The Elabs Warzone

Elabs has it’s own warzone – we call it the ping pong room.

When you walk past the warzone, and a game is in action, your ears will be filled by screams and shouts, both of agony and in triumph.

If you dare enter the warzone you will witness two Elabs employees in action. The ball moves at the speed of light and spins and twists like a crazy fly waiting for the inevitable outcome: the smash, followed by a cry of triumph and one of agony. This is deadly serious.

The ball lies in the hand, fingers gently squeezing it. The gaze between the two opponents is intense, both passing back and forth, like two wolves baring their fangs and showing of their muscles. Ready to jump at each other at any second. Then the ball is released, wet from perspiration, and in action. Soon another cry of triumph and one of defeat.

The warzone is calm and quiet, the game is over. We have a winner and a loser, returning to their computer for some more pair programming, both knowing that the next game can change everything. The current hierarchy is just temporary among the Elabs wolves.

Johannes in action


Speaking About Testing and Socialism at Mountain.rb and RubyConf

After attending and organizing it is finally time for the next step, to speak at a conference, two actually, with three talks. Dive in head first. CJ will be speaking at Mountain.rb and RubyConf.

First: Mountain.rb in Boulder, Colorado, October 6-8
The Talk: The Front End Testing Frontier

While most Ruby developers are very familiar with testing their code, frontend and JavaScript-testing is still a new frontier for many. This talk will show you how to easily write and run JavaScript integration tests with Capybara and Cucumber, and unit tests with Evergreen and Jasmine. The goal is to get you excited about frontend testing, and point you in the right direction to get started yourself!

Second and Third: RubyConf in New Orleans, November 11-13
Talk #1: The Front End Testing Frontier, extended, with co-presenter Jonas Nicklas
Talk #2: Socialist Software Development

Socialism is often portrayed as pure evil by US media (hello Fox News), yet many socialist countries are ranked as some of the best countries in the world (Newsweek). So maybe it's not all bad? If you look at job listings for software developers, it seem like a lot of companies are looking for "programmer rock stars", "coding ninjas", etc. There is a romantic notion about the ultra productive independent super developer. This talk examines software development from a socialist perspective.

Might we get better results and provide more value if we set aside our egos and work together?

CJ Kihlbom is speaking at Mountain.rb


Inside Information

A new side of Elabs is about to be revealed. You will be granted access to our office, to our thoughts, to the very core of our work. The intention is to share our everyday life.

First we want to welcome our newest addition, the Stockholm crew: Peter Marklund, Ingemar Edsborn and Dennis Rogenius. Ingemar and Dennis have worked with us before and we are very happy to announce them as official Elabs employees! Peter and CJ have known each other for several years. You will soon get to know them better, and the old Gothenburg crew, through a series of personal interviews which will be posted here on the blog.

The Stockholm crew is currently in the Gothenburg office for a two week long Elabs bootcamp. We will share knowledge, get to know each other and have fun. Pair programming, talking and playing ping pong. Soon we will hopefully recruit a fourth crew member as well. Our Stockholm headquarter will be located in our customer Streamio's facilities on Sveavägen. We are very happy to be sharing space with them!

We would also like to thank our client Alessandro, from Tinet, who was here last week working with us. Thank you for great pastries, fun conversations and productive work. Now he is back in a sunny Sardinia, Italy. We are just a little bit envious.

We hope you will enjoy the coming inside information!


Announcing Elabs Stockholm

After two great years in Gothenburg, it's time to broaden our horizons a bit. I'm very happy to announce that we are opening an office in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, in early October.

Most of our Swedish clients are located in Stockholm, so the primary reason for opening the new office is to get closer to them. We look forward to being able to provide even better service to our existing clients, and to exciting endeavors with new clients.

Another big reason for opening an office in Stockholm is because of all the great Ruby on Rails developers there. We've already added some great people to our initial Stockholm team, people we've worked with before, but we're looking to add at least one more. If you're interested, please have a look at our job listing. The listing is in Swedish, but we'll definitely consider applications from non-Swedish speakers too. We'll even help the right candidate move to Sweden if necessary.

Sergels Torg, one of Stockholm's distinctive landmarks

Photo by Simon Donini {: .caption}

Stay tuned for more info as we get closer to the premiere!


BizConf 2010

One of my highlights of last year was going to BizConf, so I was very happy to be able to go back to Amelia Island last week for the 2nd annual BizConf.

CJ Kihlbom, Randall Thomas and Marty Haught having lunch in the sunshine

Photo by Obie Fernandez {: .caption}

For me, the greatest part about attending a conference is hanging out with lots of great people. This is especially true about BizConf, which just as last year attracted a bunch of smart and interesting people who were eager to share their experiences. I learned just as much from them as from the presenters.

David Allen

David Allen shows how you feel when you're not "Getting Things Done". Photo by Obie Fernandez. {: .caption}

One of the many excellent presenters was David Allen (above), the creator and best-selling author of Getting Things Done (which all attendees got a copy of). David gave a really inspiring keynote and an engaging workshop about how and why you should do GTD.

Corey Haines

Corey Haines moderated the Software Craftsmanship panel. Photo by Obie Fernandez. {: .caption}

One of my favourite moments of the conference was the panel on Software Craftsmanship in Small Business. It was lead by Corey Haines, who was kind enough to invite me to be on it together with Gustin Prudner, Paul Pagel and Obie Fernandez. It was a real honour to be on the panel alongside such esteemed colleagues, and we had some great discussions.

Obie and Desi are in over their heads

Conference pool parties are awesome. Photo by Lan Bui. {: .caption}

Fitting to a conference in Florida, BizConf finished with a great pool party. Relaxed atmosphere, good food and drinks, great people and lots of fun. That pretty much sums up the whole conference. I'm already looking forward to next year!