Corporate Event

Last week our Team gathered for our first corporate event of 2021, which turned out to be a great success for at least three different reasons.

To begin with, this was the first live event after the lengthy Covid-19 emergency. With proper precautions and respecting social distancing norms, we were able to meet in person at the event location - a cool and fancy restaurant in Milan - laughing, eating, and drinking together (as every proper event requires).

This occasion allowed many people to finally get together face to face: as we all know, seeing each other via  a computer screen may be fun and necessary these days, but meeting colleagues in the “real” world, shaking hands, sharing laughs and jokes is another story!

Secondly, this was the first official Fortitude Group event, with all team members from Bitrock, Radicalbit and ProActivity participating. A great opportunity to mark the new Fortitude era, after the 2021 Group rebranding.

Last but not least, events of this kind are also important since many colleagues that seldom have the chance to meet due to the allocation on different projects or different geographical location can finally spend some time together. During this evening, we finally had all people from Treviso, Lugano, Milano (and many other cities around Italy) together in one spot.

The event started with a welcome aperitif followed by a tasty dinner (typical Milanese cuisine...what else?!). Our CEO Leo Pillon took the chance to greet all participants and deliver a brief talk, addressing the challenges this period has meant for the Group, but also all the great results and success we were able to achieve while working remotely. It is a distinct corporate culture, a sense of togetherness and a clear direction that have fuelled the passion emerging in our daily work.

Curious to know more about the Bitrock world? Look at the pics below to get a taste of our event, and visit our Instagram page to discover much more!

We are now ready to start planning our next big event. Will you join us? 🙂

Sales & Key Client
Management, Sales & Key Client
Team Front End
Front End Team
Team DevOps
DevOps Team
Team Back End
Back End Team
HR & Marketing
HR & Marketing
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React Bandersnatch Experiment

React Bandersnatch Experiment

Getting Close to a Real Framework

Huge success for Claudia Bressi (Bitrock Frontend developer) at Byteconf React 2020, the annual online conference with the best React speakers and teachers in the world.

During the event, Claudia had the opportunity to talk about her experiment called “React Bandersnatch” (the name coming from one of the episodes of Black Mirror tv series, where freedom is represented as a sort of well-designed illusion).

Goal of this contribution is to give anyone that could not join the virtual event the chance to delve into her experiment and main findings, which represent a high-value contribution for the whole front-end community.

Here’s Claudia words, describing the project in detail.

(Claudia): The project starts with one simple idea: what if React was a framework, instead of a library to build user interfaces?
For this project, I built some real applications using different packages that are normally available inside a typical frontend framework. I measured a few major web application metrics and then compared the achieved results.

The experiment’s core was the concept of framework, i.e. a platform where it is possible to find ready components and tools that can be used to design a user interface, without the need to search for external dependencies.
Thanks to frameworks, you just need to add a proper configuration code and then you’re immediately ready to go and code whatever you want to implement. Developers often go for a framework because it’s so comfortable to have something ready and nothing to choose.

Moving on to a strict comparison with libraries, frameworks are more opinionated: they can give you rules to follow in your code, and they can solve for you the order of things to be executed behind the scenes. This is the case of lazy loading when dealing with modules in a big enterprise web application.
On the other hand, libraries are more minimalistic: they give you only the necessary to build applications. But, at the same time, you have more control and freedom to choose whatever package in the world.

However, this can lead sometimes to bad code: it is thus important to be careful and follow all best practices when using libraries.


The Project

As initial step of my project, I built a very simple web application in React in order to implement a weekly planner. This consisted of one component showing the week, another one showing the details of a specific day, and a few buttons to update the UI, for instance for adding events and meetings.

I used React (the latest available release) and Typescript (in a version that finally let users employ the optional chaining). In order to style the application, I used only .scss files, so I included a Sass compiler (btw, while writing the components, I styled them using the CSS modules syntax).

Then I defined a precise set of metrics, in order to be able to measure the experimental framework. More specifically:

  • bundle size (measured in kilobytes, to understand how much weight could be reached with each build) ;
  • loading time (the amount of time needed to load the HTML code in the application);
  • scripting time (the actual time needed to load the Javascript files);
  • render time (the time needed to render the stylesheets inside the browser);
  • painting time (the time for handling media files, such as images or videos)

The packages used for this experiment can be considered as the ingredients of the project. I tried to choose both well-known tools among the React scenario and some packages that are maybe less famous, but which have some features that can improve the overall performance on medium-size projects.

The first implementation can be considered as a classic way to solve a project in React. An implementation based on Redux for the state management, and on Thunk as Middleware solution. I used also the well-known React router and, last but not least, the popular Material UI to have some ready-to-use UI components.
The second application can be considered more sophisticated: it was actually made of Redux, combined with the Redux-observable package for handling the middleware part. As for the ROUTER, I applied a custom ROUTER solution, in order to let me play more with React hooks. As icing on the cake, I took the Ant library, in order to build up some UI components.

As for the third application, I blended together the MobX state manager with my previous hook-based custom router, while for the UI part I used the Ant library.
Finally, for the fourth experimental application, I created a rather simple solution with MobX, my hook-based custom router (again) and Material UI to complete the overall framework.


Main Findings

Analyzing these four implementations, what I found out is that, as State manager, Redux has a cleaner and better organized structure due to its functional paradigm. Another benefit is the immutable store that prevents any possible inconsistency when data is updated.

On the other hand, MobX allows multiple stores: this can be particularly useful if you need to reuse some data (let’s say the business logic part of your store), in a different – but similar –application with a shareable logic.
Another advantage of MobX is the benefit of having a reactive paradigm that takes care of the data updates, so that you can skip any middleware dependency.

Talking about routing, a built-in solution (such as the react-router-dom package) is pretty easy and smooth to apply in order to set-up all the routes we need within the application. A custom solution, however, such as our hooks-based router solution, let us keep our final bundle lighter than a classic dancer.

Moving on to the UI side of the framework, we can say that Material is a widespread web styling paradigm: its rules are easy to apply and the result is clean, tidy and minimalistic.
However, from my personal point of view, it is not so ‘elegant’ to pollute Javascript code with CSS syntax – this is why I preferred to keep things separated. I then searched for another UI library and I found Ant, which is written in Typescript with predictable static types – a real benefit for my applications. However, in the end, we can say that MaterialUI is lighter than Ant.
Anyway, both packages allow you to import only the necessaries components you need for your project. So, in the end, it is a simple matter of taste which library to use for the UI components (anyway: if you’re looking more at performance, then go for Material!)


Comparing the Results

As final step, I compared the achieved results for each of the above-mentioned metrics.
From the collected results, it’s quite significant that the most performant application is built with the lighter bundle size and, in particular, when using Redux coupled with Thunk; MaterialUI for the UI components and our custom router, then the resulting application has a smaller output artifact and optimized values for loading, scripting and render times.

To cut a long story short, the winner of this experiment is application no. 4.

However, for bigger projects the results may vary.


Ideal Plugins

Frameworks, sometimes, offer useful auxiliary built-in plugins, such as the CLI to easily use some commands or automate repetitive tasks – which can in turn improve developers’ life. That’s why some of my preferred tools available for React (which I would include in a React ideal framework scenario) are:

  • the famous React and Redux extensions for Chrome: I found these essentials and useful as the ruler for an architect;
  • the ‘eslint-plugin’ specifically written for React, which makes it easier to be consistent to the rules you want to keep in your code;

- Prettier, another must-have react plugin if you use VS Code, which helps a lot in getting a better formatted code;

- React Sign, a Chrome extension that helps you show a graph and represent the overall structure in order to analyze your components;

- last but not least, the popular React extension pack that you can find as VS code extension, which offers lots of developer automated actions, such as hundreds of code snippets, Intellisense and the option of file search within node modules.


If you want to listen to Claudia’s full speech during the event, click here and access the official video recording available on YouTube.

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Bitrock DevOps Team joining HashiCorp EMEA Vault CHIP Virtual Bootcamp

Bitrock DevOps Team joining HashiCorp EMEA Vault CHIP Virtual Bootcamp

Another great achievement for our DevOps Team: the possibility to take part in HashiCorp EMEA Vault CHIP Virtual Bootcamp.

The Bootcamp – coming for the first time to the EMEA region – involves the participation of high-skilled professionals that already have experience with Vault and want to get Vault CHIP (Certified HashiCorp Implementation Partner) certified for delivering on Vault Enterprise.

Our DevOps Team will be challenged with a series of highly technical tasks to demonstrate their expertise in the field. A 3 full-day training, that will get them ready to implement in a customer engagement.

This comes after the great success of last week, which saw our DevOps Team members Matteo Gazzetta, Michael Tabolsky, Gianluca Mascolo, Francesco Bartolini and Simone Ripamonti successfully obtaining HashiCorp Certification as Vault Associate. A source of pride for the Bitrock community and a remarkable recognition of our DevOps Team expertise and know-how worldwide.

With the Virtual Bootcamp, the Team is now ready to raise the bar and takes on a new challenge, proving that there’s no limit to self-improvement and continuous learning.


HashiCorp EMEA Vault CHIP Virtual Bootcamp

May 5–May 8, 2020

https://www.hashicorp.com/

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Corporate Event Databiz Group

Corporate Event | "Databiz Group"

As a yearly tradition, Databiz Group, holding group owner of Bitrock, celebrated a corporate event in the marvelous setting of the southern coast of the Garda Lake (Desenzano del Garda - BS - Italy).

During this 2 day event, held at the exciting location of Hotel Acquaviva del Garda, the 3 souls of Databiz Group met up together to review 1H - 2018 achievements and discuss about next strategical operations: Databiz Holding Management and Staff, Bitrock's team and Radicalbit developers had the opportunity to meet up and share mutual experiences, achievements, projects and targets.

A good opportunity to discover and explore the several natures of the group, understanding better the nature of 3 different companies united by a single vision and distinguished by different missions. Greeted by a group breakfast, developers, managers and staff had the opportunity to encounter and discuss about mutual working activities and life experiences. New employees had the chance to meet new colleagues and better understand the group working and experience environment. Merging together different experiences and background is a relevant issue.

We are aiming to design a culture-centered working place, where diversity an peculiarity become together sources of valor.

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The Event | Moments of corporate experience

The first morning has been dedicated to Corporate Speeches and Business reports: opening act has been held by CEO Leo Pillon, who exposed in details 2018 group's vision, next steps and future evolution of the holding, consolidating a year of strong and radical evolutive transformations.

Following CSO Lino Zagolin exposed a detailed report of recent sales activities, including new scenarios in Academy, New Business and Partnerships. He also introduced to the team a new professional figure, Luca Lanza, Corporate Strategist and Business Developer. COO Marco Veronese took the stage in order to summarize to all employees the new Bitrock's organization, including the nomination of new CTO Giampaolo Trapasso, and new Heads of Practices: Salvatore Laisa (Head of Front End), Marco Stefani (Head of Back End), Franco Geraci (Head of DevOps), joining Mirko Lazzarato (Head of Think & Check IT), Paola Casarsa (Head of Make-UX) and Riccardo Pessina (Head of Operation Costs & Planning). He also introduced new Key Client Daniele Bergo.

On the second part of the morning Michele Ridi (Marketing and Sales Manager at Radicalbit) and Roberto Bentivoglio (CTO at Radicalbit), introduced a summary of activities of Radicalbit, Products and Services and Highlights of the first half of the year, also offering a sneak peek on new solutions.

Thereafter Enrico Sala (CFO Databiz Group) and Cristina Del Vecchio Head of Recruiting & Planning) entertained the audience with highly engaging analytics of the group, and exposed an emotional motivation session including corporate values and companies' missions.

Finally Leo Pillon closed the activities with an inspirational speech about the company long term vision, introducing the inner meaning of the company's claim #lookbeyond, defining himself first of all a dreamer committed to achieve great results.

Time for serious things ended. After a brunch all together all staff dedicated to games, water and fun.

Unmissable a football match... After all we are an Italian company. While someone was standing in the Sauna and Hammam, other braves were disputing a deathmatch under the sun.

And then a little surprise. A special guest introduced guests to the way of determination, proactivity and team vision. Straight from his glorious sporting experience: the great (and tall!) Riccardo Pittis, renowned basket champion, held a strong and effective speech about loosing and win, team and group, responsibilities and changement.

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Finally hen the light went down, a long night dinner, open bar and music brought the guests through the late night.

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