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…Read more
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…Read more
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…Read more
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…Read more
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…Read more
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…Read more
On Wednesday the 26th of June bol.com will host a meetup about Angular and Progressive Web Apps (PWA). Lars Meijdam en Marcel Visser (both Team Rockstars IT) will present on Progressive Web Apps. What are these PWA’s? What sets them apart from native apps? How to create them? Stefan Nieuwhuis will dive into taming huge enterprise applications with Mono repos, Design Systems & Web Components. Program 17.30 -18.30 Welcome, food and drinks 18.30 – 19.15 Progressive Web Apps – Lars Meijdam en Marcel Visser – Rockstars IT 19.15 – 19.45…Read more
On Wednesday the 15th of May bol.com will host a meetup about migrating from on-prem to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). After dinner is served, René Feiner, director of engineering at MessageBird will kick off the evening and talk about how and why they moved from their datacenter to GCP. Then, after a short break, Maarten Dirkse, cloud advocate at bol.com, will discuss bol.com’s ongoing migration to GCP and what lessons they have learned along the way. So if you’re interested in why companies migrate to the cloud and how…Read more
TL;DR: We share our experience on how we built a conversational bot with Finite State Machines. It turned out to have its own shortcomings so we built a DSL to design our flows and called it “Sushi”.
Sushi is a more flexible and straight-forward tool to build complicated flows.
“It didn’t look like a big issue at that moment”. Everybody in the room listened to what the Engineer on Duty (EoD) had to tell about the first moments what, later on, turned out to be a partly outage of the webshop in peak season.Read more