Cake development

Today is my birthday. Yes, thank you very much.

In our offices we have a longstanding tradition of treating your colleagues on your birthday, even now that the company has grown substantially over the years. But between the plank challenges and fruitful office baskets I decided it was time for some old fashioned sweet pies, and since I have celiac disease it better be gluten free – hence I bake it myself. How hard can it be? And no, despite being in Amsterdam and me loving SciFi, neither of the two is a space cake. We have lots of fun but take our work very seriously!

This is the first. It is a ‘plaatkoek’, Dutch for cake-on-an-ovenplate. Of course I had to make it in the short time between work and dinner. It was supposed to be made with prunes, but since it is March pears are a lot better available. Plus I had never made this one before, so it is a 0.1. Too little time, not the right resources, no previous experience. Sounds familiar to you as a developer, doesn’t it? Result: It is too compact, it was slightly burned around the edges and I’m afraid it does not taste as good as it should. I makes me think of the first FHIR Server we built, Spark. Boldly going where no one had ever gone before. To be frank, Spark was a lot better than this cake. But still now you know why we felt the need to build a successor.

O, and the recipe is from a book that I believe is translated from English to Dutch. And based on a previous recipe from this book and the result of this I believe that the focus on proper use of quantities and units in recipes is even more important than in FHIR.

On to the second. This one I have made before. And I had all the right ingredients. The ‘too little time’ constraint never goes away, but at least the resources and experience were there this time. So voila, it has a good structure (almond flour, delicious!), and it tastes very good. Still, compared to Heel Holland Bakt (our version of The Great British Bake Off) it is not as visually appealing as it could have been. That is no surprise to me. All of the visual creativity in our family has gone to my sister (https://astrida.nl) so I firmly steer clear of any UI work. Ever wondered why Vonk only has an API? This is why.

So, on my 44th birthday I confirmed that I am a lot better at backend development than frontend. And also that it is a good idea to learn from the 1.0 and then build a better product based on the experience. And last but not least that the best thing ever is to share your experience and cake with your colleagues and friends.

I’m afraid I cannot get a piece of the cake on your desk, but you can try the software equivalent of it. Vonk FHIR Server can be evaluated for free, check it out at http://fire.ly/vonk. Cheers!

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