The Dovetail Blog

Hej Copenhagen, nice to meet you.

Trevor and I had a quick visit to Copenhagen this week. We were meeting a potential new client which is exciting.

All business aside, it was fun to visit a new country and city. I've never been to Denmark or Copenhagen before, so we got a little time to explore the city before our return flight. Trying to avoid the usual tourist traps, we scouted out a lovely little Danish restaurant called Restaurant Kronborg, where we experienced some traditional cuisine consisting of smoked fish on an open face sandwich.

Restaurant Kronborg

Copenhagen is a lovely little city. I won't mention the last minute booking by a certain someone that resulted in us staying in a hostel in the red light district. The amount of bicycles there is simply staggering, and everyone is so positive about cycling there. The infrastructure helps a huge amount too. Dublin seems to be going through a cycling revolution at the moment and can learn a lot from Copenhagen, with our city also being relatively small and flat.

Dovetail visits Copenhagen


Goldfish visit Dovetail

I brought my two Goldfish with me today to work and they have set to work with immediate effect. Their job "Be a Fish".

As I'm moving soon to a new place I needed to re-home these cool Shubunkin Goldfish.

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They will be in the Dovetail office for about month or so.

All thanks to Trevor for letting me use the office to house them.


Headphones and Interns

Its been a busy May for Dovetail we have been working flat out on projects throughout the month.

Mossy, Kit & Rafal have been making continuing updates to the new Lobbying.ie web application launched last month. You can read about it in our last blog post it uses lots of cool stuff.

Fabrizio has been Flat-packed out on IKEA Swipe a Surprise Phase II. Phase I launched this month in stores. Swipe a Surprise sees IKEA Family members win some cool prizes from doughnuts to Holidays. Head to your local IKEA store to see what the fuss is all about.

Trevor & Martin have been busy with meetings for a new client. 

Tomas has been busy working on the updates for CIS Ireland.

I've been busy on the Irish Rail project which will allow Irish Rail to keep track of their Fixed Penalties issued on Trains. I've also been helping FSAI with some updates to their web site.

Dovetail would also like to introduce Murilo. He hails from Brazil and will be interning here at Dovetail. I'm sure he will introduce himself in the next blog post.

Turtle Beach Headphones - Mini-Review

Last week I broke my beloved Logitech wireless headset. I had them for a good 5-6 years. They served me well. So on the advice of Mossy I checked out Turtle Beach headphones. I specifically bought ones that were compatible with the PS4 and PS3. I am very impressed with them so far and I am happy to have some music on when I'm coding.


New Register of Lobbying launched

The Standards in Public Office Commission has today launched the register of lobbying activity www.lobbying.ie. The Register will identify to the public who is communicating with Government and senior civil and public servants on public policy.

Lobbying.ie

The register is being established under the recently enacted Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015. It will provide a simple, web based register of lobbying activity giving transparency on "who is contacting whom about what".

Those who may need to register lobbying activity can now begin to use the website. They will be obliged by law to register lobbying activity that takes place from September 1st next.

They must make returns of lobbying activity every four months, with the first returns being due by January 21st 2016.

The system was developed by Dovetail Technologies using Web API, ASP.NET MVC and AngularJS. The system uses Foundation as its layout engine, the Open Source Content Management System Umbraco and the Lucene search engine.

See the Irish Times coverage here.

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Minister Brendan Howlin at the launch of www.lobbying.ie.


Two meetups last week

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Last Tuesday Mossy and I went to AngularJS Dublin meetup - "Meetup #2 - Aer Lingus case study, Ionic and Comtrade's Protractor experience" which was held at Google HQ - a couple of very informative and insightful talks there.

The first one, and my personal favorite of the evening was by Jason Marah mostly about optimizations of resources such as templates, images and i18n. One of the nice things he mentioned was ReSRC.it which delivers properly sized images according to current page width (works as a CDN) - go check it out.

The second talk was by Aleksandar Ristic and it was about Protractor which is an end-to-end testing framework for Angular web apps (it can be used for testing non-Angular apps as well). It's a NodeJS program built on top of WebDriverJS and Aleksandar showed us some basic workflows of working with it and a couple of neat tricks to get everyone started with Protractor.

The third, and last talk of the evening was by Mohammed Malaka on Ionic - an open-source front-end SDK for developing hybrid mobile apps with HTML5. What Ionic is, is essentially front-end building blocks (Ionic) on top of Angular on top of Cordova. According to Mohammed, it's nice to work with, gives you lots of features to build your apps fast, works nice and is apparently pretty performant for a hybrid approach.

Just a day after that there was another meetup - Ruby Ireland "Slash & Burn the Backend", focused on DB workload and ORM's. I thought ideas from this meetup could be very interesting and applicable to .net world as well so I went there. Both talks were held buy guys from Intercom.

The first talk - “Slash Your Query Times” was by Ciaran Lee. He talked about how they profiled their DB queries which helped them in figuring out the bottlenecks of their system. They even created a neat DB query fingerprinting tool for Ruby which they said they would open-source. Nice one!

The second talk - “ActiveRecord: It Burns!” was by Brian White and it was about a couple of bad design patterns and problems one can run into with ActiveRecord. The whole talk had kind of a philosophical approach.

Anyway, I really enjoyed all of them and I’m really looking forward to the next one that will be held in a few weeks - “Famo.us, JS Game Development and Building Responsive sites with AngularJS” . Sounds like a whole lot of interesting topics!

 

 


Secrets and Returns

It has been another busy week for Dovetail. But we do find some time to find some new interesting things on the Web.

But before we tell you some of these 'Secrets of the Web' lets go for a round up.

Kit and Rafal have been busy working on the new Register of Lobbying for the Standards in Public Office.

Mossy has been working flat out on the updates to MenuCal.

Fabrizio & Trevor went to meet IKEA during the week to discuss the Swipe a Surprise feature.

And now for.....

The 'Secrets' of the web

Here are a couple of nice links we found recently:

Google equation simulator with cool 3D effect (https://www.google.ie/?q=x*sin(y)) thanks to Tomas for the spot.

Google also recently added the 'Find My Phone' feature into their search result page. If you have an Android phone type 'Find My Phone' into Google for easier and quicker access to 'Find My Phone'. Thanks to Kit for the spot.

Dovetail Rumors

Rumor has it that someone is returning to Dovetail in the near future. 

Can you guess who it could be?

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Dovetailing Our Way through April

It has been a busy start to April for Dovetail. 

Unfortunately our intern Ger finished up with us at the end of last month. It was sad to see him go and we hope to see him soon for some beers and to find out about his life after Dovetail

On a less sad note everyone in the office has been working flat out on a number of projects.

Fabrizio has been working mainly with IKEA UK & Ireland on Swipe A Surprise, a feature built for the IKEA FAMILY kiosk system that gives you a prize when you swipe your card.

Kit, Mossy, Rafal & Martin have been working together on a project. But that's all I say on that for now.

Trevor, aside from working with Fabrizio on IKEA, is also working with Martin on a few e-tenders and meeting potential clients.

As for me I've been working with Martin and meeting with Irish Rail to help build them a new Fixed Penalty Notice system similar to the systems Dovetail has built before for Dublin Bus & LUAS. I have also been providing support to our clients on their current systems.

Tomas has been working on CIS to build new features and upgrade their current system.

Mossy has also been working on upgrades to MenuCal which will now include allergen information along with calorie statistics to help restaurants, shops and fast food outlets to keep their customers informed. 


"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.