Lunatech blog retrospective - 2011

11 June 2014

Peter Hilton

by Peter Hilton

2011 brought new things to Lunatech - widespread git use, more JavaScript and functional programming, Scala, specialist front-end development and, of course, a lot more Play Framework.

As well as the technical stuff, there were also new events, for that unique combination of code, socialising, beer and (for a change) sun.

RivieraDEV

Programming

A functional programming puzzle by Stéphane discussed functional programming in JavaScript, while Francisco turned to Scala for The Scala List extractor demystified. These articles are glimpses of the shift away from Java, which Lunatech had been using almost exclusively since migrating from Perl, 10-12 years earlier.

Browsers don’t do layout and Class Struggle, by Egor Kloos, started to introduce us to front-end development, which hadn’t been a separate specialism at Lunatech in previous years. Even more than new programming languages, this was a brave new world indeed.

Software development

The Software Estimation Manifesto is an experimental style of blog post that introduces a checklist for estimation - an old software development problem. This checklist skips all of the explanation, and merely enumerates the things that you shouldn’t forget if you want your estimates to be any good. Estimation remains hard to this day and the newest idea, at the time of writing, is that the only way to win is not to play: the alternative is called #NoEstimates.

A two month internship at Lunatech returns to recruitment, with Ludovico’s first-hand account of starting as an intern at Lunatech. This is as close as we get to apprenticeship these days, and is a pretty good solution to the difficulty of adequately assessing a programmer in an interview-based approach.

We have moved on to git, why haven’t you? describes part of the technology lifecycle we continually go through: the new thing becomes the old thing, and we’re constantly looking out for the next new thing. First CVS, then Subversion and then experimentation with distributed version control systems. At a certain point, for the candidate technologies that get this far, the experiments have created enough benefits, expertise and evangelism to create a critical mass of people who are ready to start using new technology on their new projects.

Events

First Play!ground in the Netherlands was the first of several Play Framework events, after we moved our focus from Java EE technologies, with largely the same format (and attendees) as previous JBoss User Group events.

Duse XIV at Lunatech Research, meanwhile, was the first Scala event at Lunatech, reflecting growing interest and experimentation and the first small-case use of Scala on customer projects.

Lunatech presents Play Framework at JavaZone 2011 was another first - the first of many international Play Framework presentations, for which Nicolas and I travelled to Norway. JavaZone turned out to be an excellent conference, although the local beer at the speakers’ dinner was perhaps too good.

Riviera DEV was a new RivieraJUG event in the South of France that was also the next outing for a Play presentation, by Nicolas. See Lunatech at the RivieraDEV for the slides.