Presentatie op LAC congres – Architectuur in actie

verleiding - architectuur in actieWoensdag 26 november en donderdag 27 november is het jaarlijkse LAC congres. Dit congres voor architecten in de wereld van organisatie en IT heeft dit jaar als thema: “Architectuur in Actie“.

Presentatie Afweging waarde van architectuur en time-to-market

Op donderdag zal ik een presentatie geven in de track architecuur in actie: “Afweging waarde van architectuur en time-to-market

Zo’n beetje iedere architect of ontwikkelaar komt op het minst in de verleiding: een snellere time to market realiseren ten koste van de architectuur of de kwaliteit van de implementatie. Het komt voor in software-aanpassingen, maar ook meteen bij de introductie van nieuwe technologie. Aan de hand van voorbeelden uit de afgelopen twee jaar, laten we zien hoe we hier bij Bol.com mee omgaan. Bij een bewuste keuze kan architectuur of de architect wel eens de factor zijn die de versnelling kan realiseren.


Het complete programma van het LAC congres.

Lessons of product development at Netflix

Just a month after sharing my post on Spotify engineering culture, I found a post on Startup lessons from Netflix. That was written inspired by a talk on fast delivery devops by Adrian Cockcroft. Who spent a long time building up Netflix’s cloud infrastructure and spearheaded the development of many new cloud-related technologies and techniques at the company.

Adrian Cockcroft’s lessons of product development at Netflix

Adrian’s lessons of product development at Netflix are summarised in this sheet:
Lessons product development Netflix
Besides from the different angle and focus on cloud, I think that there is quite some overlap with the Spotify presentations. If you have a different take at this, please leave a comment or meet me at the LAC congres where I will be presenting on time-to-market vs architecture…

Spotify engineering culture part I & II

I’ve been reading quite some article on engineering culture and ways of working. The videos on Spotify Labs are among the best sources I’ve watched or read in the last year on the subjects of agile and culture. Recently the second part of their series on Spotify’s engineering culture was released.

Spotify engineering culture part I

Important take aways for me were:

  • Agile over scrum
  • Principles over practices
  • Servant over master

Spotify engineering culture part II

Very cool that one of my favorite quotes by Mario Andretti was used in the video:

If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.

To cope with this aspect you need a fail friendly environment and a limited blast radius. For the first focus on fail recovery instead of an fail avoidance. For the latter focus on a decoupled architecture.

A healthy culture heals broken processes! Growing organizations have growing pains. Culture can either magnify or heal them.

Update: Henrik Kniberg on Scaling agile at Sporify

The hour talk that Henrik Kniberg gave on Scaling agile @ Spotify is also available on vimeo:

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Book – Hatching Twitter: A True Story of

Book - Hatching Twitter: A true story of...Just finished reading Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal and I must say that I wasn’t as impressed as when reading for example The Everything Store. The book is more about politics and opportunities than about creating opportunities and value or generating great ideas that others can build on. Of course this can still offer a great story and be a good read, however it isn’t the thing I was looking for when picking up the book.

The two business lessons in Hatching Twitter: A true story of …

OK, I took two lessons from the book: The anecdote on the first starts when Evan Williams has the first appointment with his business coach. Evan asked his first question: “What’s the worst thing I can do as CEO to fuck the company up?

Without skipping a beat, Campbell responded: “Hire your fucking friends!” He went into a ten-minute tirade about friends and business and how they don’t mix.

Which was actually what Evan was doing at the time and kept doing.

Fake it until you make it

The second lessons boils down to “fake it until you make it”. To book quite extensively elaborates on how Jack Dorsey wasn’t just looking at Steve Jobs with admiration; he was emulating him. In public talks and news interviews Jack continued to channel Steve Jobs, using terms like “magical” and “delightful” and “surprising” and “best” to describe products, along with almost exact vernacular used by Steve Jobs at conferences and on television, including “we’re just humans running this company” and hawking the concept that Jobs shared, when he told people he was “most proud” of the things the company hadn’t done. That is how the world got to see Jack Dorsey as the new Steve Jobs. Which helped Jack advance in his plans to get back to Twitter and on with his career.

…and some parenting advice…

In one of the latest chapters when looking into the life of Evan Williams and his wife Sara there somehow pops up some parenting advice. It kind of surprised me from a founder of twitter:

…like Evan, Miles (his son) is shy and sometimes socially awkward. As much as they want to change that in him, they know they can’t. But they also know that technology won’t change that either, so the kids are strictly forbidden to use iPads, iPhones, or televisions. Human interactions are encouraged. So are physical, paper books.

OTech Magazine – Summer 2014

OTech magazineThe fourth issue of OTech Magazine, the independent magazine for Oracle professionals, is available. For the summer 2014 issue there are some more personal articles included. Titles vary from The Spiritual Programmer to The Next Generation: Oracle SOA Suite 12c and back via How to protect your sensitive data using Oracle Data Vault.

Download OTech Magazine – Summer 2014 here.

Book – The everything store

The everything store

The everything storeThe idea of the everything store was simple: an Internet company that served as the intermediary between customers and manufacturers and sold nearly every type of product, all over the world. It is the story of Amazon.com, one of the most successful companies in the world. And the story of its driven founder Jeff Bezos.

Reading the book I think that there are a few defining moments and lessons. Frugality is an important factor in retailing and especially for amazon:

Frugality We try not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers. Frugality breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for headcount, budget size or fixed expense. All of this comes from Bezos himself. Amazon’s values are his business principles, molded through two decades of surviving in the thin atmosphere of low profit margins and fierce skepticism from the outside world. In a way, the entire company is scaffolding built around his brain—an amplification machine meant to disseminate his ingenuity and drive across the greatest possible radius.

Ever since the late 1990s, Bezos had been claiming that Amazon was a technology company pioneering e-commerce, not a retailer. But that sounded like wishful thinking. Amazon still collected a vast majority of its revenues by selling stuff to customers. Despite Bezos’s protestations, Amazon looked, smelled, walked, and quacked like a retailer—and not a very profitable one at that… However

It was the combination of EC2 and S3—storage and compute, two primitives linked together—that transformed both AWS and the technology world. Startups no longer needed to spend their venture capital on buying servers and hiring specialized engineers to run them. Infrastructure costs were variable instead of fixed, and they could grow in direct proportion to revenues. It freed companies to experiment, to change their business models with a minimum of pain, and to keep up with the rapidly growing audiences of erupting social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Today in 2014 Amazon’s cloud keeps growing fast. It has invented a market in the computer industry with a great future.

Reading list of 2014 so far

In this blog post I’ll share a list of books I read during the first months of 2014. There is more business focus compared to previous years…

The everything store

The everything storeThe everything store is one of the books I liked reading most of my reading list this year. It tells the story of amazon.com so far; The vision and ways of working of the company and it’s founder Jeff Bezos.

The book gives a good insight into the ways amazon.com operates. There is a interesting review on that on The New York Review of Books. You should also read the reviews on amazon.com in which some of the staff reacts on the book. Find my separate post on the book – the everything store.

Mobile first

Mobile FirstMobile First is written by the former Yahoo! design architect, Luke Wroblewski. It is a to the point guide, with good examples. Though examples in this field quickly seem outdated they show the point very well.

The book offers both insightful design patterns and common-sense principles. In the end it all boils down to the adagium: keep it simple.

Automate this, How algorithms came to rule our world

Automate ThisMore and more parts of our lives are ruled by algorithms. There application isn’t only in the financial world or in automated systems inside companies, they are also in medical applications ranging from wait list prioritisation to assisting in diagnoses. The book is full of anecdotes, especially on high frequency trading. It also shows side affects liken how the war for talent has affected development and innovation of other innovations.
There is little room for the downside of algorithms creeping into our daily lives.

Hidden Persuation

Hidden PersuationGreat introduction into the ways in which we are influenced and how we can influence others. It details the psychology behind the techniques of influence described. The book offers very illustrative visual references. It is well created with a fine look-and-feel and an eye for detail.

Hidden persuasion is interesting for professionals in marketing, advertising and communications, but also if you’re just slightly interested in these fields. You will look in another way at (visual) communication in everyday life.

FitNesse add tags to multiple pages at once

FitNesseTaggerSearchWe’re using FitNesse as one of our tools for (acceptance) testing. It can be quite laborious in FitNesse to add tags to multiple pages at once. So one my colleagues – Joost van Wollingen – wrote a nifty tool that can mass tag selected pages.

In order to have FitNesse add tags to multiple pages at once, start the Java program. Select the directory from where you want the search to start. Enter the tags you want to search for/ filter on.

FitNesseTaggerResultsThe search results are displayed in the results tab. You can add or remove (comma separated) tags for single pages or for all pages in the result set.

If you’re facing the same challenge to have FitNesse add tags to multiple pages at once and want to test/use the tool, contact me or Joost / leave a comment…

Online product recommendations using Hadoop

One of the leading portals on BigData, Dataconomy, had an interview with a colleague of mine on product recommendations systems. These are systems aimed towards personalizing content and recommending the ‘right’ products, in other words products that inspire customers. The article – The Science Behind the Finding the Perfect Product – is a nice read that covers quite some areas.

Stack of Hadoop nodesAt bol.com we use Hadoop for batches, and we have our own custom-built technology for the real-time part. The picture with this blog post shows some of the new nodes that were added to the Hadoop cluster yust this week.

This colleague also held a talk at BerlinBuzz 2014 on product recommendations. It covers quite some interesting stuff on a great case of the use of Hadoop and BigData in under 20 minutes:

Article on integration infra components published in OTech magazine

article OTech magazineDuring Oracle Open World 2013 OTech magazine was launched. OTech is a new independent magazine for Oracle professionals. The magazine’s goal is to offer a clear perspective on Oracle technologies and the way they are put into action. As a trusted technology magazine, OTech Magazine provides opinion and analysis on the news in addition to the facts.

My article in OTech magazine one of the most frequently asked questions is how to pick the right integration infrastructure component to solve the problem at hand.

Download the fall issue of OTech magazine.