Athlex announces a multi-year partnership with the Canadian Hockey League

Athlex announces a multi-year partnership with the Canadian Hockey League

Québec, Québec - August 30, 2017 - Athlex, an emerging leader of communication software for elite sports organizations, is proud to announce a multi-year partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), and its members the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

This announcement comes one year after the QMJHL introduced Athlex to communicate throughout its structure. The CHL will leverage Athlex mobile technology to improve its communication methods with all members including players, coaches, staff, billet families and parents. The partnership also includes the use of Athlex by all 60 CHL teams to help improve their internal operations.

“The Canadian Hockey League is always trying to find ways to improve and through our partnership with Athlex we are confident that we’ve achieved that goal by simplifying our internal communications and offering our teams a platform that will enhance their operations,” said CHL President Dave Branch. “We received very positive feedback in our review of the QMJHL experience last year and are pleased that we’ve found a software that not only fits the needs for league administration but also the needs of all 60 teams across the CHL.”

The CHL will use Athlex to distribute important information to its members including news, results and files. All 60 CHL teams will have the opportunity to improve their internal operations by centralizing its communication, scheduling and information directly on their members’ mobile devices. Since launching a couple of years ago, Athlex has grown consistently through an adapted product and ability to develop strong relationships with clients.

“Nowadays, with all the distractions and commitments people have, it is important to be efficient in all areas of life.” said Julien Proulx, Athlex CEO and co-founder. “If an organization is not using a timesaving platform, it is definitely leaving important things on the table. The CHL, having to communicate with so many moving parts, clearly understood the need to improve its efficiency and we are very proud to partner with such a great organization. Being a canadian company, it is important for us to work with the biggest leagues and organizations in Canada."

With this announcement, Athlex continues to make noise in the hockey industry. In addition to the CHL, Athlex is used by many U Sports and NCAA teams.

 

About Athlex:

Athlex is the emerging player in mobile collaboration software solutions for elite sports organizations. Our chat-based approach appeals to millennial athletes, and provides for a true collaborative platform. With the software, leagues and teams can communicate, exchanges files, and manage their schedule in real time. Based in Quebec City, Athlex is a joint venture between former college athletes and highly-experienced technology executives. This combined expertise allows us to offer our clients secure and efficient software solutions. For more information about Athlex, please visit www.getathlex.com.

Building the future of amateur sports

Building the future of amateur sports

I have always been a big sports fan. And the past few months have been a real treat for sports fans like me. The NHL and NBA Playoffs are underway and we had the chance to see exciting games day after day. The Toronto Blue Jays are struggling right off the gate but they are fighting real hard to come back from their tough start. And we know that the MLB season is a long one and that anything can happen from now on. Every time I turn on the TV I feel like I witness great accomplishments from professional athletes and teams. And although I like watching professional sports, I would love to see in action amateur athletes competing for pride and honour. But the media don’t show much of these...

Specialized sports channels are increasing in number, but amateur competitions still can’t have much air time. So, where can I watch highly competitive amateur sports? I wish I knew! In the past few weeks, I would have loved to see Maxence Perrot perform around the globe, or see Mikaël Kingsbury completely dominating acrobatic ski and winning his 6th straight Crystal Globe, or any other canadians athletes that make us proud. They are living for the love of their sports and they would deserve more visibility. And I am sure sports fans would appreciate watching their competitions.

When I was young, I did some competitive skiing. I quit when I was 11 for many reasons, but I think the main one was that I could not relate myself to role models. I would have loved to watch skiing competitions on TV but I was not able to because of poor coverage. When you are young, you need to have athletes that you can look up to and make you want to be just like them. I really believe they are the one who can help resolve this situation with more involvement in ours sports community.

My personal experiences in sport makes me wonder what is the real place of amateur sports in our society. How can we make the next generation of athletes want to compete not for money but for pride? I personally think that part of the solution resides in a better coverage of amateur sports. We all know the importance and influence the media have nowadays and their role should be to promote amateur athletes. They have the power to impact positively and negatively the lives of athletes.

If we think more deeply about the problem, we understand that sponsors have a large influence on what sports appear on TV. The media will air content that will attract viewers and that will bring them the highest revenue. It’s plain and simple business. But when a company has three or four different sports channels and that they all talk about the same sports or teams, I really think they are missing an opportunity to showcase sports that people do not have the opportunity to see. In a certain way, the media and sponsors influence the next generation of athletes.

Amateur sports needs to have a bigger place in the media to gain in popularity. If we look at what is happening with downhill ski in Austria, we can see that every downhill athletes are like rock stars over there. The local media are showcasing a lot their Olympics athletes. And by doing that, the sport becomes more and more popular and that translates in better performance and better revenue for the entire federation.

Like I mentioned earlier, I understand that the media have a business to operate and that revenue plays a major role in their decision to promote professional sports instead of amateur sports. But we absolutely need to find a solution to this problem.

If you are a parent of a young athlete, you probably understand that there’s a big probability your kid won’t become a professional athlete or an olympian. But you are still cheering for him and other kids that are trying to reach their dreams. We, as a society, need to cheer more for amateur athletes who are giving their best for the love of their sports. By putting more pressure on the media to showcase these athletes, we will be able to resolve this major problem. We are the one who can change the game.

Another solution could be to have a bigger involvement from professional sports in the sponsorship of amateur sport, just like the Quebec Nordiques did when they still existed. At that time, every player on the team had to sponsor one amateur athlete. Maybe professional teams could give money to a specific federation, which would help them train better their athletes, have better performances and then increased air time on TV. This solidarity would definitely result in a better media coverage for amateur sports all year long.

Every two years, hundreds of millions of people around the world are watching the Olympics. It seems like people don’t understand they can still watch the same athletes compete in their sports all year long...

The Montreal Alouettes are deploying Athlex.

The Montreal Alouettes are deploying Athlex.

Montreal — May 9th 2017

The Montreal Alouettes proudly announced on Thursday that they have decided to use the Athlex’s technology. The CFL team will deploy Athlex’s mobile technology within its organization in an effort to enhance the efficiency of internal communications and operations.

Augusta dreamin'

                                       A really happy man in Augusta (2nd hole, right of the fairway)

                                      A really happy man in Augusta (2nd hole, right of the fairway)

As part of our blog series on sports, our VP of Business Development Frederic Raymond shares his recent experience at Augusta National.

Augusta Dreamin’

I can remember the moment like it was yesterday. In the final round of the 2003 Masters Tournament, Mike Weir was standing over a 7-footer on the 18th green to force a playoff against Len Mattiace. Only 10 years old at the time, I clearly recall how excited and inspired I felt when the putt disapeared into the cup. Now, when people talk about classic Masters, the ’03 edition isn’t necessarily what you’ll hear guys discussing with passion. They’ll chat about Jack’s ’86 victory or argue which was most amazing between Phil’s first victory in 2004 or Tiger’s win in ’97. However, I can tell you that up North, we were going nuts when Mike Weir won the playoff and the title. For the first time in history, a Canadian was about to slip on a Masters winner green jacket.

I was born in a house that revered Augusta National and every early-April since I can remember has been an opportunity for our family to spend time together while getting excited for the upcoming golf season. Over time, it has become somewhat of a sacred tradition for us to sit down in front of the TV for almost four days in a row (and even longer now…thank you ‘’Live from the Masters’’). For Northerners, it’s not only the storylines set forth by the broadcasters or the always picture-perfect course that are attracting us to the living room. The timing is incredible too, coming at a moment where spring is starting to show up and we just can’t bear cold weather anymore. The scenic beauty of Augusta National is just straight up inspiring at a time we need it most.

So when I got the news from my father André that we had the opportunity to experience the 2017 Masters on site with tickets to Wednesday’s practice round, you can imagine my excitement. For the first time, I would step on a property that I’ve grown to respect to the utmost and experience something I had always hoped of having a chance to do ‘’someday’’.

Like stepping ground at Augusta National wasn’t enough in itself, we had the unique opportunity to score Berckmans Place tickets, the VIP experience of the Masters. Prior to the week, I went online to try to find some information about those tickets and here are some of the things I read:

‘’…the most exclusive and elaborate hospitality site in all of sports.’’

‘’Imagine someone giving you Superbowl tickets. On the 50 yards line, no less. This is the closest equivalent to Berckmans Place…’’

And here was my reaction to that :

                                          Is this really happening?

                                         Is this really happening?

I’m sure you could understand that as we drove South on our way to Georgia, our expectations were quite something. After all, how many years had we watched the Masters and listened to Jim Nantz’s selling us this place as the most beautiful piece of land one could find? I’d say this is a pretty accurate graphic of André and I expectations going into the week :

                           Our expectations going into Augusta....

                          Our expectations going into Augusta....

Not surprisingly though :
We had such a blast and left everything but disappointed.

We arrived in Augusta on Tuesday afternoon. The first thing that struck us was the incredible atmosphere in town, even as one could obviously expect such a vibe during the area’s biggest week of the year. I guess we also thought the city itself was not as small as we were told. We checked-in at the house we were staying in after driving around the course and realizing how huge the parking area next to Augusta National was. We were impressed by the infrastructure surrounding the course and all the setup required to host such an event. You can easily tell ANGC is expecting a lot of people, as they obviously should. After a quick stop at the local Hooters, where John Daly was busy selling all kinds of stuff, we went back to the house and decided to grab pizza for dinner. We thought about going in town, but we were quite tired and felt like pizza, Brandel Chamblee on TV and a good night of sleep sounded like a decent plan before our big day.

We woke up early on Wednesday morning with the clear intention to enjoy every second we would get at Augusta National. We knew bad weather was expected and there was no way we would waste any time. Our shuttle actually arrived first at the Berckmans Place gate, 15 minutes before the doors were set to open. Entering BP was quite the experience. First, this place is immense. Home to five different restaurants, a beautiful shop, and incredible memorabilia’s, it honestly feels like perfection. After grabbing a quick breakfast and a few items in the gift shop, we set foot on the golf course as soon as it opened to patrons. From where we entered the property, we arrived next to the 13th green and started walking the course from there. As much as we were hearing about bad weather coming in, the early morning temperature was actually great. We walked from 14th to 18th, stopping pretty much everywhere to take pictures and enjoy different perspectives of each holes (which you’re only allowed to do during practice rounds). While we did that, we obviously had a few flashbacks of different great moments in the history of the Masters. I tried to visualize Tiger’s unreal chip as we were standing next to the 16th green while my father talked about Jack’s legendary putt in 1986 as we got to 17th. Walking around, it’s easier to understand why Augusta National has not historically been a place for first-time winners. Although the course is wide for the most part and you’d have to work hard to find a bad lie anywhere, the complexity of the greens is highly evident. Many different plateaus set the stage for extremely difficult pin placements that definitely required some course knowledge and tournament experience. We’ve all heard it before and still I was stunned by the severity of some of the surfaces.

After walking up 18th, we stopped for a while and watched a couple guys practice on the putting green next to the 10th tee. Among others, Brandt Snedeker, James Hahn and Scott Piercy were getting dialed-in with the flat stick before their practice round. This whole area around the clubhouse is truly inspiring and we were especially intrigued by the famous cabins next to the 10th hole that host members and their guests when they play Augusta National. From there, we walked the remainder of the course, from the 1st hole to the 13th green. We followed Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, and Stewart Hagestad and caught glimpses of Justin Rose, Toto Gana, and a few others. Quite honestly, as much as it is a special privilege to watch PGA Tour pros hit the ball and play golf, our real thrill was to explore the property and the golf course.

On that, here are some personal takeaways from a first-timer:

  • Number 1 is not an easy hole to start with. You don’t want to mess with the right side (hello, bogey +) and the landing area requires accuracy.
  • It’s in perfect shape (but you already knew that). Even on a rainy week.
  • The 6th hole is absolutely beautiful and in my opinion highly underrated. There are giant trees behind the green that make for a stunning view off the tee.
  • The 10th is most likely my favorite hole on the course. The second shot downhill into the green provides for a superb scene.
  • Amen corner is definitely special, but we barely had time to stay for five minutes before the horn was blown, so I’ll have to come back to appreciate it in details.
  • 13th is a real curler and probably one of the coolest hole to play for the risk & reward aspect of it.
  • The second shot of 15th is far from overrated. It’s a beautifully tempting approach to a green that’s not very deep.
  • 18th does look pretty tight off the tee. It’s definitely one shot to think about under pressure.

As we were just finishing walking the course, the horn was blown and we were asked to evacuate the golf course. At that point, we were lucky to be able to go back to Berckmans Place to enjoy lunch and explore the building a little bit. Inside, on one of the walls, I discovered that ‘’Fruitland Nurseries’’, which occupied the land before Augusta National, was owned by Belgian immigrants with french-sounding names (Louis and Prosper Jules Alphonse Berckmans). As a French Canadian, it kind of caught my attention and I thought it was interesting.

We were not able to return on the course after it got officially closed for the day not long after lunch. I guess we could have been a bit disapointed, but we were able to walk the entire golf in the morning and frankly it was hard to feel any sort of disapointment in the middle of such a unique day.

We left Berckmans Place and Augusta National with a feeling that was hard to describe. We had literally just fulfilled a dream and I think thankful would probably be the most precise way to describe how we felt.

Back home in Quebec just in time for the weekend, it was a thrill watching the final rounds on TV while being able to relate to the broadcast like never before. In itself, the ability to watch the Masters this way for the rest of our lives might be one the coolest thing about this whole experience.

When Sergio Garcia sank his birdie putt in the first playoff hole, our living room literally exploded. The strong pride people around the world all felt for the Spaniard proved again how sports events and impressive accomplishments have this incredible capability of uniting us all. Just like Mike Weir did for Canadians in 2003, I’m sure Spain went wild that night.

We can all be thankful to Augusta National for moments like that. 
I sure am.

Fred

P.S. A heartfelt thank you to the people that made this experience possible.

                                                                  André and I behind the 18th green.

                                                                 André and I behind the 18th green.

Not just another dream

Not just another dream

For a while now, I’ve been having the same dream over and over again. It’s not the first time that I’m dreaming about the same thing more than once, but it’s never been that persistent.

In my dream, I work as a Director of Team Services for one of the biggest sports franchise in North America. I say work, but in reality, it doesn’t feel like work. Being a Director of Team Services is amazing. When I go to sleep at night all I am thinking about is to wake up and head straight to the stadium. I love being with the team and feel the excitement of gameday. It’s not work for me, it’s pure and simple joy.

In my dream, just like in reality, technology has had a huge impact on the world. Cars drive by themselves, people can video chat with each other all around the globe for free and it is possible to rent a stranger’s apartment for a night with a click of a button.

Technology also completely changed how our game is played. It has helped us prepare better, train better and play better. It has made athletes stronger, better and more focused. Every single aspect of the game has been transformed for the better. But technology did not just helped us improve our team performances, it also increased our efficiency as an organization. It has helped me save some precious time on my schedule. Days used to be too short for all the things I needed to get done. But now, everything runs so smoothly that I have way enough time to do whatever I need to do. No more overtime... at least not for administrative purposes.

Our daily operations are not dependent of tons of different systems anymore, such as emails, SMS, Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook and worst of all, paper calendars.

All we use is one software that centralizes everything team related at one single place. It has been developed with the needs of the professional sports franchises in mind. It’s mobile-first approach is perfect for organizations that are spending most of their time on the move.

So, how do I communicate with my team if not with emails and SMS? Well, in my dream, these technologies are deprecated and they are not used anymore. When I need to reach out someone on my team, I go on our team platform and send whatever I want in seconds, whether it is a group message, a direct message, a file or a video. One other amazing thing is that I am always aware of who saw my messages, thanks to the seen/unseen feature. The information flows very quickly and reaching out to a certain person or a group of people can’t be easier. Our team platform even keeps the whole team aware of the latest changes on our schedule with instant notifications as soon as there are new events that come up.

Although I might be the one benefiting the most from the app because of my role, our entire organization benefits from it. Coaches can talk privately about their strategies, players do not need to ask questions all the time about our itineraries, etc. Everyone on the team is now fully accountable. We all work in sync, helping us focus on preparing and winning our next game.

Even if we are one of the biggest sports franchise in North America with a huge budget, we don’t like to throw money out the windows. We closely watch our expenses and are always looking for the best trade-off between quality, security and price, which is what we have with our team platform.

Every time I wake up from my dream, I am smiling. I realize that for more than two years now, we are helping our clients experience this kind of efficiency with Athlex. These clients used to waste so much time communicating and waiting for feedbacks from everyone on the team. Knowing how much time they are now saving with Athlex, I can’t help but to think about all the teams that are still running their operations with deprecated technologies. They probably just don’t realize how good life can be in the 21st century.

 

Want to modernize your communication tools? It would be our pleasure to assist you. Contact us today!

Pride over money

Pride over money

It takes an incredible amount of effort and good decisions to build a successful athletics program. Some have accomplished what was initially perceived as unconceivable and have succeeded in becoming influencers and leaders in their market. Others have literally became an inspiration for their local communities.

What does it take to build such a successful environment?

Here at Athlex, we are lucky to be working with such incredible organizations and one relationship that makes us particularly proud is our association with Université Laval’s Rouge et Or, one of the most successful athletic program in Canada.

My partners and I have had the opportunity to be part of their golf program during our college years, which definitely makes it extra special for us. The Rouge et Or program is respected across the country and has become a great source of pride in Quebec City. They’ve been able to build and sustain a structure and an atmosphere that allows them to attract talent and character year after year.

The Rouge et Or Football is one of the youngest team on the Canadian university circuit. Founded in 1996, Laval won their first national championship in 1999 and have won 9 Vanier Cup championships over the last 20 years.

This success naturally contributed to an amazing, faithful fan base. Obviously, money and tradition cannot explain how this came to happen so quickly. What was and still is the magical ingredient to this team success?

This is a tough question with several variables involved, but everything seems to start with leadership and passion. When the people in charge are ready to go where others won’t, when you are willing to put everything on the table, the resulting pride of being part of the program becomes an incredible trademark, funnelling quality in the recruitment stages and then promoting athletic success.

My Own Story

From my perspective as a former college athlete at Laval and as the consecutive winner of the 2009 and 2010 University Provincial Golf Championship, there is one thing that clearly stands out. I remember how proud my coaches and the program managers were to represent the school in tournaments and in their everyday life. Looking in their eyes when they would talk about their team or program, you could tell how inspired they felt to be representing the Rouge et Or.

Having our coaches being able to communicate that passion played a huge role in inspiring my teammates and I and that it’s one of the reasons we felt so compelled to compete for our program.

We were forgetting our own personal gains and instead working hard to honour and perpetuate the successes obtained before us.

My time with the Rouge et Or golf program felt different than anything else I had the opportunity to experience before. While we’re used to mostly think about ourselves in golf, our coaches had the ability to make us feel like we were more than golf players. We were the faces of the Rouge et Or program. In all honesty, I can tell you that I miss this feeling a lot. Never had I felt that I could have such an impact for an athletic group before and it made me play the best golf of my life.

Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ‘me’ for the ‘we’. – Phil Jackson, Basketball

A lot has changed since I’ve graduated from university. But it still seems like the pillars of a successful program are still found in leadership, pride and common goals.

As I’ve personally evolved from a student-athlete to starting my own business in technology, I’m proud today that Athlex is helping such a successful program as the Rouge et Or continue to honor its tradition of greatness by promoting efficient collaboration through real-time communication and chat-based technologies.

Press release: Université Laval Athletics and Recreation to use Athlex department-wide.

Press release: Université Laval Athletics and Recreation to use Athlex department-wide.

Quebec City, Canada

January 31st 2017

– For immediate release –

This initiative is aimed at improving the efficiency of Laval’s internal communication efforts and to facilitate real-time information sharing, while contributing actively to the sense of belonging in the organization. Athlex’s mobile technology will allow the athletic department to easily distribute information across its structure to all its student-athletes, coaches, and collaborators. It will provide the Rouge et Or with the ability to leverage mobile technology to manage its operations effectively. 

Through this partnership, every team in the program will have access to a private mobile environment for its own operations. They will thus be centralizing day-to-day communication, files exchanges, and schedule management under one mobile product. 

Julie Dionne, the Rouge et Or Associate Director, is proud to announce this initiative. ‘’The Rouge et Or has always taken innovation seriously and it’s a priority for us to provide our student-athletes with the best possible experience. The opportunity to modernize our internal communication methods and tools to respond to the reality of mobile devices was appealing and it’s with great enthusiasm that I share this news today.’’

Julien Proulx, CEO of Athlex and former captain of the Rouge et Or Golf program, is obviously thrilled about the announcement. ‘’As a former member of Laval’s golf team, I have to admit it’s a really special feeling to announce this partnership today. Our team is very proud to add one of Canada’s top sports programs to our growing list of clients. The Rouge et Or has always been a leader in innovation and their management understands well the importance of real-time communication and an efficient mobile strategy. I’d like to thank the Rouge et Or for their trust in this project.’’

All Laval’s teams can take advantage of their private platform starting right now, while the global deployment in the entire structure is scheduled for the beginning of 2017–2018. 

About Athlex
Athlex is the emerging player in mobile collaboration software solutions for elite sports organizations. Our chat-based approach appeals to millennial athletes, and provides for a true collaborative platform. With the software, leagues and teams can communicate, exchanges files, and manage their schedule in real time. Based in Quebec City, Athlex is a joint venture between former college athletes and highly-experienced technology executives. This combined expertise allows us to offer our clients secure and efficient software solutions.
For more information, please visit www.getathlex.com

For more informations on this press release, please communicate with:
FRÉDÉRIC RAYMOND Business Development, Athlex Inc. fraymond@athlex.io | 581–888–3251

Press release: The QMJHL and Athlex announce a multi-year relationship

Press release: The QMJHL and Athlex announce a multi-year relationship

The QMJHL and Athlex announce a multi-year relationship

-For immediate release-

BOUCHERVILLE, Tuesday December 6th, 2016 — The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and Athlex are proud to announce a multi-year relationship.
With the league-wide deployment of Athlex’s mobile technology, the QMJHL is enhancing the efficiency of its internal communication efforts. Athlex allows the league to distribute information across its entire structure in real time, reach members effectively, and operate its initiatives and events by leveraging the usage of mobile devices.

Through this relationship, every organization in the QMJHL now has access to a private mobile environment for their own operations, where they can easily communicate, exchange files, and manage their team schedule.

Gilles Courteau, QMJHL’s commissioner, is enthusiastic about this initiative that will provide value not only to the league, but also to all of its organizations. ‘’We are proud today to officially announce our relationship with Athlex and this initiative that will help us reach our goals regarding the efficiency of internal communication, the management of different programs like the Player Support Program (PSP) and the distribution of information across our league and organizations. We’re also glad to provide our teams with a platform that we believe will greatly contribute to the efficiency of their own operations. ’’

Julien Proulx, CEO of Athlex, is also thrilled with the announcement. ‘’It’s with great enthusiasm that I want to thank the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for their trust in this global deployment of our collaboration platform. Our chat-based approach allows our clients to efficiently streamline their operations using technology that appeals to millennial athletes. We believe this is the start of a solid business relationship and our team is motivated to make this a great success for both our organizations.”

About Athlex
Athlex is the emerging player in mobile collaboration software solutions for elite sports organizations. Our chat-based approach appeals to millennial athletes, and provides for a true collaborative platform. With the software, leagues and teams can communicate, exchanges files, and manage their schedule in real time. Based in Quebec City, Athlex is a joint venture between former college athletes and highly-experienced technology executives. This combined expertise allows us to offer our clients secure and efficient software solutions.
For more information, please visit www.getathlex.com

For more informations on this press release, please communicate with:
PHOTI SOTIROPOULOS Communications Director, QMJHL psotiropoulos@lhjmq.qc.ca | 450–650–0500
FRÉDÉRIC RAYMOND Business Development, Athlex Inc. fraymond@athlex.io | 581–888–3251

The power of sports in education

The power of sports in education

Socrates once said something that sounded like ‘’I know I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing’’. Tiger Woods, at the time he was considered half a god, approached knowledge and proficiency in another interesting way: “No matter how good you get you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part”. I always thought it was such inspiring approaches to self-development.

Back when I was in 4th grade, I used to think I still had a long way to go in school. At the time, education seemed more linear to me. I thought I’d grow up, go to school, learn, and all of sudden know everything I needed to once I was done with what I considered the standard school procedure. So, although I felt far away from the finish line, I understood the goal. Over time, I realized my 4th grade self was wrong about that (and probably some other things too…). Education was not linear, but continuous. And looking back, I believe it’s not in classes that I learned most.

The other night, I had this inner conversation with myself (happens quite a lot), and was thinking about the influence sports had in my life, especially in forming my personality, fueling my passions, and directing how I interact with others. Like any other athlete would probably admit, I would not be the same guy without all those games, trainings, practices, victories, crushing defeats, doubts, celebrations, coaches, and teammates.

My short career in sports helped me learn valuable lessons and I feel grateful that I had the chance to go through many life-changing experiences over the years. To this day, I am convinced organized sports provide the best education avenue.I could tell you sports teached me discipline, hard work, and respect.

Although it surely did, I also had the chance to go through more concrete lessons. Here are some of them.

Humility is self-confidence.

I always felt like the strong leaders in the different teams I played with were able to stay away from tensions with the help of sincere humility. I looked up to these guys, and they helped me realize that true self-confidence is being humble.

Give, and you’ll receive!

You can’t expect anything in life if you don’t give. Perform, and you’ll get playing time. Be generous, and you’ll earn respect. Be dedicated, and people will salute your motivation. Those are all things I really understood because of sports.

Pursue a passion.

Through my many years in sports, I was able to comprehend how important it is to pursue something that you’re really passionate about. Not only it provides a daily dose of happiness to undertake something you love, but it’s also the greatest way to be a good at what you do.

Success is worth sacrifices.

Sports made me fall in love with success. Whether it’s team accomplishments or individual honors, there is always something to go after in the world of sports. Every little achievement made me proud, and still today I believe my desire to succeed is directly linked to how inspired I felt after important team victories, clutch goals, or late-game comebacks.Above everything, I believe athletics provide individuals with the will to continuously improve in all aspects of their lives.That, I think, is the single most important concept somebody can learn.

Bridge the gap with Meteor

Bridge the gap with Meteor

As a chief architect, the fun begins when you are asked to find a technical solution to what seems like impossible business requests. And today, these situations tend to occur more and more frequently.

This is true for startups or more traditional sectors alike. You are now told that you must support multiple delivery platforms, the product is no longer allowed to experience downtimes, you need to be concerned about security and… oh yeah, did they mentioned you’ll only have 6 months and a team of 3 developers to execute on the mission?

Your only chance to ever succeed nowadays it to offload as much work and responsibilities to someone else. And this translates to going outside your comfort zone by considering alternatives you may not be familiar with or even trust.

Removing Friction

Before jumping into what makes Meteor a transformational tool, I must reiterate a few words of caution… The biggest productivity gains will not come from a trendy technology stack. In my experience, you should focus first on removing all the friction and blockers from everyone’s daily activities. This will often produce amazing results. But this seemingly easy solution is the hardest one to put in place as it requires a change of culture.This is the subject of another article but, think about what would change if:

  • entire projects were managed by teams of no more than 7 persons;
  • you no longer had project managers or team leads;
  • everyone was a full stack developers adopting a TDD/CI/CD approach;you gave all team members admin rights to the tools and environments used, including production databases and servers;
  • all team members were client facing, giving them full authority but requiring accountability in return;

Meteor

One of the great enablers we recently started using is Meteor. This platform embodies all of our philosophies about relying on external providers for anything that is not core to our business or project. It allows us to quickly build enterprise quality applications accessible over the Web or mobile platforms. Our recent success building ATHLEX, a sports team collaboration platform, would not have been possible with traditional technology stacks.

Meteor leverages other well known components such as NodeJS, Cordova and Amazon AWS. Moreover, the Meteor community is thriving, well organized and is overlapping the still bigger Node eco-system. Thus, many commodity use cases such as data persistence, user management, reactivity and emailing are all taken care of out of the box.

Distribution of the application is also supported by automating the Cordova packaging and providing managed hosting on the Amazon AWS public cloud. Many successful startups are now coming along to offer additional capabilities. Kadira is a great example with their amazing production tools and services to handle monitoring, alerting, optimizing and debugging Meteor applications.

“We did a complete application rewrite to address many technical issues we were experiencing using a traditional Web stack. Meteor allowed us to complete the project in half the time and half the costs with an amazing increase in quality and performance.” – Julien Proux, CEO at ATHLEX

Risks

It’s called the bleeding edge for a good reason. A project can fail if you are not careful. New technologies can be awesome accelerators but, you need to be aware of the risks. Meteor has come a long way and can now be considered enterprise ready. But other similar stacks are suffering from:

  • Instabilities with each new releases as APIs evolve or are being deprecated;
  • Community packages of variable quality;
  • Crude tooling compared to more mature technologies;
  • Harder to find bugs hidden in the depths of obscure and seemingly magical components;
  • Missing or incomplete operational capabilities;Lack of qualified developers, compounded by often less than stellar documentation or training;

Because these new tools rely on new paradigms (reactivity, single page web apps, etc), you could be tempted to forgo common architectural and coding best practices. The fact that you are in unfamiliar territory, are using untyped languages or immature tooling will mandate that you put forth a mindset focussed on quality. Using a development pipeline that is as structured than if you were doing more traditional development is key.

Good Business Cases

Many of these new tools are still evolving and may be a better match for a PoC or an MVP. Generally, the accompanying tutorials and guides are geared toward these types of development. But if you are to gamble your project, product or even your startup on a technology stack, you better be sure you’ll be able to meet criteria such as quality, evolution, performance, security, scalability and operability. From our own experience, we can attest that Meteor can meet these requirements if your team adopts the proper development best practices and solid architectural and design principles.

The decision to use accelerating platforms will be influenced by your need to accomplish a lot and do it fast, having limited resources, market pressures or all of the above. If you forgo these enabling technologies, others will find ways to rely on them and may run away with your customers. Today, you absolutely need to consider these alternatives.

In the innovation race, velocity is king.