Something about who has entrusted us:
- It’s 1994 and you want digital photos in the cloud?
Imagination is more important than knowledge, Einstein once said. Today we may call it a startup, but at the time it was only a bit more than a family business. Is it possible to scan paper photos to compressed images (there was no JPEG!), check quality and re-compress, annotate and publish on the Internet? Today, it would be Google Photos, Flickr or maybe Instagram. But in 1994? Yet we did it, with no CQRS, no microservices and not even relational databases. On the way, we taught ourselves dependency injection, service buses and message-based business logic. We ended up with late night TV commercials!
- It’s 2008 and you want green software?
Three months after the Lehman Brothers crack, money was drying up and pessimism spreading around but President Obama gave the world new hope for a new deal. Smart grids (hold on, not data grids!), and renewable energy, were all the rage. At a software conference, during a talk on design principles someone asked a question “How can we write greener software?” That was the very first time the whole problem of consumption, energy, optimization (and lack thereof) started again being a problem serious enough to address.
- It’s 2012 and you want a hybrid mobile app?
In 2012, writing mobile apps was getting tougher every day as fast as the number of different operating systems. Cross-OS platforms appeared at the horizon but too slow for non-toy apps. Today, hybrid mobile apps that integrate web content is norm but in 2012 it was simply the only thing that came to mind to save the proverbial rear-end. And it worked. And the multi-OS, time-sensitive mobile app the customer wanted hit the marketplace perfectly on time, no matter being rejected once by the AppStore.
- It’s 2014 and you want natural language library at school?
One of the very first examples of natural language processing was a SQL Server extension that could turn some common phrases and verbs into SQL queries. It was late 1990s and it was too early for anything mappable to what today is Artificial Intelligence. As bored high school students, we wrote a piece of C# code to switch Latin phrases active to passive and vice versa. The potential foundation of a many things and something that industry experts in powerful labs are working on today that NLP is a hot branch of AI.
- The Oak Ridge .NET Case
Sufficiently inland to be safe from possible attacks, during WW2 Oak Ridge (Tennessee) was selected to host some of the infrastructure for the Manhattan Project and the construction of the nuclear bomb. In early 2000s, it was an active center involved in the dismissal of nuclear weapons. As such, a very strict clearance was required to get in. Even to teach a .NET class to internal developers.
- Weird Training Stories
We’ve been training for over 10,000 hours since the late 1990s and quite a few weird things happened along the way. One was showcasing Silverlight as the future of web development, two weeks before it was publicly dismissed by Microsoft. Another was teaching a .NET class in Taiwan the days of the SARS outbreak. The most amazing, though, was getting into the United Nations building to teach ASP.NET MVC. The most astonishing was teaching a class at a huge company in the Southwest of the United States and having exactly zero students for over two hours.