Spaces Talk #1: They took our jobs!

    Asparuh Hristov, on 13-07-2020
    Category: Blog, Data Science & AI

    Spaces Summit is our annual internal bol.com conference for IT, by IT, and friends: Two fun days of inspiration, knowledge sharing, bragging, and community. This year we had our first digital version of the summit. My name is Asparuh Hristov and working as a Data Science Craft Lead in the Forecasting team, I keep encountering people that believe Machine Learning can automate all existing jobs, including Data Science itself. I hope that this talk can bring a bit more of understanding what Data Science is, which steps can be automated…

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    UX Research during COVID-19

    Koen Olijve, on 9-07-2020
    Category: UX

    Or: Everybody is a remote UX Researcher   In our previous post we talked about how ‘Everybody is a UX Researcher’ and we believe that involving all stakeholders and letting them talk to our users is vital for a good product development.  Then corona happened, but we wouldn’t let a global pandemic bring us down. In this post we will describe how bol.com handles UX research during the time where meeting in–person is not an option. Limited resources give you an opportunity to be creative.    Remote Usability research  We love to geting our user’s feedback; with a quick guerrilla test, full scale usability test,…

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    Video: My Chaos Engineering presentation

    Luc Kleeven, on 9-07-2020
    Category: Blog, Development

    During the spaces summit this year, I did a talk on “Chaos Engineering: Why we should embrace chaos”. About me I’ve been working as a software developer since 2008 and have been at bol.com since 2016. I’m passionate about code quality: clean code, testing, reliability, etc. I recently learned about chaos engineering and I think it might be the next new tool in our developer toolkit to improve our code quality even further! About the talk Chaos engineering is the practice of doing experiments on your system to gain insights…

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    Spaces Summit goes virtual – Organising our internal tech conference

    Peter Brouwers, Peter Paul van de Beek, on 28-05-2020
    Category: Culture, Podcast

    Spaces Summit in corona time means Spaces Summit goes virtual. Maybe you remember from last year that we have an annual internal tech conference at bol.com. Given the measures, in place, we can’t come together. So, we go for a digital online equivalent. We wanted to know what it takes to organise an event like this? But we found out there’s an even more important step before. It’s getting the answer to the question “what are we going to do?” Many people and organisations who are organizing conferences, meetups, summits…

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    Our ride to peak season frontend performance

    Edwin van der Graaf, on 25-02-2020
    Category: Development

    We can imagine that at a regular company your colleagues might become very nervous when you worsen the frontend performance by more than a second on the onload, just before the peak season. In this story we’d like to share our journey from experiencing a setback in performance that was caused by us innovating, to the point where we became the retailer with the second fastest frontend response times (Twinkle and Computest benchmark study) in the Netherlands. Before diving into the details, it’s worth mentioning that we as software engineers…

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    Integration testing Pub/Sub interactions in your application

    Mark Krijgsman, on 18-02-2020
    Category: Development

    As part of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Google provides Pub/Sub as its queuing mechanism. After creating a Pub/Sub topic in GCP, you can create publishers to send messages to a topic and subscribers to receive messages from a topic. In order to send or receive Pub/Sub messages from GCP, you can choose to authenticate with GCP through user account or service account credentials. This has one disadvantage; when running your build either locally or on a build server such as Gitlab, your application will attempt to communicate with GCP for its Pub/Sub interactions. Your build will either…

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    Everybody is a UX Researcher

    Marieke Linssen, on 5-02-2020
    Category: Blog, Interaction Design, Interaction Design, UX

    You are a UX researcher, and you are a UX researcher… Everybody is a UX researcher! That’s kind of our approach to user centered design at bol.com. Does it make the whole process more customer minded? Definitely. Does that improve research quality? Maybe not. Is it scary? Sometimes, but pizza’s and buddies help. And in our experience, it’s worth every bit of effort. We hosted the UX Insight’s meetup at our office in Utrecht in January. We started with food, followed by a presentation and finished off the evening with…

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    Introducing Stanley: bol.com highway to (heaven) BigQuery

    Deepank Gupta, Sourygna Luangsay, on 19-11-2019
    Category: Architecture, Cloud, Business Intelligence, Development

    Yes, it’s confirmed! Bol.com is going to the Cloud! The contract with Google has been recently signed, which gives us about 1 year to migrate from Platfora (our BI visualization tool), before it stops having support.   1 year thus to migrate many datasets and dashboards to the Cloud. The tools in Google Cloud are great, and our colleagues are too; so, what could possibly go wrong?… At least this is what we thought in 2017… Our Big Data situation in 2017 Bol.com was storing its Big Data on Hadoop…

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    Refactoring your code

    Jasper van Heijst, on 17-09-2019
    Category: Blog, Architecture, Development

    It’s common sense of course to keep your codebase clean all the time, but this isn’t always the case. It simply happens that a codebase grows in ways that were not foreseen on forehand resulting in an unclear architecture or dirty code (that must be the opposite of clean code). In this article I’d like to share our experience in dealing with such a situation, why we needed to refactor, what we did and how it improved our codebase. Why you need to refactor Modern software engineering is an agile…

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    Spaces Summit – Launching for the 3rd edition

    Niels Kuiper, on 7-06-2019
    Category: Culture, Development, Events

    On June 13th, we organize the third edition of Spaces Summit: an internal tech conference for and by bol.com IT. From the start of the idea three years ago at a “borrel” (Friday afternoon drinks), Spaces Summit has become the biggest event inside bol.com IT to get inspired, learn, share knowledge, show off and get together as a community . This third edition will again be bigger than last year: a total of 500 attendees (150 more than last year!), an unusual afternoon keynote, inspiring talks on a variety of subjects, good…

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