What do you do when white board markers turn PERMANENT!!

Awesome people trust their white board marker.. until they realize its … permanent!!

But truly awesome leaders know how to fix it!!!

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Epic release night, take five: All Black… and Yellow… and awesome.

Epic release night, take five: All Black… and Yellow… and awesome.

I’m a little embarrassed that there hasn’t been an awesome Finda post since the last awesome release night, six long weeks ago. But now there is. I am less embarrassed. A bit. Maybe.

We’re tired though; this release night was… very demanding. The actual software release went swimmingly as usual; @medhatgayed did a great job of making sure all the i’s were dotted and t’s properly crossed. And it paid off again as he smoothly guided our production platform into version 4.6.

The… challenge was with the release night awesome entertainment. Since the UV paint episode we had to think long and hard about what we could do that would be at least as awesome. As it turns out, more awesome things are also much more work.

Take painting a large Yellow wall for example. It sounds like simple thing. It sounds pretty easy.  It feels pretty damn painfully hard.

Have a look at the video below. We took it upon ourselves to awesomeify the big yellow wall next to which we sit. And we succeeded spectacularly, but it took  7 hours, 3 coats of paint, 3 tins of paint, 2 rolls of painters tape, several people, buckets of sweat and one or two tears… Tears of joy, at how damn beautiful our Yellow Finda logo turned out!

Now… to get through the rest of the day without actually losing the will to live completely and the job will be done…

Always be awesome.

Go Big Or Go Home

Go Big Or Go Home

Another Go Big Or Go Home

Another Go Big Or Go Home

Yellow Finda

Yellow Finda

The Thing That Was Done

The Thing That Was Done

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The most EPIC release night, take three!

The most EPIC release night, take three!

So, after the last two awesome release nights we were hard pressed to come up with something even more awesome to keep the escalating awesome race going. We spent some time considering many options and finally decided on some UV insanity.

We’ve started a tradition with Finda releases to decorate the big Yellow wall that looms over the developers. To make it more friendly, to make it more Finda. As you will see in the video and pictures below, last night, we made it a LOT Finda. Awesome Finda.

The tools of the evening are two 42″ UV black lights (from Surplustronics who have an awesome collection of lights and electronic goodies) and three colours of invisible UV ink. Thanks to True Colours who sponsored us a vinyl Finda logo stencil we were able to… dab… small amounts of UV ink onto the big ‘ol Yellow wall making a nice, mostly invisible, Finda logo right there to look out over the awesome Yellow Coding Ninjas. Then things got… out of hand… you’ll see what I mean.

And now, for your enjoyment, the Epic Release Night Video V3:

A couple of stills to illustrate what’s up:

Now you don't see it...

Now you don't see it...

And now you do!

And now you do!

One of them 'out of hand' things...

One of them 'out of hand' things...

This, is, Finddaaaaaaaa

This, is, Finddaaaaaaaa

This, is, Finddaaaaaaaa

This, is, Finddaaaaaaaa

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Welcome to Finda Betty, we hope you enjoy your stay!

Welcome to Finda Betty, we hope you enjoy your stay!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the newest member of the Finda development team. The team has been fighting to hire her for the longest time; we were severely lacking in awesome but now that Betty has joined us, we are complete. Betty completes us on a profound level.

Meetings were had, arguments were won, business cases were created and followed up repeatedly, there was begging, pleading, ranting and finally there was WIN. Betty joined us properly this week to start her career of awesome and win with the Finda developers.

We’re pretty sure she’ll enjoy her stay since we have every intention of looking after her very well.

Before we go onto the gallery I quickly put together to showcase the hotness and awesome that is Betty, please take this time to listen to Betty’s theme song, created in 1977 in anticipation of Betty joining our team:

And now, ladies and gentlemen and Awesome Geeks, I present to you Black Betty, her nickname is “Betty The Beast”, cos she’s got pride! She’s got power! She’s a bad ass mother who don’t take shit from nobody!

A portrait of our sexy Black Betty!

A portrait of our sexy Black Betty!

Isn’t she just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? She’s cute, clever and has the memory of a whole herd of elephants!

A close up of sexy Black Betty the super model's face!

A close up of sexy Black Betty the super model's face!

Just look at that face! So pretty!

Betty's beautiful green eye!

Betty's beautiful green eye!

Her emerald eye, bright and shining with awesome!

Betty's beautiful inside... er... brain!

Betty's beautiful inside... er... brain!

Isn’t Betty just awesome! 16 cores and 16Gb of pure developer pleasure!

Welcome to Finda, our lovely Black Betty “The Beast”!

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The opposite of the #1 Coding Ninja trophy…

The opposite of the #1 Coding Ninja trophy…

So… even awesome Ninja Coders sometimes slip up and allow things that are… less than awesome. For example, completely hypothetically of course, a developer might insist that the release site is down and/or unavailable. One might, then, at closer inspection find that the developer managed to misspell the word ‘release’.

Mistakes like these are not acceptable from Awesome Coding Ninja’s.

To remind our resident Coding Ninja’s that only the most awesome things are acceptable we have two trophies. For outstanding performance and achievement in the Art of Software Engineering we have the #1 Coding Ninja Trophy. This trophy shows a developer’s peers that his skills are currently highly regarded and has recently accomplished an awesome feat of technical supremacy. Since the trophy is an empty Red Bull can (empty since people love to drink awesome and only 1 since it’s the recommended daily allowance… says so on the can…) other ‘normal’ people can also admire the technical genius of the developer in possession of this sought after symbol of Awesome.

The second trophy, cleverly designed to remind a developer that only the most awesome things are acceptable, is the “Luser of the week” trophy. As you can see from the image below, a sad face is displayed right underneath a word that may be read as “Luser” which is very similar to “User”, to remind the developer that “if it’s not awesome it makes you sad”. One might also notice that the trophy is constructed from… “green tins of liquid that shall not be named”. This indicates to everybody around what a sad situation was created by the holder of the trophy. Nobody likes sad and thus the “green tins of liquid that shall not be named” are full, since no awesome person would lower themselves to drink such awesomeless drinks.

The Luser of the Week trophy.

Always make it awesome. Don’t be a luser.

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Some Monday awesome to get the week going!

Some Monday awesome to get the week going!

It’s Monday. Mondays always lack awesome so we took it upon ourselves to inject some Finda Awesome into it.

James is off today (it’s his birthday vacation day) so we left him a little present on his desk. All over his desk actually. And then there’s the other picture of guerilla awesome. They’re getting good, I have to admit, our pictures were only up there from 8:21am to 8:23am. They’re quick so we’ll have to be quicker… but more on that later.

Present for James

And some guerilla Finda awesome:

Monday morning Finda awesome.

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This is Finda! Kicking ass and chewing bubblegum on the net since ’10

This is Finda! Kicking ass and chewing bubblegum on the net since ’10

In the immortal words Duke Nukem, an epic character made of win and awesome: “We kick ass and chew bubblegum… and we’re all out of gum.

 

 

 

ORLY? That's right. We're all out of gum.

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Some hump day awesome from the movies

Some hump day awesome from the movies

I have an awesome (ok, I think it’s awesome) story of movies and system building to tell on hump day. And I just thought of it.

Watch the film Inception? It doesn’t matter if you enjoyed it or not, everybody appreciated the special effects. They were terribly awesome. Check out this YouTube video on how they actually made the zero G effects happen:

Developing a system is a bit like making a movie. There’s a bunch of technical construction and bunch of creative pretty and there is putting it all together. When you make a movie, you start by building the set. In the case of Inception, it’s a freaking complicated set that took months to construct and it was awesome. The people making the set probably loved making it but it cost a bloody fortune.

Developing a system is similar in several ways. Using plain old PHP to develop a system is like having to build the set from the ground up. You weld thousands of bits together, paint a couple of walls, throw some furniture around; you spend months making the set awesome and sexy and then you start making the movie. Developers generally love the set building part because we love building awesome things; system owners hate paying for building the set because after it’s built, they still can’t see anything and the actual system building hasn’t even started.

Using a good framework like Django is like making a movie where most of the pieces of the awesomely complicated set is pre-built and the set builders just need to move a couple of pieces together and paint them. The hard labour of welding, grinding and measuring is already done.

This is a very good thing because the developers still feel like they’re building the set (which they enjoy doing immensely), so they’re happy and because it takes virtually no time, the system owners are happy because it’s cheap (as). Generally, the only people who aren’t happy are the development team managers since they can’t bill for months worth of set building work.

Use Python and Django. It is the most awesome.

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Epic release night time lapse(s), take two!

And now, for your enjoyment, the Finda development team presents the most epic of awesome (release night) time-lapse video’s! Since release night is made up of a vast majority of ‘hurry up and wait’ we’ve taken it upon ourselves to entertain… er… ourselves and yourselves, obviously (look, it’s been a long night). I hope you’re ready for some serious awesome…

Here’s the main video, ‘The Changing Of The Logo’ (I literally just made that up, seriously):

This is ‘The Making Of The Changing Of The Logo’:

And that is how you release software properly.

Edit: Just re-uploaded the video’s to YouTube (good old YouTube), hopefully they’re all there this time…

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Camera geeks are us!

Camera geeks are us!

All the developers are at the office furiously watching @medhatgayed complete the release process. Things are going swimmingly at this point, looks like it’s going to be a great night.

So, we’re busy with our little ‘something something’ project, making the awesome flow at the office in the middle of the night.

Looking around, it’s completely clear that not only are we a bunch of computer geeks, we’re an insane bunch of camera geeks too. The camera equipment manifest for release evening:

  • Sony A55 (moved to the top at the request of one @keranm)
  • Canon 550D
  • Canon 550D
  • Canon 40D
  • Canon 450D
  • Canon 7D

We’ve got the 7D capturing a time-lapse of the developers area for now (changed at the request of one @keranm) and we’ll be putting the others to use for project ‘something something’.

Check back later, hopefully we’ll have some epic release footage up!

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