Software development

Build environment like it’s 1986

Senior Software Engineer

Not so long ago we got a new cool gadget at the office, ZX Spectrum +2 computer released by Amstrad around 1986 including a keyboard and a cassette deck for loading programs. It’s a very nice system with a 3.5 MHz Zilog Z80 CPU,  32 KB ROM, 128 KB RAM, three channel AY-3-8912 sound chip, MIDI compatibility, RS-232 serial port and a multipurpose extension port. But it was the high resolution 256×192 video output that differentiated it (and its predecessor ZX Spectrum 48K) from its arch enemy Commodore 64. Just look at this beauty.

The first problem we face is of course: How do I setup …

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Futurice
Software development

How we use Polymer to make sales transparent

By Oskar Ehnström and Ossi Hanhinen.

Transparency is one of the core principles here at Futurice, but achieving transparency on the company level gets harder as the company grows. One aspect of our business that was previously less transparent than ideal was the sales funnel. Salesforce accounts are available for everyone, but the average developer/designer is probably not going to check Salesforce each day to keep up to date with upcoming projects. This sparked the idea of creating a service that displays only the relevant data from Salesforce in an easy to use UI.

We’re also always on the lookout for new and interesting technologies, so when Google unveiled their …

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The rest

NPM registry in numbers

Software Developer

Often in development you have to decide between a DIY solution or a few ready-made packages. Sometimes you might try to justify the answer by relying on the community choice, and usually it is a safe bet. For example, have you ever been asked to choose between underscore and lodash?

Right on the front page of the npm registry there are some stats:

Total Packages: 94 767 Most dependent upon 7071 underscore 6475 async 5604 request 4960 lodash 3644 commander 3555 express 2717 optimist 2639 coffee-script 2612 colors 2253 mkdirp

It looks like underscore is more popular than lodash. I think this table is flawed.

Maturity of packages

One of the first ideas is to check …

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The rest

ABB and Big Support Data

Consider the last problem you had with your smartphone: your troubles were likely shared by hundreds. Most problems we face have already been faced and solved by other people and we spent great energy on problems already solved. Problems repeat themselves also in the corporate life and for many companies solving already solved problems is a big part of their business, their service and their expenses.

Now consider seeing the answer at the moment you have expressed your worry. In the domains of the technical, customer and product support: existing solutions often lie forgotten in the corporations’ support archives, and reusing old solutions can bring great rewards. In the ideal world, if old solution exists: support would see a solution …

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Software development

Multi-platform mobile development with Xamarin

The problem when creating mobile apps is that if you want to cover as much of the market as possible you have to write the app at least twice: once for Android having the biggest market share and once for iOS. In some cases you also need to write it for Windows Phone. That means writing the same app three times. Seems like a huge waste and we don’t like waste. There is usually no sharing of code between the apps between platforms unless you write the common logic in a way that is supported in all of them which usually means using C or C++.

With games it’s a bit different since OpenGL is supported in most …

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The rest

Summer of Love is over — What’s next?

Software Developer

Summer of Love is over and the winter is coming. What happens to open source at Futurice now? Luckily, Summer of Love isn’t the only open source program we have at Futurice. SoL is only a part of a bigger program called Spice Program.

Contributing to open source isn’t always the easiest thing to do in consulting. Sometimes it’s hard to justify publishing changes to a project that isn’t owned by the client. That’s why we’ve created contract term templates about open source for our clients that clearly state why it’s a good thing to contribute. We try our best to make contributing to open source as easy as possible for our employees.

During …

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Design
Software development

iOS8 HomeKit

Caring Software Developer

Topics

,

(with Mark Schlusnus)

Imagine a morning in late September 2015. At 7:30 am the lights and your favourite radio station fade in to gently wake you up. When you get out of bed, the coffee machine in the kitchen starts to brew. The light and radio follow you to the preheated bathroom and while you’re going through your morning routine, your mobile might ask you about your mood. As you walk into the kitchen for some coffee and cereal you might check your appointments, emails, weather, traffic on your daily commute and the latest news. All in one app! When you’re leaving for work, of course your door locks automagically and your residence switches to standby mode…

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The rest

User-Friendly web UI for LDAP

Software Developer

FUM is an user management system for LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). FUM makes it easy to handle information about your employees, their projects and servers they have access to. LDAP is a good protocol for user management, but it needs an user-friendly layer on top of it. One of the strengths of FUM is that it gives the users a lot of freedom over their data.

“How many times have you needed to wait for IT to take care of some tiny task, wishing you could just take care of it yourself? Within Futurice one of the cornerstones of our culture is trusting our colleagues. One of the ways we have implemented that trust is allowing people …

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Android Wear and Google Glass – Review after a few months

Technology Director

I have been living with an Android Wear watch (Samsung Gear Live) for a few months and with Google Glass for one month. Here are few thoughts on using them in everyday life.

Android Wear

Android Wear is the new wearable platform from Google and it was a bit surprising that Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to release a device for it since they have their own Tizen-based wearable platform and devices like Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit already on the market. Interesting to see if they will continue both or focus only on one.

Android Wear is all about contextually relevant information, information that is relevant to you then and there. This is an …

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Futurice
The rest

Futurice Helsinki will move to Kamppi!

Senior IT Specialist

We’re planning on relocating our Helsinki office to Kamppi in the beginning of 2015. Before deciding on the new office location, we conducted surveys to figure out how our employees commute, and how they prefer to commute. However, the actual impact on our employees’ traveling times was unclear.

To take a more data-driven approach, I sent a survey about people’s approximate addresses and preferred ways to commute to both the old office in Lauttasaari and to the new office in the city centre. In three days, 113 out of 150 employees answered.

The following conclusions are based on multiple assumptions, making them less accurate. For example, people often take some shortcuts while bicycling, prefer specific routes for cars or have …

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