Stas Sușcov

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The last 7 months of our venture

Roughly a year ago I joined a venture which would become one of the most memorable and teaching journey in my career, that I had a chance to be a part of so far.

This is my point of view on the last days of probably the most dynamic and exciting investment fund a.k.a. development studio a.k.a. start-up that took place in Romania by today’s date. Which is also a very dead one at this moment.
With this article I will try to explain some reasoning behind such a long transitioning and the motivation behind our closing.

I joined Geekcelerator in late April as the tech lead. There, my responsibilities included, but were not limited to tech advisory and development, but also on helping the fund transition into something more like Betaworks: an investment studio with its own projects and team.


We were pretty sure we should be focusing on entrepreneurship tools. Software someone would...

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Introducing WorkCafe

As most of my friends I work remotely. Sometimes from home, from a co-working space or from a coffee shop/café.

Your productivity when working from home or a coworking space might be different compared to a coffee shop. This is due to the fact that usually most of these venues do not consider their customers as potential workspace tenants.

For some time I was thinking about putting together a webpage with my favorite places to hack/work from, with an opportunity to let the community help curate venues in cities I’ve never traveled or plan to visit.

This weekend I spent some time building inspired by Ben Balter’s list of DC places that serve up both Internet and Alcohol.

WorkCafe is an Ember.js application hosted on GitHub and uses GeoJSON (Ember.js Data Serializer was tweaked to handle GeoJSON format) to handle the locations.

Adding a new city or a venue is as simple as...

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Getting started with Broccoli and Ember.js

Broccoli is a new build tool released recently by Jo Liss.

The launch of the project was met with great enthusiasm and community support, especially from the Ember.js developers. But due to the recent release of the project, you might find it hard to use or integrate with an existing application.

Matt and I took the project for a spin last week, and we were impressed by the benefits of using Broccoli.

A bit of disclaimer.
Although I’m writing Ember.js apps for some time, this is the first time I decided to avoid using Ruby for builds. Nor Matt, nor I ever used existing Node.js build tools and this article is in no way an attempt to compare Broccoli with any of them.

Our task was simple. We wanted to achieve a bootstrapped Ember.js application, similar to what Stefan’s AppKit provides.

To list a few of the features:

  • Ember.js idiomatic application structure with ES6 modules
  • A...

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On testing rake files

I started to be concerned about how to test Rake files just recently.

There was an issue for one of the gems I wrote. The gem is mostly a bunch of Rake tasks.

Here’s an example of such a task:

  task :create do
    rakefile = File.expand_path('Rakefile', dummy_path)
    command = "rake -f '%s' db:create" % rakefile
    sh(command) unless ENV["DISABLE_CREATE"]

Now following the articles from Thoughtbot and Tyler, and learning how I could write my tests, I tried to put together hopefully the best of both approaches into a gem I could reuse.

I wrote RSpec Rake, which should provide two important things that could help write rake tests easily:

  • A specific RSpec Example Group with relevant task initialization and hooks
  • Metadata integration to allow flexible declaration of tasks location or Rake file name

Now using rspec-rake, here’s an example test for the task from above:


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Moving on

TL;DR: We built an online learning service and now we are open sourcing it.

A couple of days ago I decided to open source The Courseware Project. I must say I’m both happy and sad about doing this. Probably because I should have done it long a time ago or I could have done it better.

The Courseware Project Logo by David

I’m writing this because, first of all I would like to thank everyone who followed us, subscribed to our newsletter and sent us feedback during all this time. We felt very lucky and special to have all your support and the fact that you were in such a great number is definitely a confirmation that we were following the right mission: build a better, social e-learning environment.

This project was exciting in every way: the people I had the chance to work with, the timing, the challenges and the results we’ve been discovering.

The people

I started alone back in summer 2012. In autumn David joined me...

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