End of contract – a retrospect

Introduction – I am out of work !

Hi there. Recently I was informed that the company that invited me urgently to move abroad for a professional and challenging work environment was not intending to continue my contract after my trial period.

Reactions I received were ‘how sad’ and ‘probably we are less easy to work with than we intend to be’.

I guess a healthy and professional work-environment depends on the people and handling expectations, all supported by management. I do may say this has been MY WORST WORKING EXPERIENCE EVER, and this should summarize it.

However, the unsuspected decision (there has never been a discussion, so no outcome) has brought me and my family with infants in a small social nightmare. We have made a considerable investment with a transmigration, short-term high-price accommodation etcetera) based on the promises we received.

In an attempt to make this post not the saddest of all ‘I am a IBM ICS developer and looking for a job ‘ (you may reply however in case you know a job opportunity) I was thinking writing about my activities the last x months and my plans for the near future.

Log of activities

Spring Tool Suite

The last months I have been developing my first Java program in Spring Tool Suite (STS). The program runs as a service and basically it collects data from a financial service and create reports (spreadsheets) from the received data. The bit where IBM Notes plays a role is that for logging activities OpenLog is being used. For displaying the log entries I build an interface with the help of XPages.

Why STS? – Because I was told so.

What is your experience? – After programming in XPages with more and more Java (Managed beans, Java classes, External libraries, Expression Language) the learning curve was quiet steep. Luckily I got help with a patient colleague who showed and explained me a lot of ins and outs in developing in STS (Thanks!).  A lot of things that are simply to manage in JSF (e.g beans) I had to setup myself and I have been taking the existance of scope variables for granted. On the other hand the REST templates in STS work like a charm and make it easy to work with REST services.

So this project has been a good learning experience for me, although the working conditions (read: project specifications) were poor.

XPages 2.0 err 1.0

Further I have been working on XPages development by updating an existing XPages application.

When I first looked at the application I saw a load of design elements. Basically each type of document had it own large set of design elements to display information in different views, so with the help of the Dynamic Content control, some Java collections and work more with one JSON configuration file instead of losely coupled keyword documents I managed to reduce the amount of design elements dramatically.

Besides that a search interface had to be added. When I proposed to use the jQuery DataTables plugin for a more dynamic and potential search function instead of a custom form with hard-coding the dropdown boxes I was like talking abracadabra, my blog posts on the datatables plugin prove however this can be implemented fairly quick and easy.

So no chance here to introduce Managed beans, Java classes, JSON as data format for document collections, REST services, use XPages only as render engine, avoid SSJS as much as possible, avoid setting up unnecessary Notes view for delivering (slightly) different sets of data, use expression language above SSJS (when possible). So no chance to prove my skills here. Should I feel sorry for the customer?

Working on a Mac

For some it’s like nature but do you remember the time you came from a Windows environment and started working with a Mac? The last couple of months I have been working with Mac and this was also a great learning experience!

The future

So what will bring the future? From what I understand the Notes market in Sweden has been very low the last couple of years so I might have a problem here. My skills are mainly focussed on XPages development, and the expectations for this platform are very unclear (did I hear a roadmap for IBM Notes / Domino somewhere ?)(please do not post depressing comments about the prospects of this product).

The lack of updates from IBM and the limit amount of companies embracing this technology let consider me to look for alternatives.


I have decided to study some upcoming or rising technologies for web development and one of them I consider React. For a couple of years I have been experimenting with Angular and data residing in IBM Notes. It feels to me that Angular has more rules to follow than React (React is about the view in the MVC concept) so the latter looks more easy to start with.

Knut Herrman gave me a nice introduction on React as front-end for Domino a while ago.

So hopefully I can demonstrate soon my first “React application” to you.

Graph data modelling

The data that we live with becomes more connected so another ‘leg’ I would like to stand on in the near future is on graph data modelling. I have followed several courses for Neo4j now and been exploring the Graph db in the OpenNTF Domino API whichs allows me to build applications in an environment I feel comfortable in.

I have blogged about Graph data-modelling with Notes data in other posts so expect some more posts about this.

One thing I notice the job opportunities in this area seem to be scarce but perhaps I am looking under the wrong categories on the wrong sites.

So hire me!

I am open for all opportunities; a permanent job, a fixed contract, sub contract. Everything working with interesting technology is better than sitting at home. So if you happen to know something of interest do not hesitate to contact me.

For more information on my work experience I direct you initially to my LinkedIn profile.