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Razan's blog

We made it to 9 years!

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RazanMonday, August 22, 2016 - 13:14

We made it to 9 years!

Nine years spent springing web and mobile apps to life and it’s been one exciting journey!

In June 2007, we marched on our mission then of making the web more social for our clients and our own products way before Facebook and Twitter were global household names. Three years on we helped create and launch the region’s first and only entrepreneurial hub Wamda. By then smartphones were growing in adoption so we hired our first mobile team whom helped create Sowt, a regional voice powered social network platform on the web, iOS and Android. 

Today, the game is changing,  we no longer need to be just social and mobile; we need to create experiences that give context to where we are and who we want talk to, be it the spaces around us or the things we use so now more than ever the new digital experiences need to be smart companions to everyday activities. With this vision in mind we created AliveSpaces a full stack proximity platform for any space to engage their visitors and manage their interactive and marketing needs. 

As we continue to march on creating more relevant human digital experiences; we invite you to check the latest digital properties we've sprung into life.

Introducing: Spring internship program 2015

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RazanWednesday, October 15, 2014 - 15:19

We are happy to introduce our official internship program that will start in January 2015!

The program is targeted at students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in software engineering related disciplines .

Here are some of the benefits for the participants:

1. Learn how to code apps wither for web or mobile.
2. Learn our coding culture and process.
3. Participate in real-life projects from start to end.
4. and much more!

Additionally, participants who manage to make the best of their time @ Spring might get to work with us on full or part-time basis after the two months are done.

Looking forward to receiving your application at this link:

http://bit.ly/1tthsP0

Sowt: developing an audio based social network

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RazanWednesday, March 20, 2013 - 10:53

Every year we get one or two projects that push our knowledge and technical abilities beyond our comfort zones. In 2012 (and continuing in 2013); Sowt was one of those projects as was Wamda in 2010 & 2011.

When it started; we had to take few weeks to research the application architecture and the technology stack that best fits an audio social network that in part is like Facebook, part like twitter and in others a life of its own.

Professionally we have a lot of respect to those apps and more so as avid users. We get excited when they role out new features and as web builders ourselves we think how did they do it, and discuss that amongst ourselves.

With Sowt, excitement is three fold! First we got a chance to create those features ourselves, then we created them across web, Android and iOS, and last but not least; is creating the other unique features of sowt that we have no reference for!

That is a killer combination that realizes a dream project I wanted us to work on since 2009. And I was glad that Sowt founders shared that strategy, vision and means to make it a reality.

So what was going on behind the scenes? (WARNING: the following is for those of you who appreciate the gory technical details!)

One of the first things we created was a backlog sheet listing all the features to be created and the sprints they were planned to be developed in. We kept maintaining this sheet at all times and using it for all product development discussions.

When building a social network you need to think high performance and scalability from day one. Thus came our choice to use MongoDB, the popular scalable, high-performance, open source NoSQL database.

Also when developing across web/mobile platforms; An API has to be created first to allow all team members to work without delay. This was a first for us as we usually create the API at the end of a web project. So we spent few weeks creating a world-class RESTful API architecture and first batch of APIs for the first sprint of development.

Later we went on creating design-less mobile applications for Android and iOS before creating the web experience to test proof the concept and get feedback on user experience that needs to be designed. This was followed with an intense period of discussions while working with the designer to optimize the user experience for Android to be different than iOS. Springing from the belief that device owners like to experience any app within its own native environment. An example we used a lot in this period was FourSquare and not Viber for instance.

Currently we are preparing for the public beta release of Sowt that is planned to happen tomorrow at ArabNet Beirut. The public beta will have amongst other things full social signup and login as well as highly integrated auto sharing with other social apps. Stay tuned to announcements from Sowt on their Facebook page as well as twitter stream.

Spring is hiring! A Project Coordinator and a Quality Engineer

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RazanSunday, February 3, 2013 - 12:01

We are looking to hire a project coordinator and a quality engineer!

Project Coordinator:
As a key member of the operations team, you're definitely a highly motivated self starter requiring little supervision. You're the kind of person who highly values client satisfaction, understands tight deadlines, thinks clearly under pressure, enjoys working with people, have an almost painful desire to deliver quality products on time on budget and believes nothing is impossible!

Required skills 

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills English/Arabic is a must 
•1-3 years of experience in a similar position 
• Information technology background 
• Have programmed web applications in the past before moving into project coordination 
• Love for the web 
• Excellent analytical skills 
• Structured thinking 
• Experience in writing use cases/specification documents is a plus
• Up to date on industry (web 2.0) best practices .

Quality Engineer:
As a key member of the quality team, you're definitely a highly motivated self starter requiring little supervision. You're the kind of person who understands tight deadlines, thinks clearly under pressure, enjoys testing web/mobile applications, detail oriented, picky and highly organized and a painful desire to deliver quality products!

Required skills 

• Excellent English verbal and written communication skills 
• 1-3 years of testing web/mobile applications • Experience in drafting checklists, test plans and test cases.• Experience in open source testing tools is a plus.
• Experience in functional, stress and load testing
• Up to date on industry best practices

If you are interested please send your CV/Resume to hello[@]hellospring.net

Hello! We are Spring, and we are 5 years old!

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RazanThursday, November 1, 2012 - 17:43

We've been springing web and mobile apps to life for a little over five years! And since we haven't done much marketing on our old website we're going to try to sum up what we've been up to in this short blog post!

We've serviced over 40 brands. Launched over 40 websites. 20+ of which were new online products. 10+ of which were startups.

We started development in Code Igniter, Drupal and WordPress, played with Symfony for a bit but we liked Yii much more.

We've been around since Drupal 4.x and Code Igniter 1.x.

We did product development with start-up founders and "Intrepreneurs" in big enterprises, we devised web strategies for dozens of websites.

Check what we've recently built and how we've built it!

We started with one developer back in June 2007 and today we are 12. We even have a dedicated Android and iOS development team! Meet us

Our work with entrepreneurs and our own web venture experiments has repeatedly confirmed our passion for staring things up, and our knowledge has grown with every project.
In the process, we also learned that there are reoccurring issues and obstacles that entrepreneurs face. Some of these issues are universal, but some seem to be specific to our region. So in the spirit of knowledge sharing, we have compiled a list of traps that many startups fall into when working on their products. Consider them pointers to keep in mind for a better chance at success!

We're cooking three startups in our kitchen as we speak and excited to help their founders show them before end of this year!

Got a web or mobile project that needs to spring to life? Talk to us!

Let us know what you think of our new website!

We are hiring! Web developers with 1-2 years experience in PHP/Drupal

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RazanWednesday, November 3, 2010 - 15:07

We currently have two vacancies available to hire web developers with experience in PHP/Drupal.
You're a highly motivated self starter requiring little supervision. You're the kind of person who understands tight deadlines, thinks clearly under pressure, enjoys solving difficult problems, have an almost painful desire to build quality products and believes nothing is impossible!

You have 1-2 years of experience in coding php 5.xx apps 
• Experience with Drupal, CodeIgniter or Symfony 
• Excellent database skills in MySQL
 • Comfortable with Linux 
• Working knowledge of apache administration 
• Excellent working knowledge in html, css and javascript 
• Open source software user 
• Up to date on industry best practices . * Fresh graduates with knowledge in PHP may apply.

We offer competitive compensation, a casual work environment and the chance to be the best professional you always knew you could be.

Interested in becoming a springer? Email us your CV at hello[at]hellospring.net.

“Thoughts on the now and future of Social Media” presentation @AmmanTT

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RazanMonday, July 19, 2010 - 12:07

Below are the slides I presented at last week’s Amman Tech Tuesdays (#AmmanTT) event. Would love to hear more of your comments/questions.

Thoughts on the now and future of Social Media from Razan Khatib

Big thanks to AmmanTT team for the opportunity and support!

Spring is Hiring! Web and mobile developers

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RazanThursday, April 1, 2010 - 16:07

Spring Technologies is a technology consultancy that helps build applications that connect people, enable conversations and drive transactions. 



You are a springer if:
You're a highly motivated self starter requiring little supervision. You're the kind of person who understands tight deadlines, thinks clearly under pressure, enjoys solving difficult problems, have an almost painful desire to build quality products and believes nothing is impossible!

You are a web springer if:
You have 1-4 years of experience in coding php 5.xx apps 
• Experience with Drupal, CodeIgniter or Symfony makes you a senior! 
• Excellent database skills in MySQL
 • Comfortable with Linux 
• Working knowledge of apache administration 
• Excellent working knowledge in html, css and javascript 
• Open source software user 
• Up to date on industry best practices . * Fresh graduates with knowledge in PHP may apply.

You are a mobile springer if:
- You have a passion for creating mobile apps period. Whither for the iPhone OS, Android, Symbian, BlackBerry or Window's Mobile.
- You have a real-world and hands-on experience in developing apps for mobile platforms using either Objective-C, Java, C#, or C++
- Relevant experience should include knowledge of the full technology suite for the applicable platform (e.g., Objective-C, Xcode, and the iPhone SDK for iPhone; Java, Eclipse, and the Android SDK for Android; C#, Visual Studio, and the Compact Framework for Windows Mobile).
- Working knowledge of standard user interface practices for the applicable platform is also needed.
-Experience in mobile networking and communications, mobile security, or application distribution is a plus.

We offer competitive compensation, a casual work environment and the chance to be the best professional you always knew you could be.

Interested in becoming a springer? Email us your CV at hello[at]hellospring.net.

Spring is hiring! Project Manager/System Analyst

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RazanThursday, January 7, 2010 - 15:07

Spring a leading technology consultancy company in Amman, Jordan is looking to hire a Project Manager/System Analyst.

We help build web sites/applications that connect people, enable conversations and drive transactions. 



Project Manager/System Analyst : As a key member of the operations team, you're definitely a highly motivated self starter requiring little supervision. You're the kind of person who highly values client satisfaction, understands tight deadlines, thinks clearly under pressure, enjoys working with people, have an almost painful desire to deliver quality products on time on budget and believes nothing is impossible!

Required skills 

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills English/Arabic is a must 
• 2-4 years of experience in a similar position 
• Information technology background 
• Have programmed web applications in the past before moving into project coordination/management 
• Love for the web 
• Excellent analytical skills 
• Systemized thinking 
• Experience in writing use cases/specification documents 
• Up to date on industry (web 2.0) best practices .

Update: If you are only interested in Project management or only interested in System Analysis please apply!

If you are interested please send your CV/Resume to hello[@]hellospring.net with "Project Manager/System Analyst" in the subject of the email.

Why Jordan could be the next silicon valley?

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RazanWednesday, November 18, 2009 - 15:07

A skeptical friend of mine the other day asked me while we were attending the Global Entrepreneurship Week launch event in Jordan why do people think Jordan is special and why would it ever be the silicon valley of the region?

Through answering him I explained how Amman is similar to the US in one important aspect. We are a city that grew through immigration of displaced people from different parts of the region throughout the years.

This sense of starting new, passed down from generation to generation. While the apparent difference in this analogy comes from the fact that when people settled in Jordan it wasn't seen as a dream come true like what immigrants in the US felt. Nonetheless, I see this spirit of making it big in many of my circles, the social and professional alike. With people from older generations, the 40 somethings as well as my generation of 30 somethings. Now i see it more in the 20 somethings.

They all want to make it big, want to follow their dreams, want to be the next Microsoft, Google or Facebook or the better Starbucks, Landor.
It gets to a point at my startup that people get out to start their own after a while, might be annoying at times to an employer but the bigger picture is that they take the risk, they go and follow their dreams.

I don't have statistics but I am sure if you look at the number of new tech companies that started up the past 10 years you will definitely see a sharp curve.

The torch for the next silicon valley was ignited already, we are still struggling to create an ecosystem but i see it happening. Yet as Fred Wilson mentioned recently in a blog post:

But it takes time. And you can't fast forward because we are talking about experience which can't be manufactured. You simply have to put in the time.

We have a long way ahead of us, the private sector needs to start investing in educating the next generation we must be proactive in creating innovative ways to bridge the gap between our existing educational institutions and what the workforce needs and not wait until our government does so. Sponsor innovation by investing in internal labs to experiment with ideas. We need to enable other Arab talent an easy path to come and start their dream in Jordan not get stuck at lousy immigration policies. Look at how many people from an Indian origin live in Silicon Valley? See how they are celebrated.

The Maktoob deal earlier this year ignited this hope once again, it gave everyone a successful picture and a reality that could be theirs in the near future or something along that path.

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