How many vacation days do you have left?

How many times have you asked yourself this famous question just before planning your next holiday?

And what is the next thing that you do?

Well, if you are in a medium-large size company then you may have at your disposal some software tools which keep track of employee’s leave requests.

If you are instead in a small company which may not be provided with such tools, then the most common things to do is to start keeping personal notes of your holiday in a excel sheet. Ultimately you could ask your HR guy to check his own excel sheet, which may still not be better than yours 🙂

Well this is exactly the situation in which I have found myself. I got tired of keeping this excel sheet up to date and also to calculate every time how many days did I earned up to now. Moreover, the situation start to become even more complex when you do overtime, which is quite a common thing in a start-up environment.

So one day I thought… I could make an app for that! 

Here I am, after a few months of working during weekends, while moving to a new home and having my first child 😀 , I finally managed to publish the first beta version of Vacation Tracker.

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Download from Google Play

The idea of this app is pretty simple: you enter the day of holidays that you are entitled per year by your work contract, the start and the end date of the contract, and voilà, the app will show:

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  1. how many vacation days have you EARNED from the start of the contract until now,
  2. how many have you already TAKEN,
  3. and how many are LEFT.

 

Obviously you need to enter the taken days for an accurate overview 🙂 and that is also pretty easy to do: you can enter full days or even fraction of days into the history page.

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What’s next?

Well for now I will first fix the bugs that will come out from this beta release 🙂 After that I have plan to expand it by including overtime tracking. However, if you have any idea to make it better for your personal need I will be happy to hear it. Maybe I can develop it for you!

Happy testing!

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Why a startup can save you from boredom.

Don’t be afraid to change job if you feel bored!

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It is in the human nature to find a secure shed where we can feel protected and relaxed. We tend to do that in everything, when we buy an house, create a family, build a circle of trusted friends and also when we look for a new job.

I believe that this tendency comes from the idea that not having to worry about “danger” give us more freedom to focus on other things. It makes perfect sense to me. Actually, more than an idea, could be a “surviving instinct”.

Wait a minute. Could this be the cause why many of us often feel unsatisfied in their jobs (and maybe also in their lives)? And is it really some “dangerous” situation what we are trying to avoid or is it actually the uncertainty of the unknown?

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Exploring Android Animations

Are you a designer or a developer who would like to add a fine touch to your android application? Animations can help to create a better mental model of your app and a better understanding of content changes. The android.view.animation package provides a lot of basic animations, but understanding how to use them is not trivial. In this post I am presenting a tool to explore the android animations and to help you to create your own custom animation.

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Social Media Authentication for your views and your backend.

Are you one of those guys who tried to use the FirebaseUI library and got stuck with the built-in authentication dialog because it doesn’t allows you to use your own layout?

Or did you tried to integrate Facebook, Twitter and Google sign-in with your backend without too much success?

Then the solution to your problem is the SocialAuth library.

SocialAuthFlow (1)

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Getting started with Firebase while moving away from Parse.

The announcement that Facebook will shut down Parse on January 28, 2017 has definitely generated a lot of rumors and concerns in the development community.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of us who have chosen Parse in the past to implement their Backend-as-a-Service, especially because of its easy to use API. However, now, we all have to start moving away from it and reflect on two points:

  1. Why swapping backend has become a problem for our applications?
  2. What alternative BaaS can we use?

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Dependency injection: why and how?

If you are interested in boosting the quality of your code then you should definitely start looking into ways to promote reusability, testability and low-coupling. There are plenty of software design patterns that you can follow to do that, however I have found one in particular which works very well in android applications: the Dependency Injection (DI) pattern.
This article will first explain in simple words (1) what is the DI pattern, then convince you (2) why you should use it, and finally (3) provide you with an example of its implementation.

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Image source: dilanwarnakulasooriya

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Automate your graphics to support multiple screens.

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With new android devices coming out every day it is difficult to make sure that your images look best on any screen. To achieve this goal you and your graphic designer have to do a hell of a work to generate and maintain your drawables for the various screen sizes.

Have you ever thought to automate this work?

If you don’t know already that Android Studio can do it for you, then you should probably keep reading this post.

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Blending pixels.

In this blog post I am providing you with a tool which will help to understand the possibilities behind PorterDuff modes without the need to study the PorterDuff composing algebra.

In simple words, you will be able to make a droid appear on a grass field. Of course you can digitally make anything to appear on anything, this was just an example :-).

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 13.21.25

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