The Dovetail Blog

"Hello Dovetail!"

Hello, I'm Tihomir Kit, and together with Fabrizio I'm one of the two latest additions to the Dovetail team. I just recently moved over to Dublin from a small town in Croatia called Osijek.

Previous to moving to Dublin, I was working in Osijek for Mono Software (hi guys!) as a full-stack AngularJS / ASP.NET developer. In regards to technology, my other weapons of choice include things such as NodeJS, ReactJS and GNU/Linux. When I get the time I would also like to learn some more Ruby on Rails and even create an open-source project with it - lots of ideas.

So far, working for Dovetail feels great with everyone being so welcoming and friendly. Since I've gotten here I started working on a few projects and I had the chance to work with some cool stuff like InfluxDB and Highcharts and I'm really enjoying it!

I like writing tech/programming blog posts so hopefully there will be more of these in the near future! :)

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The great launch of IKEA Athena Phase II

This week Dovetail Technologies with much office fanfare launched Phase II of the Athena Project for IKEA

Trevor, Mossy, John & Tomás put in a lot of effort improving the the IKEA FAMILY system for their stores in the UK & Ireland.

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The new layout and redesign will help improve the join journey it takes for customers of IKEA to become IKEA FAMILY members. It is also hoped that with the upgrade the system will improve load times and give a better user experience for IKEA FAMILY members.

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Offer the coming weeks we will have new case study on Athena Phase II with some more information on the system and how we got on during the development and deployment of the new kiosk system.

We hope that you stop by an IKEA store soon and use the new kiosk system and if you need a bespoke kiosk system like IKEA have then don't hesitate to give Dovetail a call or an email.


Drones, Plants & Drinks

It has been busy start to the year for Dovetail. We have recently added two new developers to the current roster. Please welcome Kit and Fabrizio. Who will have to do their introductory blog posts soon.

Consequently with the new developers we have had to rearrange our office layout to make room for the new members.

We also rented some new plant life for the office and some dividers to make it look like some sort of office environment.

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 We still think the old plant will come back to life, so far now it remains with us.

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 Dovetail has also been coming to grips with a drone. So far only Mossy has been able to fly it some success. We will post a video soon.

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Tomorrow Dovetail will go for some post hard work drinks to fully welcome in Kit and Fabrizio to Dovetail.


Bigger, faster, stronger - Data that is. Our new love for InfluxDB.

Big data has been a hot topic for some time in our Industry, and Dovetail has of course been exposed to the challenges of creating, consuming and reporting on large data sets. InfluxDB is our new friend on this journey.

Without going into the details of the project - Kit, John & Trevor have been working with a new client recording large amounts of information from sensors, then creating valuable, responsive reports on the fly for end users.

We created the initial prototype using SQL Azure, but quickly found this would not perform sufficiently as a long term solution. The team did some research into time-series databases and settled on InfluxDB as a great next step.

InfluxDB is developed specifically to handle time series data and automatically summarizes data at specified intervals, resulting in much faster reports from large datasets.

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Since we're all now humming the song now, we might as listen to it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDpmVUEjagg (Great tune).


Plants, Cameras, Action!

Well there it went, January has been and gone and it has been quite the adventure here at Dovetail. We haven’t had the chance to post a blog recently as we've been ‘snowed under’ (bu dum tish!) with work. This week we've had to say farewell to a dear friend of ours. Mossy made the brave (and slightly rash) decision to humanely put down the office plant. 

Mossy Plant Life

Unfortunately, this was met by jeers and taunts and now Mossy’s ‘on the hunt’ for some brand new office plants. Drama aside, we've all had a busy few weeks.

On top of various fixes on different systems, John has been working on a new feature for Gift Voucher Solutions and has been updating LUAS websites for PCI compliance by changing the payment system to accept payments on hosted payment pages.

Mossy has been working hard on a new allergens feature for MenuCal which will be launched in the coming weeks. He is also launching a new feature for the FSAI website next week, which should hopefully help both staff and customers of the website.

Trevor has been out and about on a tour of the Dublin City Council traffic control room, kindly organised by ITS Ireland www.itsireland.ie. Check out the action shots below.

Trevor Jobling at Dublin Bus control room undefined

Tomás has been building snowmen and in his spare time has been working on adding function to help CIS identify and rectify duplicate company data in their leads database.

Martin’s been busy working with Mossy on an Allergens add-on for MenuCal, on the new national Lobbyist Register and some upgrades for Luas TaxSaver system. He also spent a good part of the week interviewing, which can only mean one thing… We’ll be announcing some new team members very soon.

I've been doing as all good interns, getting involved with various projects and honing my developer skills.

That’s a neat, little summary of our on goings. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you all back here soon for the grand unveiling of our new Dovetail crew members.


Attack of the Tutum Clones

2015 is starting off how 2014 ended - with t-shirts!

Hot on the heels of this freebie from Oracle we've just landed some free swag from Tutum. Tutum makes it really, really easy to deploy Docker containers in the cloud.

Docker is a fantastic tool that promotes application portability. It comes from a Linux background, but it's getting good support from Microsoft these days. We do most of our custom software development on the Microsoft platform, and Tutum support Azure too, so we'll probably be seeing more of it in the future.

I pointed out a minor issue in Tutum's beta and they rewarded me with this lot - definitely easier than than the MySQL issue last month. Thanks Borja!

So left to right here are Ger, Mossy and me modelling today's uniform:

  • Beard? check
  • Glasses? check
  • Aeron? check
  • Tutum tee? check

OK lets work!

 Dovetail Tutum clones


And so this is Christmas

Another year nearly over and a new one about to begin. Hopes, dreams and the possibility of new fish in the fish-tank are all we have on our minds right now. That, and a busy pipeline of work scheduled for 2015.

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Let's hope this thing works.

Our top blog posts for 2014

Every year we try to beat the previous year in the quality and quantity of our blog posts. Mostly we just love to share what we're up to here in Dovetail. We hope the simple & honest posts help customers, friends, family and prospective customers understand our process. I guess you could say we're an Open source company.

We're on slack, but we're not slacking off. We've started using slack. Do we really need another way to communicate besides email, im, sms, fogbugz? Apparently.

Dovetail are in the Web Awards FinalsWe're excited to have made the finals of the 2014 Irish Web Awards in the Best Agency category.

Dublinked RTPI conference, new office chairs and more IKEA work. Apologies to our regular readers for the absence of a blog post last week. I imagine it left a big hole in your week! The good thing about missing a week is that there's plenty of news this week.

Heatwave in Southampton! The Swipe a Surprise promotion we developed for IKEA is proving to be great success in Southampton - it has scored a scorching 372° on www.hotukdeals.com.  Having witnessed the happy faces in-store I'm not suprised!

Certified Microsoft Partners, IKEA Events go live and Sushi! It has been another productive week here at Dovetail. We were helped, no doubt, by the addition of the new Aeron chairs, which were discussed extensively last week. They're still comfortable! 

Now for a little well earned break 

John has gone to Germany to spend Christmas with his girlfriend's family. Frohe Weihnachten! The rest of us will be spending the holiday period catching up with family all over the country: Galway, Cork, & Waterford (Hon da Deise!).

We hope you've had a good 2014, and look forward to see you in 2015. Merry Christmas from all at Dovetail HQ.

 


Open-source for fun and profit. And a t-shirt.

We recently did some performance optimisation work for SUSI. It was a fascinating problem which had apparently stumped several companies over the years. Well we got very into it and eventually found a bug in the .Net drivers for MySQL.

We patched the bug and massively improved the stability and performance of the system. We submitted the fix back to MySQL to help the project.

SUSI were delighted with the results, and apparently Oracle were too because they sent us this t-shirt to say thanks! Thanks Larry!

MySQL freebie tshirt


Twas the week before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas and not a creature was stirring, not even a crayfish who hasn't made another attempt to escape yet

We have new face in the Office Robin has joined our team for a couple of weeks and is here to gain some work experience for school.

Mossy has moved into his new house over the weekend and took a few days to settle in and Ger was down in lovely Kerry for the weekend.

With Christmas coming up we have been building and supporting our current projects while at the same time looking at the new year and the beginning of some new projects. 

I forgot to mention that a few weeks back I graduated Griffith College DublinMartin also attend to give a prize to a fellow alumni of GCD. 

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A day of Christmas beer!

We are having our Christmas party today, so there is a festive mood in our office in the GEC as we put up decorations while enjoying some office beers. There's nothing as refreshing as an office beer, that's a fact!

Ger, our new intern, has been taking up the slack on a few of our smaller projects and helping John triage support cases. This takes the pressure off our other developers and also doesn't throw Ger in too deep. Ger is also improving some of our internal management systems.

John has started working on some additional features for the RPA web apps. He also put some new features live for Blue Portal. Blue portal is run by Bandwidth and allows local councils to analyse foot and vehicle traffic using CCTV. Blue Portal is another one of our successful Intelligent Transport projects.

I have been continuing to work with the FSAI on 2 projects. We recently upgraded the FSAI website with a new version of Ektron. Website users wouldn't have noticed any changes, but the underlying Content Management System was long overdue an upgrade and the process went very smoothly. We are also working on a new iteration of the MenuCal system which will be launched early next year.

Most of Tomas' time over the past few weeks has been spent working with IKEA. We are preparing for a new version of the Kiosk system and he has been putting additional tracking into the system so we can measure performance and the user journey better. He has also been doing some smaller pieces of work with Acquirer Systems.

Sales and business development have taken up a lot of Martin and Trevor's time of late, as they prepare for 2015 and we line up new projects and clients. There is lots good news coming from them, but that will have to will remain hush-hush for now.

In other news, our beloved Pinchy has not been returning the love for us, as she's been trying to escape. Here is some footage of one of her attempts.