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My evolution as a developer: becoming a Full stack developer
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Frank van der Linden    

evolution of a developer

Is the time of the year to have some time to reflect.


Entering the IT

Around 2000 I entered the IT world, first as a Domino Administrator, but after a good talk with a former colleague I made the switch to become a Developer.

So I became Domino Developer and learned Formula language and later Lotusscript. Did some certifications.

When the browser became more important I moved more and more to web development and did some great projects, for example I build the public website of a big insurance company. Was a lot of fun and challenges on such a high traffic website.


Learning Java

Along with these web development projects there was also an increasing amount of Java projects, so I learned Java and did a few nice Java projects. It was really nice to do these Java backend projects, but Front end development was   screaming for my attention



In 2008 IBM introduced XPages, and implementation of JSF. They took 1.1 version and ripped out all the unnecessary parts and added much needed features, which are still not native in the latest greatest version of JSF, like partial refresh. Which the XPages developer took for granted.

I was an early adapter, and despite of the lack of Documentation I liked it. At that time, It was a perfect combination, Java in de the back end, combined with Front end development, like HTML, JS and CSS.

I have build nice solutions.


Going freelance

In 2014 I made the decision to start my own business and became a freelance developer. As a freelancer I followed the money and in the Netherlands there is high demand of Java developer, especially in the enterprise world. So I moved more and more to the JEE world, learned a lot of new tooling, like Maven, Jenkins, JUnit testing and much more…

Most of the applications I build was based on JSF, with a lot of Spring Framework.

Meanwhile there was also time to build more XPages based applications, like the HR Assistant which was our entry of the ICS Development Competition, where we used Cloudant as datastore and IBM Watson to analyse.

I also found some time to learn more of the Salesforce platform, I heard good things about it. I must admit I liked the way Salesforce helping to get new Developers on board, via their Trailhead platform


Full stack

The last months I was looking around to new technology, had a short look at ReactJS. Looks good and very lightweight, the developer descide what should be loaded. Created a very small application.

But now AngularJS 2 has been gone gold, I am learning as much as possible. Took our HR Assistant application as an example and I am busy to rebuild it in AngularJS 2. It is a steep learning curve, but I can get the data from Cloudant, so what could go wrong 😉


Next step

First of January 2017 I will start as full stack Java developer, at a new customer. It will be a very interesting project with lots of new technology like Java, AngularJS, Docker, Salesforce, Websphere Liberty. They are also looking to the cloud, and Bluemix was mentioned.

So interesting times are ahead and I am looking forward to this new step in my career.

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The post My evolution as a developer: becoming a Full stack developer appeared first on elstar IT.

Dec 08, 2016
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Recent Blog Posts
Document Conversion API now open source
Mon, Dec 4th 2017 8:25a   Frank van der Linden
Last Friday I wrote how we implemented Document Conversion in HR Assistant. Part of the solution was a new project, Document Conversion API We decided to open source it. Below I copied the details from the previous post about this new project. Details It is a Spring boot application, which can run stand alone. I have added also Docker support. See the ReadMe for more details Endpoints Url: /api/convert-to-plain-text Method: POST Consumes: File Produces: JSON { “convertedText”: &
HR Assistant – Document Conversion but different
Fri, Dec 1st 2017 10:46a   Frank van der Linden
Document conversion was one of the top items on our backlog which didn’t make it in the final contest version. What is Watson Document Conversion On the Document Conversion API documentation page is the following stated about this service “The IBM Watson™ Document conversion service converts a single HTML, PDF, or Microsoft Word™ document into a normalized HTML, plain text, or a set of JSON-formatted Answer units that can be used with other Watson services. Carefully inspect output
Quick tip: access the application log files on Bluemix
Wed, Nov 15th 2017 1:03p   Frank van der Linden
Last night when I deployed a new version of HR Assistant to Bluemix I ran in some troubles. When the application was deployed and tried to access it via de Application URL I got a 500 internal error. Find the log First step was to open the log page, but was not very explanatory. Next step was to open Kibana. There I found more information. As you can see, I need to consult the error-log-0.xml file for more information The challenge is where to find this log file. Solution I started, in my case
HR Assistant – Hello Domino….
Mon, Nov 13th 2017 7:03a   Frank van der Linden
While we developed HR Assistant it ran smoothly on a Domino server, but it was not using some strength of Domino, security. Run on Domino I made HR Assistant aware of the runtime it runs on, it ‘knows’ when it runs on Bluemix. If that is the case our own developed login features comes in place, but… When it runs on Domino it will enforce the ACL, which gave great advantages, by assign groups to the 3 roles of the application, HR, JobApplicant and Administrator. In the end you a
Quick tip: Make a backup of your Cloudant database
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 3:04p   Frank van der Linden
For HR Assistant, we use Cloudant database as storage of the data on the IBM Cloud Today I was thinking about ‘what if we loose our data as something goes wrong’. It is not likeable, but still possible. Make a backup On IBM Cloud, there is documentation about making a backup of your data. So installed the npm package couchbackup  and run the command as described in the documentation.] I changed only to store the output as a JSON file. When I run the command I hit an error about au
HR Assistant – now available in every language
Wed, Nov 1st 2017 6:58p   Frank van der Linden
One of the latest features I had add to HR Assistant is multi language support. It was obvious we needed this new features, as not the whole world is talking English One of my goals was to make it as configurable as possible. Default language The default language of the application is still English. All the labels are stored in the application it self as a property file if there are no languages configured these property file will be loaded. On the overview page of the languages is the possibil
HR Assistant – what happened since last year
Fri, Oct 27th 2017 11:12a   Frank van der Linden
Last year I won together with Frédéric Dehédin the ICS Developer Contest 2016 with our HR Assistant application, a cognitive solution to help the HR department with of IBM Watson services. As required the code was open sourced at a public Github repository. What happened with HR Assistant since that moment? From public to closed First thing was to take the code back In the final stage of the development we were not able to include all the features we wanted upfront. So we skipped some featu
Domino Version 10 and Beyond – a few toughts
Thu, Oct 26th 2017 6:52a   Frank van der Linden
Yesterday Inhi Cho Suh announced the strategic partnership between IBM and HCL to move the Notes and Domino Family forward. In 2018 a brand new version, 10, will be released. For lots of customers who have invested in Domino applications it is very good news. Less need to move away to other products. IBM will be organising jams, to define the future of the product. It is a great opportunity to show interest in the product and what you think is most important in the product. Sign up know to kee
IBM Champion nominations 2018 are open
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 2:27p   Frank van der Linden
It is the time of the year again. Time to thanks your favourite IBM technology expert by nominate them as IBM Champion 2018. More details on this blog post by the Libby Ingrassia, the overall IBM Champion manager, or watch the video below. The deadline to nominate is November 13th, so start nominating today, https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/champion/?ca=dw-_-IBMChampion-_-dwtv-Featured-_-category by The post IBM Champion nominations 2018 are open appeared first on elstar IT.
Spring boot and Thymeleaf – rapid application development
Fri, Oct 20th 2017 6:02p   Frank van der Linden
At one of my customers I was able to use to build an application with preview functionality of a business critical application. As usual the business wants this application as soon as possible. So the obvious choice was Spring boot in combination with Thymeleaf. Spring Boot Spring boot created spring based applications which can run as a runnable jar, with embedded a Tomcat server. But a Spring boot application can with a few tweaks run on a Websphere Application Server or Websphere Liberty Pro

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