Congratulations Stefan Dobre on joining the APEX team

The title says it all, we’re sad to see Stefan leave but super excited for him in his next career step. He has had a meteoric rise in such a short time period. Stefan originally joined us in 2017 on a part time internship whilst he was completing his University studies in Vienna. As of today, he is now officially a member of the core APEX development team. We are proud of him and what he achieved through hard work and dedication.

We saw the potential in Stefan early on. His first internal project was a big success i.e. (re)developing our support forum. He exceeded our expectations, and the forum is still in use today with very little changes since its initial release.

Like other members of our team, Stefan developed a passion for APEX and wanting to improve it. He can now do that from the inside and we look forward to his contributions to APEX over the coming years along with those of the rest of the APEX team.


Whilst here at FOEX, Stefan’s crowning achievements for the APEX community have been:

  1. the APEX Builder browser extension that enables you to edit & minify Javascript & CSS files directly in the APEX builder 
  2. His plug-in contributions to the set of FOS open source plug-ins. Here’s a listing of all the FOS plugins the team has developed thus far: 

We are committed to our open source initiatives and will continue to develop and support them long into the future.

The A (PEX) team is growing = Good News!

We’re not the only company losing young talent to the APEX team, Vincent Morneau recently graduated from Insum, too. If you’re wondering what age classifies as “young” I consider anyone under 40…. my younger days are long gone 😉

We should also give a shout out to Daniel Hochleitner who we really enjoyed working with in the past. He, too, joined the APEX team in February and is already missed. Oracle has been headhunting!

In reality though, it’s a win for us and an even bigger one for everyone else using APEX. What these guys can achieve on the inside of APEX team will be so much more. The future looks really bright for the entire APEX community.

We now find ourselves having to fill the hole that is left in Stefan & Daniel’s wake.

Finding the right talent

Surprisingly, it is hard to find APEX developers, even more so junior ones. What we have experienced is that young developers love to code and the whole low-code movement is not really appealing when all you want to do is write Javascript and tonnes of it.

Fortunately we are in a position to provide both low & high code allowing us to attract younger developers. Building plugins is the high code part, and building apps for our customers is the low code part.

Since it’s difficult and costly to find developers, our preference is to train them up. We’ve stumbled on a really good way of finding junior developers. We draw our talent from Upleveled – a bootcamp style coding course over a 3 month period. The students are all highly motivated and come out with a good mix of Javascript skills and working as part of a team. On graduation day we get to see them present their final group projects and we can identify those we think could be a good team fit. They’re ready to hit the ground running with the right mindset when they start. We currently have 3 new juniors who are in training.

Providing the right type of learning environment

I have to admit that I’m a Formula 1 fan and at the time of writing this post, the partnership between “Red Bull Racing” and Oracle was announced. Red Bull is my favourite team, for several reasons. Our company is Austrian so there’s some national pride going on there, but it’s also about how they nurture and develop their future F1 star drivers. Bringing them on from Junior categories and blood them in the “Alpha Tauri” team before they get a chance in the top team. It’s a process that allows the talent to rise to the top.

Admittedly we are a small company, dedicated to APEX, but we have big aspirations. We like to work on interesting things and to research & experiment. We have a core group of expert developers. It works in our favour to bring on students & junior developers and transfer knowledge. The type of environment we provide is one with a lot of freedom and time to learn and to work on ideas that it doesn’t matter if they fail.

We typically wait 1 year before the developers do any customer work. It’s a long term investment, with the idea of guiding them and building their career. It’s not just giving them a job.  We want them to learn and fail and succeed in an environment that gives them a lot of freedom whilst requiring self learning & dedication. It’s not suited for everyone, but for some it’s the right fit. It also helps them to see what the rest of the team works on and the type of customers that we have, making them eager to take the next step.

It’s an environment that mixes low code with high code. Learning javascript & CSS, building components for APEX and focusing on quality development. Encouraging them to share their ideas in blogs and attend or even speak at conferences, when they feel they are ready. Admittedly there’s things we need to improve on with our approach, but it seems to be working.

Looking to the future

APEX is cool now! The apps you can build look great. There’s so much capability provided that allow you to create modern web applications really fast. Thanks to the plug-in architecture it’s open and exciting allowing young developers who like coding to do just that, write code. It has a growing Javascript API, and it’s possible to integrate virtually any web technology into it. We personally think the #MOCA hashtag is now #OICA (Oracle is cool again! There’s an Aussie twang to it, Oi-Ka)

We will continue to release more and more open source plug-ins, most of the team contributes to these initiative when they have free time. We are also constantly looking for new ideas and improvements to the way we build and maintain our apps.

We’re always looking for the next APEX star, and we already have a couple in the making, we think one in particular is a potential future “Lewis Hamilton”. Time will tell.

If you are interested in a career in APEX and passionate about writing code to become “low code” then we’re the team for you! We’re looking for both senior & junior developers. Take the step and contact us!

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