Competitive Socialising

 “Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilisation work.” - Vince Lombardi

Whilst we are fiercely proud of our creative and technological merits as a company, DotLabel also has a friendly and enthusiastic side; a side which is typified by our regular(ish) social events.

From bowling to general eating events we’re always working to establish an ethos and an environment that ultimately leads to better products. At heart we are creative problem-solvers and, like small children, creative problem-solvers tend to require constant stimulation.

We seek it out.

We crave it.

We explore.


So, when someone candidly mentioned ”Hey, you know what, we should start to score our social events, can anybody write me up a leaderboard to show how we’re doing?” the more enthusiastic side of our creative problem-solving mentalities decided to risk going against Vince Lombardi’s team building advice and introduce the concept of competitive socialising.

And so, in just 16 short hours of hacking based on a paragraph long spec, the Social Leaderboard App was born.




The Leaderboard App

So running with the brief, and taking some licence to explore how some new technologies will integrate with our battle-tested set of libraries and tools, we created the leaderboard app.

Simple is good and the leaderboard certainly is simple as we effectively worked from the ground up, building and finding tooling as we needed them during our roughly 2-day hackathon to get the app live before our first event of the year.



“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming but vision with action can change the world” - Nelson Mandela

Whilst aimless exploration of new boundaries is initially beneficial it quickly becomes just that; aimless. Our inquisitive nature leads us to pursue opportunities to assign action to our visions, to provide meaning for our explorations, hoping that the marriage can indeed change our view of building sites, applications and ultimately, experiences.

Whilst the functionality of the leaderboard is fairly minimal, it addresses some of the fundamentals of building products for the web and gave us a chance to step away from our comfort zone and tackle those problems from a totally new angle.

The resulting isomorphic app that we‘ve hacked together in about 2 days certainly has its issues but it has spurred us on to already begin integrating the lessons learnt into the more complex apps that we build every day.

Working with a super fast key-value datastore in LevelDB was a joy to interface with and deploy as it’s a part of the process, but the tooling surrounding monitoring and administering the database left us with some questions around how best to use it.

A generator based flow to the server and restful api through Koa allowed us to iterate from nothing quickly, whilst using React and Flux to structure our app and render our views involved a bit of head scratching but has ultimately led to a strong desire to create our own base components and implement unidirectional data flow in some our other apps.

Using browserify and 6to5 (now BabelJS) to package our build and allow us access to the future was great and allowed us to create a modular and composable application that we’re all itching to add features to.


We love to explore.

We love to build.

We love to innovate.

Long live the socialising, love live competing!