How AI can reinvent retail

Artificial intelligence adoption across industries is skyrocketing. A McKinsey Global survey revealed that 47% of the interviewed companies have embedded at least one AI capability in 2018, compared with only 20% in the previous year. Furthermore, 30% said they are piloting AI and 71% stated they expect the overall investment in AI to grow in the coming year.

One domain in which we can witness an increase in the number of AI-driven technologies used in the business processes is retail. A report from CB Insights shows that between 2013 and 2018, retail artificial intelligence startups raised $1.8 billion across 374 deals.

Artificial intelligence helps the retail sector tackle and solve a series of frustrating problems such as inaccurate inventory, overstretched and undertrained store associates, product placement and sub-optimal pricing. By processing huge amounts of information from different sources, AI systems are able to faster and better identify viable solutions.

In support of this idea is another study released by IBM earlier in 2019, which identifies six ways the retail industry plans on using AI, based on respondents’ feedback:

·       Supply chain planning (85%)

·       Demand forecasting (85%)

·       Customer intelligence (79%)

·       Marketing, advertising, and campaign management (75%)

·       Store operations (73%)

·       Pricing and promotion (73%)

Even with such advent on the e-commerce front, brick-and-mortar stores are still here and are looking for innovative ways to remain at the forefront of the sales chain. So, AI can also play a crucial part in helping bridge the gap between virtual and physical sales channels.

From reducing shipping costs and improving supply chain efficiency to personalizing shopping experiences and helping workers acquire new skills, AI technologies allow retailers to compete in the 21st century economy and better serve their customers. This is what the future of retail looks like. — Mark Mathews, NRF vice president of research development and industry analysis

State of AI: key challenges companies need to overcome

A recent report revealed that 40% of companies claiming to be in the AI business do not actually have any real artificial intelligence capabilities.

The same study found that when companies did include artificial intelligence and machine learning into their businesses, the use cases were quite ordinary. Some of the most popular ways start-ups used AI included chatbots (26%) and fraud detection (21%).

These findings prove that artificial intelligence is currently the most used and, sadly, the most misused concept in technology. Companies are in a hurry to jump into the AI bandwagon without fully comprehending what are the challenges or whether it is possible to add such features to their services.

Nevertheless, it is clear that artificial intelligence has started to generate good results and provide added value to businesses in different areas, including retail and fintech. The real question, in this case, is whether companies are actually ready to leverage AI.

The current technological context is creating excellent conditions for businesses to start fueling AI operations. Humanity’s access to better computing capabilities has grown exponentially, huge amounts of data have become available globally and computer scientists have learned how to improve their algorithms. All of these are making it possible for AI technology to power real-world applications.

But no great advancement comes without its shortcomings. There are a number of challenges businesses and individuals alike need to overcome in order to benefit from everything that artificial intelligence has to offer.


Since the beginning of the world, humanity has gone through considerable transformation. Yet, this has not made us less resistant to change. On the contrary, people seem to have become more fearful with any new technological development. If in the 19th century, the Luddites believed that machines will steal their jobs, nowadays, people envision an apocalyptic scenario in which robots take over the world and deem humans obsolete.

In this case, companies trying to add AI capabilities might encounter resistance not only from their customers who might not adopt their AI-based products or services, but also from their employees. For instance, several Google employees have resigned from their positions because they did not agree with the company’s AI plans.

Even famous figures such as Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Steven Hawking have argued that AI could pose an existential threat to humanity. In an attempt to reduce the anxiety related to weaponized robots, the leading minds of the tech world, including Elon Musk, have made a commitment not to use artificial intelligence to develop weapons.


Artificial intelligence is not a new concept, however, it is only recently that it has gained considerable ground. This means that the skills and knowledge needed to implement AI processes and drive organizational change are just starting to be in demand. A lot of companies, as well as individuals, are rushing to be part of the movement, but they are not trained well enough to deal with it. Moreover, the ones that are equipped to handle this are inevitable drawn by the world’s tech giants that invest in AI, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, to name but a few. Hopefully, this will be solved once the education system will start preparing the future generations for the AI era.

Limited funding could constitute another major challenge when it comes to AI adoption. Stakeholders might choose not to allocate the necessary capital if they are not enthusiastic enough about the initiative. Nevertheless, as artificial intelligence continues to make its mark in major domains, more and more investors are willing to fund companies that promise to revolutionize the way they do business.

Read the complete article here.

Written by Ionela Bărbuță, Strongbytes

Adding automatic tests to an ASP.NET MVC application (part 1)

I. Introduction

Soon after software development has emerged, it became obvious that any application beyond a homework needs testing. Testing evolved naturally along with frameworks, both on client side and server side and now we are talking about Test-driven development and Behavior-driven development(e.g. Cucumber). Of course, most efficient tests are automatic ones.

A couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to start a project from scratch (MDW Automatic Testing along with Claudiu) and I said to my self: why not develop a small framework to easily add automatic tests?

Since back then ASP.NET Core was not mature enough to go into production, we stuck to the more solid ASP.NET MVC 5, along with its natural companion, Entity Framework 6. On the client side, we used AngularJS(Angular was not mature enough back then).

So, this article will focus on automatic testing using this tech stack, but most of the concepts also apply to other tech stacks.

II. Unit testing

Simply put, unit testing refers to testing the functions in your code.

Unit tests represent the base of the automated test pyramid and from my personal experience, they are often skipped, because they require a lot of coding and thus more time (also check this nice article about levels of testing). We made a compromise and have chosen to cover critical functionality with unit tests and use integrative tests for the rest.

In order for the code to be unit-testable some tools and design-patterns were used to cover the following concepts:

  • Dependency Injection — we chose Ninject. Of course, there are alternatives, but this seemed to be most versatile. This allows to easily replace a service dependency when needed (e.g. with a mock object)
  • A mocking framework — we chose NSubstitute . This allows to easily to replace classes or functions for unit testing.
  • A unit testing framework — we use NUnit. It integrates nicely in Visual Studio and we use it to run all our tests (including Selenium Web driver ones).
  • Generic repositories — a design pattern that involves creating a generic class that handles basic data operations (add, insert, insert bulk, update, update bulk etc.). Unfortunately, Entity Framework 6 is not very friendly when it comes to dependency injection and mocking, so generic repositories are of good use since that can simply be replaced with some generic in-memory repositories.

NOTE: thankfully, ASP.NET Core 2.0 was built with dependency injection in mind and comes with an in-memory database provider that makes unit tests much easier.

Enough talk, let’s dive into some code.

  1. The generic repositories

All generic repositories implement a single interface (see below). Besides the regular (non-cached) repository and the in-memory one, there is also a “cached” one that is plugged for some entities to avoid database fetches (typically mapped to rarely changed and relatively small tables).

Read the complete article here.

Written by Alexandru Dragan, METRO SYSTEMS Romania

Artificial intelligence will certainly be part of the future world, will we?


For some time now, artificial intelligence has been revolutionizing the way we see banking, fintech, retail, education and even the medical system. At this point, it is clear for everyone that whatever future we might have, AI will definitely be part of it. The thing we don’t seem to agree on is how good will such technology be for humanity. On the one hand, a lot of experts believe that AI advancements will bring much value and will help humans improve their existence over the next decades. And on the other hand, we have those who worry that, in time, we might start to change our idea of what it means to be human.

In the summer of 2018, a group of technology pioneers, innovators, developers, business leaders and policy makers have debated on the exact topic and reached an unanimous conclusion. They predicted that artificial intelligence will augment human effectiveness, but also threaten human autonomy and capabilities. They also discussed the possibility of systems becoming so smart that they could actually be better than humans even at what is now impossible for AI to do: complex decision-making, reasoning and learning.

In a recent interview, Bill Gates has also declared that “artificial intelligence is both promising and dangerous, like nuclear weapons and nuclear energy”.  However, Microsoft’s co-founder believes that medicine and education can and should be the main areas that benefit from what AI can bring to the table.

The elephant in the room

The matter of whether humans will be replaced or not by machines haunts most of our dreams since AI has become almost ubiquitous in our lives. Nowadays, there’s almost no industry that has not deployed artificial intelligence technology. Banks are using it to detect fraudulent transactions and make predictions, retailers save a lot of time and money by adding AI capabilities for inventory and shelving and there are even hospitals that adopt it to help doctors identify certain diseases. Furthermore, data shows that more than a third of US hospitals actually have at least one robot that can perform surgeries.

With the possibility of machines someday really thinking and acting like (or even better than) us, everything seems to point towards humans becoming obsolete. How not to worry?


Job security has always been one of people’s main worries over the years. And with AI disrupting so many domains, our replacement has become more of a fact than a possibility. Apart from the repetitive and predictable tasks, there are also a number of white collar jobs that might be done (better) in the future by an AI system. Lawyers, doctors, writers or journalists are also at risk of being replaced by machines.

But such technological development will bring so many other changes and innovations that we will not be able to address at once, which means new skills and capabilities will be required from humans. This will lead to new jobs being created, thus adding different opportunities for individuals.  The hypothesis of AI creating more jobs than it replaces is also confirmed by a Gartner study, which predicts that in 2020, AI will create 2.3 million new jobs while eliminating 1.8 million traditional jobs.

Read the complete article here.

Written by Ionela Bărbuță, Strongbytes

A study towards understanding the job titles in a DevOps world

DevOps is an IT related concept heavily debated, marketed, talked-about in the industry for quite some years. What I love most about it is that it continuously improves; it is like a living organism, as any IT company built on people’s creativity, passion and knowledge.

As I see it, if DevOps would be a person, automation would be its heart, communication and knowledge sharing would be its blood, agile product management would be its brain while servant leadership (or even further — transformational leadership) would be its breathing air.

In this article I am going to have a look at the DevOps heart and how could we keep it pumping.

In a DevOps environment, practices such as continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment, continuous monitoring, continuous testing, self-healing, auto-scaling are a must; and all these can only be achieved by automating workflows, operations, whatever repetitive task that implies human effort.

In order to cover this automation need, several job titles appeared in the market: Build Engineer, Release Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer, [Cloud] Platform Engineer and some other flavors of these ones. Of course, passionate debates and quite very well documented papers appeared on what exactly does it mean one or the other, how do they overlap, how do they complement and in which kind of organizational structure do they fit (if curious about it, please see the references of this article).

The understanding and the usage of these job titles depend also on the geographical location, in direct correlation with how many companies/teams have adopted DevOps (culture, methodology, processes, and tools). As reference, in the 2017 State of DevOps Report done by Puppet & DORA, it is stated that 54% of the software teams have adopted already DevOps in North America, 27% in Europe and Russia and 10% in Asia, so I expect some differences in the maturity level, thus in the job-related titles (implicitly, in roles & responsibilities).

From my observations on the Romanian jobs market, I have built the following picture with regards to these job titles topology:

As a storyline, I would put it like this:

· two ~ three years ago, when I first made an analysis of the market, there were many job requests for Build Engineers, meaning someone with technical expertise in automating the build process, who would be able to implement continuous code integration, as a first step towards building a Continuous Delivery Pipeline (CDP). Specific technical skills that are mostly required for this role: source control management and tools (e.g GIT, SVN), scripting languages for packing the source code (e.g Ant, Maven, Makefile), CDP related tools (e.g Jenkins, Groovy, TeamCity, Artifactory, Nexus); knowledge on CDP workflow and technical components;

· then, for quite a small period of time, I have observed an increase of requests for so-called Release Engineers, from whom the companies demanded the same knowledge as for Build Engineers and, in addition, strong knowledge also on managing environments/platforms, configuration management & deployment automation, agile-specific tooling configuration/ administration/management. They were expected to build a complete, reliable Continuous Delivery Pipeline, connecting all the technical pieces together (e.g. integrating Selenium for test automation, Docker or Cloud Providers SDKs), implementing best practices in the workflow. The term is not that used anymore, at least on the Romanian market. Searching through LinkedIn Jobs, I can observe that also worldwide is not heavily used, in comparison with Build Engineer (a few times more job requests) or DevOps Engineer (which is requested like 10~15 times more). Maybe the word “release” was not that inspiring and everyone in the industry was thinking about the old release policies with long feedback loops and that is why it was more or less dropped off. On the other hand, Google mentions Release Engineer role in “Site Reliability Engineering. How Google runs production systems” book as defining “best practices for using [their] tools in order to make sure projects are released using consistent and repeatable methodologies. Examples include compiler flags, formats for build identification tags, and required steps during a build.”

· There is also an increasing number of requests for [Site] Reliability Engineers (SRE). This is a role launched by Google, heavily sustained by one of the top DevOps researchers, Jez Humble, which is rapidly gaining adoption, in a direct correlation also with Google Cloud Platform increase in the market share. SRE, as Google defines it, is a team with both coding and system engineering skills, which “is fundamentally doing work that has historically been done by an operations team, but using engineers with software expertise”. The team is expected to be responsible for the availability, latency, performance, efficiency, change management, continuous monitoring, emergency response, building up strategies for rollbacks, auto-scaling or self-healing. The required technical expertise is referring to performance monitoring tools (e.g DataDog, OMD, Grafana), Linux scripting, programming languages (e.g Go, Python, Java, JavaScript), cloud technologies (e.g Google Cloud Platform, AWS, OpenStack), microservices architecture.

Read the complete article here.

Written by Aura Virgolici, METRO SYSTEMS Romania

Meet the partners for Codecamp Cluj-Napoca | April 13

Codecamp Cluj-Napoca will be back on April 13. Don’t forget to register here. Free access.

In the meantime, we want to thank our partners for being with us every step of the way.

For most of the Romanian, BRD is a day to day presence, spread all over the country. We are a Top Romanian Bank and one of the companies listed at BVB. We have also a long history. Descendent of the National Industrial Credit Society, created in 1923, BRD was initially the Investment Bank of the Romanian country before becoming, in 1990, a universal bank. In 1999, Societe Generale became the majority shareholder of the bank. The French bank, one of the biggest from the euro area, with 145.000 employees in 66 countries and over 31 mil.  Clients from all over the world, transferred in Romania know-how that allowed us to become shortly one of the leaders of the Romanian market.

We constantly are looking to innovate ourselves, while offering to wide public programs and products tailored, from kids to students and businesses of different sizes, comfort and security. We have 2.3 mil clients and 780 branches. Our activity covers three major business lines: retail and IMM, big corporations and investment banking. With over 7.500 employees we are one of the biggest banking employers.

BRD is an important economic actor in the local economy but also we are an active social player, involved in the community through projects and programs that cover social, cultural and sportive areas.

We are proud to support technology and innovation in our country and we engage our efforts in developing key actors (the new generation of IT specialists and tech entrepreneurs ) for a digital society. Our main projects are  BRD First Tech Challenge, the Robotics Labs and Innovation Labs but we constantly continue to search and support initiatives, such as Codecamp,  that contribute to supporting the Romanian creators of technology and innovation. Furthermore, we have developed a special offer for the IT segment through which we hope to answer the daily banking needs of this public.  Find out more details on


Established in 1998 in Cluj-Napoca, Softvision is now a big and global outsourcing company that provides great software product development services to their clients. Softvision expanded throughout Romania in Baia Mare, Bucuresti, Iasi and Timişoara. The company develops over 300 projects for over 100 clients from Europe and USA, in the following fields: software development, testing and quality assurance, mobile apps, UI/UX Design, support services and others.

Softvision is renowned for its Top 500 Fortune, Silicon Valley and Wall Street clients: Microsoft, Toshiba, Alcatel, Sharp, Swisscom, Sprint and others. In 2016, Softvision merged with well-renowned US-based Company SPI (Software Paradigms International), thus becoming an International Company with offices also in Canada, Australia, Brazil and India.

With the merger, Softvision gained new clients from the retail segment: Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Lord&Taylor, Estee Lauder, Michael Kors. Softvision encourages their employees to work hard, play hard and to continuously learn through the Softvision University Program.

This was developed to offer full support to every individual in the company to reach the highest professional development level in accordance with their potential. Softvision University comprises 11 communities: .Net, Android, iOS, Web, DB, QA, Java, C/C++, DevOps, PM and Artificial Intelligence.


Edurom is a national company that has been successfully providing in Romania, since 2002, human resources services, based on two powerful and well known global methodologies: BELBIN and Situational Leadership -The Original Model.

Moreover, EDUROM exclusively represents these methodologies in Romania. Thus, day by day, we are striving to: Build Leaders, Create and Develop PERFORMING Teams, and achieve significant Improvements of Productivity for our customers. Based on this, Edurom provides professional services in Training, Recruitment, AND Consultancy (Performance Management and Productivity Improvement).


Since it was founded in 2005, Catalysts has managed to grow continuously without losing its highly informal, non-hierarchical and familial character that guaranteed its success in its very first years.

Now the company has 12 offices in Austria, Romania, Germany and Uganda. 

Among its customers and partners are many hidden champions & world market leaders: the European Space Agency, the Volkswagen Group, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, etc.

All this has been possible due to the loyalty and determination of the 300+ employees. 

Catalysts is the inventor and operator of the Catalysts Coding Contest (CCC) – the largest onsite coding contest in Europe, which is organized twice a year, giving visibility to talented software developers.

More information:



METRO SYSTEMS Romania offers complex IT solutions for the retail industry, such as Design, Quality Assurance, Support, Delivery & Deployment, Application Operation and Infrastructure Operation. METRO SYSTEMS GmbH provides information and technology management services for METRO.

METRO SYSTEMS develops and implements commodity and logistics management solutions, information management and archiving solutions, database systems with customer information, cash register systems, e-commerce solutions and intranet systems as well as administrative systems. Since 2006, the year of the establishment of METRO SYSTEMS Romania, the number of employees has steadily increased to more than 900, and the company continues to expand. METRO is one of the largest and most important international commercial companies. The company operates in 35 countries and has more than 150,000 employees.


Micro Focus and HPE Software have joined to become one of the largest pure-play software companies in the world. Bringing together two leaders in the software industry, Micro Focus is uniquely positioned to help customers maximize existing software investments and embrace innovation in a world of hybrid IT—from mainframe to mobile to cloud.

Micro Focus is a pure-play software company focused from the ground up on building, selling, and supporting software. This focus allows us to deliver on our mission to put customers at the center of innovation and deliver high-quality, enterprise-grade scalable software that our teams can be proud of. We help customers bridge the old and the new by maximizing the ROI on existing software investments and enabling innovation in the new hybrid model for enterprise IT.


SMEDIX Inc. is a global software development company focused solely on partnering with the world’s leading healthcare companies to transform patient care through innovative software solutions and technologies. We help bridge the development gap, enabling our customers to effectively commercialize innovative IVD products. Our industry-experienced leadership and highly skilled global engineering team have broad capabilities to address the software needs of our customers. We handle the full software development lifecycle of clinical diagnostic and medical device products by providing services in software development, software verification & validation, and regulatory compliance consulting. Additionally, we are growing teams who are subject matter experts and specialize in areas such as instrumentation and control engineering, machine learning, bioinformatics, remote diagnostics, cloud applications, laboratory information interfaces, test automation, mobile applications, globalization and localization. With presence in the United States and Romania, we learned to transition from synchronous to asynchronous collaboration and boost productivity while maintaining the highest quality product. Our engineers understand that safety and quality form the essential foundation of medical device software and that continuous self-improvement and transparency enable us to build effective and successful long-term partnerships. We aspire to maintain our strong cultural working environment while steadily growing the business year over year.



As the global innovator in language translation solutions, SDL is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. With 1,500 enterprise customers, 400 partners and a global infrastructure of 55 offices in 38 countries, SDL is transforming business by enabling nuanced digital experiences with customers around the world.


Gnex represents a new concept regarding drones and gadgets, that brings fun and professionalism together.  Our specialty are drones, as we are the biggest drone importer in Romania. With the help of these innovative products, we can explore, visualize and perceive everything around us. Also, we can provide you with a large range of electric transporters, like scooters and electrical bicycles, Ninebot products and hover-boards.

Being passionate about technology and innovation, we want to bring the latest international trends in Romania trough e-commerce but also through our presence at IT and Technology conferences.


Siemens is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for 170 years. It focuses on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization.

Corporate Technology (CT) department is Siemens’ central research and development arm and plays an important role in Siemens Romania. Scientists and engineers, mathematicians and software developers here work hand in hand with Siemens’ business units to identify the technologies of tomorrow and leverage them in support of the businesses.

Our aim is to ensure that their developments prevail in the marketplace and become true innovations.

We are both a creative driver of disruptive innovations and a partner to the Siemens’ businesses, offering them high-quality research and development.

In Romania, we are present in Cluj Napoca, Brasov and Bucharest and have a comprehensive portfolio of research activities, software development and technology-based services which supports Siemens’ business in the fields of Electronic Design, Business Analytics, Image Analytics and Cybersecurity. We are also active in the services and IT solutions areas where we develop and carry out automated testing for web, mobile and SAP based applications.

The R&D Center in Cluj Napoca offers a comprehensive portfolio of software development activities and technology-based services in order to support Siemens internal customers in meeting the demands of digitalization. Our portfolio includes two main areas of responsibility: services (namely maintenance) and IT solutions.

In the service sector, the center acts as an internal helpdesk for various Siemens platforms, for example in the area of maintenance and development of internal SAP systems. The IT support services cover all levels: from 1st level support until 3rd level support. In the IT Services and Solutions sector, web, mobile and SAP based applications are developed (using SAP ABAP, C#, .NET, Java programming languages) and automated testing is carried out.


We’re a team of experts building data and software that enables the detection and prevention of financial crime including corruption, money laundering, bribery, human trafficking and terrorist financing.

Our development stack is python-centric and we’re heavy users of cloud platforms, in particular AWS technologies and systems such as JavaScript, AngularJS, MongoDB, ElasticSearch, Kafka, Hadoop, Docker, Kubernetes, ECS, ELK, MySQL, PostgreSQL and Gitlab.

We own and develop our own products, therefore we require all of our team members to have a holistic understanding of the problems that our clients face and the range of technologies that can be brought to bear on these issues.

The company was founded in 2014 and since then has grown rapidly as clients around the world have adopted our solutions ComplyAdvantage now has 180 people across Cluj, London, New York and Singapore. After securing our Series B investment round of $30 million and tripling our revenue in the past year alone, we’re growing fast and are looking for the best people to join us.


AXON Soft is a leading provider of high-performance software development and IT consultancy services. With over 20 years of experience, they leverage their highly skilled technical team to reach their customers’ most challenging projects. From the very beginning, AXON Soft pushed boundaries and did their best to grow in a way that they can feel proud of. Their teams worked for Western Europe companies, became professionals in working from remote locations, and adopted modern methodologies. Moreover, they always keep up-to-date with technology trends. Over the years, AXON Soft teams’ dedication brought them successful results. They developed 2 software applications that have entered in top 10 worldwide for their business area – logistics and workforce management. With persistence, experience, and leadership, AXON Soft ensures the quality and success of digital transformation. Through innovation and cutting-edge technology, they bring value to their clients’ businesses, while they are responding to tomorrow`s challenges and opportunities.


At JetBrains, code is their passion. For over 15 years they have strived to make the strongest, most effective developer tools on earth. By automating routine checks and corrections, their tools speed up production, freeing developers to grow, discover and create.

Their line of software products include:

* IntelliJ IDEA (The most intelligent Java IDE)
* PhpStorm (Lightning-smart PHP IDE)
* WebStorm (The smartest JavaScript IDE)
* PyCharm (Python IDE for professional developers)
* RubyMine (The most intelligent Ruby IDE)
* AppCode (Smart IDE for iOS/OS X development)
* CLion (A smart cross-platform IDE for C and C++)
* DataGrip (Your Swiss Army knife for databases & SQL)
* PyCharm Edu (Professional tool to learn programming with Python)

* Rider (New Cross-platform .NET IDE based on the IntelliJ Platform and ReSharper)
* ReSharper (Visual Studio extension for .NET developers)
* ReSharper C++ (Visual Studio extension for .NET developers)
* dotTrace (.NET performance Profiler)
* dotMemory (.NET memory Profiler)
* dotCover (.NET unit test runner and code coverage tool)
* dotPeek (Free .NET decompiler and assembly browser)

* TeamCity (Powerful Continuous Integration out of the box)
* YouTrack (Issue tracker designed for development teams
* Upsource (Code review and repository browsing)
* Hub (JetBrains team tools, integrated)

* Kotlin (Statically typed programming language for the JVM, Android and the browser)
* MPS (DSL development environment)


The HUB from Piatra Neamt is a consistent binder for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. They dare to challenge those who are willing to join the community through initiative, transparency, courage and determination. Whether it’s entrepreneurs in the making, professionals in the business area, companies eager to invest, starting or mature startups or simply connectors and facilitators, each one and all together are the essential part of the HUB’s mission and contribute significantly to its story.

The HUB aims to increase the entrepreneurial environment and support it for the long term, but for that, they need reliable players to join and act accordingly. In that sense, they are addressing companies that are open to honest dialogue and focused on the real needs of entrepreneurial dynamics within the region, and such companies have already joined the HUB. They want to generate the energy and the creative spirit that excite and support people in their entrepreneurial challenges.

All these goals will be materialized through a series of programs, events and services that will serve the entire regional entrepreneurial community, activities that have already been tested and validated with the target group.

Welcome to the retail robot takeover

One of the main areas we’re starting to see the proven power of artificial intelligence is in the retail sector. Whether it’s a robot salesclerk whizzing down the aisles, ready to assist customers in need of directions, or number-crunching systems that make sense of big data rendering it both manageable and actionable to help a company make informed decisions that will positively impact its bottom line. There’s no denying that we’re only beginning to discover the value of what AI can bring to the table when it comes to sales, service and support to enhance the customer experience.

One proven example of the move towards making large volumes of data meaningful within the retail ecosystem is Salesforce Einstein, a robust set of services that brings sophisticated AI activities into Salesforce’s existing popular CRM. With Einstein, retailers can transform business, as usual, helping every department to run efficiently and do what they do best for their valued customers. The company can offer predictions and recommendations based on customer data and develop apps that will transform how shoppers interact with its online and physical stores.

Read more about how AI is impacting e-commerce in this article written by OSF Commerce, an OSF Global Brand.

Why I would not choose Java to run in Kubernetes

Together with the rise of Java, Java Applications Servers (e.g Tomcat, IBM WAS) also came into the game. The idea of an application server was to have one JVM and to run multiple deployments (e.g. jar, ear, war), this way the memory footprint necessary for running lots of processes can be reduced.

Historically, the teams were well-defined in application administrators that could also be responsible with the operations aspects and developers with a focus on developing the business features of their product and not so much on how their code runs in terms of performance, reliability and so on. App admins instead, took a heavy interest in how the code is running on their administered applications so they would have a stable system. As one of them, even with optimized code, I still had a job that killed that Java process on a 24h basis, just to be sure, considering that we had processes that just froze after 1 week.

Then containers were launched and the idea that everything can be packed in images and those images can run anywhere. Kubernetes would be used for orchestration, monolith applications would be migrated to the cloud, by re-writing them in microservices.

The app admins will remain to administrate the monolith and the developers will go and build new small applications based on microservices in Docker.

In some of these new teams, there were no application administrators, to raise awareness on JRE, JVM and the garbage collector related issues, and no one else took care about this aspect. Instead, Kubernetes is used to deploy our newly shiny Docker images. So, there are not too many people to wonder if Java is really suitable for this kind of architecture from a reliability point of view.

As an old app admin to a new SRE position, I learned about Golang, which looks like a much better alternative for microservices.

Meanwhile, all Kubernetes is full of Java code and there are apps that cannot start if they have not a minimum of 200MB of RAM because Java code runs into a container image with its own JWM, JRE, JAR, CVE security patches and so on (all with an Image size 500+ MB).

                                                  scala microservice

During my learning time for Go, I started to play by writing small compiled Go microservices:

  • Static data that have 11MB in image size and 9MB of RAM used
  • DB Command Model 13MB in image size and 23MB of RAM used
                                                     golang static data
                                     golang database command model

(*both Java and Go screenshots are from services that run for at least 1 day).

Read the complete article here.

Written by Ionut Ilie, METRO SYSTEMS Romania