Triple Fresh and Staying Strong

It’s been a banner year for Fresh Consulting and I feel like I was just writing my two year followup and here we are at three years! We were we received an award as the 6th fastest growing company in the Puget Sound Business Journal. We’ve expanded our core team by nearly a dozen people, and the amazing projects that we get to work on continues to increase. We also ran 200 miles together at the Ragnar Northwest Passage (as well as again this year in a couple of months!). It’s been a whirlind time.

Professionally it has been another amazing year. I realize that I haven’t blogged as much about the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way, but part of that has been that I’ve been so busy jumping from project to project that I haven’t put muy thoughts down on the matter. So much so I’ve “re-applied” Kanban and Pomodoro to my “getting things done” activities with great success.

Probably the “banner” of my previous year has been working with Microsoft Azure. We have built an infrastructure for a new client that is amazingly scalable and easy to deploy. We have an automated import job that receives data from their mainframe computer and loads it into our local database for viewing with lightning speed. We can scale up (or down) our resources as needed and there is no headache with managing servers or upgrades, or compatiblity issues. It all “just works”. The front end of the app is written using Twitter Bootstrap and DataTables.net, which gives the user powerful speed and flexibility with sorting a lot of data without lots of round trips to the database. All of this is only phase 1 of the project and we’re building new things for Phase 2 and Azure doesn’t even flinch.

Another item just coming on the horizon is the use of Amazon CloudSearch with the S3 bucket we’ve setup for a client. They have a huge document store they keep online and thanks to the abilities of CloudSearch we are going to be able to build an index of searchable information for these documents. The building and modification of these indexes is all done through simple REST calls, so there is no heavy library to load into the system or heavy syntax/formatting to try and work through. JSON and REST make for some beautiful tech.

The last “tech item” of note has been the creative and developmental process of a new online sharing service I’ve had the privelege of working through. It’s a blend of Facebook and Google+ where you collaborate with family and friends on specific events in your life. There have been a lot of developmental iterations on it and figuring out just the right balance between security and openness, and managing that all in code has been a challenge that I’ve enjoyed.

Ultimately I can only reiterate a lot of the things I said last year. I work in an environment where my ideas are respected (and relied upon), which you can’t always find in this profession. The amount of new and creative technologies that I get to work with is mind blowingly fun. I have the flexibility of working from home, which has been even more of a blessing this year as we’ve balanced out some family issues along the way. I’m one of those rare people in this day and age that get to work in their “dream job” and I can’t thank the Fresh team enough for that! I’m looking forward to another three-peat of Fresh goodness! Thank you Fresh!

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