Technologist

It is amazing what you can do today. With a few strokes on a keyboard and some clicks on a trackpad, we can achieve a lot. We can help. We can amuse. We can inspire. From something as mundane as making accounting more efficient to something as important as aiding doctors to find the right treatment. It is a great time to be a technologist.

fairy tale

This is why we are passionate about what we do. We love exploring new frameworks, programming languages, interface designs. We learn more and more each day, because each new way to interact with technology means a new possibility to create something great. Yes, it sounds quite cheesy, but fairy tales usually are… Today, we have the fantastic power to talk to people on the other side of the world – live. The fabulous moving photos in Harry Potter’s newspapers have been around for years on our smart phones. And, when we plan a trip around the world, we expect it to be in less than 80 hours and not days.

less is more

Usability and joy-of-use are most essential in order to create great stuff. Surprisingly, the best technical solutions are often not that technological at all. Sometimes, the whiteboard next to the coffee maker is worth more than the best online collaboration system. At times, removing features and limiting options is more powerful. Often, it is more effective to ignore the last five exceptions and offer a free-form text field. Always, it is better to provide a few simple tools which play together nicely, so users can combine them in ways you could not even imagine. But that is hard.

Creating good products and finding the simplest solution, is hard. But exactly this challenge makes it fun. We dare to discover, examine, and solve problems of real people. Because, there is no better feeling than seeing someone smile because they love the result.

activities

Here is what we do:

skills

We don’t really believe in the “I know more languages than you”-game, because languages are related. Yet, it is time for some name dropping:

web

HTML and CSS build the foundation for web development. If you want something animated, something that works offline or “client-side” (whatever that means) we use JavaScript with little fairy helpers like jQuery or D3. If you want to build something that saves data “in the cloud” or brings people together, we need a server-side implementation. We love Ruby for that. We recommend the industry-standard Ruby on Rails for a bigger project. For smaller things we roll with Sinatra.

mobile

We are into Apple devices, because they (mostly) just work. So we wrote a couple of apps with Objective-C for iOS. Recently, Apple made the switch to Swift, which is more modern and better suited a fast paced development. We have become more fluent programming iPhone and iPad apps, but we also have a nice Watch app. Android and its use of Java can not be ignored anymore and with the devices being much cheaper and the software right up there with Apple’s, we also use it from time to time.

standalone & backend

Sometimes you need something working the magic in the background. Or you simply need an application that works on a regular desk computer. This is where we also have endless possibilities, but we use Ruby whenever the performance requirements let us. If real-time, mega-optimized code is a must, we need to drop a little development speed and go for C/C++.

maker

The possibilities are endless. There are so many options to solve the demonstrator for the new product idea. So many options to create a rapid prototype. Arduino is great for ideas with real-time requirements and is programmed with C/C++. Raspberry PI and co. are full blown computers, so the choices are endless. We prefer to use Python and Ruby to code our projects. These languages are just awesome to build a quick and yet still a clean solution.

other

It goes without saying, that we test our production code, we actually take time to document and we use versioning with git. The list above is in no way complete and only mentions programming languages/frameworks. The list does not include supporting technologies. There are just too many databases (mysql, couchdb), protocols (http, zmq) and formats (json, yaml) to mention.

Concepts are important, not languages. Don’t hesitate to contact us, even if the technology is not mentioned above.

samples

Mitmachbuch App (iOS, android), an iOS and Android App for a big furniture store. In collaboration with a great illustrator.

wetterbild, a Android App created in 24 hours. Now, we know what to wear for running outside – no matter what weather.

NORT & Hausmeister, unfortunately most of our Rails-work is proprietary and may not be shown publicly.

SRE, a Service Runtime Environment. It is similar to lxc containers for services, but these services can themselves deploy containers. This beast is Ruby-based and unfortunately also proprietary.

eiCompany, a organization tool for small companies, based on Rails 4.

sternenwecker, an Arduino-based light alarm which wakes you gently. We joined the maker community with this project. It is based on C++.

wired.de article, a web security article about a breach we identified – with great press resonance.

BLT Body Language Trainer, award-winning iOS app explaining body language.

youmatch, social memory game for iOS.

AM framework, a Python framework for building Resource Booking entities in a testbed project (had to be renamed).

Demos, we choreograph and implement demos. This example is a networking demo, with lots of Ruby in the backend and Sinatra+Sequel for the web part.

stauAna, a data analysis tool for evaluating car logging data, based on Rails 4.

pulmonary practice, a comprehensive website for friendly client.