A home office workplace, representing remote work in the software development business

Remote Working at Software Companies: Best Practices

Bear with us here: We will say a positive thing about 2020. That’s hard enough. But due to lockdowns and reduced mobility, one certain work philosophy has gained attention in the economic discourse: Remote work at the home office.

Now companies big and small are adjusting their work policies. They allow their employees to work from home and telecommute with their colleagues. Among them are many software and digital service companies who are used to their coder lounges or office cubes.

But remote work is here to stay: Just recently, the Center of European Economic Research (ZEW) conducted a study according to which 75% of big and 64% medium-sized companies want to permanently give their teams the option to operate from home office spaces. 

So, you will have to deal with remote work in the future – perhaps even include it into your working routines. But will you deal with exactly? And what are best practices to pull the home office challenge off at your software company?

First, the basics!

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The trimplement co-founders Thijs Reus, Natallia Martchouk und Matthias Gall sitting together and discussing the foundation of their software company trimplement

How to Found a Software Company

Enclosed you will not find the 6 definite steps, instructing you how to found a successful software company.

Bummer, right?

But don’t stop reading, yet. We just wanted to get this out of the way, right at the start.

There are mandatory steps to take when founding and co-founding software companies – like registering the company in the first place. But there is no such thing as a secret recipe for entrepreneurial success on the software development market.

Which does not mean you could not cook up a healthy and successful software business if you gather some specific ingredients. In this article, we will share some entrepreneurial best practices with you. We will give you an overview of what steps we took and what lessons we learned when establishing the trimplement software development company in Germany. (And what better occasion than our 10th anniversary to roll out such a menu?)

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A key on a keyboard with the infura symbol on it, representing the smart contract tutorial by trimplement co-founder Natallia Martchouk about migrating a parity-based smart contract into an infura-based one

Coding Smart Contracts -Tutorial Part III

Why Infura

Photo of Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement
Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement, explains how to develop Ethereum smart contracts.

Last year I published a tutorial helping you get started with the development of smart contracts and using them from java applications. In those tutorials, I’ve described how to use parity as the Ethereum client. Exactly this setup we’ve used also in our own project “Value Manifesto”. But a couple of weeks ago we’ve decided to switch the Ethereum client from parity to Infura. This gives me an opportunity to extend my tutorial with new information.

One of the reasons for changing the Ethereum client is as follows: maintaining your own Ethereum node can give you headaches. First of all, you need to keep your parity version up to date as it’s being continuously improved and adapted to the changes happening on the Ethereum blockchain. 

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Two computers placed opposite of each other, symbolizing the advantages of third party software over in-house development

Why Third-Party Solutions Bring First-Rate Results

Do it yourselfit’s an overrated mantra. 

At first, those three letters promise empowerment. You have full control over what you do and which way you want it to be done. Take fice, third-party software, we are on it ourselves. 

But then you stumble over the prerequisites. You have to know how to do it all in the first place. And that you have the right tools for the task. But that should be doable, too. I have a screwdriver lying around somewhere! And there must be a YouTube tutorial for this, right? 

Well, when it comes to the complex field of software development, the truth is a little more complicated. 

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Coding Smart Contracts – Tutorial Part II

How to use a smart contract from a java application

Photo of Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement
Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement, explains how to develop Ethereum smart contracts.

In Part I of my tutorial I’ve explained how to develop and deploy a simple smart contract. Today we will see how this deployed contract can be used in java applications. 

We are going to use Parity as Ethereum client and Web3j java library for interaction with Parity. I’m assuming that you already have installed Web3j, solc and Parity following “Prepare” instructions in Part I.

5. Get Parity Synced

First of all your Parity needs to get synchronized with the Ethereum testnet Rinkeby, meaning it needs to download the current database status to your local machine. Start your local parity with 

$parity --chain rinkeby --rpcapi "eth,net,web3,personal"

See also this documentation of Parity about getting synced.

In the meantime, we can prepare everything that we need to call our smart contract from a java application.

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Coding Smart Contracts – Tutorial Part I

How to Write, Deploy and Test a Smart Contract

Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement, the fintech enabler
Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement, explains how to develop Ethereum smart contracts.

In this article, I will give you a smart contract tutorial. It will tell you how to quickly write, test and deploy Ethereum smart contracts. My motivation is to help people to make the first steps. There are several good tutorials which helped me to get started. But I missed kind of a “cookbook recipe” for the entire journey, starting with the installation of tools and frameworks and ending with deployment to Ethereum and usage out of an application.

And so, I decided to write down all the steps involved and hope that you will find it helpful!

I’m working on a Mac, but I’ll provide links to the documentation of all tools and frameworks so that you’ll be able to find fitting instructions for your personal environment.

Today we will: 

  • Setup an environment that  allows you to write production-ready smart contracts
  • Write a simple smart contract
  • Test security and style guide issues with solhint
  • Write unit tests with a Truffle framework
  • Deploy the contract on the Rinkeby testnet using MetaMask and Remix
  • Execute calls on the deployed smart contract
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