Web developer is a dream job? One week to discover

We welcomed Baptiste, 14 years, in our Lausanne Office. One week of “trial internship” to understand what it is to be a dev. What could I teach him in such a short time? Read this post to discover what I organised for him and how it went.

Dev step by step

Baptiste was visiting us to discover the different facets of our job, in view to better know what he wants to do later. This week was a professional orientation internship. Taking this issue very seriously, I have given much thoughts on how to prepare a broad, dense and accessible program.

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TEDxCERN: Don’t be afraid of technology

Technology is just a tool! In one of the most prestigious place for researches, brilliant scientists shared their inspiration during a whole afternoon. Ripples of curiosity was the theme. This is my report of the conference.

Some people travel to visit the CERN, whereas I had never been there. It is not an impressive building lost in the middle of a green field in the countryside of Geneva like I pictured it. It is lost in a suburban area and the building is not high. Rather, it has long, never-ending corridors filled with doors leading to little offices. It’s very quiet, people whispers there. It looks nothing like the big open space that I am used to. However the people I listened too, have the same conviction about their projects.

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Hacking with Particle server and spark firmware

The particle server

In my previous blog post, I wrote about the concept of my project using particle. Now I will explain what I had to do to increase the data rate transfer of my modules (remember, my goal is to get data  with the closest data transfer of 1 [ms] ).

First, I installed the local Api server (https://github.com/spark/spark-server).

Then I had to register all of my photon’s public key on my server and the server public key on my photons.

Using this command :

Then, I launched the server to see if my photons were responding with something like this :

So from here all was working fine but what I also needed to use there is JS library to get data from OAuth. The thing is that you have to do a lot of configurations if you want to make it works but in this project it was not the goal. I had to test as quickly as possible. So I did what you usually do not have to do with a library installed via npm.

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When music and dance meet web technologies

Who am I ?

I’m Jordan Assayah, I am 18 years old and am currently working at Liip as a trainee from February 1st to August 31st. My main job is to work in a team and develop new functionalities for the zebra project. I’m also a dancer (especially a tap dancer) and love music. Every year since ~ 4 / 5 years , I go to the tapdance world championships to represent Switzerland.

Personal project

After 4 months of really nice integration in the team, I’ve asked to David J. if it was possible to restart a project that I was developing at home. The main goal of the project is to produce music over WIFI with little and cheap modules (because I’m a student) that you can put on your shoes and control the whole thing from a web application where you can choose sounds for sensors, the velocity, the volume, etc.

I was searching for good and cheap modules for a long time and I finally found something : ParticleIO. They sell WIFI and GSM modules arduino compatible. The perfect microcontroller for the project. So I’ve bought two of those and try to use them. The cool thing about it is that there are multiple tools like a Particle CLI, a dashboard to sniff data, an online IDE (little bit weird, I know), a Particle JS library, an IOS and Android SDK, a firmware documentation and the best for the end, a local REST API server.

So far, I’ve only hacked a little bit the local server to let WIFI modules send data much faster (about 80 |  70 [ms]). This let me make a lot of queries in a second and allows the app to be a “Real Time App”. I did, but not yet completed, the interface that let user choose sounds, activate /deactivate sensors, etc.

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Rebranding – a symbolic move to recover from an economic downturn?

Swiss marketing Vaud
Conference 2016.04.12
Revamping the Identity of an Iconic Technology Brand: Logitech

Rodrigo Castaňeda, Head of Brand Experience

Logitech

© Atelier Kaïros photos

Logitech’s rebranding was qualified as the most ambitious brand transformation in its 30+ year history’ in the summary of the conference. It was intended to reflect the company’s commitment to design and its transformation into a stronger, multi-category technology brand.
I was particularly interested in listening to Rodrigo Castaňeda and on which perspective he would adopt to explain Logitech’s rebranding. Not only thanks to swissmarketing’s appealing summary but especially because I think that there is nothing challenging like crisis communication or management. In those situations we learn the most and get to understand, in retrospect, from the weight of our decisions. The way a company tells its history is revealing of its essence.

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3 recommendations to men who are going to be dads

… and that don’t want to fall into the traditional trap 

Liip will have many babies this year! And I mean real, human babies. Two expectant male Liipers asked me*: “How shall I prepare for it? Do I have to watch out for something in particular?”

Well, yes, I think there are three often unconscious developments to watch out for and I describe those below. But: These three are only important to those future dads who want
a. a profound relationship with their children
b. an intellectually satisfied woman at their side.

In short: if you do not want to live by the “traditional” model – meaning: having little bonding to the child, working 100% and your wife staying at home, responsible for kids and household – then the following recommendations are for you. For those readers who cannot say yes to a. and b., you rather stop reading as then this is not for you.

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This blog is now faster than ever

After we changed silently to using WordPress a few weeks ago for this blog (from the ageing Flux CMS software), we now also upgraded the server software to the latest and greatest versions. We finally use HHVM 3.6, nginx with SPDY 3.1 support, deliver everything in SSL only (but of course redirect from port 80), updated our certificate to use SHA256, disabled all “known-as-weak” ciphers and protocols (sorry IE 6 users), do OCSP Stapling and even send an HSTS header for being extra secure. We also switched to a server not on the edge of the continent anymore and deliver it additionally via IPv6.

With all that, this site should be faster and more secure than ever. Enjoy!

(We also applied the SSL/SPDY settings to www.liip.ch, so you may enjoy a better experience there as well)

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3 days with a WP7 phone

Disclaimer: this is a personal review, about what I liked and not liked about the phone, not about what you may like or not. So I miss maybe some points, but not because i think they are not important, I just don’t need or care about them.

I ordered an “Windows Phone 7” Phone for Liip for testing purposes. I just got the “cheapest” one, an HTC Trophy (but with CHF 530.- not really cheap) . I now tested it over the weekend as my primary phone and here’s some short roundup:

  • It’s a nice phone with a good build quality and good large screen, I guess it’s HTC standard stuff.
  • It’s easy to get used to. Most stuff is quite intuitive, the design is “refreshing” and if you know how to use an iPhone, you won’t have much troubles using this.
  • The built-in apps like mail, SMS, Phone, Calendar are ok and up to par with what’s one used to on smartphones. Good enough for everyday use. Certainly room for improvements, but almost every mobile OS I know has this.

= The “Hub” concept is overrated. Facebook integration into contacts for example. I don’t use Facebook much, but still if I would, it’s not that great. And integration with other services like Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing is totally missing. webOS 2.0 for example has a similar concept (with Synergy) but allows developers to add such integration into contacts.
= It’s clearly 1.0. It doesn’t have obvious bugs or crashes, but missing functionality like copy&paste
= 3rd party apps are either not there or not polished enough, but that’s maybe gonna change.
= Battery: Doesn’t look better than on the iPhone or any other Smartphone. With heavy use, you need to charge sooner than your workday is over.

  • No (3rd party) multi-tasking, not even the fake one from the iPhone (suspend the app on exit). The apps (especially 3rd party apps) always start from the beginning when re-opened, highly annoying.
  • The Web-Browser. It does a good job on displaying normal webpages (and it’s as fast as the others), but as it’s based on IE7/8 it has not a single html5 feature. On http://html5test.com/ it does 12 out 300 points. Therefore html5/Niwea apps will have a hard time on this phone.

Summary: It’s a nice phone, easy to use with a good look&feel. If you “just” need it for the stuff natively included (phoning, SMS-ing, mailing with not too many accounts or folders, surfing around, listening to music and gaming) and don’t need 3rd party apps, I guess you won’t be disappointed. BUUUUT, IMHO, it does nothing better (i care about) than the other smart phones, but the other smart phones do a lot of stuff better then WP7. More 3rd party apps, more open, multi-tasking, better future-proof browsers and so on. I see no reason, why one should buy a WP7 phone, when there’s Android or the iPhone to have. You just get less and not one single aspect is better. I guess it’s around iOS 2.0 feature wise, and that’s more than 2 years old. And that sums it up pretty good: It’s a nice phone, as the original iPhone was, but in 2010 that’s just not enough to be able to compete. Microsoft has still a lot to catch up here, and I’m really wondering if that’s gonna work out.

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Vote for PROGR – Bern’s free art space

pro progr banner

What used to be a school right in the heart of Switzerland’s capital, is now a bustling space for the arts. A couple of years ago, the city of Bern granted this building be used temporarily as studios, performance venue, exhibition space and offices for art professionals and institutions. This space called PROGR has become renowned and appreciated throughout Switzerland for it’s lively scene and events programme.

The temporary lease ends next month and the art space is to make room for a private investor’s health center. The current inhabitants have organized themselves and managed to come up with enough funding to match the price the private investor would have to pay. The city council reacted favourably to the idea of making the current art space a permanent thing and now it is up to the citizens of Bern to vote.

Liip is already supporting PROGR financially and we are naturally in strong favour of keeping this great institution alive.
We call on anyone able to vote in Bern to put in a YES for the artists initiative “Pro Progr” and a NO to the health center “Doppelpunkt” on May 17th.

Visit the initiative’s website

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google buys endoxon

More on endoxon.com and the new spin-off mappuls

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