Archive for 2006

Dan 2

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Against our best judgement we hired Dan for the open developer position. Not to be confused with Dan C., who was doing QA with us. I guess that makes him Dan 2, but that doesn’t make him any less special.

Dan started on October 23rd, 2006, after a week long bender, I mean break, from his last job. Since then he’s been getting up to speed on PHP, and getting to know the code that’s laying around the office. In just 3 short weeks he’s already off-ed 1 Mac Mini, and aspires to take out any other hardware that gets in his way. Aside from passive destruction he’s learned a bunch of stuff in a rather short period of time.

So take a moment to welcome him when you get a chance.

It’s Official

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

As of October 31, 2006, Firefall Pro is now officially an LLC registered within the State of New York.

Literacy Optional

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

From: [email protected]
Subject: Do you Require Programmer? We are Here
Date: September 27, 2006 6:21:45 AM EDT

Hello

I am Dr.Amish Vyas, having Team of progarmmers leading by Technology Experts. we are located in India and availble virtually any where. Please feel free to contact me , if you have any requirement. Dr.Amish Vyas, Email:[email protected]

So much for XHTML

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Thanks to the WebKit team for showing me the error of my ways. I only wish I had known sooner that XHTML sent as text/html is interpreted as HTML. http://webkit.org/blog/?p=68

Given most people’s reaction, and the sheer number of XHTML sites out there being sent incorrectly as text/html, I’d have to wager that I’m not the only misguided individual.

It’s going to take a while to convert my existing pages from XHTML to HTML 4 Transitional.

Athena Anderson

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Please extend a warm welcome to our newest Firefaller, Athena Anderson.

Athena comes to use from San Diego, CA where she finally decided to make the trek east to New York City.

Name any MMORPG that’s out there and Athena’s played it! In fact, while at Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), Athena was part of the team that provided the QA and beta testing services for Everquest. Having worked in the online entertainment, biometric security, and e-commerce spaces, her insight and experience in QA will prove to be an invaluable asset to the organization.

Welcome Athena!

We’re Hiring, Again!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

With my first inaugural post, I’m happy to announce that we’re hiring once again! This time, we’re looking for a Web Application Developer. Read the description below and if you think you’d make a great fit, than inquire within.

Job Description:

Firefall Pro, a web application development company, seeks a Web Application Developer to create standards-based, web-based applications.

The potential employee will work alongside other developers and clients to design and implement database-driven application solutions.

Qualifications:

• Practical development experience in a LAMP environment
• Practical experience in XHTML and CSS
• Excellent problem solving skills
• Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
• Must be a highly motivated self-starter, with an attention to detail
• Must be able to re-prioritize tasks and objectives on-the-fly
• Must be able to translate business requirements to technical specifications
• Must be able to work under pressure in a small and highly focused team
• Savvy with both Windows and Mac platforms
• Current or past involvement in open source projects desirable
• Experience with Object-Oriented Programming (C++, Java, etc.) desirable
• Experience with UNIX/Linux-based Operating Systems desirable
• Must reside within the New York City metropolitan area

Why Us?

Firefall Pro is a growing company, and hell it’s usually fun to work here. We also have a lot of learning opportunities and there is a huge potential for job growth. We also have the “drawer of vice,” a bunch of R/C helicopters, and enough caffeine to kill a stable of horses.

If interested, check out our blog and send your cover letter and resume to [email protected]_DOMAIN.com.

www.firefallpro.com

Footnotes:
• This is a non-telecommuting position
• Must be legally authorized to work in the United States

Tom’s Pissed

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

How hard is it to piss off a hosting company, in this case Network Redux? How about blacklisting a whole class of their IP address without notification or any explanation. Then to top it off, ask for money for removal. Welcome to UCEProtect Network.

I wish I could get a hold of their client list. I’d start a friendly e-mail campaign to educate them, and offer legitimate alternatives.

Simple Time Tracking

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Note: I forgot to publish this. – S. P.

One thing we learned from iBiz, aside from how awful it can be, was the need for a simple and accurate way to keep track of time on the Mac. Our goal was to find an application that was not only reliable, but unobtrusive and inexpensive. Jon and I spent a few hours testing out different timers that we came across on MacUpdate.

We finally settled on On the Job by Stunt Software. It’s got a slick little interface coupled with reliable operation. So far its been great and the developer even incorporated our feedback in later releases.

Mr. O

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

This entry is a little over due, but I’d like to let everyone know that Julius O has returned to Firefall Pro. He was with us a little over a year ago when we were mostly in Philadelphia and we’re glad to have him back. He is currently working with Dan to provide us with top-notch quality assurance. Though his broad set of skills will undoubtedly lead to him doing a variety of other things, as it has in the past. His entrance brings us up to 5 full time employees.

And thanks to viewers like you for helping us grow.

Locations Magazine

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Big News! Firefallpro has another major project under it’s belt. A large portion of the work we do is maintenance work for existing sites, or general development work. However, we have a steady diet of new websites as well, and one of them was finished last week.

LocationsMagazine.com is the online counterpart of Locations Magazine, which is a yearly magazine featuring write ups and feature listings on hundreds of locations, caterers and other services. It has been published since 1993, and focuses almost exclusively on weddings and other high end events taking place in the New York and New Jersey area.

Our work for the site involved redesigning it completely from the ground up. We took the old messy ASP code and threw it away, and developed clean, standards compliant PHP code. We use CSS heavily in our new layout, and as a result several key features have been met:

* Better search engine indexing
The site has been indexed many times more frequently compared to the old site. In addition, the page rank for certain keywords has been increasing as google re-calculates.
* Increased Performance
year over year, for the month of june we saw an 80% increase in page views, 50% increase in visits, 10% increase in hits, and 35% decrease in bandwidth. This means more new people are coming, they’re staying longer, and the server is working far far more efficiently.
* Increased traffic rank
according to alexa (I know, I know, it’s a bad indicator, but it’s still an indicator) the traffic rank for the site has gone up 10%.

And that’s just the front end! We had some severe limitations on what we could do with the front end, as they wanted the look and feel to be the same as before. This meant that about the biggest change we were allowed to make was to turn the poetry section into DHTML from flash.

BUT, on the backend, we worked wonders (alliteration, go me!) The old site was slow moving, and bogged down with enormous forms containing every detail for each account. The new backend is fast, sleek, and totally AJAX, baby. This was the first project we’ve done in AJAX, and I must say I’m proud of it. Menus are responsive, reports come in faster, it’s entirely cross-browser compatible, and everything is edit in place. I look forward to more projects that let us flex our muscles like this did.

In closing, go check out the site, link to it, and tell your friends. If I get approval, I’ll go ahead and post some pics and things we learned in building the backend.

Total stats: 15,000 lines of original code, 15,000 lines of OSS code, and 0 errors or warnings.

EDIT: fixed the link. I’m retarded.