Anastasia solves everyday problems with her team - it was love at first sight with Vaadin <3

Sometimes things just click. Anastasia is studying for a Master’s degree in Information Technology at the University of Turku and at the end of 2015 she was looking for an interesting topic to cover in her Bachelor’s thesis.

“My journey with Vaadin started with my Bachelor’s thesis, which was a Vaadin and GWT comparison. At that point I already realised that it would be great to connect my work life with Vaadin. A friend of mine pointed out that Vaadin was looking for an intern - and of course I took that chance and applied. So here I am now!” Anastasia says.

Vaadin Internship Program

The Vaadin internship lasted for 5 months, and gave students an opportunity to jumpstart their professional career with tech companies. The interning tech student gets introduced to Vaadin while working with diverse teams and the right team will be chosen depending on the intern’s studies and background.

“We went through a training project to understand the main features of Vaadin Framework. It also taught us to ask for help wherever it’s needed. Then, after the project completion I became part of the Vaadin Support team and I started to do the daily tasks our team does.” Anastasia sums up her onboarding at Vaadin.

Daily life on the Vaadin Support team

While working in the Vaadin Support team, Anastasia solves various issues, bugs, and tickets on a daily basis. Every day brings something new to fix or learn.

“Usually my day starts around 7am, but I arrive a little bit early to look through the updates and news. If I have left something from the previous day, I continue working on it right away, otherwise I check for new tasks. There is always something to do. One of the great things of Vaadin is the fact that we can spend some time on projects not directly related to our work, but which improve our skills and understanding. Also, there are always questions to answer on our forum and I can also learn something new from those questions.”

Vaadin gives the freedom to organise your working day and time flexibly which has enabled Anastasia to attend lectures at the university while doing the internship. “If I have lectures at the university I can go there and, if some tasks are left at work, I can go back to work after the lectures. It might sound like a lot of work to do and it is, but Vaadin takes into account that I am still a student and encourages me to study well. “

Vaadin is information, communication and technology

Vaadin is a multinational company with over 130 employees, of which most work at Vaadin HQ in Turku, Finland. “There are so many personalities and so much internal knowledge at Vaadin. It is really easy to ask anyone anything, and in case we don’t know within my team, there is someone else to ask from.”

After her internship, Anastasia was invited to join Vaadin as Junior Vaadin Developer and now she is working part-time. “You really get to do things at Vaadin.There is real team spirit and the possibility to contribute to Vaadin. Many thanks to my team and of course to my supervisor Maintenance Manager Tatu Lund.”

For the time-being, she does not have much free time but every now and then Anastasia dances. She loves to do dance choreography and salsa. She also loves reading, and her favorite writers are Dostoyevsky and Remarque.

Want to be like Anastasia?

Combine your love of Java technology with great colleagues? Take a look at the open opportunities at Vaadin and apply now!

Vaadin Jobs

Announcing new Vaadin Elements: vaadin-split-layout and vaadin-context-menu

Vaadin Elements has just launched <vaadin-split-layout> and <vaadin-context-menu> as two new freely available elements to our existing four. Vaadin Elements is a set of open source business class web components that bring structure and functionality to your web apps. vaadin-split-layout and vaadin-context-menu continue our trend of powerful, extensible web components.

We’ve also updated <vaadin-combo-box> with new features and fixes. Learn more in the release notes at the end of this post.

vaadin-split-layout 

<vaadin-split-layout> is a layout component that creates a customizable, resizable split between two elements. This element can be used for many different purposes, such as splitting a window for multitasking, for arranging different views on the same page, or for laying out pieces of information for an item.

Some of the features of <vaadin-split-layout> include:

  • Adjustable width/height of the layout with a draggable handle in between.
  • Vertical or horizontal split with the vertical property.
  • Can be nested to create more complex split layouts.
  • Customizable resize handle.
  • Emits resize notification.

Learn more about <vaadin-split-layout>  here.

vaadin-context-menu

This update also introduces the <vaadin-context-menu> component. <vaadin-context-menu> is a responsive web component for showing context dependent items for any element. This kind of context menu is often triggered with a right click or long tap and gives access to a menu suitable for that context. This can be used to supplement the existing browser context menu for your own unique context.

Some of the features of <vaadin-context-menu> include:

  • Customizable content can be either plain HTML or Polymer elements such as <paper-menu>.
  • Supports data-binding to the context and content.
  • Opens on both mouse and touch events. Can be set to open on any event, but defaults to your platform’s specific context opening trigger.
  • Automatic fullscreen mode for small viewports.
  • Both the contents and the overlay can be styled.
  • Provides both declarative HTML and imperative Javascript APIs.

 

Learn more about <vaadin-context-menu> here.

vaadin-combo-box release notes

<vaadin-combo-box> has received some love, too, and has new features and fixes.

  • Custom filtering lets the developer to bypass the built-in client-side filtering with a filter function of their own.
  • Remote filtering can asynchronously retrieve filtered items from a remote server.
  • Screenreader support has been improved.
  • selectedItem is no longer readOnly.

The Vaadin Elements team is committed to creating new, powerful web components.  As always, you can ask for questions and support on our forums or our Gitter chat.

Learn more at the Vaadin Elements homepage.

Why it’s faster to use Vaadin Designer than write Java

I’ve always been against WYSIWYG editors since the early days of Windows GUI design tools, because I felt that with those tools developing good-looking UIs was slower than writing code. I did some testing to find out which one actually is faster: my fingers and Eclipse auto-complete, or Vaadin Designer. I made a pretty simple form and timed my performance. To my surprise, with Designer I was more than 2x more productive. Here’s a side-by-side video of 9 minutes distilled into 30 seconds.

The declarative format of Vaadin doesn’t add any dirty abstraction on top of my components as I still must implement the event handling and logic in Java code. It is undeniably faster to create Vaadin layouts using Vaadin Designer than writing those in Java. It was quite a surprise to me that my 5+ years of experience in Vaadin doesn’t help me much when competing against the quickness of using a graphical design tool. There are a couple of reasons why using Vaadin Designer is faster than using only Java. Here are the features I found to be the biggest productivity boosts.

True WYSIWYG

The most obvious productivity comes from seeing the changes immediately while editing instead of having to re-deploy changes. Even when using some class reloading tool, you may still need to navigate to the view you changed or have some interaction with the application to see your dialog or form you just modified. Designer uses actual Vaadin layouting so what you see in the Design paper is the same you see in browser. The immediate apply of changes is even more prominent when doing modifications to the application theme.

Layout hierarchy visualisation

It’s pretty hard to keep the component tree as an abstract image in your head. UX designers don’t necessarily know how Vaadin layouting works so the view mockups might not have the correct layout components outlined. Instead, you need to figure out what components to use and try to build a correct layout with only Java API, which usually means some amount of trial-and-error. Having the layout displayed correctly while editing makes it easier to concentrate and deliver correct results without a hassle. Even better if you can teach your design person to install Eclipse or IntelliJ and build the UI for you instead of doing static mockup pictures.

Sizing quick-actions

Vaadin Designer displays quick action buttons for setting a full width or height to a component. It also helps you make correctly behaving layouts by hiding the sizing actions when using those would result in an invalid layout by having a relatively sized component inside an auto size component.

Changing component order is faster in Outline

Using drag-and-drop to position components is faster than writing addComponent even with auto-complete. The effect of drag-and-drop is highlighted even more when reordering components.

It’s not just the big features

There are some other features, too, that make me more productive, for example using copy-paste with components, having paper size presets to help do responsive design and the ability to use split-view when doing SASS changes. In the end, even though Designer has its limitations, I tend to pick it up more often than not. I don’t have to go all-in Designer or all-in Java, but I can mix-and-match and use Designer where it’s best suited - building good-looking layouts fast.

Vaadin Designer