The Year 2015: A Summary

This post was originally published on the Elabs blog, before Elabs and Varvet joined forces.

I missed my annual recap last year, mostly because I was tired after a very stressful year, but it’s time to pick up the tradition again. Here are some of the highlights from 2015.

Client projects

We had another year of great client collaborations. During the first half of the year we worked on several interesting projects together with Purpose, including a social media monitoring dashboard for the climate change awareness campaign Here Now, the One Second March campaign, and other work for non-profits like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Oxfam. We also helped our friends at Oktavilla with some work on UNICEF.se.

We were also fortunate to work with great companies like Telenor Connexion with their Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform, and Blue Box with their private cloud solution. Both of those projects are continuing next year too.

We continued working with some of our exciting startup clients, like Naturkartan and Pinracer. We also worked with FootballAddicts on our first real Elixir project. We hope to do more Elixir in 2016, so get in touch if you need any Elixir help.

Naturkartan

Towards the end of the year we got into online newspaper design with Mitt i, something we're also hoping to do more of in 2016.

ProjectPuzzle

In between client projects we finally found time to launch a brand new version of our team scheduling SaaS product ProjectPuzzle. We’ve continued to improve it throughout the year, and we have much more planned. For me personally, it is completely indispensable to running the Elabs consulting business. It let’s me see our utilization at a glance, and keep track of who’s working on what project and when. And with the improvements we’re making, pretty soon it will be a full solution to managing a client services business.

ProjectPuzzle

Flip

During Lab Days and downtime between client projects Anders and Robin created our first own iOS app: Flip, a beautiful version of the classic board game Reversi. Flip is free on the App Store, give it a try!

Flip Reversi game

Journeyman tour visit

In June we had a visit from Lennart who spent a week with us as part of his journeyman tour. Lennart is always a vitamin injection, and we really enjoyed having him with us. We finished the week with a Lab Day where we did some Elixir and Phoenix mob programming. Great fun!

Lennart wrote a blog post about his journeyman visit with Elabs, you should read it.

Lennart's visit

Nordic Ruby and True North reunion

After running conferences for 5 years straight we decided to take a break during 2015 to catch our breath a bit. We couldn’t stay away from our regular venue Yasuragi completely though, so in early July we held at Nordic Ruby and True North reunion where we invited past attendees to come hang out with us in the serene Japanese spa in the Stockholm archipelago. To our delight, we had quite a few attendees come from as far away as the US to spend the weekend with us!

Reunion at Yasuragi

While it was nice to take a break and focus on our core business, we really miss organizing a conference. There’s a good chance that we’ll do one in 2016. Follow @elabs on Twitter for updates!

Team changes

The biggest changes this year were that we said goodbye to two of our team members.

Johannes—one of our designers—left in July after 5 great years with us to work on a new product idea he had.

Johannes

Kim, who joined us as a developer 4 years ago, left right before Christmas to move back to Stockholm where his family lives.

Kim

We’ll miss them both and wish them the very best of luck!

It wasn’t all goodbyes though! In November we welcomed Max, our second apprentice. Max has been doing great so far, and we’re excited to have him on the team. He introduced himself here on the blog a few weeks ago.

What’s next?

As I’ve hinted at on Twitter, we have some very exciting things in the works for next year! I won’t give it away quite yet, but you should follow us on Twitter if you want to be among the first to know.

I can’t wait for 2016 to begin!

Happy New Year!

/ CJ