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Orange is the New Blonde – My First 8 Weeks at 14 Oranges

April 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

As the newest member of 14 Oranges, I’m excited to write about my time here and why I chose to join the team.

Given the increase of the mobile workforce, telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular and 14 Oranges embraced that, even on my first day of work.  Since I’m the newest addition to the team, I showed up on my first day expecting the typical 8 hour day of reading binders and being introduced around while I make the same lame joke to each person I met.  To my surprise, after going through expectations and paperwork, I was encouraged to finish off my first day at home. That’s when I knew 14 Oranges was different than every company I’ve ever worked for.

I am used to planning work from home days in advance or going into the office to fulfill an unspoken amount of time that ‘should’ be spent at work.  I’d like to believe that my water cooler banter is that thrilling but even I know it isn’t (although if you want to discuss Breaking Bad or the zombie apocalypse, I will bring refreshments).  Working in a place that accepts and encourages work life balance is something that has been so invigorating and it feels incredible to be trusted to make a schedule that works for me.  Every employee at 14 Oranges has the freedom to come and go based on their individual circumstances which now makes sense why there is no turnover.

The benefit of having been in the throes of job hunting during the Great Recession is that my work experience took me everywhere from enterprise organizations to offices with nine employees, so I’d like to think I’ve seen it all.  One common trait from my experience has been the suspicion of new technology.  Suggesting something like Google Docs was typically met with some form of ‘that’s not how we’ve always done things around here’ and a vague promise to look into it at a future date.  Disheartening, yes, but not a deal breaker, which is why it’s so unique to be in a place that is already using newer technology platforms like Trello.

There has been a lot of research regarding Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in the workplace but it’s hard to understand the dynamics until you’ve experienced it yourself.  Some generational challenges I have experienced first-hand include a 65 year old director asking me how to access the internet on his iPhone and management’s terror of everything social media or in the 21st century.  Working with the 14 Oranges team has been new for me because it involves people of all ages who are very adept at using technology but more importantly they are enthusiastic and open minded about learning and trying new things.

I ultimately chose to join the 14 Oranges team to leave behind old boy’s clubs, out of touch management and aversion to new ideas so that I could gain flexibility, trust, work life balance and freedom.

23 Mar

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Hiring – Senior Web Developer

March 23, 2015 | By |

We are looking for a senior web developer to join our team on a full time basis. You will be working on some of our new customer projects.

Responsibilities May Include:
– Development of web sites and back end systems
– Interface with customers throughout life of projects
– Fix bugs in existing code base

Desired Qualifications:
– At least 2 years of PHP/mySQL development
– 2 years working with Javascript and/or jQuery
– MVC Framework Experience (codeigniter or similar)
– Experience working with WordPress
– Experience with JSON and/or REST API development
– Experience with twitter bootstrap would be a plus
– Good communication skills
– Good attitude
– Good aptitude
– Self starter and can work independently

Please send your resume and cover letter in PDF format to hr@14oranges.com with REF 14O-WD15-W

13 Mar

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14 Oranges Congratulates Dr. Segal’s for Entering the Dragon’s Den!

March 13, 2015 | By |

On March 4th, Dr. Segal’s took their stylish compression socks to Canada’s own Dragon’s Den. The Richmond based company, a long time client of 14 Oranges, took home a prize of interest free cash in exchange for a 7.5% share.

It’s no wonder they did so well because these socks with benefits gently squeeze your legs to reduce pain, give relief to fatigued legs and ward off vein issues. Plus, they come in a mix of colours and patterns that range from polka dots to leopard print.

To purchase your pair of socks before they sell out, head over to the Dr. Segal’s online store, designed by Zboya Design and maintained by 14 Oranges.

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02 Mar

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Hiring – Senior Web Developer Part Time Contract

March 2, 2015 | By |

We are looking for a senior web developer to join our team on a part time basis. You will be working on some of our new customer projects.

Responsibilities May Include:
– Development of web sites and back end systems
– Interface with customers throughout life of projects
– Fix bugs in existing code base

Desired Qualifications:
– At least 2 years of PHP/mySQL development
– 2 years working with Javascript and/or jQuery
– MVC Framework Experience (codeigniter or similar)
– Experience working with WordPress
– Experience with JSON and/or REST API development
– Experience with twitter bootstrap would be a plus
– Good communication skills
– Good attitude
– Good aptitude
– Self starter and can work independently

Please send your resume and cover letter in PDF format to hr@14oranges.com with REF 14O-WDC15-W

24 Feb

By

We have moved!!

February 24, 2015 | By |

We have just moved!! Our old office was getting a tad small. We are now at Suite 295 – 3820 Cessna Drive in Richmond. We are in the partnership wing of the BCIT Aerospace Campus near YVR. If you are ever in the area, feel free to drop by and we will gladly give you a tour. The views we have from this office are pretty incredible!
14OrangesNewLocationSunrise

20 Jan

By

Hiring – Marketing Specialist

January 20, 2015 | By |

POSITION FILLED.

We are looking for a marketing specialist to join our team. You will be working on some of our new customer projects as well as some or our internal products. You would become THE PERSON driving all of our marketing initiatives. In 2014, we won the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year (1 to 25 employees) Award and completed the acquisition of a local web development company to expand our portfolio. For 2015, we are aiming to improve on that and you would become a large participant to help us reach that goal.

Responsibilities May Include:
– Create all our marketing strategies to drive more leads.
– Drive our product roadmaps for some of our internal products.
– Generate marketing content for website, collaterals, social media, and so on.
– Develop and execute SEO strategies both for our customers and for our internal use.

Desired Qualifications:
– At least 3 years working in an established marketing department.
– Experience performing keyword analysis and research for SEO purposes.
– Ability to develop a content strategy and execute on it.
– Experience with analytics, on page optimization, and link building.
– An eye for detail and perfection.
– Good communication skills.
– Good attitude.
– Good aptitude.
– Self starter and can work independently.

Please send your resume and cover letter in PDF format to hr@14oranges.com with REF 14O-WM15-W

24 Dec

By

Season’s Greetings from The 14 Oranges Team

December 24, 2014 | By |

We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! All the best.

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22 Dec

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DNS Issues with Provider

December 22, 2014 | By |

There were some DNS related issues with one of our providers this morning that have caused some issues accessing sites from some locations. The problem has been solved but some clients are still seeing sporadic issues with their sites. The issue will sort itself out (via DNS propagation) over the next 24-48 hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

28 Nov

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14 Oranges Winner for Business of the Year 1-25 Employees Award

November 28, 2014 | By |

We are proud to announce that last night, 14 Oranges was the winner of the Business of the Year 1-25 Employees Award from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. You can read more about it here.
Once again, this award is really a recognition of our employees and all the hard work they have done in the last 5 years and also the sacrifice their significant others, spouses, and kids have done. Big thanks to them!

14OrangesBEA
@richmondchamber

14 Nov

By

Which One Should I Use?

November 14, 2014 | By |

There are many approaches you can take to develop a mobile app. Which one is right for you really depends on your specific app requirements. The main approaches are: either native code, cross-platform toolkits, or mobile/responsive website design. Each of them can have further variations but for the purpose of this discussion, we will focus on those three.14OrangesWhichOneShouldIUse

Native code is where an app is implemented using the toolkits provided by the operating system vendor; for example Objective-C (or now Swift) and Cocoa Touch libraries for iOS or Java and the Android SDK for Android. Because they are specifically created for their operating system, they offer the best performance, best memory footprint, and also provide the best user experience. Moreover, they also provide better access to device specific resources such as the GPS, camera, accelerometer and so on. Unfortunately these languages/toolkits only work on their respective platforms, so if you implement an app for iOS using Objective-C, it will not work on Android. This restriction means you have to redo the work for Android resulting in extra work and higher development costs. This additional work may not necessarily be double the original cost (depending on the approach taken); however, increased development costs are inevitable with this approach.

Cross platform toolkits, as the name suggests, allow a single toolkit to be used across multiple operating systems. Basically you employ one common programming language and the toolkit handles the variations between the operating systems. There are many different flavours of cross platform toolkits. Some use web technologies (HTML5, CSS) with an embedded browser in the app, some use a cross-compiler which converts code from a common language into the specific platform language, and some use a virtual machine to abstract the operating system from the app. The advantage of this approach is that you can reuse the same code on all platforms greatly reducing your development costs. The disadvantages can be more subtle but can be pretty serious in some cases. Firstly, since the code is typically interpreted, the performance can be a little slower than the native equivalent. Secondly, since the hardware and operating system specifics are abstracted, some features are simply not available. In the same manner, when cross platform toolkits are created, the designers must typically take a lowest common denominator approach. For example, if a UI feature works one way on one operating system and another way on the other, they must make a choice on how to present the same UI feature. Finally, because the operating systems introduce new features on a frequent basis, the cross platform toolkit vendors need to play a game of catchup to offer the new features and doing so requires development time and incurs delays. Therefore even when a new feature is available on the operating system, the feature may not available on the toolkit for a period of time after the release of the operating system.

Mobile or responsive websites could also be considered a cross platform toolkit; however, the typical use is where the code resides on a server and is downloaded by the mobile device at runtime as opposed to having an app installed on the device with code running locally. A mobile site is where there is a specific version of the entire site that you get redirected to when viewing the site from a mobile device, for example http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/. Usually the site detects the type of browser used when you hit the main site and redirects you to the mobile site. A responsive website is a single instance of a website where the pages refactor themselves based on the form factor and resolution of the device. A good example of that is our own website www.14oranges.com. The best way to see how it works is to visit the site using your desktop browser and then resize your browser window to a very small size and see how the elements (menu, images, text) adjust on the fly.

Now that we have described all three approaches, the one which is right for your project depends on several factors: user experience & frequency of use of the app, presence on the various app stores, app functionality, and of course budget.

Ask yourself how often do you expect your users to use the app? The more often they will use it the more likely they are going to expect a rich user experience, and the more likely they will need the performance and user experience of a native app. Typically if you reach more than once a day, native is best. The key question is: would your users be annoyed if they had a less than ideal user experience and had to deal with that over and over again? If the answer is yes, then native is likely what you want. If the answer is no, then an app built with a cross platform toolkit might be suitable.. If you expect users to interact with your app very rarely, then a responsive or mobile website would likely be a more cost effective choice.

App Store / Google Play presence is not as important as it used to be but can still be a good primary go to market channel. Receiving favourable reviews of your app on one of these stores is a great way to get traction into your app and ensure future success. Both native apps and cross-platform apps are normally distributed via those channels. Responsive and mobile sites are distributed via the web; however, it is possible to add a native wrapper (with some tweaks) to such sites to make them available on the app store. So if app store presence is what you are after, all options can work for you.

What functionality does your app require? As already mentioned, any functionality which makes use of onboard hardware services will usually be better accessed via a native app. Also if you plan to deliver your app as a suite of apps, native will provide better collaboration. If your app requires push notifications then native is likely the easiest option although it is also possible with cross platform toolkits (with some limitations). You cannot have push notifications from a mobile or responsive website unless you add a native wrapper. In general, the more complex the required functionality, the more the solution points toward a native app; however, cross platform toolkits can provide quite a bit of functionality if you are willing to accept compromises on some features.

It goes without saying that budget is always a factor when developing an app. The more features, the more platforms, and the more user expectations will typically lead to a higher price; however, don’t be discouraged as there are sometimes ways to migrate over time from one solution to another. Rome wasn’t built in one day and neither were Instagram and Facebook. Sometimes looking at your app and figuring out the desired feature set to make it an “MVP” might open up some opportunities to start with a simpler and cheaper option which can then be improved upon over time.

If you still are not sure, feel free to contact us so we can review your requirements and make a recommendation about which solution would be right for you.