Today marks the completion of my second year at Qobo Ltd. The first year was quite a ride. But the second one was even wilder. As always, it’s difficult (and lengthy) to mention everything that happened. A lot of that stuff is under the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) terms too. But here are a few generic highlights:
- Vision and strategy – most of my first year has been spent in putting out fires, fixing things big and small, left, right, and center. The technology boost was necessary across the board, so it didn’t leave much time for the vision and strategy. I feel that we’ve made a huge progress in this area in the last 12 month. We have a clear vision. We have all the stakeholders agreeing on all key elements. We have worked out a strategy on how to move forward. And we’ve started implementing this strategy (hey, Qobrix!). In terms of achievements, I think this was the most important area and I am pretty happy with how things are shaping up.
- Team changes – much like in the first year, we had quite a few changes in the team. Some of them were unfortunate, others not so much. The team is still smaller than what we want and need, but I think we are making progress here. If our World Domination plans will work out to even some degree, we’ll be in a much better place very soon.
- Technology focus – we’ve continued with our goal of doing fewer things but doing them better. Our expertise in WordPress, CakePHP and SugarCRM grew a lot. We’ve signed and deployed a variety of projects, which resulted in more in-depth knowledge, more networking with people around each technology, more tools and practices that we can reuse in our future work.
- Open Source Software – our GitHub profile is growing, with more repositories, pull requests, releases, features, and bug fixes. We’ve also contributed to a variety of Open Source projects. Our involvement with Open Source Software will continue to grow – that’s one of those things that I am absolutely sure about.
- Hosting, continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD), and quality assurance – again, the trend continued this year. We are using (and understanding) more of the cloud infrastructure in general and Amazon AWS in particular. We have a much better Zabbix setup. And our love and appreciation of Ansible grows steeply. Let’s Encrypt is in use, but we’ll grow it to cover all our projects soon. We are also experimenting with a variety of quality assurance tools. We are using TravisCI for most of our Open Source work. And we are on the brink of using recently announced BitBucket Pipelines for our private repositories (sorry Jenkins, we’ve tried you, but … not yet). We’ve also jumped into ChatOps world with HipChat and its integrations, to the point that it’s difficult to imagine how could we have worked without it just a few month ago. Codecov.io has also proved to be useful.
- Projects, projects, projects – much like the previous year, we’ve completed a whole lot of projects (see some of our clients). Some were simple and straightforward. Others were complicated and challenging. And we have more of these in the pipelines. Overall, we’ve learned how to do more with less. Our productivity, technical expertise, and confidence grows day-to-day. I hope we keep it up for years to come.
- Website – one thing that we wanted to do for ages is to update our website. Which we did, despite all the crazy things going on. It’s not a complete redesign, but it’s a nice refreshment. And we’ve also got our blog section, which I promised you last year. All we need to do now is to use it more. ;)
There are a couple of major updates coming soon, but I am not at liberty to share them right now. But they are very, very exciting – that’s all I can say today. Keep an eye our blog – we’ll be definitely sharing.
As I said, it was quite an intense year, with lots of things going on everywhere. There were tough times, and there were easy times. There were challenges and there were accomplishments. There were successes, and there were mistakes and failures. But I wouldn’t have it any other way!
After two years, I am still excited about this company and about my job here. (Which, looking at my career so far, is not something that happens often.) I hope the next year will continue the adventure and by the end of it I’ll be able to proudly show you a few more things.