Apr 01

Hosting the SaaS Meetup


Last Tuesday, we hosted the SaaS Meetup for CTOs in Amsterdam at the ViriCiti headquarters. Meetup.com is an online social networking platform that facilitates offline group meetings in various locations around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, which results in meetups, talks and networking.

Why Meetup?
On Meetup there are many groups regarding technology and IT. Therefore, the platform is ideal for freelancers, hackers and entrepreneurs, and basically every dedicated IT craftsmen attends to meetups on a regular basis to gain knowledge and obtain new ideas. Within the fast moving technology branch it is vital to keep up, learn and develop frequently.

Ali Seyedmehdi – CTO of Publitas – is the organizer of the SaaS Meetup, especially organized for CTOs of SaaS IT companies in Amsterdam. The concept is to meet up each month at one of the companies of the participating CTOs, where technologies, framework set-ups and ideas about management and HR are presented and discussed. We find it important as a clean-tech start-up to participate in this initiative, as we can learn and grow from each others experiences.

Our story
This week, ViriCiti had the honor to explain and introduce its Service Oriented Framework, underlying technologies and choices along the history of its existence. The approach of using microservices instead of developing in a monolithic program, provides many advantages, such as faster iteration, faster integration, small maintainable programs and easy to scale. With microservices we are able to build a large system out of small components that do one thing well.


Three great tools
So, what did we learn from this meeting? Well, we were introduced to some great online tools that can be useful for our company, in both technological and organizational terms. Here are three that we thought were pretty interesting:

1. Buildkite
During the technical discussion, we talked about CI (continuous integration) implementations. A good suggestion was to have a look at Buildkite. Several found that the flow-based system by Buildkite surpasses the Jenkins system in terms of simplicity and efficiency, due to the simplistic lay-out versus the many features that can be found at Jenkins. This was useful as we were just looking into Jenkins, but we will now definitely have a look at Buildkite

2. Rudder
Also, the issues with a push/pull based distributed deployment system were discussed. The software updates for our connected hardware units are performed manually, but given our growing number of systems in the field, it becomes interesting to look at alternatives. A pull-based distributed deployment system such as Rudder was suggested during the meeting, which would enable all our systems in the field to update automatically, whenever the unit goes online. We will certainly check it out!

3. Holacracy
Another interesting outcome of the meeting regarded the subject of management & organization structure. Very interesting is the self-organization system that Holacracy offers, which is implemented successfully and to great satisfaction at one of represented companies. Basically, this system uses a shared responsibility and provides more autonomy to teams and individuals. It was interesting to hear how this system was put to work at a similar company and how we could put such a system at work in our own company.

In short, a very fruitful and interesting SaaS Meetup. Thanks Ali, for organizing another great Meetup and thanks to all the participants for the useful input. We are looking forward to the next one!

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