Futurice
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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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The rest

VPN Management – Self-provisioning and more

Software Developer

VPN Management, our open source application, is a self-service tool for your employees to handle their OpenVPN certificates. The tool consists of two parts, the server and the installation wizard. VPN Management Server provides the backend and a web interface and VPN Configuration Wizard provides the native application for setting up your configurations. The server is integrated into LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) for authentication and the keys are stored in a Git repository.

“Futurice has been lucky enough to grow steadily every year. This has caused the positive problem that the legendary IT team at Futurice needs to be able to help more and more people. To fight this growing need, one aim is to automate and …

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Software development

Sneak Peek at Google Fit

Technology Director

Fitness and health-related apps are gaining more traction with the dawn of wearable technology. They are taking the quantified self phenomenon to another level.

The problem has been that each app is its own entity with its own users in separate silo. You might have an app to measure your steps during the day, another app to log your food consumption and a third one to measure your weight from your smart scale. You end up having lots of separate data.

Both Apple and Google have started addressing the problem with new frameworks for developers. Apple’s solution is called HealthKit which was covered in an earlier blog post. Google’s answer is Google Fit.

Google …

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Software development

Sneak Peek at HealthKit

Software Developer

During the years the App Store has gathered thousands of health and fitness apps. Some of these are simple pedometers, while others try to capture users’ lives as a whole, including nutrition, hydration, exercises, and sleep. The recent trend of fitness wearables such as Fitbit Flex and Up by Jawbone push the limits of what (and how accurate) information apps can collect from their users. While all of this is happening on the iPhone, it’s no wonder Apple wants to be a part of it.

At WWDC 2014, Apple announced HealthKit. It is a new Apple framework for storing and sharing health and fitness information between apps. HealthKit does its work behind the scenes and …

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Software development

Android development has its own Swift

In Apple’s WWDC in June, Swift was announced as their new lean and mean language for developing iOS and OS X apps, meant to eventually replace Objective-C. A few weeks later, it was Google’s turn to announce new exciting technology at their Google I/O conference. They had a lot of interesting developments to show, but not a programming language to replace Java for Android development. Although Google is known for creating languages, such as Go and Dart, there is no evidence they are preparing a language for Android, which is primarily Java-only.

In theory, you can develop Android applications in Clojure, Scala, Groovy, and JVM-based languages. However, because Android runs Dalvik bytecode and not Java …

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Reservator

Software Developer

Reserving conference rooms used to be a pain in the ass. A few years ago we used to have paper lists printed on the side of each room, but it took a long time to walk by every meeting room just to see if they’re available. Later we adapted an electronic system, but then it was hard to reserve a room on the spot. We started to look for a better solution to the problem. At the time, we couldn’t find a system suited for our needs, so two of our great developers, Oleg Grenrus and Vihtori Mäntylä, decided to create a reservation display application for Android tablets. A few sweaty days later, the first version of Reservator was born, …

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Design
Software development

Adaptive Views in iOS 8

Senior Mobile Specialist

Topics

,

(with Pekka Pulli)

One of the first new things I saw on the Xcode 6 beta was the Resizable simulator. Obvious jokes about an upcoming stretchable iPhone aside, trying it out revealed a simulator where you can set the size of the screen and also set either horizontal or vertical dimension into Regular or Compact. Of course I had to play around with the size settings, and noticed the app I was working on at the time promptly broke completely when the size changed… And the same thing seems to happen to other apps too, as exemplified by the Ruisrock app here.

This is all related to the new way of adapting to different screen sizes on iOS …

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Managing UX in Scrum Project

Organizational ScrumMaster

As an Agile trainer, I sometimes get very good questions from my past students. And as I try to reply meaningfully, I sometimes end up writing something worth sharing. Here’s one very recent conversation.

The question:

I am working on an agile project and I don’t know when to incorporate prototyping.

The project is a private web application with a number of complex workflows. We have developed high level user stories, but we would like to validate some of the user stories by testing them with a clickable prototype. 

I can approach this a few ways, and I am a little confused. Maybe your advice could help me.

Option 1:  I treat the prototype as part of the user story, …

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Design
Events
Futurice
Software development
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An Unholy Alliance?

When is the last time a software consultancy, a museum, and media scholars collaborated on building something physical? How to build concrete social impact in topics we find very important? This blog post is how Futurice got together with the Finnish Museum of Photography and the CMT at Tampere University and started building an interactive photo exhibition called #snapshot.

Last April, Elina Heikka from the museum and myself sat down in a meeting with Canon in Finland. Elina opened the conversation by describing our collaboration: “This unholy alliance between a cultural institution and a software company…”. I thought it rather inspiring.

Last September Elina contacted us and told the great news: the museum would really …

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Towards modern healthcare

Senior Consultant

Topics

This post is a summary of a presentation given a while back at the Openness and Future of Health Care Information Systems seminar at Aalto University Business School. The seminar was part of a series of events on the openness theme, giving the opportunity to discuss both the openness and ownership of health care data. It also allowed us to explore the drastic changes that will happen in the health care sector in the near future.

Other speakers and panelists were Karri Vainio from Kuntaliitto, VIlle Oksanen from Aalto University and co-founder of EFFI, and Sami Laine from Aalto University. Vainio discussed the challenges and solutions on the current health care system and the planned next …

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