Time to take a look at what actually happened during the past year at Kisko Labs. When last year was already a year of growth for us, this year didn’t slow us down. We are now a team of eleven people building the web in a bigger and brighter office in Sörnäinen, Helsinki. Here’s a list of things we shipped during the year 2015 and a quick glance to some personal projects of our team members.
- Launched Domo with Aalto University Student Union, a new housing system for students.
- Started to build PopUp-koulu, a tool that helps schools to organize learning workshops.
- Helped Appgyver create a new version of Composer, an app for building apps for enterprise use.
- Continued the design work with our long term client Gapps. Powerful Google Apps-based enterprise intranet Universe will be launched in spring 2016.
- Continued working with the digital tools of Kopla Helsinki and Powermemo.
- Launched Kisko Ventures for startups.
- Built more handy tools for our own use. One to calculate and mark our vacations, another to handle our expenses quickly, and a third one to create presentations more easily.
- The Helsinki Open Device Lab came back to Kisko. It was established to help the local web developer community to be able to test their work on the ever-growing range of mobile devices.
- Continued to share more stories about our work.
- Developed a frontend application for Nixu.
- Started to work with Platebank.
- Started a Kisko book club in the fall. It’s not mandatory and pretty casual. Participants choose a book to read. It is read couple of chapters per week and discussed in the group. People take varying amount of notes and usually the discussion takes 30–60 minutes. The books we’ve read have been:
- Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin
- SQL Antipatterns by Bill Karwin
- and currently we are reading: Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer by Michael Swaine & Paul Freiberger
The biggest technical change for us was focusing more clearly on using React on the front-end. Previously we have used Backbone, Angular and Ember as much as React but this year React has been picked for projects more often than previously and we have been happy with the choice.
- Hosted two breakfast seminars about useful tools for better health and better work.
- Organized a two-day Kisko Health Hackathon, where we came up with three health related products: Movodoro, FixMyDiet and KiskoFit.
- Participated in organizing more Rails Girls workshops.
- Two new, awesome Kiskonians joined the company: Henri Nikka and Ville Ikonen.
- Joni K. studied a whole bunch of development related things (Meteor, React, MongoDB) and became more self-sufficient as a result, turning more towards front-end development from being just a web designer. Also learned a lot about game development as well as 3D and virtual reality, and started exploring zoomable user interfaces by releasing a new personal site.
- Joni H. started CrossFit and quit drinking energy drinks.
- Vesa became a daddy as daughter Isla was born. He also read 70 books. This year at work he has been living in the frontend.
- Virgil bought a motorcycle and went on a 4000 km road trip after 10 years of not riding. He also participated in the development of the housing web application, Domo, for AYY, implemented Popup Koulu service and continued improving the Muuvit service. He also started meditating and he’s nowadays using Facebook’s React framework for frontend development.
- Antti S. held an expert talk at a Service Design event, improved his Rails proficiency while pairing more with developers, took part in larger writing projects, met many old and new friends on lunches and improved his personal terminal and development setup.
- Antti A. built Kisko Suits and Kisko Expenses as personal projects, stepped up his sales game and of course continued to manage his CrossFit gyms.
- Sami has focused on healthier lifestyle; improved his diet and used a bike for commuting regularly. He also realised it is possible to surf here in Finland after all, and has been reading the wind and wave forecasts ever since hoping for storms to come.
- Jasmina continued balancing between work and studies (and a bit of traveling), and focused in completing most of her master’s degree in international marketing management.
We are doing what we love. Huge thanks from the whole team to all clients and partners for continuing to make it possible!
What did you ship this year? What will you ship next year?