About 3 months ago Stefan Schrader and Kristofer Eriksson, friends of mine from Germany, were helping me out at Componence to find new technologies for our new product developments. When it came to front end technology they told my team and me for the first time about Wicket, a cool components oriented web development framework where HTML is mapped to components and every component has a model that represents an object.
It’s simplicity allows developers to no longer hassle with HTML and allows designers to work with practically no conflicts with developers. And compared with framework like JSF, you no longer need to have lots of XML configuration files. And purely the fact that it’s a component oriented framework makes it match so well to the philosophy of Componence. After hearing about Wicket my enthusiasm has only grown since, as Componence and I have the chance to work with a lot of very smart and nice people. I have no regrets of pushing my developers into this direction.
Lots of Dutch developers in Wicket
As I started to learn more about Wicket it was Eelco Hillenius who started to help me out with questions and helped me to make the choice for Wicket. I contacted Eelco directly through LinkedIn after seeing his name on dozens of comments on various blogs about web development frameworks. It was maybe a coincidence that Eelco, one core developers of WIcket and development group, was Dutch and had found a new start in Seattle through his involvement in Wicket. He’s also the author of the Wicket book ‘Wicket in Action‘, together with Martijn Dashorst. Martijn is the leader of the Wicket development group and still lives in Holland. I have also had the chance to speak with Martijn and it’s good to see that there are still pure and enthusiastic developers around in Holland, even if they might be expected to become a manager or something like that. Probably there are a lot more cool Dutch Wicket developers, I’ll try to meet more of them when there is a Wicket gathering again in Holland.
Impressive minds in the US
Since Eelco was living in Seattle it was by chance that he was a friend of Jonathan Locke, the founder of Wicket. And by chance Jonathan was introduced to by just weeks after I had made the decision to go forward with Wicket for our new Vanadium product line at Componence. And chance provided me the opportunity to interest Jonathan into working with us in Holland, as he was quitting his job at the time. And from then on I guess it was luck that Jonathan was interested in our idea to link Wicket ot Portal technology. A deal was made quite fast and easy to work together in Holland.
So Jonathan came to Holland last June and I’ve had some nice talks with him about all kinds of matters in life, also a lot about his worries about the way US is running their finances and how a vacuum tunnel could really generate ‘high speed trains’. With an IQ well above 130 Jonathan has been able to put matters in great abstraction, probably how he founded Wicket. And during the discussions of the issues related to the Wicket and JSR-286 bridge (portlets 2.0), it was Jonathan came up with the ‘Gizmo layer’ concept for Vanadium. Yes, I really enjoyed working with Jonathan, as beside beside being smart he also introduced me to Miko Matsumura. After a 5 hours drive to Frankfurt it was definitely worth to have Miko challenge some ideas that we have at Componence.
And now two months later Jonathan has also put me in contact with Tim Budreau, the NetBeans specialist. And again I’m lucky enough that Tim is interested in our project and will be working with Jonathan further in Seattle to make the Gizmo layer more concrete. Currently I’m very excited to see their results, as the conceptual documentation should be ready in about 2 weeks.
Is it easy to get experts on board?
So it all started with a new interest and from there on the tools we now have today on the internet just bring us together. I think easy because we talk about bringing developers together as their interests usually is in new technology concepts. I think at Componence we have cool ideas for our software developments, making it more easy for us to have great technical minds to work together with us. And of course the luck factor always needs to be around the corner …