This February issue should have been out about 10 days earlier. I usually sit down and write it during the weekend before the first of the month. The reason I'm late this time is that last weekend we had something else on the menu.
We attended our 2nd edition of Startup Weekend Cluj-Napoca. It's a 54h event that aims to kickstart your startup idea and get you working on it. Aaand... we won. Here's a picture of our team, Engage, while receiving the award:
And a few minutes before, waiting for the results:
We had two teams working the last weekend, Muffi and Engage. Muffi is an educational app for kids. Its mission is to bring back to life classic romanian fairy tales. They're presented in-app, in a comic-book-horizontal-scroll kind of fashion. It's really interesting how you can control your progress through the story by horizontal-scrolling. It feels good.
Engage is an app that aims to increase employee engagement through challenges. It started out in our own company, with The Weight-Loss Challenge, on pen and paper... aaa, I mean pixels and spreadsheets. The mechanism is simple: there's a challenge every week and you get points by accomplishing the tasks. Easy, right? Well, maybe. It just happened that the Walk to Work Week was during the coldest week of this winter. And you gotta do what you gotta do to get those points and keep yourself up in the rankings. People walked to work at -9 degrees.
That's the story of how Engage came out to exist and eventually win Startup Weekend. It's an app that proposes challenges from a large range of domains, from fitness to reading or cooking. And it keeps you engaged because you're competing against your colleagues. The mission is to make a teambuilding experience out of every single day.
Now, I also wanted to talk about writing error messages and release notes, but I'll leave it for another time. Here's what we've been reading this February.
- How you can train an AI to convert your design mockups into HTML and CSS
Generating front-end components out of Sketch files would really really speed up the workflow, right? Then you'd only have to worry about your application core logic. Recommended by Darius.
- Entity Component Systems in Elixir
Classical OOP inhertiance vs Entity Component Systems. Recommended by Cosmin.
Write a simple function that takes a String an returns a new String with all its words having the first letter capitalized. Write it in an imperative way and then refactor it in a functional manner.
- The story behind how Pocket hit 20M users with 20 people
A startup study of a product I use for keeping track of the articles I (and my colleagues) read.
P.S. Check out the Engage case study!