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TIPS, INSIGHTS AND THE LATEST FROM THE EXPERTS BEHIND CAKEPHP

Managing A Company During A Global Pandemic

A worldwide pandemic is not something a company, a manager, or a team ever plans for. This time 6 months ago we were bringing in more clients than anticipated, and planning for an international conference. Fast forward to now, just like most companies we have been hit, our conference has gone virtual, and many employees are still worried about what is to come. 

Here are 5 things I have learned during these uncertain times:

 

1. Don’t panic. 

Easier said than done, right? Being responsible for a team of great people and their financial, as well as professional, well being can be trying at times. I have learned it is best to stay calm, push forward and still do the best we can, even when our best isn’t always enough. Luckily, I am not a worrier by nature, and I hope that I can be a solid backbone for my team and clients, while letting them know that they (and our company) are my top priority … now more than ever. 

 

2. Be transparent

It is best to have sure answers and knowledge of what is expected, and to be open and honest about this with the team. If we are going to be working longer hours one week, maybe shorter the next, I want to be upfront so that no one is caught off guard. If policies or procedures are changing, they are notified immediately   Same thing goes for our clients, we have always prided ourselves on being honest and transparent about the behind the scene scenarios. It may not always be good news that’s delivered, but it will be honest. I have set goals to make my expectations clear, and reasonable. 

 

3. Be available:

Someone like myself, I am always going in a million directions. I have made it a point to make myself available for help, support, or whatever it is that someone may need. This goes for  clients, team members, even friends.  A pandemic like this really makes you step back and think about what is important, and things that you may not have made priorities in the past that needed to change. Our team is used to working remotely, but we communicate daily, and we always have open lines of communication (sometimes in the middle of the night as we all work in different time zones.

 

4. Be Understanding

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. It is vital that each individual understands that not everyone is the same. We do not handle stress the same, we go through trials and tribulations differently, so it is important to be empathetic. We need to provide tools for success... and sometimes that means paid time off, new communication platforms, team building exercises, or just listening and being compassionate. I think a mistake a lot of people made early on was expecting everyone to adjust to the new way of life, with no clear direction. This resulted in a lot of confusion, and negativity, instead of learning together and changing the course of action. 
 

5. Surround yourself with a great team. 

Luckily for me, our team is fully functional without me, maybe that should scare me a little, huh? We have structure, we built up trust with each other, and everyone works towards the same goal - being successful, delivering to our clients, and growing together. While it may be my job to keep everyone moving forward and be motivating, it’s no secret that they motivate me, too. Despite working in different countries, our team has built great relationships with each other, and everyone is ready to step in and help their colleagues whenever necessary. 
 

Final thoughts

Has 2020 been different than I imagined? Absolutely. We do not know the answers to every question. We also do not know where this year may take our team, the company, or the world! One thing I do know is we will adapt, adjust and keep pushing forward. We will keep providing the best service to our clients as we always have, and we will not panic…. Not yet at least. 


 

Latest articles

Playing with the new CakePHP Queue

One of the topics discussed in the community is the benefit of a unified, officially supported, CakePHP Queue plugin. Queues are used in most of the projects nowadays and are a central utility plugin. During the CakeFest 2020 event, there were also a couple direct references from speakers: (https://speakerdeck.com/josegonzalez/building-and-releasing-a-cakephp-plugin/?slide=15c) and this comment from Mark Story: https://cakesf.slack.com/archives/C172CS4TE/p1602257791377500.   This motivated me to take a deeper look at the cakephp/queue plugin and write this blog post.   Here at CakeDC we've been using queues for a looooong time. Initially in CakePHP 2, we've used plugins like CakeResque with redis or custom workers tied to Amazon SQS queues. Then in CakePHP 3 & 4 we've been using mostly https://github.com/josegonzalez/cakephp-queuesadilla with redis or mongodb backends. https://github.com/cakephp/queue   First thing would be setting up the plugin in your project, we are going to use the example project we used in CakeFest 2020: https://github.com/cakephp/cakefest2020/#using-docker   So after setting up the project and running it via docker compose, we can proceed to setup the plugin via composer. We will need to add it as a repository and set  

Install via composer

  After the first release it'll be much easier, but for now you'll need to add the package to your composer.json   "repositories": [         {             "type": "vcs",             "url": "https://github.com/cakephp/queue.git"         }     ]   Then do composer require cakephp/queue -W   And install some transport as stated in the official documentation https://book.cakephp.org/queue/1/en/index.html#installation composer require enqueue/redis:^0.9 composer require predis/predis:^1   Ensure your redis server is up and running, you can check the commands sent to your local redis server using redis-cli monitor   Now we are ready to configure the queue, we'll create 1 default queue adding this to the config/app.php file       'Queue' => [         'default' => [             'url' => 'redis:',         ],     ],   Add a Job using `bin/cake bake job Example` and add some code to the execute method       public function execute(Message $message): string     {         $data = $message->getArgument('data');           // do some long operation with data         Debugger::log($data);         sleep(2);           return Processor::ACK;     }   I've added a command utility to enqueue a test message bin/cake bake command addJob       public function execute(Arguments $args, ConsoleIo $io)     {         $callable = [ExampleJob::class, 'execute'];         $arguments = ['id' => 1, 'data' => ['some' => 'data']];           QueueManager::push($callable, $arguments);     }   And finally we can start our worker using bin/cake worker to pull jobs from Redis and process them using the ExampleJob::execute method   Here's all the example code created: https://github.com/cakephp/cakefest2020/tree/feature/cakephp-queue - for your reference.   Please note the plugin is still a work in progress and there is no stable release as of now.  It's looking great so far and we plan to include it in our next projects!  

Best CakePHP Plugins

Members of our team had the privilege of helping with CakeFest 2020 this year. One added virtual feature was the giveaways from CakePHP, these were done in the form of fastest-to-answer, trivia, or participation (random draw).  One of the giveaway games was to share your favorite CakePHP plugin but like, how do we only pick one, right? Anyway… There was a lot of participation in this giveaway! A few people even named our CakeDC Users plugin as their favorite *cue blushing face*. But in all seriousness, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of the plugins that were named most useful/helpful by CakeFest attendees this year….   Like I mentioned, the CakeDC users Plugin: https://github.com/CakeDC/users Queue Plugin: https://github.com/dereuromark/cakephp-queue Bake: https://github.com/cakephp/bake DataTables: https://github.com/fheider/cakephp-datatables CakePHP-tools: https://github.com/dereuromark/cakephp-tools Authentication: https://github.com/cakephp/authentication CakePHP-image: https://github.com/josbeir/cakephp-image Fixturize: https://github.com/lorenzo/cakephp-fixturize CakePHP File-Storage: https://github.com/burzum/cakephp-file-storage Crud: https://github.com/FriendsOfCake/crud IDE Helper: https://github.com/dereuromark/cakephp-ide-helper Asset-Compress: https://github.com/markstory/asset_compress CakePHP Debug Kit: https://github.com/cakephp/debug_kit Plum-Search: https://github.com/skie/plum_search CakePHP API: https://github.com/cakedc/cakephp-api/ Bootstrap UI: https://github.com/friendsofcake/bootstrap-ui Trash: https://github.com/usemuffin/trash   You can check out the full list of CakePHP Plugins at Plugins.CakePHP.org.  Have you been utilizing these tools? If not, it may be a good idea to start… while each of these serve their own purpose, using all of them can make your baking process a lot easier.    Perhaps your favorite didn’t make this list? Tell us about it… email HERE. Or, tweet us @CakeDC, @CakePHPThanks for baking!  

CakeFest 2020 recap

Taking a deep breath….. We have made it through another successful CakeFest event.    We didn’t know exactly what to expect with a fully virtual event, as it opens the door for a list of things that can (and most likely will) go wrong. Would the speakers show up? Would the internet connections keep things from running smoothly? Would attendees enjoy the information?   The answer to all of those questions is yes.    The lineup this year was amazing, and we had speakers from 6 different countries! With the ever changing way of life, our team wanted to have a diverse group of speakers, with some talking about some pretty serious subjects - like Dr. Jennifer Akullian and the mental health issues faced in the tech world. Jen allowed for questions and how-to-handle scenarios, and worked through some tough issues with attendees. Workshops from Mark Story, Jorge Gonzalez, Mark Scherer and Jose Lorenzo provided incomparable information while building projects in real time. All of the talks provided useful information that we hope all attendees will take with them as they bake in the future.    Now, does all of this bragging mean we didn’t have any issues? No. As I said in our opening, I think our group is pretty awesome and perfect, but the fact of the matter is, no one is. When bringing people together from all over the world, it is hard to test and check every connection multiple times. We had our fair share of internet lag, connection problems and audio issues. You know what we did? We worked together, fixed it, switched around the schedule and made it happen.   Virtual CakeFest 2020 was a great success, and exceeded our expectations. We were able to gather bakers from all over the world, in real time, and host a live event! I couldn’t believe how interactive the audience was, and everyone is still baking together in our #cakefest chat channel. I hope everyone is as impressed with the turn out as our team is. I know what you’re thinking… when will the recordings be released. We are working on uploading, editing and releasing the videos ASAP. While we tried to find the best universal timezone, we understand that other obligations kept some from attending, and we want to share these videos with you quickly, so know that we are working on it.    To our attendees: THANK YOU. Thank you for joining, supporting our framework and keeping CakePHP alive.   

I would like to thank all of our speakers:

  Remy Bertot  Junichi Okuyama Mark Story Jorge Gonzalez Jose Lorenzo Mark Scherer Jose Gonzalez Cal Evans Ed Barnard Jennifer Akullian Mariano Iglesias Chris Nizzardini Juan Pablo Ramirez
 

A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

   Cake Development Corporation
  Passbolt 
  Marks Software
  RingCentral  


  Here’s to planning next year’s event to be even bigger and better!  

We Bake with CakePHP