On Tuesday (6/20/2017), the Leaf team gathered for a round of lightning talks given by Leaf employees. The format was as follows: Speakers had 5 minutes to present on whatever they wanted. No slide deck required.
Jimmy Briggs gave some insight into his passion for mechanical keyboards. Using a hands-on show-and-tell approach, he gave everyone a chance to experience the feel of a mechanical keyboard as well as the variety of switch types that are available out there.
Optimizing Unit Test Fixtures
Frederick Myers shared some of the tips that his team uses for optimizing unit tests fixtures for speed, navigation, and consistency.
"Strangify" - Slack and OpenCV
Mike Warren pulled back the curtain on "Strangify" -- our slack app that uses OpenCV to detect faces on images and replace them with pictures of our own infamous James S.
Python Tornado web framework
James' second talk was an overview of the Python Tornado web framework that James is evaluating for IndyPY Web Framework Shootout.
It was great for everyone to get together for fun as well as an opportunity to share and learn (and have some pizza).
Answering the question "Does this make us better?" is fundamental at Leaf and why we subscribe to following the principles of the agile manifesto rather than adopting a single agile framework and apply it across the board.
By not adhering to a single framework, we are afforded the flexibility of picking what works best for us and the customer. We incorporate practices such as daily stand-ups, sprints, Kanban flow, deploy often, automation, and retrospectives. We are able to integrate with other customers that might be invested in more formal methodologies such as Scrum or SAFe. For customers who aren't invested (or don't care) about a software methodology, by working with them we can derive project practices that make sense for both the development team and the customer based upon everyone's needs and capacity. And sometimes, that can involve eschewing agile a bit and incorporating waterfall techniques.
From a project perspective, our company launched as the industry was shifting from centralized, mainframe-based computing to distributed PC-based computing. As the 80s rolled over to the 90s, employees at Joseph Graves Associates were providing services across a wide variety of client sizes ranging from accounting services, staff augmentation, and custom development.
As the Internet became a household name, Leaf began providing web development services to adapt to the needs of its clients. Microsoft Visual Basic was a popular platform, and many of Leaf’s clients included traditional companies that were realizing the potential of the efficiencies gained by incorporating computers and networks into their everyday business processes.
2007 saw the release of the first smartphones from companies such as Blackberry and the Apple iPhone. Smartphones have changed many aspects of our business and personal communications. From a technology perspective, many of us are carrying around phones in our pocket that have roughly the processing power of a Cray supercomputer that filled an entire room in 1987.
Leaf has been around to participate in some amazing technology enhancements over the past 30 years. Many other industry shifts are underway, and we plan to post about them on Leaf's brand new technical blog.
Expect to see a wide variety of topics including: