i’m trying to be objective.