All our apps and web services rely heavily on powerful server side processing. So we find more of our time is spent doing projects in/on ‘the cloud(s)’.
We mainly work with Digital Ocean and Amazon Web Services, and have also configured Microsoft and Google Cloud offerings too.
Spending many formative (OK well 20’s-30’s) years configuring and building Linux PCs & set top boxes gives us a good insight into what’s going on ‘behind the scenes’ of the AWS console / command line. We used to be plugging IDE / PCI / PCIe boards / devices together, formatting hard disks then grabbing a coffee while the OS installation from CD-ROM chunters away. Followed by a scrabble around the web for various drivers.
These days, with an AWS Elastic Compute instance, some storage, some clever back-end frameworks (we like PHP Laravel) and a sprinkling of caching and DNS config, you’re up and running (well after some fiddly installs and config you are).
Add in some cloud monitoring and alerts and your server will be there when you need it.
We have also experimented with more sophisticated offerings like Elastic Beanstalk. Complex beasts, but useful if your traffic is very (and I mean very) bursty. Spot instances often work out cheaper.
As well as ‘cloudy stuff’, we’ve been porting an Ionic Framework / CouchDB Windows Phone 8.1 app to Windows Phone 10. Plus developing an Android version of a footie stats app, extending the iOS version (both native Java ADK and Objective C) and adding some real time updates courtesy of Pusher.com.
We’ve been talking to potential interns and sponsoring the odd event (like Southampton Code Dojo). We’re doing something with prosthetics and orthotics data. And trying to cram in some time to play with our new HTC Vive VR headset (which is really impressive).
Plus reading many interesting tech articles. IEEE Spectrum is today’s pick.