2017! The year of Netgen Layouts gaining traction and other excitements
As a service-based company, we have been working for many years on various web projects, building tailored solutions for our clients. It is always great to see a solution we have created put to use, but a quite different experience is creating a new generic product and proving its value in real life projects.
After starting to use Netgen Layouts MVP at the end of 2016, our main goal for 2017 was to enable others to use Layouts by themselves. And that is exactly what happened: a dozen other agencies joined our network during the past year and started trying out Netgen Layouts. Several even launched their first projects based on Layouts. It was exciting to hear the news about the success of our early adopters.
Another happy moment was our 15th Birthday which we celebrated with a big party! And let’s not forget the 6th edition of Web Summer Camp which was sold out very early, proving that we are doing something right. :)
Netgen Layouts gaining traction!
As mentioned in the intro, during the year, a dozen other agencies started to use Layouts and other components from our stack, which was mostly open sourced. Besides our strategic partners with whom we work on projects, Keyteq and Prime, three other agencies managed to build and launch their first Layouts-based projects: Infolox and Raumobil from Germany and Conversa from Italy.
Through our own projects and feedback from the early adopters, we steered the product development and built the most needed features as quickly as possible. After the MVP, we released four versions (0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 0.10) to support the current projects in the best possible way. This included container blocks for columns, cache features and integration with varnish, translation capabilities, and many more improvements.
In that respect, 2017 was fruitful. Our product started being used, not just by us and our clients, but also by our close partners and early adopters.
We had four new people joining us during the year: Zvonimir at the beginning of the year and Lora, Jurica, and Brigita at the end. Two more will join us at the beginning of 2018: Zoja and Danilo. Welcome to our small family!
The growth was not just quantitative but also qualitative. A lot of work has been done on projects for our clients and partners. We (re)launched some interesting sites like:
- fem.com for ProSiebenSat1.Digital
- frydenbo-bil.no and melk.no in cooperation with Keyteq
- rdm.com and sippo.ch in cooperation with Prime
In addition to gaining experience on building solutions and doing a lot of internal workshops and demonstrations, we also joined numerous events:
- tech-oriented: from Agent.sh and ReactJS to SymfonyCon, eZ Conference, and PHPCE
- J. Boye, Spark.me, Beyond Tellerrand, AI2Future, Ladies of New Business
The importance of getting out of the office chair and away from the desk for a few days proved to be highly valuable for each individual and the company as a whole.
UX workshop @ Web Summer Camp 2017
Own events going strong
We don’t just go to other events – we also like to organize our own!
- Web Summer Camp 2017 broke all records and was sold out fast (new edition has just been announced)
- We coorganized Croatia Sylius Meetup 2017 and it was a great success, with Sylius team and Paweł joining us.
- 15th Netgen birthday party attracted 150+ friends and partners
- Netgen Winter Meetup in Zagreb focused on presenting Netgen Layouts to the local web community
I also started doing monthly webinars in order to regularly update and acquaint the interested parties of what we are doing, both with Layouts and our open-sourced solutions.
Open source efforts
For years we have been investing in our open source spirit, and this year was no different. We improved our existing repos: Netgen Tags, Site API for eZ Platform, eZ Platform + Sylius commerce integration, eZ Social Connect, eZ Platform Information Collection and more. We also made public some other things on which we have been working, like Netgen Admin UI and Remote Media Bundle, and we built new interesting solutions, like Query Translator. Check out our Labs page for more details.
We spend a great deal of hours on open source and want to share with the community even more. :)
What to expect from this year after an outstanding 2017?
- We want to get closer to Netgen Layouts 1.0, a major version we want to launch as a proven solution. This requires effort not just in building the features, but also tuning the UX and the DX. We need to explain better what Layouts are capable off with eZ and other Symfony-based solutions.
- After expanding the team significantly in the last few months, we will focus on the internal knowledge transfer and tuning our efficiency and output quality.
- We will continue to engage in various communities, share the knowledge, open source code, and organize great events!