Live GWT Q&A with Colin Alworth on Java 8 in GWT 2.8

We are pleased to announce that we are going to hold our May live Q&A with Colin Alworth on May 18th.

Colin Alworth has been a member of the GWT community since 2008, as a user, contributor, and steering committee member. Currently spending much of his free time building Java 8 library emulation and filing bugs along the way, he can most frequently be found in ##gwt on freenode as well as StackOverflow and Continue reading “Live GWT Q&A with Colin Alworth on Java 8 in GWT 2.8”

Build your own test framework

One of the most used library, if not the most, in the world of Java programmers is JUnit. It is a test framework (not necessarily of unit tests) that allows one to write tests this way :

This is a really practical tool, but for a lot of developers, that library (like many other developer’s tools) sometimes has a magical and mysterious aspect, where we tell ourselves that we would certainly not be able to build something like this. Continue reading “Build your own test framework”

Stop fighting code duplication

From day one in Computer Science, you are taught to avoid code duplication. You are explained why it is better if a piece of code is wrapped in a function. I’m sure you were also told many times that you should keep your code DRY.

This is sound advice, and most of the time it is true that code duplication will harm your code. Have you ever had to fix a bug twice? I have, and that’s not fun for anyone.

However, the problem is that you are never taught what code duplication actually is or why you should be fighting it. Here is the thing: code duplication doesn’t matter. What truly matters is knowledge duplication, and that’s what you should be on the lookout for as it is most likely the programmer’s number one enemy. It will cripple your code base faster than anything else I know. Continue reading “Stop fighting code duplication”

Live GWT Q&A with Manuel Carrasco Moñino on GWTQuery and Polymer

We are pleased to announce that we are going to hold our April live Q&A with Manuel Carrasco Moñino on April 27th.

Manuel will be our guest for this one and he will be talking about GQuery, as he is one of the core developers of this Open Source library. Also, he will be talking about Polymer, one of his recent interests. Continue reading “Live GWT Q&A with Manuel Carrasco Moñino on GWTQuery and Polymer”

An Introduction to SVG – Part 1

You remember that kid at school sitting in the back of the classroom whom nobody ever talked to? Everybody knew he was there, most of them knew his name but nobody wanted to be teamed with him when it was time for teamwork because they all wanted to work with their long time friends.

Some of you reading this are probably saying… Dude, that kid was me man!

Then one day, during art class, your best buddy wasn’t there and you had no one else to work with besides this loner sitting in the back. That’s when you finally found out that he was one of the coolest kids at school, with the sharpest collection of crayons. Continue reading “An Introduction to SVG – Part 1”

Tips and tricks with Jukito

After writing an enormous amount of tests for GWTP using Jukito, I ended up beating myself on many issues. Fortunately, many were common enough to have me noting them down.

This post will give you tips and tricks you can use with Jukito to make your life easier when testing things in GWTP. A few of the following tricks are also briefly shown in the previous posts of the series. I’ll try to give a little more detail for each of them. Continue reading “Tips and tricks with Jukito”

Testing client-server communication with REST-Dispatch

A lot of the tests that are written in GWTP applications focus on client-server communication. Fetching and saving data is what most web applications do nowadays.

You can use whatever library to accomplish this work, however, in this post I use REST-Dispatch and Resource Delegates, from gwtp-extensions. They come with nice testing utilities that I’ll show you. Continue reading “Testing client-server communication with REST-Dispatch”

Development on a fast moving Web

Web development is full of passion. It’s a big thing that moves fast, where new technologies, new frameworks and new tools are created on a daily basis by individuals, groups and corporations, all striving to create better things. Web development is also full of debates, because of all of these tools, speed and pride.

As Web developers, it’s hard to stay afloat, to keep pace with all of these new shiny toys. We tend to see the big picture. The Web. Then, everything that gravitates around it. It’s really close to our job, but yet, that’s not exactly it. We create websites and applications. They all live on the mighty Internet, but rather than seeing all of this as a whole, we need to look closer, and see all of these thin layers, all interacting together. Most layers don’t need to be in a constant novelty war. Our job needs to evolve, but not that fast, not on everything, and surely not daily.

I like to think of Web development as three levels of abstraction all tightly living together: Standards, Technologies and Tools. Continue reading “Development on a fast moving Web”

Testing patterns in GWTP

This post is intended to be the next steps towards a TDD approach with GWTP. We’ll try to show you the patterns and workflow of writing a GWTP application in a TDD fashion. Continue reading “Testing patterns in GWTP”

3 Steps to Make your Culture Unique

Three months ago, we published our first blogpost which dealt with our will to define our culture and questioned what initiatives we could set up to help us fulfill our goal. Since then, we took  a further step  in our journey, and this post  is meant to show you the progress we have made so far.

In the last post, we introduced our 9 values. We could have simply stopped with these and tried to put them directly in use or just listed a number of adjectives such as collaborative, innovative or passionate… But at the same time, it does not define who we are and what makes us  unique.

– If you want to be able to find your DNA, you have to dig deeper, you have to go further in defining your culture –

Our first step was to define the values. We knew our journey to define our culture was supposed to go beyond that. The next step was to create the manifesto in itself.

What is the Arcbees’ Culture Manifesto?

The Arcbees Culture Manifesto is a written statement of all Arcbees’ employees regarding our culture and the way they see the organization as a whole.

We went through three steps to define it.

Step 1: Dig deeper, wrap it up and name it

In the previous post, I mentioned how we took the necessary step to obtain everyone’s list of values. With those values came an explanation about what it meant for them.

Make them match: Collecting those explanations and making them work together was the hardest part and the list of values came from the best of each one of us. But then, we needed to find a way to explain each value so that it could resonate in everybody’s mind.

I took each one of those explanations and put them in a single document to try and find the words and ideas which were most common.

Don’t interpret! This step is rather a long process. The objective is to not transform or interpret what a person is saying. One has to take the explanation, try and make it match with the right value and match it with the others.

For the most popular values, we received 7 or 8 explanations coming from the 12 Arcbees’ employees. It means 8 ways to explain it, 8 ways to name it, 8 different lexicons and 8 unique minds behind it.

Take your time and dig deeper: It took me time to wrap up and summarize what people wanted to say, to find the essence in each one. I asked questions to try to understand what they meant behind each sentences.

You are not Superman! I want to warn you already about something. It is not a one man job as you need inspiration from others to find the right words and find the right flow in the sentences. At Arcbees, one of our principal values is collaboration and this manifesto is a collaborative work.

At the end, we wrapped it up and came up with a list of 9 values:


Step 2: Share with the team and gather feedbacks

Once everything is ready with the manifesto and you wrote a 0.8 version, it’s time to start to get feedback from the team.

Feedback process We prepared a presentation for the team and scheduled a meeting to have everyone present at the same time. The point was to have everyone’s reaction in person.

We introduced each value and its explanation. We then gathered the comments we received on things such as titles or the words used on the explanation itself.

Appropriation begins… At this part, you will notice people starting to appropriate the different values. Some of them stay more than others. You will witness strong reactions, which is good!

After the meeting, each person read it again and gave their own comments. Sometimes directly to me, sometimes by using Slack to have a discussion all together on a particular value.

Getting things ready for the final step The final request was for everyone to rank the values by priority for them from 1 to 9. This ranking would help us determine in a collaborative way which value was the most important at Arcbees.

Step 3: Plan to make it alive

Once the final document was made and we obtained the ranking for each value, we able to start our next step. This ranking has created a plan for further work around the manifesto.

– The goal of this exercise is to make your culture unique and your company! –

One word: Focus!!! We decided to focus on one value per month to accomplish step 3. We are going to apply the same recipe as for our other projects: an agile methodology inspired from Scrum. We want to use it to implement our values. By doing sprints lasting one month, we will define more specifically what is the value and actions inherent to it.

Each month will start by a brainstorm session. This session is open to all, and everyone can bring these ideas about the value we are focusing on.

At the end of each month, we will conduct a retrospective of the past month and the work done around the value. These tasks will eventually enrich our manifesto.

We are going to continuously do this work and improve our values ​​and our manifesto.

We will keep our communities updated with our progress. In February, we will focus on the value “We believe in the individual.”

Follow us: Subscribe to our newsletter, or on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) if you want to follow up on the story of our commitment to our culture.