Summing up the last two and a half years - Bye bye SQLink


It was absolutely brilliant.

I started to work for SQLink on late December 2005 as a Team Leader in the Web Projects Department.

Colleaged by Oren Ellenbogen, it has been a pleasure. Our department head, Moti, was doing the best he can to create a very likeable working environment, and all our developers were enjoing a workplace that enabled them to learn a lot. Oren and I were directing all kinds of sessions with the developers, showing them stuff about .NET and the CLR, from “what are nullables”, through “What does the ‘using’ reserved word mean”, to “how the GC is actually working”.

We have built this great website called GotFriends, that gave the company a great new source for recruiting new employees, and actually is ground breaking in the Israeli HR world. Building that site, we’ve used many technologies to make it work smoothly with the company’s inner legacy HR system, and with the aid of the SQL master Moran Benisty, it even worked in an efficient way, and coded in a maintainable manner.

Mixing WebForms and Monorail, CodeSmith based BLL with ActiveRecord/NH, ASP.NET WebServices (asmx) and POX/JSON services, it was a very fun thing to work on, in addition to the business benefit to the company.

However, a few months ago the Web Project Department was closed, and the company started a new R&D team, leadedby Elad, the company’s VP of Business Development. We were two developers (Moran and I), and we worked on several initiatives that the CEO Tamir, and Elad, were cooking all the time. Those projects wereall Community-Driven-So-Called-Web-2.0-Kinda-Websites. It was a real delight, and I got the chance to learn a lot about the business side of running an Internet related initiative, as both Tamir and Elad are experienced and intelligent, and the process of refining ideas, with those two, was a real treat.

They also gave me the freedom to make all the technology decisions, and they’ve had enough faith in me to allow me run the projects using MonoRail and AspView, and running Castle ActiveRecord for DB access. Actually, most of the drive behind creating AspView was actually driven by Elad and Tamir, as I’ve promised to do the best I can to make sure that future additions to the team won’t need to learn Boo / Velocity in addition to learn the Monorail MVC and hql.

Which actually worked great. Moran has left the team about two months ago, and we’ve brought three new guys along (Ili, Ofir and last but not least, Itay), and they have seam to easily get control of all the “funky” technologies I’ve put in use in our projects.

Sadly enough, one of the initiatives has stalled just before airing, due to some business decisions. Then we started a new one, and in about 3 weeks we’ve had a working proof-of-concept, and I really hope that the site will air during August. I give the credit to the team, and to the use of MonoRail/ActiveRecord, as it’s such agile and suits highly-changing-environment, as most web initiatives are.

A point of interest: This very blog’s engine was actually a beta testing for some of the stuff we were using on our last project.

That’s it folks. I wish the SQLink family all the best, and I’m going to keep an eye on the cool stuff the R&D team is doing, and hopefully I’ll report on their success (which would be an AspView success too …) right here on my blog.

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