Bring on 2014 – We Can’t Wait

Friday December 20, 2013

New -Year -Fireworks -Big -BenIt has been exceptionally busy in the Inflecto offices as we have moved closer to Christmas. We have been working very hard to complete QMS, a system we have been working on for over two years on behalf of Quality Health. As of yesterday we have just signed off on the third and final stage of QMS. Now on our final official day in the office before the New Year it seems a good time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. 

Over the years we have grown from a company with one developer working out of the lounge in a shared house, to a double act working out of an office only really big enough for one to the small team that currently exist in a slightly larger office! Some things have changed but the ethos has remained constant. As a company we have never been about taking on high throughput low risk work. Instead we want the challenging work that will test us as a group. At times this has been challenging for us as a company as we normally accept large amounts of risk with the projects we undertake but it has made working at Inflecto a truly awesome experience and in that time the team has against the odds built some fantastic systems.

Over the past year Andy and I have slowly been getting more organised and delegating some of the jobs we used to do. We have new support staff who are taking care of the bookkeeping and even the cleaning which was, done by myself at the start of 2013. Jack has also come to be mentored by the team and is progressing to become a pretty good engineer. Over the last few weeks we have also found the time to refresh our brand, launch a new website and start building a bit more of a presence on social media.

Since 2007 we have been using and updating a framework which underlines the core of our systems. It makes us quite proud to think of this being used globally. There probably hasn’t been much time over the recent years where someone in the world wasn’t interacting with some software running on top of our framework.

As we move into 2014 we are going to make a clean break from our old framework and start something fresh. The new framework will be based on what we have learnt from our old one but will not been an evolution of the old one. We are making this break because we feel we can do better in three key areas.

First of all our code at times can be very difficult to test and we want ensure we can utilise cutting edge techniques and patterns such as dependency inversion to ensure our code is loosely coupled and can easily be pulled apart for automated testing.

Secondly the UI elements we reuse and base our interfaces around work on touch enabled mobile devices but we feel we can offer a much better experience in the future by rethinking the components we use so that they create a more responsive design where our interfaces will in future adopt more radically to the device the user is viewing them on.

Thirdly, we have become absolutely bogged down metrics and logs. There is no easy way to manage the wealth of data that our systems produce on a daily basis and quite often it is hard to get at other information that we need to debug a particular problem. We are working on an instrumentation collection framework that will collect all our logs and integrate it with CPU usage, memory usage, database locks among others. We currently have systems that wake us up and alert us to key systems or kit failing our aim is to do much more in the New Year.

We hope to be able to look at all of our systems metrics and errors, filtering out the unimportant noise and pro-activity identify parts of the system that are running hot which could be improved and hopefully pro-actively fix many more problems before they are even evident to most users.

We move in to the New Year full of excitement and we would like to thank our special bunch of clients who have believed in us over the years and allowed us to reach where we are now.

Bring on 2014 – We Can’t Wait!

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Written by Ross