August 27, 2015

3D printed guys and Arduino boards at our office

Adding a hardware notification channel to your build server

Like most other software companies, we, at willhaben, use a build server to support our continuous integration development environment. A lot of developers check in their code in our git repository and sometimes the build is broken because of compilation errors or tests that do no longer pass. Build servers like QuickBuild or TeamCity have notification systems that are able to e.g. send information about a broken build to the developers via email or other channels.

As we love to play with technical stuff we have built a new channel for these notifications that show us the build status even if you don't have your mail client running or desktop notifications are not enabled. This channel looks like this:

August 19, 2015

Bring your app to your watch: Hello Pebble

At the time of writing this, more and more "wearable devices" make it to the market. Apple started its Apple Watch with mediocre success, but others performed much better: the pebble time smartwach was the most funded kickstarter project so far. Among the kickstarter funders were a few collegues at willhaben (including me), and when the watch finally arrived a few weeks ago, I was excited to try out the CloudPebble IDE for creating watchfaces and apps.

Right from the start pebble provides rich documentation for developers. Apps can be created in two flavours:
  • using the native SDK (C language)
  • using the javascript SDK
What's the difference? Apart from the language, the major difference is how (and where) the app runs: while the native app is runs directly on the watch, the javascript app always needs a bluetooth connected phone where the app resides.  The javascript app only exchanges messages with your pebble, which in turn draws the userinterface, handles user interaction and so on. With the native SDK, you have to do all this by hand.