Last June, Spaces Summit was organized by and for bol.com employees. At Techlab, we want to celebrate this event by highlighting two presentations every month. This month, we will look at the challenges of moving our server infrastructure to the cloud, and, also important, how to use the cloud for pouring cold beer.
Talk #1: Going to the cloud: Forget EVERYTHING you know!
Speaker: Maarten Dirkse
Genre: Way of working
Abstract: bol.com is moving to the cloud. When you’re doing so, what should you care about? Can you handle the cloud the same was as you would handle our on-premise datacenter? What will be the impact for your way of working? During the last year, I closely observed lots of things happening within bol.com regarding our ways to the cloud. There were a lot of bumpy roads involved, bad decisions, good decisions, and learnings everyone needs to go through. The biggest issue is the mindset when using the cloud. This is completely different from the mindset you need when you’re ‘on the moon’ in our datacenter! Not only for developers, but even more so for classic operations-people.
Talk #2: How I created the most ridiculously over-engineered piece of software for drafting a cold beer
Speaker: Mattijs Meiboom
Abstract: pet projects are an excellent way to try and learn something new, so when my local sports club decided to replace their manual beer draft system with smart taps they spiked my interest. As it turned out, the proprietary software provided for managing the taps was very basic and did not integrate well with existing systems. The club wanted something better and, together with a friend, I jumped at the opportunity to combine soccer, beer and code into what turned out to be my fondest pet project till date.
In this talk I will entertain you with the story of how we managed to reverse engineer the communications protocol of a smart draft system and replace the software with our own. Along the way I will be touching on subjects such as beer tap security, draft concurrency, and the necessity of integration with Google Cloud Messaging; all resulting in the most ridiculously over-engineered piece of software for drafting a cold beer.