The past year has brought again something new for Kisko. It has been a year of growth in many ways. We have grown up in terms of our internal processes, picked up speed, powered up. We now have more people, more projects, and bigger projects. Despite the economic situation our customers are doing well, which of course means a lot to us.
It’s time to take a look back and list some of our achievements in 2014.
- Started to build Aalto University Student Union’s new housing system
- Kickstarted Creagent, the Nordic Design Broker
- Helped Muuvit build their platform combining children’s education and exercise further.
- The long-term development of Akselworks, Finadvice Sky, Kopla and Sito’s Kaiku project continued. Listened to the people using the products and responded with constant releases of improvements.
- Helped launch Geocollectors in Russia and Asia — the platform that enables you to purchase and collect pieces of wilderness from unique landscapes around the world.
- Implemented the pilot of Pronouncer, a native language identification tool aimed to support the work of border authorities among others.
- Website development for Hello Ruby, a children’s book and technology learning adventure universe for children, invented by our friend Linda Liukas.
- Got to put our design knowhow to use in a very interesting project for a major Finnish broadcasting company with the great people of Gapps.
- Began to work with Beddit: one of the most promising startups featured in this year’s Slush conference.
- Helped the good people at Valuecode, Devlab and Digile on their technology, processes and business by offering our advice and coaching.
- Started to work with a super secret health startup, more about that next year. ;)
- Took great leaps in the development of our own product WODconnect. Our user base grew from 19 000 to 35 000 and we acquired a US based competitor, WODstack.
- Published this new site of ours!
- This year the amount of development happening in the frontend continued to increase. Gained a lot more experience with frontend JS libraries like Angular and Backbone and are currently collaborating with Toni Seppälä on a few Angular projects.
- Moved to using more SVG and started using more CSS animation where it fits.
- Really pushed the envelope on using Mapbox with complex customized illustrated maps and improving our understanding on GeoJSON. Looked at the future of maps with the Mapbox Studio product.
- We use Heroku for most of our hosting, but certain projects are hosted on their own hardware. This year we started using Ansible as our go-to tool for administrating our server setups.
- We’ve used Travis CI for our continuous integration needs for a longer while, but this year we implemented other services to improve our development work: Code Climate for giving an opinion of our code quality and Gemnasium to keep track of our dependencies and make sure the libraries we use are updated to the latest, secure releases.
- Organized the fourth Frozen Rails conference with 11 excellent speakers and 180 attendees from at least 17 countries.
- Had a breakfast seminar with Sampo Sammalisto, telling us and some of our clients the secrets of staying on top of things when the things get hectic.
- Participated to the startup and technology conference Slush and met bunch of people whose tools we use.
- Took part to Management Events’ Service Design event, where Antti A. had a chance to share our thoughts about prototypes in his 7 minute presentation.
- Vesa gave a talk at a Continuous Delivery seminar about what Kisko does to keep the development and product improvements rolling.
- The company grew by 50%, from 6 to 9 Kiskonians.
- Jasmina joined the team in the beginning of the year to support our sales processes, marketing and boost the product development and marketing of WODconnect and make it even more awesome.
- Sami followed as we felt a need for his great graphic design skills, huge enthusiasm to learn some frontend development and his all in all positive attitude.
- Later this year we welcomed a new developer, Joni H., who has already put his skills to use with our client Valuecode and brought fresh thoughts into their software development.
- Between work hours our people have also had time and energy for personal projects.
- Matias created gemsear.ch for Rails Rumble 2014 and published a new version of Piranhas. Also started a new hobby: all-grain beer making, and even published Beer Styles, his first iOS app.
- Joni K. obtained an Oculus Rift Development Kit and began using it to study how UI design will work in virtual reality and augmented reality, attempting to get ahead of the curve with these new fields of technology.
- Antti A. continued operating the growing community of CrossFit Herttoniemi, where also Sami found a new hobby of which he’s writing blog posts from the beginners perspective in the WODconnect Blog.
- Jasmina continued her studies in the university and finally took some time to write her Bachelor’s thesis. She’s looking forward to finish her Master’s degree in International Marketing Management in the coming year, but still prefers investing most of her time in learning in practice, with Kisko.
- Vesa read 40+ books, continued to fumble at CrossFit and thought way too much about single-page web apps.
That’s our list; what did you ship in 2014?
Our whole team wants to thank our amazing clients for making people happy with us again this year. We are looking forward to continuing creating with you, meeting new people, finding new ideas and building a lot of new tools on the web.