VirtusLab’s summary of the year & plans for 2021
Although 2020 was a challenging year, we have many reasons to celebrate and in 2021 we are aiming higher!
In 2020 #VLteam welcomed a lot of new specialists (we’ve grown by over 20%, and the team counts currently 241 the best employees!). The main change in the previous year was a sudden transition to full remote work. Thanks to the fact that we had previously developed standards for remote work, we were able to effectively make this transition and it did not have a negative impact on the functioning and development of VirtusLab.
Expansion & awards
Our growth resulted also in opening a new foreign business unit in Berlin (apart from the one in the UK) and another Polish one, in Rzeszów (with Cracow and Kielce on the list) where we are building another excellent team!
The dynamics of the development of VirtusLab and its effectiveness on the market have been appreciated once again. Thanks to the hard work of our wonderful team, in 2020 we were honoured in several competitions, like:
– Forbes Diamond for the most dynamic Polish companies
– The Polish Company – International Champion competition for enterprises that, thanks to foreign investments and export activity, transform into global entities and are effectively competing in foreign markets
– For the third year in a row, we also ended a year with a Business Gazelles and joined the prestigious group of the most dynamically developing small&medium-sized companies in Poland.
Last year was also a further strengthening of our competences in various technological areas, especially Reactive application development (greenfield and modernization), Cloud-Native and Data Engineering & Data Science.
Our work on the development of Scala 3, described in more detail in this blog post, deserves a special mention here. We are the official team building Scala 3. Thanks to that we can offer training, custom tooling, compiler development and extensions. In the middle of the year, we announced that Martin Odersky (creator of Scala language) and Jon Pretty (a longtime active Scala contributor) became our advisors. In collaboration with Scala Center, we have been working a lot at Scala 3’s tooling (Metals, Bloop,Scala3doc) and compiler (Scala Native). In general, work on tooling (not only for Scala) fits into one of our main domain areas for improving the efficiency of developers’ work (Development Efficiency area).
Then at the end of 2020, we revealed that VirtusLab will offer a comprehensive set of add-on services to Scala 3. For us, this all confirmed and strengthened our long term strategy of active participation in the Scala ecosystem
This year brought us also the development of our own technology which the main theme is the increase in the efficiency of software development. Apart from further work on our employees’ initiatives like Context Buddy, Graph Buddy, CodeTale, we also managed to officially launch another #VLteam members’ project.
Over the past months, we have been productizing our experiences on the crossing of Azure and CI/CD. The Jenkins Operator Service was a result of this work. It’s a cloud-native Jenkins platform for scalable and cost-effective continuous integration in the public cloud. Built on top of Kubernetes, our JOS enables customers to fully automate Jenkins pipelines, plugins and any additional configuration needed.
2020 has been a particularly fruitful year for us in terms of developing our own products. Another will be revealed in 2021 so stay tuned!
Clients & Partners
2020 might not have seemed the best year for new collaborations, but we can boast of establishing cooperation with 7 new clients from UK and DACH area. Apart from that, we have been continuing our cooperation with our tech partners – Lightbend, JetBrains and Confluent. VirtusLab became also a Microsoft Gold Level Partner in the Azure cloud platform and data analytics. It marks our long term commitment to helping our customers with large scale cloud transformation projects.
The biggest difficulty in 2020 was the inability to organize safe events on a massive scale. For this reason, we were forced to postpone our annual IT conference, sphere.it, to 2021. However, the need to share knowledge, especially in such tough times, resulted in our new initiative – micro.sphere.it .These were free, tech-oriented online sessions packed with regular conference talks and discussions. Our attendees (and there were 1,340 of them in total!) were able to participate in 5 multidisciplinary sessions about Frontend Engineering, Kotlin Ecosystem, Data Science & Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Scala and Cloud-Native.
We successfully run online 9 Virtusity courses and 33 meet-ups (like Kraków Scala User Group, IoT Kraków, Rzeszów Java User Group or Kielce Java User group). We were also a partner of some international conferences, such as Kafka Summit.
Sphere.it in 2021 will bring even more novelty and rethought events for the new normality and we’re aiming high.
Plans for 2021
As we all know, 2020 started with a sudden event, COVID-19 global pandemic. It’s still a driving force behind all the changes and reshuffles that our customers are currently facing. A lot of industries will need modernization due to changes in the global economy. The main goal for 2021 is to support customers in that path. Equally crucial for us is strengthening our expertise in areas of VL’s specialization and further development of our products. Like every year, making sure that our work environment as much as possible supports VLteam remain one of our greatest importance.
Further expansion and acquiring new customers from the DACH market will be one of the priorities as well.
Our goal is to maintain a high level of services and flexibility. VL’s employees are the foundation of the company and we are convinced that our team is one of the strongest in the world.