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At the End of an Eventful Week

Busy week at Allevo: started with arranging the final details for what we’ve preparing for a while now; and that is the FinTP hackathon on Wednesday and the 22nd User Group on Thursday. I won’t bore you with the preparations, as you’ve already seen part of what it all meant on the blog. So, I’ll fast forward my post to the morning of May 15.Wednesday, May 15 – the day of the FinTP hackathon; an important day for all of us at Allevo, as it was the first event of this type that we have ever organized. 9 o’clock and we were a bit scared but enthusiastic a lot, a bit impatient but eager a lot, a bit agitated but hopeful a lot, waiting for the participants to come. And they all came. And they were as enthusiastic as we were and that felt really good.

Starting a little shy, getting acquainted with the code, with the documentation, with the platform; getting curios, deciding whether to try to build something on top of it or try to hack it and find its vulnerabilities. But we were there to support them.

 

And with this, adding some eveningwork to gather the conclusions for the next day, a not so long andnot so good night sleep ๐Ÿ™‚ and we arrive to Thursday, May 16 – theday of Allevo’s 22nd User Group.

We chose to have the events soclose one to the other, in order to debate the conclusions of thehackathon while they were still hot ๐Ÿ™‚ Even if we waited for thesecond part of the event to do so.

On this user group’s agenda we havealso included the reports on the activity on SiT!, our applicationfor customer support and maintenance services, and the hot subjectof SEPA. Six months after the successful launchof the SCT part of SEPA-RON project in Romania, we have discussedabout the SDD part and the near launch of EURO-SENT, about thecorporate-bank relationship aspects, about the main benefitscorporations expect when implementing SEPA. This discussionbenefited also from the valuable insights and opinions of Ruud vander Horst, a Dutch consultant we invited for the event.

I cannot say that and not share my compliments to the Allevo hackathon crew; you have been outstanding in there. Soโ€ฆ a big thanks for all your efforts!

And for the participants: armed with enthusiasm, good will and diligence, you helped us keep a very pleasant atmosphere and have a great day. Not to mention a useful event. Many thanks for your valuable feedback and for sharing your opinions with us.

Mentioning feedback, I will summarize the ideas we left with, given our participants input:

  • every single one of them mentioned the documentation is very well written, relevant, easy to work with – very happy to hear that, so we’ll use the same mechanisms to generate it for the rest of the code as well
  • the code is clean and intuitive
  • pay further attention to the security aspects (authentication and authorization) – even if nobody tried to actually hack it, they still tried to find some vulnerabilities. And they found some little ones that we’ll address the soonest
  • using C++ might limit the number of community members that could come from banking, as they mainly know and use Java – but maybe this can be one of the first tasks of community members, the integration with ESB Java
  • building a consistent community and attracting the right people is essential to the FinTP project.

And as an overall note, the participants found the event cool, and they liked us, the organizers ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeeey!

In approaching the end of the story about Wednesday, I have one other mention, but an important one: this hackathon brought the first application built using UDAL from someone outside Allevo. It’s a chat app, with an archive, developed by one of the ROSEdu students ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, quick note: for those of you interested in continuing the work started during the hackathon, the infrastructure we have set for the event will still be available to you, just use the same credentials.

With the first FinTP hackathon already in the past (if you want to remember some of the moments you can always check the event’s live blog) we are looking forward now to the next one, somewhere in the first half of October. Hope to see you there, but until then say hello to this hackathon’s great team ๐Ÿ™‚


And with this, adding some evening work to gather the conclusions for the next day, a not so long and not so good night sleep ๐Ÿ™‚ and we arrive to Thursday, May 16 – the day of Allevo’s 22nd User Group.

 

We chose to have the events so close one to the other, in order to debate the conclusions of the hackathon while they were still hot ๐Ÿ™‚ Even if we waited for the second part of the event to do so.

 

On this user group’s agenda we have also included the reports on the activity on SiT!, our application for customer support and maintenance services, and the hot subject of SEPA. Six months after the successful launch of the SCT part of SEPA-RON project in Romania, we have discussed about the SDD part and the near launch of EURO-SENT, about the corporate-bank relationship aspects, about the main benefits corporations expect when implementing SEPA. This discussion benefited also from the valuable insights and opinions of Ruud van der Horst, a Dutch consultant we invited for the event.

 

In terms of memorable quotes from the User Group (we could actually have a special section to record them all), I especially enjoyed: “Everything is possible, including (collection taxes through) Direct Debit.” ๐Ÿ™‚

 

And like this we are back to FinTP, our very dear open source project and the theme for the second half of the event. Sorin, our CEO, talked about the complexity of reshaping our business model to perfectly fit in an open source community, encouraged the participants to get actively involved in building a consistent community, as having access to the source code represents a great value for the current users and also an insurance for the future. Discussions followed: about the changes FinTP will bring, about the hackathon conclusions, about our experience gained with the EBRD consultancy on the FinTP project.

 

And because we talked about different ways of doing things, I could not let the occasion slide, so I told the story of Corporate Rebels United and what they stand for, and invited everyone to join the 24-hour online Rebel Jam on 30-31 May, where I remind you we have a slot between 16:30 – 17:00 Romanian time (15:30-16:00 CET).

And now is Friday afternoon, and I sit at my laptop, writing this post about the story of these past two days. And I don’t want to write “The End”, because it is only the beginning. So I’ll finish with something Ruud said, while addressing concerns about open source:

“Our best protection is our mutual trust and we are not going to play with that.”

 

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