On the 30th of October Wilderness Labs launched a Kickstarter campaign to launch Meadow; a full-stack .NET Standard IoT platform. It achieved its funding in less than a day. So why is Meadow so special … Meadow is .NET running on a microcontroller not a microprocessor.
Micro controllers are the future of connected devices - they are cheaper, use less energy and work more easily with sensors than their microprocessor cousins. The downside is that microcontrollers are normally programmed using C/C++ whereas Applicita like many other software companies has extensive skill investments in higher order languages and tooling such as C#, Visual Studio and Visual Studio Dev Ops (formally VSTS).
Let that sink in for a moment … you can now use full .NET Standard 2.0 on real IoT hardware.
This allows for re-use of existing and familiar code libraries and shared logic between the IoT device on the edge and the cloud backends.
Here at Applicita we have first-hand experience of how complex delivering end to end IoT solutions can be. We needed skills in C/C++, knowledge of ARM processors and PIC microcontrollers; built custom solutions for Unit Testing and Continuous deployment and over the air firmware upgrades.
We needed to build intelligence into our backend systems to cope with edge case device behaviour in the field. This resulted in natural silos within the team of skills which we couldn’t easily transfer across team members… all doable but complex…
We believe passionately in pioneering technology and as early adopters we can’t wait to start this incredible journey with the Meadow development platform and Meadow F7 board so please come and join us and back their Kickstarter campaign.
So, did Wilderness Labs just make .NET history … We think so.
CEO & Founder
What is it like to work in a different language to your own? How do staff collaborate with colleagues from all over the world? - Read the story of one of Applicitas talented software developers.
Gagik Kyurkchyan hails from Armenia – A country with a long history that has re-introduced itself to the global community since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Geographically it borders Georgia, Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan with a population of around 3 million. It has a growing economy and IT is becoming increasingly vital to the nations’ wealth.
As a child Gagik started learning English at the age of 7 and was always interested in technology. Once completing high school Gagik had the opportunity to study either Architecture or Informatics/Applied Mathematics at university in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. He chose the latter option at which point he also decided to increase his knowledge of English realising that this would increase his earning potential as his career progressed. After graduating in 2011 Gagik also undertook a masters degree in IT Management.
Gagiks first step into the world of employment was with an Armenian software development firm who produce ERP solutions in the accounting industry. His expertise at the time was firmly in the Microsoft suite of platforms and frameworks - specifically WPF, ASP.Net and WCF. After a period of time Gagik also taught himself from scratch iOS development skills at which point he decided to become a freelancer. Throughout this period Gagiks English had improved to a level where he passed the international Test of English as a Foreign Language with flying colours scoring a very credible 112/120 in the exam.
A couple of weeks ago we attended Intersolar Europe which is the world's largest exhibition for the solar industry – It took place in Munich from June 19th - June 22nd.
Having worked in solar energy, particularly the Pay as You Go market, for several years now we wanted to see for ourselves where the global market might be heading especially in this rarefied time of concern over the environment and potential over-use of other natural resources such as oil and gas.
Truth be told the author of this blog had never really been up close and personal with a photovoltaic solar panel unit before, and this was clearly the right place to be to change that as there really were a lot of different models being exhibited. What was really interesting was how inefficient the panels still are which goes to show that although the industry is rapidly developing it still has a long way to go to ensure that the sunlight being sourced is as effective as it could be.
We did see some examples of absolutely enormous solar panel power plants particularly in countries such as China including a floating plant built on the top of an old deserted coal mine - A real life example of directly moving from fossil fuel to solar! We were keen to try and establish a bit more about how different organizations monitor the distribution network and had some good conversations around this.
We viewed some exciting solar power generated electric vehicles including cars that could motor up to around 40 mph and travel over 100 miles before needing to re-charge. There were also other modes of transport that were displayed which left us with lots of food for thought.
As for the trip itself – Well the hotel wasn't quite 'over the road' from the exhibition halls but the exhibition was organized as one might expect – very well and with the typical efficiency we used to associate with the German national football team.......
Hopefully we will be using some of the knowledge we gained in our future ventures to work alongside companies to make best use of our non-fossil fuel resources across the globe – Watch this space!
Applicita and me and the power of the internet
So it seems I have the honour of writing the first blog since Applicita relaunched its website and social media presence.......
Where to start? Well I have known John Kattenhorn, Chief Architect and Founder, for a decade now and was so happy to recently get back in contact with him especially when he explained to me some of the opportunities I might have within Applicita. I was won over by the description John provided me of the work he and his team have carried out recently especially in Africa but I also couldn't help but notice there was nowhere on-line I could find this out for myself.
So, my first real job at Applicita has been to work with our Managing Director, Marie Grainger, to re-write our company website to reflect the core values of excellence in planning, execution and delivery that Applicita holds and to demonstrate why custom software solutions can make such a difference to an organisation. In this process I have learnt that John and Marie make a great team and never disagree.....I mean hardly ever disagree.....and that both style and substance are useful when creating something new and explaining why we do what we do.
I have really enjoyed documenting not only the success stories but also the people information and trying to give a flavour of what it's like to work for Applicita. Because John and Marie are partners at home and at work they see the people who they employ as an extension of their family – regardless of where they are in the world - which makes it even easier for me to do my best for them. We have a company get together coming up in Poland later on this year that I know we are all looking forward to and there will be plenty of photos being taken so watch this space!
I have also been learning plenty from Marie about exciting things like Search Engine Optimisation which I had previously had no real exposure of that will hopefully push Applicita up the rankings too.
What's really exciting for me is that both John and Marie are allowing me to research into possible new markets which is great. It's quite an open-ended challenge at the moment and we are all working really hard to attract the right custom base and to make our brand bigger. The fact that we already have a presence in different corners of the globe helps of course but the world is still a big place even if companies like Applicita are doing their best to make it more connected.
John prides himself on his vision for a world class software delivery solutions company and I will do all I can to ensure that we keep to his very high standards in everything I do for Applicita.
If you have enjoyed reading this then thank you...If not...well thank you anyway!
Head of Applicita Business Development