I've officially completed my first week at Pyxis Mobile!
After an amazing month long vaca - Toronto, Home (Hong Kong) and a bit of time back here in Boston, it's super exciting to get back into software. I have been looking forward to getting into mobile development for some time, and now to finally be in the thick of it - i'm stoked.
This past week consisted of my getting acquainted with my team lead, getting to know my new engineering team, training for the software product (Application studio) and familiarizing myself with the new development environment ( particularly for Blackberry Client dev ). Additionally, attended my first engineering team meeting to discuss the next release, I've started to get into foosball, have started to understand the process and observe meetings and attended the jQuery Mobile meetup w/ the Pyxis Mobile Web team.
Coming from a Java development background, I am particularly comfortable with the Eclipse IDE. However, it turns out that Blackberry development is actually best done using their own JDE, and that while they have support for Mac/Linux, it's all Windows. Yup - I'm back in the Windows world, and have to confess, I'm really impressed with Windows 7 (its also great having Outlook back). The JDE is powerful and the simulators are on-point, too. Unfortunately Eclipse isn't quite as good w/ it's debugger - primarily for performance reasons which I will not be digging into yet, but the JDE has you covered. The JDE really provides everything needed except one feature -- the equivalent to 'control+shift+r' in Eclipse - the ability to 'find a file', or AppleCommand+T in Textmate. That said, you have to search for the filename globally 'control+shift+f3' and it will appear along with references of the filename in other class files.
Doing Blackberry development also requires a middleware layer - the BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) - which there is a simulator for that can connect to your Web Server. Now that I'm using Windows 7 Enterprise, this means that I'm back to using IIS w/ Apache and now using SQL Server 2008 (instead of MySQL). Moreover instead of Subversion/Git, AccuRev is the SCM tool i'll be using. Instead of FogBugz, DevTrack.
I'll close by saying that it's exciting to be part of a software company. The corporate culture is very much geared toward being at the forefront of mobile application and web technologies. Our product allows enterprise companies to essentially mobilize their services via utilizing functionality available at the client level (the native applications, themselves) and our tuned mobility platform/consulting services. Seeing the various different facets is awesome and after having completed my training of the product I'm blown away by how simple the creation of such applications has been made. Everything we do is based around framework style development, where we try to abstract components and functionality, and then bring them into the App Studio product in a way in which the creation is straight forward.
I'll be sure to post tid bits as I advance in my development at Pyxis. Particularly around some design patterns, mobile architecture (starting w/ the Blackberry) and any interesting artifacts I learn/pickup whilst doing it.