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Paolo Ottanà Joins Balsamiq

It is my great pleasure to introduce to you Paolo Ottanà, the newest member of team Balsamiq.


Paolo will be working out of our Bologna office, helping us with lots and lots of different programming tasks.

His main responsibility, at least at the beginning, will be to help us streamline our back-office operations by improving our existing tools and building new ones.

This ranges from jQuery and php scripts on our website to building new tools to help us speed up the process of giving away license keys (we give roughly 300 free licenses a month to do-gooders).

Another fun project he will work on is a way to automate the process of collecting, curating and showing twitter testimonials on our website.

Another task Paolo is taking from me is to become release-meister, in charge of the mechanics of doing our releases (branching, merging, deploying, all that good stuff).

Over time, Paolo will also take on responsibility for maintaining (and improving!!!) the Mockups for Confluence and Mockups for JIRA plugins, which have so far been solely on my plate, and because of it sadly neglected a little bit.

Those are the urgent tasks that Paolo is going to attack first...after that, there's lots and lots to do, both for myBalsamiq and for the mockup editor itself.

Liking his new workstation already! 🙂

Just to give you an idea of the kind of person Paolo is, here's what he did on his first day yesterday.

He took the buggy quote- and invoice- generation scripts I wrote and, with minimal supervision:

  1. Added them to our Bazaar source code depot so that we can track changes, have them backed up, etc - he had never heard of Bazaar before.
  2. Created a new Hudson project which deploys the scripts to the website after every check-in - he had never heard of Hudson before.
  3. Fixed a bug that prevented the scripts from working when someone had an accented letter in their name or company name - he had never done php before, and figured out what the UTF-8 issue was in no time (I hate that stuff and don't want to learn it). This bug fix alone is going to save Natalie and Valerie at least 3 hours of manual work each week (that's equivalent to roughly $1,000/mo).
  4. As a bonus, Paolo also rigged Hudson to add the build number as a comment in the scripts themselves, so that we always know which version of it is deployed. Yes!

Not bad for day one, huh? 😉

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to add his capable hands to our growing code base, this is really going to help us keep our speed and run smoothly as we continue to grow.

Paolo wrote an hello world post on our Balsamiq in Italia blog. The post is in Italian, but Paolo is fluent in English, of course.

Marco welcoming Paolo with a delicious chocolate cake courtesy of our office-neighbor Francesca from Mimulus.

Please help us welcome Paolo to our cozy little community, either with a comment here, on Facebook, or via his @balsamiqPaolo Twitter account.


Peldi for the Balsamiq Team

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