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When Katelijne Duerinck's son wanted to learn hacking in 2015, there appeared to be no courses tailored to children anywhere. Katelijne made a virtue of a need and, with her sister, founded CodeFever, an organisation that teaches children as young as 8 to code.
Where CodeFever started in 2015 in 5 cities, they now reach more than 6,500 children a year in 30 Flemish cities and towns, and through FTRPRF also provide teaching packages for some 50 schools. And recently they also launched CodeCosmos to herald their first steps towards internationalisation. The application they built themselves in 2015 in Microsoft Azure outgrew them and they were ready for a better and more scalable model. Enter Arxus.
When starting FTRPRF, it was soon clear to CodeFever that their current platform would not suffice. Although the application was already running on Microsoft Azure, it had been set up by staff by trial and error. If a problem occurred, everything often had to be restarted manually. The workload also gradually became too large. It was clear that the platform was reaching its limits and further professionalisation was needed to facilitate future growth.
At that time, CodeFever was already working with Faros, an IT service delivery partner. Their consultant Glenn worked with CodeFever's in-house development team to outline and implement the new architecture for CodeFever and FTRPRF. The migration to the cloud required a party that could take on the operational part. Through a previous collaboration, CodeFever and Faros soon ended up with Arxus.
"We were immediately excited when we heard about Katelijne's initiative, and were only too happy to help them," explains Gert Vansevenant of Arxus. "After an initial intake meeting, Microsoft carried out an application modernisation assessment. With the output of that assessment, we could then set to work to develop the overarching architecture for CodeFever and FTRPRF, and immediately make it scalable so that it could support the future growth of the two organisations."
There were consultations between the different parties at every step, something that made the collaboration run very smoothly. This allowed Faros to perfectly align their part with the architecture implemented by Arxus and vice versa.
© Foto CodeFever
Meanwhile, the application has been fully delivered and the migration to the cloud has been completed. In the process, Arxus also performed a database migration so that the database of CodeFever and FTRPRF is now also scalable. "We find it important to keep improving the environment and the platform, thinking along with the customer: what are the future plans, and what should the platform be able to do?", explains Gert. "In addition, we stay connected through the managed services we offer. For example, we monitor the platform and are on standby if problems arise."
"The platform is now also self healing, a big change from before," says Faros' Glenn Thielman. "If a component crashes or crashes somewhere, it can correct itself and restart. At least we no longer have to call anyone out of bed on a Saturday morning to restart the servers.".
The entire application continues to run on Microsoft Azure even after the transition, and there are several reasons for this. Arxus is an Azure Expert MSP partner of Microsoft, but CodeFever also has a good relationship with the tech giant. For years, for instance, Microsoft has sponsored non-profit companies and organisations that are committed to education, especially if it can lead young people towards a STEM direction.
Katelijne: "We are among the top European schools offering Minecraft Education, in Flanders we are the absolute number 1. So a further collaboration with Microsoft was a logical step for us."
Katelijne herself also sees the benefits of the adjustments Arxus made. "We now have a stable platform that can withstand the growth that is yet to come. Our architecture can take a beating, and we are sure it can carry the workload we need. You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. Thanks to these modifications, we are sure that that first impression of our students and schools will be positive," said Katelijne.
"We are absolutely satisfied with our cooperation," Glenn also indicates. "Our applications have become more modern, and we have been able to introduce additional services and architecture. We notice that we are still growing solidly and may outgrow this set-up in a few years' time. If so, we will definitely turn back to Arxus for the next steps."
"If necessary, we will be happy to sit down together again to draw out those next steps. CodeFever provides the IT talents of tomorrow, something we can only get behind," Gert concludes.
Codefever is an organisation that teaches children as young as 8 years old to code. CodeFever started up in 2015 in 5 cities, now they reach more than 6,500 children annually in 30 Flemish cities and towns, and through FTRPRF they also provide teaching packages for around 50 schools. Codefever has a staff of more than 100 people. The project Arxus was involved in was about a 'Refactor of SQL on Azure'.
© Foto CodeFever
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