2022 - Year in Review

Dev Mukherjee on December 21, 2022 in Business

Illustrated by Suneth Sanjeewa

Canberra cityscape with hot air baloons and Telstra Tower

2022 has been turbulent.

Coming out of two years of uncertain COVID-19 lockdowns and disruptions, entering into an inflated financial market with hints of heading towards a recession. The appetite for investing in auxillary projects are at an all time low.

Through this time we have been proactively assessing the business climate in our original client base. Our management spent 2022 establishing a presence in Adelaide, South Australia and have now proceeded to establish a presence in the Australian Capital Territory.

Our team completed several client projects during 2022.

A major milestone was bringing several large scale builds for Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation Language Program to a close. They range from a custom web language research workflow platform, through to four applications on iOS and Android that will help deliver their language program to the community, in extremely interesting ways.

MoonRoom are building a platform for investment education. It combines ideas from social media platforms, through forums and chat rooms with integrated payments. Our team collaborated with MoonRoom's core development team to hardness the power Stripe Connect and provide a seamless payment experience.

Both WCCLP and MoonRoom will publicly launch in 2023.

The New Foundation

For the longest period of time I have been focused on turning Anomaly into a product company. Our formula is pretty simple:

  • Master the cutting edge
  • Build high value products for forward thinking clients
  • Use that revenue to build our own products

prestans is a fine example of this. In the early 2010s not many developers were focused on building APIs centred applications and many who were, had misunderstood REST as a standard. We took to studying the protocol and building a Python framework that allowed us to rapidly develop robust RESTful APIs. The effect was that we were able to build web applications that were far superior than what our competitors were building.

Much has changed in the Python web development ecosystem. With the rise of containerised applications, acceptance of Kubernetes and the world largely moving towards concurrency, it was time to revisit, relearn and document what has become our new technology foundation.

Communication became a major challenge during the pandemic, not so much everyday communication, but the ability to work on large shifts in thinking. What made us successful when we built prestans was the consistency it brought, a crucial piece being the long form documentation that the project provided.

In the same spirit we start a project called Labs.

REST is now well understood and there are more mature frameworks than prestans that let you build REST APIs. Labs takes a hard look at the pieces that are missing for Anomaly to build the next generation of products.

Each lab focuses on a portion of the development process with emphasis on simplicity, consistency and documentation. It's output will provide team members the new Anomaly way of building products.

We've applied the stack to a number of projects, and what we learn from building products will be merged back into the core labs. Just like prestans, we have open sourced the repositories for everyone to benefit from.

Headquartered at The Capital

Mid this year we started conversing with STEM Education Research Centre (SERC) who are pioneering the Early Learning STEM Australia, a play-based STEM program for early years. More than 400 early childhood centres and preschools around Australia have now used the program and the benefits for both students and educators are evident.

ELSA has bigger plans for 2023.

Anomaly has a long history of working in tertiary education sector. Our long partnership with Charles Sturt University in building CourseSpace, combined with our own pursuit of building educational games for children, made us a natural fit.

We see this as such a great opportunity to build meaningful products that after a decade of being headquartered in regional NSW, we have decided to move our headquarters to Canberra.

Our 2023 Agenda

While there is still a lot of uncertainty in the market, we are committed to return to full operational scale in 2023. I am back at the helm of design and engineering, with the commitment to building products the Anomaly way.

Along with this post we are announcing a set of open positions. Remote has become the new norm, but for now we are looking to hire at one of our offices. Once we are able to maximise our product design effieciency, we will be looking to hire remote.

During 2022 (building upon our stack) we have been working on a number of Web and mobile apps (including a couple of games), our focus is to bring these to market, fulfilling our effort to tipping into a product business.

We're also doubling our efforts in democratising business and technology efforts. The lockdowns highlighted the gaps in documenting and sharing our knowledge. With a mandate on long form writing, we're announcing two publications:

  • Academy, a technology course that walks anyone through how to build products the Anomaly way. A set of good known techniques, technology choices, code patterns, dos and donts. We cover everything from infrastructure, backend, frontend and payments.
  • Zen, a set of lessons learnt from running a small technology company, building high impact product, what worked and what didn't, what were the most difficult things to deal with and what we might have done differently.

2023 is returning to working with high value customers, pushing products to market and sharing our knowledge with the world.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.