Tag Archives: Tools

Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016

The World Economic Forum (WEF) published its Global Competitiveness Report, a comprehensive assessment of economic competitiveness across the globe. Each country’s relative economic strength is determined by analysing twelve pillars–including the capacity to innovate, infrastructure, and health factors. The top five is:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. United States
  4. Germany
  5. The Netherlands

These results shouldn’t be a surpise if you are familiar with Global Innovation Index 2015 (GII), Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2015 or for example the Bloomberg Innovation Index

Global Competitiveness Report – Interactive graphic

Over at Quartz they created an interesting interactive graphic based om the Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016. Very illustrative although they restricted the factors to these seven:

 Global Competitiveness Report

  • Higher Education and Training
  • Internet Users
  • Public Institutions
  • Capacity for Innovation
  • Soundness of Banks
  • Life Expectancy
  • Total Tax Rate

Continuous Delivery at bol.com

Last month two of our software engineers Mihaela Tunaru and Mary Gouseti were invited to give a presentation of how continuous delivery is done at bol.com. The presentation gives a good insight in the state of continuous delivery at bol.com from a software engineering perspective.

In case you want to know more from the operations perspective check Mayfly on GitHub and the presentation below. Maarten Dirkse gave a talk Docker your user stories using Mayfly.

Mayfly is a development platform built by bol.com. Mayfly speeds up your service development by wrapping your scrum user story code in containers, testing it in an isolated, production-like environment and automatically enforcing your Definition of Done.

Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2015

The data presented by Digital Evolution Index seems supported by data from the European Commission. The EU defined a Digital Economy and Society Index to support and measure progress on the digital agenda for Europe:

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness.

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is based on five dimensions:

  1. Connectivity – The Connectivity dimension measures the deployment of broadband infrastructure and its quality. Access to fast broadband-enabled services is a necessary condition for competitiveness.
  2. Human Capital – The Human Capital dimension measures the skills needed to take advantage of the possibilities offered by a digital society. Such skills go from basic user skills that enable individuals to interact online and consume digital goods and services, to advanced skills that empower the workforce to take advantage of technology for enhanced productivity and economic growth.
  3. Use of Internet – The Use of Internet dimension accounts for the variety of activities performed by citizens already online. Such activities range from consumption of online content (videos, music, games, etc.) to modern communication activities or online shopping and banking.
  4. Integration of Digital Technology – The Integration of Digital Technology dimension measures the digitisation of businesses and their exploitation of the online sales channel. By adopting digital technology businesses can enhance efficiency, reduce costs and better engage customers, collaborators and business partners. Furthermore, the Internet as a sales outlet offers access to wider markets and potential for growth.
  5. Digital Public Services – The Digital Public Services dimension measures the digitisation of public services, and focuses in particular on eGovernment and eHealth. Modernisation and digitisation of public services, including eHealth, can lead to efficiency gains for the public administration, citizens and businesses alike as well as to the delivery of better services for the citizen.

Note that factors included in the Digital Evolution Index like market supply and demand, and innovation are not included in the DESI.

Same leaders

Both the Digital Evolution Index and the Digital Economy and Society Index show the same countries as leaders in the digital market in Europe.
Digital Economy and Society Index

Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands and Finland are the highest performing countries. They are not only ahead in the EU, but they are world leaders in digital.

DESI shows progress for Europe

The Digital Economy and Society Index improved from 2014 to 2015:
Digital Economy and Society Index progress
Keep in mind that there is no benchmark to non-European countries! Besides that it is remarkable that all countries improved. Also the Digital Evolution Index didn’t show progress for the highest performing countries. I think there’s a little too much optimism here.

The Digital Economy and Society Index has a more optimistic outlook for the digital economy in Europe compare to what the Digital Evolution Index shows us. However both support the case for a digital agenda for Europe in 2020.

Nevertheless the Washington Post showed in June Europe has an acute need for harmonisation. The article states that it’s easier for Europeans to buy and sell online with non-member countries, especially the United States, which accounts for more than half of all the EU’s digital business. Which is rather unexpected for a union. So there is a lot to do for Europe if the leading countries want to keep playing at the world top level and for the other countries not to fall to far behind.

From that perspective it is remarkable that there seems to be little focus on harmonising laws and bringing down barriers for digital trade in the Digital Single Market initiative.

Links and references

Contentcuratie met expertlijsten

expertlijst boekenMet ruim 9 miljoen producten in de winkel valt er natuurlijk van alles te ontdekken in een winkel als bol.com. Om je te inspireren en wegwijs te maken in dit enorme aantal, worden er steeds meer experts en productkenners uitgenodigd om expertlijsten te maken.

Naast productspecialisten in dienst van bol.com krijgen verkopers, leveranciers en affiliate partners de mogelijkheid om selecties te maken en zo bezoekers van bol.com te inspireren met hun unieke assortimentscuratie. Uiteindelijk kan iedere gebruiker van bol.com straks zelf een selectie maken van artikelen; vanuit een bepaald thema, een hobby, een actualiteit, specifieke vakkennis of vanuit persoonlijke favorieten. Als lijstmaker kan je zelf een selectie samenstellen uit het omvangrijke assortiment.

Op dit moment loopt de pilot. Ik kreeg de kans om een aantal expertlijsten aan te maken. Je kan ze hier vinden:

Heb je opmerkingen of vragen over de expertlijsten, laat een gerust comment achter.

Meetup maart – Docker en Elasticsearch

Voor maart hebben we twee interessante bijeenkomsten gepland bij bol.com.

Docker Meetup – Deep dive into Docker storage drivers

docker_logoOp 5 maart hosten we voor de tweede keer een Docker Meetup in Utrecht. De presentaties worden verzorgd door:

  • Jérôme Petazzoni (Senior Engineer Docker)
  • Kay Davenport (Developer Evangelist ClusterHQ)

Inschrijven kan hier.

GOTO Night: Elasticsearch

elasticsearch_logoOp 25 maart hosten we voor een GOTO night over Elasticsearch. Sprekers zijn:

  • Anne Veling – Eventual Consistency with ElasticSearch in a mixed SQL/NoSQL Landscape
  • Jettro Coenradie – Elastic.on recap

Inschrijven kan hier.

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…

Upgrade iPad2 to iOS6.1 screenshots

Apple updated iOS to 6.1. The update of the iPad to iOS 6.1 can be started from iTunes or directly in the Settings app (General -> Software Update).

On Apple’s support pages, it is stated that the new version will have:

  • LTE support for more carriers (complete list of supported carriers at Apple on LTE
  • Purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only)
  • iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud
  • New button to reset the Advertising Identifier


There was a small language issue on the slide to unlock page in the Dutch version (see screenshot 4).

Where do the JDeveloper extensions go?

Where does the downloaded stuff go after you installed JDeveloper extensions, like SOA Composite Editor, Oracle BPM Studio, or AIA Service Constructor?

On Windows you can find them here:
JDeveloper extensions location

C:\Users\_your_username_\AppData\Roaming\JDeveloper\tmp\update

Shouldn’t you be able to access the AppData directory, follow these instructions:

  • Go to the folder options, on Windows7 by clicking the Organize menu and the Folder and search options.
  • Choose the tab view.
  • Choose Show hidden files, folders and drives.

Selected software development trends

About 2 months ago InfoWorld published 11 programming trends to watch. I’d like to share three with you since they are close to home for me:

  1. No code is an island
  2. Bandwidth is no longer free
  3. Energy is no longer free, either

No code is an island

Having worked in integration project for almost a decade the idea that there is little code living on an island is not strange to me. However InfoWorld points out that besides that more and more software developer are creating products to enhance other products

Our code is living increasingly in ecosystems. Many PHP programmers, for instance, create plug-ins for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or some other framework. Their code is a module that works with other modules.

The same goes for development for mobile devices that rely increasingly on modules or apps created by others, whether they run on the device or in the cloud. This increases the demand for stable interfaces and contracts. Besides that the requirements for availability and scalability will weigh in heavier.

An urge for lean programming

Or create programs that deliver value in an efficient way. New releases of software programmers tend to demand always more resources (just a small example). The cost of keeping a computer plugged in has never been an issue. It never mattered how much energy your rack of servers sucked down because the colo just sent you a flat bill for each box.

The Cloud trend tends to make cost more transparent. Some of the clouds — like Google App Engine or Amazon S3 (example) — don’t bill by the rack or root password. They charge for database commits and queries. This adds a new perspective for software developers. We might need to start thinking about the cost of each subroutine in euros, not in lines of code, function points or milliseconds of execution time.

On the consumer side more and more ISPs adding bandwidth caps and metering. To a software developer this means that optimizing bandwidth consumption when designing apps is becoming imperative. Besides the cost issue this will also be needed because of the customer experience (loading speed etc).

Whitehorses publishes Oracle Forms Survey results

WhitehorsesWhitehorses published the results of their Oracle Forms Survey on their blog. I’ll share three remarkable results. Please read the whole post on their blog:

  • Over 30% is still running Client – Server (Forms 4.5 or 6i).
  • Over 50% doesn’t consider upgrading their unsupported version.
  • When replacing Oracle Forms APEX is the most considered alternative.

The results are mostly in line with the findings in Germany (on which the survey was based).