Life At ComAp

ComAp through the eyes of a .NET developer: New projects and endless variety

Václav Sedláček works at ComAp as a manager of software tool development. He started this journey over eight years ago as a .NET programmer and today leads ComAp’s Prague and Košiče-based teams. We are in a period of growth, and there are even bigger plans for the future. The .NET teams in Prague and IT Kosice Valley are expanding their .NET developer numbers. We met with Václav for a short chat about working at ComAp, including what’s being developed under his leadership.

Vašku, what are you developing at ComAp in .NET?

We have a truly wide scope of technologies, users, and applications. Our focus is on the agile development of cloud services, web, desktop, mobile and console apps. Together, all of these applications form an ecosystem for our controllers. Their perfect functionality is crucial because they drive the engines and control energy management of vessels or lower the fuel costs of dump trucks. They also control backup power systems for critical infrastructure, if any power outage occurs in hospitals, banks, or data centres.

Which apps do you find the most interesting to manage?

One of our most important tools is a software application that configures our controllers. It’s written in C# and uses a .NET framework. For the presentation layer, we use WPF technology and Telerik UI for WPF components. InteliConfig is a widespread app that’s always being developed – and as a result, it is continuously tested to meet our quality standards. Overnight, an automatic UI test ensures that InteliConfig is working as it should – and if not, informs us about what needs to be fixed. The development of  InteliConfig is shared by three SCRUM teams that provide continuous customer value in regular 14-day sprints.Another of my favorites is InteliSCADA – released just this year in April. InteliSCADA monitors and controls the energy sources driven by our controllers. During its development we try to use new SW technology and, if needed, push for their new versions. At present, we use .NET Core 3.0, Angular 11, Rx.JS, Electron, and Bootstrap. The most interesting part about working with this application is its design and frontend development, and the demand for high stability and performance. Right now, all this is being done by one SCRUM team, which has a 14-day sprint.

And what about ComAp’s mobile apps?

Mobile apps are becoming standard even in our industry, and in regions like Africa, they dominate. We develop our mobile apps in Xamarin, using already developed components from InteliSCADA that thanks to the technologies we use, are compatible with many platforms. Typically, this is done by several smaller kanban teams over a few months or so.

Do you develop software or apps only for external purposes?

Glad you asked. That’s right. At ComAp, we don’t just work for external customers, but our colleagues too. For example, we’ve created apps that simplify our developers' work when creating firmware, configuration generators, debugging software, and so on. We’ve also developed helpful apps and systems for ourselves. An example of that would be our ABRT system – short for Automation of Building, Releasing, and Testing. It is a CI/CD system that connects Atlassian tools (Jira, Bamboo, BitBucket), Artifactory, and Inno setup into one CI/CD pipeline.We’ve been developing CI/CD systems at ComAp for years, and now we’re finally at a stage when by simply sending his source code, a developer can initiate an install process for the customer that results in the installation of a customer package from afar (and automatically includes all the required components). At the same time, this whole process also provides integration and UI checks.

You lead both of our developer teams, based in Prague and Košice. What’s the best part of working at ComAp as a .NET developer?

For me, it’s the fact that we focus on developing our people as much as our tools. A lot of effort goes into providing training opportunities, workshops, incubation projects (mini-projects that are supposed to test and expand our best ideas) and technical forums. We also provide paid access to Pluralsight, where we educate ourselves further, especially in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and prediction capabilities (such as predicting potential engine issues and more). Even though ComAp is a global company with over 400 employees, a friendly and supportive workplace matters to us. We try to create teams with an open, cooperative, and respectful atmosphere and hire those who share our thinking and positive approach.

Vaclav Sedlacek, Software manager and Innovation leader at ComAp

Václav Sedláček leads our development teams in Prague and Košice. Václav is an innovations leader and is currently our Software Tools Manager. He was attracted to ComAp by the rare combination of hardware and software development that it offers, in other words, the opportunity to develop an app that works with a physical, tangible product. What keeps him at ComAp? The endless variety of work and projects that continuously come his way, his cool head, and the chance to unwind in the garden he’s started building at home.

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