How robots impact our economy

robots economy

The future where robots help humans in daily jobs and their everyday lives is not so far away anymore. We are facing the man and machine times, and robots already work in sectors such as industry, education, healthcare, service and so on. We are living in an amazing burst of innovation and we can already see robots that tidy up a room, deliver items around offices or, more impressive, mind control robotic arm.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a long way from just being a buzzword and became a key competitive advantage for most businesses. New breakthroughs in AI are driving robotics even further. Driverless cars, cognitive surgical robotics, assistive exoskeletons are just a very few examples of what`s going on in the robotics industry, the only field that`s growing faster than expected.

According to the International Federation of Robotics, global industrial robot sales doubled over the past five years. “The new World Robotics Report shows that a new record high of 381,000 units was shipped globally in 2017 – an increase of 30 percent compared to the previous year. This means that the annual sales volume of industrial robots increased by 114 percent over the last five years (2013-2017). The sales value increased by 21 percent compared to 2016 to a new peak of US$16.2 billion in 2017”, shows their latest press release.

The developing of extremely complex, independent and revolutionary humanoid robots is evolving faster than ever. The newly developed systems are aimed to bring efficiency, to help in difficult or risky tasks, or solve hazardous problems. Without aiming to cover every industry or sector, AXON Soft is presenting you a couple of breakthroughs that are already changing the world as we know it.

The future is here

Boston Dynamics prides itself with building machines that both break boundaries and work in the real world. And, for sure, they make a worldwide impression. A couple of weeks ago, the company launched a video showing the new features of Atlas, their most agile and advanced humanoid robot. The latest video shows Atlas performing parkour tricks.

“The control software uses the whole body including legs, arms, and torso, to marshal the energy and strength for jumping over the log and leaping up the steps without breaking its pace.  (Step height 40 cm.)  Atlas uses computer vision to locate itself with respect to visible markers on the approach to hit the terrain accurately”. the video’s description states.

More recently, they posted a video with Spot, a small four-legged robot dancing. The robot that twerks and looks back conquered the Internet with almost 5 million views in three weeks.

Breakthroughs in healthcare

Robots make a great difference in healthcare. They improve patient care, reduce costs and waste, and offer levels of measurability and traceability that no human being could achieve. Healthcare robots are transforming the medical act as we know it. Minimally invasive procedures are taken for granted by most of us, although a couple of years ago they didn`t even exist. But innovation doesn’t stop here. Prosthetics have advanced in recent years.  At the beginning of 2018, Johnny Matheny became the first person to live with a mind-controlled robotic arm. Johnny Matheny, who lost his arm to cancer in 2005, is testing the $120-million prosthetic developed by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Through this year, he learned to play the piano with his mind-controlled robotic arm.

Exploring polar regions of the Moon

LUVMI is a small lightweight rover, being designed to explore polar regions of the Moon. An international consortium of 5 partners from science and space industry have come together to design LUVMI – Space Applications Services (Belgium), The Open University (UK), Dynamic Imaging Analytics (UK), Technical University of Munich (Germany) and OHB System AG (Germany).

“LUVMI is a lightweight, low-cost alternative weighing no more than 40kg. It will be able to analyze rock samples faster than a conventional rover and with less contamination”, states on their website.

The system consists of a mobile payload support platform that can carry a number of instruments for the analysis of the lunar pole environment and it will drive into a Permanently Shadowed Region (PSR), believed to hold vast stores of water.

Let`s get social

SoftBank robots like Pepper or NAO already conquered the audience with their friendliness and positive attitude. They are being used in all kind of services, from tourism to finance or education and their applications are unlimited.

All barriers are questioned by the limitless possibilities offered by AI. For instance, reinventing traditional footwear with connected sneakers that integrate wearable technology is just one of the kick starters that got our attention. Hardware and software technologies are engineered directly into the shoe itself, creating an interactive Smartshoe that is constantly evaluating and providing you with personalized feedback regarding health, smart connectivity and so on.  Not surprisingly, the Smartshoe includes auto-lacing, temperature regulation with heating, and more.

 

This aticle was written by Axonsoft. Read more here.

5G service – faster download speeds and more complex mobile internet apps

5g service

The fifth generation of wireless technology is closer than we imagine. It was one of the main topics at Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC) that just ended in Barcelona and not only. For Romania, Orange tested 5G this summer near Cluj, in Floresti. Next year Romanian authorities will organize the auction for 5G and till 2025, one-third of the Internet traffic will be supported by it. But what should we expect from the next generation of Wi-Fi technology?

5G stands for the fifth generation of the next wireless mobile standard and it`s expected to bring three major changes. First of all, it will bring greater speed in order to move more data, lower latency that will assure more responsiveness, and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once.

5G requirements

According to an analysis made by GSMA  (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) a couple of years ago, the industry initiatives that have progressed with work on 5G identify a set of eight requirements:

  • 1-10Gbps connections to endpoints in the field (i.e. not theoretical maximum)
  • 1 millisecond end-to-end round trip delay (latency)
  • 1000x bandwidth per unit area
  • 10-100x number of connected devices
  • (Perception of) 99.999% availability
  • (Perception of) 100% coverage
  • 90% reduction in network energy usage
  • Up to ten-year battery life for low power, machine-type devices

Enabling innovation

The high speed, low latency and low power that 5G will bring should allow IoT to reach new picks and take on new challenges that were too hard to achieve with 4G. Personal identification tags, infra-red sensors, and high bandwidth video are just a couple of examples of products that will benefit from an explosion in growth thanks to 5G. Although, the leading industrial players don`t expect amazing changes regarding the Industrial IoT. In an interview  conducted by IoTSWC, Richard Soley, Executive Director of Industrial Internet Consortium explains why 5G is not about Industrial IoT:

” An amazingly large number of people believe that 5G IS Industrial IoT. It’s not, it’s just an enabling technology — an important one, but one of many. In many IIoT implementations, wireless solutions don’t even appear (in many industrial scenarios, you have systems that don’t move and must operate in an environment with high RF interference, so wireless solutions just don’t figure into it). That said, there are important applications of IIoT (I suspect especially in transportation) that are going to depend on the high throughput and low latency of 5G moving forward”, believes Richard Soley.

This article was written by Axonsoft. Read more here. 

Tester vs Developer – The never-ending battle

tester vs developer

Testers and Developers sometimes seem to be like two people from two different planets. A lot of things have been said about testers and developers. One thing is that they have different ways of thinking, and guess what? They really do have different ways of thinking, but is this making one better than the other? We shall see.

I can bet that everyone has heard these questions at least once in their life, mostly if you already work in the software development field.

  • Is better to be a software developer or a tester?
  • Is development superior to QA?
  • Why QA and not DEV?
  • Developers and Testers are like oil and water?

And this list can continue over and over.

The first question that a newbie in this domain would ask is: “What`s a tester?”, now dear testers don’t be offended because some of you put the same question before starting to work as a tester, I also did that. This is a very normal thing, let`s do a small exercise to explain you why:

  • Think about some movies that are about software developing, writing code, developers, hackers and so on.
  • Now think about a movie that is about testing and quality assurance.

Probably it was much easier for everybody to remember some movies related to development than to testing.

Because being a developer seems to be so popular and cool, sometimes being a tester can look less important, but is this true?

In order to resolve this myth, we have to know both the tester and the developer.

As I mentioned at the begging of this article, the tester and the developer have different ways of thinking. It is quite obvious that testers look at the product from a different perspective than programmers do. The developers think about how they can create the application and the testers about how they could break it. By saying “How they could break it” it does not mean that a tester will spoil the work done by the developer. It means that the tester will take the user role and apply all the possible and impossible scenarios on the application. This is done so that the application will not break when it’s released in the live environment. In some cases, for both developers and testers, it’s hard to understand the peculiarities of each other’s work.  That’s why sometimes developers don’t understand why the testers break their application and the testers don’t understand why the developers create such a faulty application.

A developer works hard to develop a product, which he handles with so much care and gentleness; a tester works hard to break this code handling it in the worst possible cases and scenarios to test its strength, resistance power and defects.

So, when a developer finally hands over his much-nurtured sprint to the merciless team of testers, ready to execute the ‘out of the box’ testing, they silently demolish the code…

Developers are often seen to possess parental attachment to the code they create. How many times did anyone heard these statements: “This is an edge case, the users will never do that” or “I know my code, it wouldn’t do that”?  Well, guess what? The code actually just did that! It might sound a bit silly, but a good programmer knows how to be more objective and accept the fact that testers have to do terrible things to their code, because, if they don’t, someone else will definitely do it!

Often the developers don`t know how their code is going to be handled at the other end of the boundary wall, and they aren’t ready for the millions of “edge cases” that testers will find.

Being in the development environment, which usually resolves around positives scenarios of how to make things work efficiently, they often lack the ability to switch to “what can go wrong” mind state. From here, another thing that we hear many times is “This is not reproducible on my machine”/ or “I cannot reproduce this”?

As we already know, every project has a deadline when the product has to be released in the “wild” and this leads to some questions:

  • How will this never-ending battle between the Creator(developer) and the Destroyer(tester) end?
  • What is the purpose of this battle?
  • Who is right or wrong?
  • Which one is better?

After the developers and testers start to understand each other better, they can learn to work together. This is a progress and at the end, only by working together, they will reach their common purpose.

As humans, we`re going to make mistakes, it’s what make us humans, and most of the times, the most effective way of learning is from a mistake. Often it is much easier to detect a mistake in the work of someone else than to see it on your own. That’s why developers and testers complement each other.

Both do mistakes. It is not important who does most of them. What is truly important is that they find the solution to fix that problem, together, as a team.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. We know that progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.

I think that now you are ready to find the truth about this battle:

Developers and testers are not enemies, they are in the same team and they fight for the same purpose: To deliver a Quality Product!

The real never-ending battle is to deliver a Quality Product!

This article is written by Programming Pool.

4 ways to make sure your Augmented Reality app works for your users

augmented reality

One of the biggest challenges for digital designers is creating something that actually works well for the people who use it – because these days User Experience (UX) is king. And with more and more companies beginning to use Augmented Reality, in everything from retail and marketing to architecture and medicine, that challenge is stepping up a notch. The blending of the digital and physical realms means that a user’s experience is becoming more complicated.

However, this also brings some great opportunities, as it will force designers to be more involved in the process of discovering how users behave and will give us a much fuller three-dimensional understanding of a user’s reality – which could be great news for UX design all round. So if you want to make the most of those opportunities, and make sure that you’re developing an Augmented Reality app that really works for your users, here are some of the things you and your designers need to be aware of…

This isn’t just digital upping its game – it’s a whole new hybrid

AR involves a completely new type of interaction – it’s not simply physical, it’s not simply digital. It involves both elements equally. So designers will need to be much more open to users and prioritise communicating with them, gaining early feedback and not waiting until the product is almost on the market. It really involves a complete change of mindset, not just a bit of adaptation.

It’s about doing, not seeing

With AR, users aren’t just looking at screens – they’re performing actions. So the design focus needs to be on influencing user behaviour, helping users learn and working out how you can best enable them to gain the skills they’ll need to take physical action.

Environment is everything

When you design for AR you have to think about how to construct digital elements that will overlay on physical elements – think Pokémon Go on steroids. And, although you’ll have some knowledge of it, you can’t completely control a user’s environment and context. So you need to think about how the elements you’re designing can be adapted to different environments.

You’ll need to up your skills

AR is very different from regular software products for mobile or desktop, because it comes with a 360-degree interface – or, if you prefer maths terminology, a ‘z-axis’ – a graph in three-dimensional coordinates that’s usually oriented vertically. When you combine all the axes the result is a 360-degree representation. Designing like this isn’t as complicated as it might seem at first, but it will require a bit of new learning and plenty of practice – so make a start now.

Don’t be put off though – although AR presents new challenges for UX, there are a lot of skills gained in standard digital UX that can still be put to use for AR, and you’ll find a lot of familiar patterns, interactions and gestures. For example, the most common actions a user will employ during their interaction with the app will still involve things like rotating, tapping, swiping, speaking and facial expressions. Also, just as with websites, anything the user needs to use often must be put in an easy-to-spot and easy-to-reach place. Like when you create a search option on a website and place it in the top right corner, because that’s where users are used to finding it. So it’s not all completely new and different from designing web interfaces.

Ultimately, it’s important not to be frightened by AR and to instead see it, and indeed everything related to Artificial Intelligence, as a positive thing for UX. Because all these things are being created for the user’s benefit and are designed to reduce their cognitive load – i.e. make their experiences easier and better. So UX design should naturally embrace those opportunities and not oppose them.

This article was written by Andreea Zenovia Popescu, UX consultant at Stefanini. Read more articles here.

The importance of neuroscience in the User Experience process

user experience

With the evolution of technology and user needs, the concept of User Experience has begun to have a different meaning in the process of creating a product, either physically or digitally, involving several areas of activity. In order to create products as close as possible to user needs, in addition to the ongoing research that they are doing, neuroscience has begun to be a new area of interest to the UX Designers, precisely because it provides a much more solid foundation on that they can build.

Let’s think a little bit… how our brain is working?

Before moving on, let’s do a simple exercise with something that we do daily to see how our brain works and how, in fact, “the magic” through which the information processing is happening. So, let’s take a website, for example. The eyes will receive visual information from the website and turn it into electrical pulses, then the information will be transmitted further through the optic nerve to the visual processing center, which is medically known as the occipital lobe. It then passes into the parietal lobe, where it is separated and analyzed, but it still has no significance, which will happen once it passes into the frontal lobe. If information gains meaning, it will then be stored in the long-term memory.

Image source: http://www.thinkerlife.fun/brain-anatomy-diagram/brain-anatomy-diagram-mesencephalon-midbrain-function-and-structures/

The frontal lobe

The frontal lobe is located in front of the cerebellum and is the largest, in size, of the lobes found in a healthy human brain. This is the center of our emotional (“How did I experience something?”) and cognitive networks (“This is how I experienced that.”).

Some of the most important functions of this lobe, which could facilitate the experience of a user with a physical or digital product, include:

  • reward and motivation. When the user uses a product that gives him a reward (gamification process), he/she will become faithful to it, precisely because most of the dopamine-sensitive neurons are located in the frontal lobe. Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter when it comes feeling the pleasure (e.g.z when you eat a slice of your favorite cake), reward (e.g. when you have a badge in the application you use daily for counting your steps), attention (e.g. when the content you read is one that complements your knowledge of a particular subject) etc.
  • decision making. The decision-making process should be facilitated, especially for digital products, through the clarity of the reasons for choosing A, B or C. The more users have to choose from, the more they need information about. If A, B or C are ambiguous or the information it is not presented in an easy way, the more the user will try to find alternatives which will fit his/her needs. Let’s take an example, two websites on which similar products are sold, a site has review sections and the ability to see products at 360 degrees, and the other does not. When there is a similarity in products, the user will choose to use the site which provides more information to help him/her decide.
  • predicting the consequences of the actions. The more a product triggers a series of possible actions the user already knows or predicts, the more the product will be used by the user. This is happening because he/she is more comfortable with how to use it. These predictions may include patterns which are models that repeat and build the chain of experiences that a user can have. For example, a pattern with which the user is accustomed is to navigate a website and find the company/product logo on the left side or find the search item on the right side, etc.

The parietal lobe

Located behind the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe plays a key role in sensory perception and integration. Here, the information separation and language processing take place.

Linked to linguistic processing, one of the examples in this way, which has a negative impact on the processing, is the inconsistency of language in a digital product. Let’s take, for example, the Romanian language requires diacritics, and on some website, this thing is applied in combination with words without diacritics, also written in Romanian. In addition to being visually disturbing, users may feel a frustration that comes naturally from language processing because in many cases they have to spend more time reading (a few milliseconds, sometimes even seconds). For example, “will fall” (translated without diacritics: “va va cadea”) vs “will fall” (translated with diacritics: “vă va cădea”).

An example of an application that combines many of the parietal lobe functions is nightwalk.withgoogle.com. This includes visual and auditory information as well as spatial orientation and visual sign processing.

The temporal lobe

Located between the parietal and occipital lobes, the temporal lobe plays a key role in the processing of the auditory and the assignment of a meaningful audio or signal. But besides these vital functions it has, also deals with both memory and emotion.

A software product must provide a balance in terms of memory and emotion. For example, a website that has a clear structure provides the information the user needs, will also provide through this, trust to the user.

The occipital lobe

The occipital lobe records the characteristics of what we see and then passes the information to the other lobes to interpret it.

One of the most common practices that make reading difficult is the use of decorative fonts. Even they are not far from serifs or sans-serifs, are quite difficult to be interpreted by the visual cortex because it doesn’t find the forms as fast as in other situations.

Another handy practice helping read and then memorize is related to the text alignment. Even the justify alignment is more visually appealing, after several studies, the reached conclusion was that those forms created in the left alignment, are helping the reading process to be done more quickly. Also, the memorization of the text is easier when you have shapes in the text. However, text scanning, and not only, means another help for the brain. So, one of the easiest solutions to implement is to use as descriptive subtitles as often as needed.

“The enemy of memory isn’t time; it’s other memories.”
― 
David Eagleman, The Brain: The Story of You

David Eagleman, the Doctor in Neuroscience and the author of “Incognito. The brain’s life” said in a lecture once: “One brain neuron is as complicated as New York City.” Therefore, by taking this recital in mind, adding the cultural influence that a user can have, as well as his own patterns that he/she follows, it is becoming increasingly clear that the most in-depth research is which can help us develop products that are best suited to certain needs/requirements. Reducing cognitive load (like reminding, thinking, making decisions at every step) helps the brain not to make an effort so much that at the end of the day the user can have time and psychologically/physically availability, for example, do not have tired eyes, do not have headaches, etc. Even if it can be a rather difficult task, especially if we are assaulted by unnecessary information, extra actions, etc., we can start taking small steps, for example, replacing where possible the scrolling with the click because the effort that your brain will have will be minimal.

This article was written by Andreea Zenovia Popescu, UX consultant at Stefanini.

5G as The Backbone of Future Mobility

future of mobility 5g

As a leading automotive supplier, the HARMAN Connected Car team knows an important technology when they see one. After all, we were responsible for the world’s first single DIN radio/navigation system produced more than 20 years ago. But there is another paradigm shift on the horizon and it’s going to take a totally new type of connectivity for automakers to keep up—it’s going to take 5G.

The automotive industry is now at a critical intersection: communication, information, and control are all demanding new technology to support their impacts on everyday life. The car will need to adapt, so connectivity during transport is on par with connectivity at home and in the office. As it stands, the current 4G LTE network cannot provide the data rate or latency needed to keep a car connected to more demanding services and infrastructure networks. Essentially, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication won’t be possible without 5G, which can enable data rates up to 20 Gbps and ultra-reliable, low latency communications with only 1 ms delays. It will also allow for Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) which sets the foundation for an IoT-powered future where a car can interact with millions of connected devices, from VR gadgets to smart traffic projects.

Not only will 5G be necessary to handle the technical requirements of future mobility, it will be needed as the role of the automobile changes. We see a future where many people will turn to car-sharing services to use a vehicle on-demand – and that vehicle could be entirely autonomous. Because this change won’t happen overnight, ensuring these types of vehicles interact safely with the legacy cars and trucks owned and piloted by human drivers today will be critical to the success of future mobility. 5G is currently the only network that can support a smooth transition period.

Another area where 5G benefits connected cars is safety. With the speed at latency of 5G, ADAS features become much more effective – including the ones already available today such as blind spot monitoring and lane departure control. As autonomy increases, cars will also need systems to manage cooperative driving, traffic congestion, pedestrian warnings, traffic light and speed advisories, and even fuel and charging station discovery. 5G provides network connectivity and communication capabilities that allow these systems to function properly to create an interactive vehicle ecosystem.

In as little as four years from now, the cumulative number of next generation internet-connected cars could reach 220 million. Each one will need control units that have never been seen before – such as HARMAN’s own Telematics Control Unit (TCU). This first-to-market 5G-ready control unit supports a host of functions, such as Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) which allows for seamless software updating, and V2X. Together with Samsung’s experience with telecommunications, the system can help enable 5G as the backbone of future mobility.

Find out more on Harman blog.

Meet the Partners for Codecamp in Suceava | 20 October

codecamp suceava partners

Codecamp Suceava will be back on October 20. Don’t forget to register HERE. The complete agenda will be announced soon.

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

Softvision

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.

 

BRD Groupe Societe Generale

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, an universal bank. In 1999, Societe Generale became the majority shareholder of the bank. The French bank, one of the biggest from the euro are, with 145.000 employees in 66 countries and over 31 mil.  Clients from all over the word, 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 a 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 support 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 www.brd.ro/code

 

NTT DATA Romania provides development assistance and expert advice for customers across various industries, IT service providers, system integrators and software companies. The services offered cover the entire software development and management lifecycle. Currently the company serves over 300 clients in multiple countries, including Romania, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Finland and USA.

The added value provided by NTT DATA Romania lies within the specific know-how of various business lines. This includes a thorough understanding of the main challenges felt by clients and the current economic environment. These aspects have significantly contributed to the growth of the company over the past 17 years, along with consistently enhancing customer experience.

 

Continental

Continental is a top-tier automotive manufacturing company that specializes in tyres, interior electronics, chassis components, brake systems, powertrain, tachographs and numerous other factors related to the transportation and automotive industries. Continental is divided into five sections: Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tyres, and Contitech. One of the company’s main areas of expertise is fuel consumption, attained via reduced-resistance tyres, more efficient fuel injection systems and hybrid propulsion systems.

Two programming aficionados, Daniel Dines and Marius Tarca, both Romanian, started writing the history of UiPath more than 12 years ago founding DeskOver – a software outsourcing company. The firm was building automation libraries and sharing them with developers from all over the world and software development kits for other organizations such as IBM, Google and Microsoft to embed in their own products. Our code was and is still used on literally millions of machines around the world, part of different products.

In 2012, the team has realized the market fit with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and started orienting resources towards building a platform for training and orchestrating software robots, and one year later they launched the first UiPath Desktop Automation product line based on Microsoft Workflow Designer – specifically targeting the RPA market. It was was the year the company initiated its first RPA journey with Sutherland and Dell to automate business processes. Already hundreds of processed were being automated using UiPath.

In 2015, DeskOver became UiPath, and concluded its first partnerships with several global BPO & Consulting Firms such as: Cognizant, Capgemini, Symphony, NIIT, Genfour, Virtual Operations, Symphony. Hundreds of processes began to be automated using the UiPath RPA tool. A stream of international recognitions followed suit – Aecus recognized UiPath as a Prominent Technological Innovator, Horses for Sources positioned UiPath in the Winner Circle of their RPA blueprint.

In April 2016, UiPath oversaw the launch of Front Office and Back Office Server suites, and also made available the Studio Community Edition reaching 10,000 active members in 6 months.

2017 was clearly the year of global expansion for UiPath. In April, the company raised a $30 million series-A funding led by Accel to assist with company expansion and product development, focusing on Artificial Intelligence capabilities. UiPath continued to grow – teams scaling up and new locations opening globally: Tokyo, Singapore, Australia, Paris. UiPath Academy was born allowing thousands of people worldwide train with the UiPath RPA platform solution. UiPath’s footprint in the automation industry kept being acknowledged with several honouring titles – a global Leader and Star Performer in RPA (Everest Group), and – based on superior technology – as RPA industry leader (Forrester).

UiPath debuted its UiPath Forward event series in New York, which then continued to London and Bengaluru amassing more than 2000 customers, partners, analysts, thought leaders in the field of RPA to discuss its future and the impact on work and society.

At the beginning of this year, UiPath became a unicorn company! It raised $153 million Series B funding led by Accel, with Capital G (former Google Capital) and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as co-contributors. UiPath became the only RPA vendor to be named a Leader and Star Performer for two years in a row by the RPA PEAK Matrix survey conducted by Everest Group.

Half an year later, UiPath raises a new $225M funding Series C led by @CapitalG and @SequoiaCapital, becoming one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in history.

UiPath is currently the enterprise RPA platform with the widest rate of adoption. More than 1800 enterprise customers and government agencies use it to rapidly deploy software robots.

UiPath’s presence extends now to 16 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and employs more than 1700 people.

ASSIST Software is a software development company based in Romania, Suceava, that has a strong presence on the international market with over 230 clients around the world. The company was founded in 1992 and since then, has been on the market as a supplier of innovative solutions having delivered over 400 projects using a variety of technologies. Our team, with more than 160 talented and enthusiastic people, has a solid and proven track record, delivering high quality and timely services.

The fact that our company is dynamic, progressive and flexible also eager to embrace new technologies, gives us the opportunity to take different project roles such as software engineers, QA engineers, project managers, business analysts, solution architects, designers or DevOps.

If you are talented, if you have the potential to evolve personally and professionally and you are looking for an opportunity where your talent and creativity are valued and rewarded, help ASSIST to build the best software development team in Romania! Find out more about our open positions. Get to know us better by watching the videos on our Youtube channel.

 

Endava is a public technology company, with over 17 years of experience of working with some of the world’s leading Finance, Insurance, Telecommunications, Media, Technology, and Retail companies. Through the Digital Evolution, Agile Transformation and Automation solutions, Endava helps its clients be more engaging, responsive and efficient by supporting them from ideation to production.
Endava has 4,700 employees located in offices in North America and Western Europe and delivery centers in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Colombia.
Along with investing in long-term customer relationships, Endava recognized the importance of providing rewarding and challenging careers for people and, by doing so, has established itself as the employer of choice in certain regions.

Edurom

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).

 

Casa Auto is part of Tester Grup, one of the first entrepreneurial businesses in Iași and Moldova, a solid and dynamic group of companies with a history of nearly 25 years, operating in areas like car dealership, real estate, car sharing, manufacturing, insurance broker and HoReCa.

Casa Auto is the largest automotive complex in the region and the dealer with the highest number of brands represented in Romania. With 13 brands in its portfolio and the largest second-hand car park, Casa Auto is a benchmark in its field representing some of the most renowned auto brands in the world (Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Honda, Dacia, Nissan, Citroen, Peugeot, Opel, Renault), constantly aiming to reinvent itself in order to exceed the expectations of their customers.

 

logo osf

OSF Global Services achieves its success by establishing meaningful, unwavering values that we apply to every aspect of our business. We focus on respect, flexibility, and commitment to our clients and our team.

We optimize your applications and transform your technology to propel your business, making it more profitable, productive and competitive. And we accomplish these goals through a combination of cutting edge skills, domain expertise and best practice methodologies. Our SLA-grade services portfolio includes Applications Development; Enterprise Application Integration; Multilanguage Product Support; Application Testing; Virtualization Services; Cloud and SaaS Integrations; Enterprise HR Cloud Solutions; Customer Support Outsourcing.

Even in today’s challenging economy, OSF has grown at exponential speed. Since our founding in 2003, the company has doubled operations each year, resulting in continuous innovation and new services for our clients. More than 90% of our application development business is from repeat clients or their referrals, giving testament to our expertise and reliability.

JetBrains

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)

logo mind

MIND is a leading provider of convergent real-time end-to-end billing and customer care product based solutions as well as unified communication call accounting and analytics solutions for organizations and large multinational corporates. Founded in 1995 with a vision to provide comprehensive yet flexible, ready for deployment solutions to any telecommunication service.

Today, with over 250 experienced engineers and professionals, MIND continues to provide product based solutions enabling even complex operators short time to market service launch. MIND delivers its applications in any business model (license, SaaS, managed service or complete outsourced service) to enable its customers to choose the best model that fits their needs.

logo rubik hub

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 a 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 an 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 materialised 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.

usv logo

Situated in Bucovina, the north-east region of Romania, USV is a public superior education institution. Our university is complex, innovative and it offers bachelor, master, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. It also realizes scientific research in Economic Sciences, Technical Sciences, Engineering and IT, Natural Sciences, Humanities and Health.

Being more than half a century now in the service of higher education in the Suceava fortress, USV responds to the challenges of generating new bold projects with enthusiasm and responsibility. It assumes its role that being here under its protective and gratifying vault to achieve countless performances to form human models and moral marks. Over the years, these performances have undoubtedly contributed to the evolution and emancipation of the national spirituality.

 

logo uagpspm

UAGPSPM is a structure within the USV organization chart, which has as a fundamental objective to offer new employment opportunities to graduates with an important component – returning migrants to the country and the unemployed with higher education. It is based on improving the adaptation of the Romanian higher education system to the changing needs of the labor market. The main objective of UAGPSPM is to facilitate access to the labor market for graduates from current and future promotions at Ştefan cel Mare University in Suceava. The database created and regularly updated by UAGPSPM should facilitate a deeper understanding of the position of graduates in higher education on the labor market by collecting and processing relevant data in this regard.

 

logo incubaf

INCUBAF – This Business Incubation Lab is a first step in developing the entrepreneurial component of RDI activity in the university. Its aim is to provide support structures for teachers and students to initiate new intellectual or commercial projects. Therefore, it takes into consideration the development of the entrepreneurial university concept exploits university, exploiting knowledge through several forms such as patents, technology transfer, business incubation, spin-off development, etc. The lab also facilitates partnerships between the University, Public Administration and other industries through research contracts, consultancy, etc., thus leading to the commercial exploitation of the university research and regional development results.

Masterclass: Move your database to the Cloud: Understand, Design, Migrate, Manage, and Monitor Azure SQL Database

speakers workshop

Date: 09 November 2018, Bucharest
Training fee: €250/participant plus VAT, only 20 seats available

To book your seats, please contact us by email ([email protected]) or phone (+40 741 103 133).

About the Masterclass

This Azure SQL Database pre-con provides you the knowledge and tools necessary to understand the capabilities and usage of cloud databases. It will help you get familiar with the Azure SQL Database concepts. It will also help to learn how to migrate, manage, monitor and troubleshoot your Azure SQL Database solution. You will learn the difference between the Azure SQL Database (PaaS) and SQL Server on-premises and which benefits Azure SQL Database can have for your applications and SQL environment. After attending this pre-con, you will be able to:

  • Understand how Azure SQL Database works
  • Know the newest and most important features to manage your Azure SQL Database
  • Design scalable architectures
  • Design Disaster Recovery plans
  • Manage security on your Azure SQL Database
  • Monitor and troubleshoot Azure SQL Database
  • Face a migration project

Agenda

Module 1: Introduction to Azure SQL Database

This module provides an overview of the basic concepts of Azure SQL Database and will cover:

  • Architecture, service tiers and DTUs
  • Create and connect to Azure SQL Database
  • Difference between SQL Server on Azure VM and Azure SQL Database
  • How to choose between IaaS and PaaS solution

Module 2: Azure SQL Database Administration

This module covers the different Azure SQL Database administration tasks like:

  • Scaling up or down your database
  • Scheduling jobs
  • Commonly used DMVs and supported features in Azure SQL Database
  • Various Disaster Recovery options

Module 3: Manage Security

This module covers the different options to manage security for an Azure SQL Database like:

  • Configuring Active Directory security
  • Always Encrypted
  • Row Level Security and Dynamic Data Masking
  • Auditing and threat detection

Module 4: Monitoring and Troubleshooting

This module covers the different tools for monitoring the performance of your database like:

  • Query Store
  • Extended Events
  • Index Advisor
  • Configure alerts to enable proactive monitoring

Module 5: Database Migration

This module covers the different strategies to migrate your on-premises database to Azure SQL Database and will cover:

  • How to analyze the database for compatibility issues
  • The different migration methods

Date: 09 November 2018, Bucharest
Training fee: €250/participant plus VAT, only 20 seats available

To book your seats, please contact us by email ([email protected]) or phone (+40 741 103 133).

Browse more masterclasses here.

Workshop Codecamp Timisoara, 06 oct: Move your database to the Cloud: Understand, Design, Migrate, Manage, and Monitor Azure SQL Database

speakers workshop

Date: 06 October 2018, Codecamp Timisoara

Duration: 4h, 11.00 – 15.00

To book your seats, please contact us by email ([email protected]) or phone (+40 741 103 133).

About the workshop

This Azure SQL Database pre-con provides you the knowledge and tools necessary to understand the capabilities and usage of cloud databases. It will help you get familiar with the Azure SQL Database concepts. It will also help to learn how to migrate, manage, monitor and troubleshoot your Azure SQL Database solution. You will learn the difference between the Azure SQL Database (PaaS) and SQL Server on-premises and which benefits Azure SQL Database can have for your applications and SQL environment. After attending this pre-con, you will be able to:

  • Understand how Azure SQL Database works
  • Know the newest and most important features to manage your Azure SQL Database
  • Design scalable architectures
  • Design Disaster Recovery plans
  • Manage security on your Azure SQL Database
  • Monitor and troubleshoot Azure SQL Database
  • Face a migration project

Agenda

Module 1: Introduction to Azure SQL Database

This module provides an overview of the basic concepts of Azure SQL Database and will cover:

  • Architecture, service tiers and DTUs
  • Create and connect to Azure SQL Database
  • Difference between SQL Server on Azure VM and Azure SQL Database
  • How to choose between IaaS and PaaS solution

Module 2: Azure SQL Database Administration

This module covers the different Azure SQL Database administration tasks like:

  • Scaling up or down your database
  • Scheduling jobs
  • Commonly used DMVs and supported features in Azure SQL Database
  • Various Disaster Recovery options

Module 3: Manage Security

This module covers the different options to manage security for an Azure SQL Database like:

  • Configuring Active Directory security
  • Always Encrypted
  • Row Level Security and Dynamic Data Masking
  • Auditing and threat detection

Module 4: Monitoring and Troubleshooting

This module covers the different tools for monitoring the performance of your database like:

  • Query Store
  • Extended Events
  • Index Advisor
  • Configure alerts to enable proactive monitoring

Module 5: Database Migration

This module covers the different strategies to migrate your on-premises database to Azure SQL Database and will cover:

  • How to analyze the database for compatibility issues
  • The different migration methods

Date: 06 October 2018, Codecamp Timisoara

To book your seats, please contact us by email ([email protected]) or phone (+40 741 103 133).

The Joy of Data-Driven Development

Author: Davide Trimarchi — Head of Product & Design @123FormBuilder

  1. How I got started with data-driven development

Data-driven development is an increasingly popular way for technology companies to improve their products and services. All of the big tech giants already do data-driven development, but most smaller companies haven’t mastered it yet—and when smaller companies do turn to data, it’s often to improve their marketing efforts, not the product itself.

123FormBuilder’s leadership in data-driven development impressed me and led me to join the company last year. I was won over by the fact that decisions here are made on the basis of objective data, which encourages experimentation and lets us try many ideas quickly, instead of preparing for months to launch something. I was attracted to the company for these reasons, and my decision to join has paid off.

  1. Why data-driven development matters

So, what is a data-driven approach to development? It’s all about making decisions based on actual data that come from measuring user behavior, as opposed to decisions made on gut feeling and intuition alone. Perhaps surprisingly, many companies base a lot of their decisions on internal intuition instead of what users’ behavior is telling them. Managers embark on new projects or ideas based on what they think, not what they know, putting those projects at risk of failure. Without a data-driven approach, designers and developers are relegated to pleasing managers instead of users. Making decisions based on user data shifts the focus from what managers want to what users want, opening up a host of related benefits:

  • Giving everyone a voice (including users!)
  • Improving transparency: everyone, not just management, can access data
  • Increasing ownership and autonomy
  • Encouraging experimentation
  • Allowing people to learn from mistakes

Armed with information about how their products and services are performing, companies can make better business decisions and improve internal operations, efficiency and morale.

  1. Our data-driven approach at 123FormBuilder

In the last two years, everyone at 123FormBuilder has started to adopt a data-driven approach in everything we do. Today, we track more than 800 unique metrics and use them for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Understanding behavior of specific user segments: Looking at multiple data points for the same user segment helps you map, understand and improve the user journey. You can make sense of these metrics by looking at them in concert to understand your users’ needs and goals.
  • Creating an early alert system: By continuously tracking the same metrics, you come to learn the normal ranges of variation in each metric. It’s easy to spot unusual highs or lows, and you can identify a problem early on and take action to fix it.
  • Generating ideas for improvement: We use data to identify opportunities to improve a product. Data can tell us if our product is being used in unexpected ways, or if people find it difficult to do common tasks or generate specific workflows. This lets us make updates based on user needs.
  • Setting accurate expectations: Without looking to data, it’s easy to get inflated expectations for a product update or new feature. We can use metrics to specify that we expect an update to increase engagement by a certain percentage within a specific cohort, or improve form completion rates by 10 percent. This allows us to not only set expectations for our product team, but also understand if an update has been successful. (If not, back to the dashboard—not the drawing board—to identify new opportunities based on data!)
  • Budgeting for and prioritizing feature development in the product roadmap: When we know what we expect a feature to achieve, we also know what features are most important. Using clear expectations that are based on data allows us to prioritize the features that are expected to have the greatest impact on the bottom line.
  • Validating updates before roll-out: We do A/B tests with a subset of users for every new feature before rolling it out to a wider audience. We compare the initial A/B test results to the expected impact to figure out whether the update should be released to everyone as-is, or if it still needs more work to achieve our goal.
  1. A closer look at A/B testing

While technology has made A/B testing easier to manage, especially at scale, the practice has actually been around for about 100 years. A/B testing is fairly simple: it shows two different versions of something (like an email subject line, landing page or product menu) to different sets of users to understand which version performs best. Although it sounds fairly simple, it can be difficult to execute well.

The most important part of A/B testing is deciding exactly what you want to test and how you will determine whether the test was successful. Too many companies test wildly different versions of a landing page, for example, with completely different headlines, layout, buttons and images. If one version of the page outperforms the other, you won’t know whether it was the headline, layout, buttons or imagery (or something else entirely) that made it work: you’ll have to do more testing to get actionable results. A better approach is to test one specific component at a time, such as button size (small or large?) or button color (green or red?), and decide what metric will determine which version “won” (typically, that’s the version that gets more clicks). The most effective A/B tests are conducted on a specific element with a specific target metric for success.

While testing is often a good idea, you don’t always have to test everything. If you have a small user base, your results may not be based on enough data to be conclusive. Or, you might not have enough time to conduct a test. In some cases, it’s okay to rely on common design patterns and industry best practices.

At 123FormBuilder, we do plenty of experiments: in the last two years, we’ve conducted 208 unsuccessful tests (indicating a feature needed improvement before wider release) and 66 successful tests (allowing a feature update to be rolled out to all users). In fact, we have 8 tests running right now. Throwing away code sucks, but we can see that under 25% of our experiments have actually succeeded. Imagine if we didn’t collect data and made updates based on gut feeling alone: we might have pushed the other 75% of updates to our users and actually hurt our performance!

To learn a little more about how A/B testing works, let’s look at two recent A/B tests we conducted on the dashboard of our form editor: one successful and one unsuccessful.

Example 1: Landing page alternative – unsuccessful

Hypothesis: We thought that our form editor landing page, a dashboard showing all of a user’s forms, was not encouraging users to interact with their existing forms or create new ones. We decided to test the current dashboard against a new landing page design where users would simply see a list of their forms. We expected that the new design would lead users to create more new forms and engage more with existing ones.

  • Proposed update to test: List of user’s forms as landing page for form editor
  • A: Control version – product as usual
  • B: Variation – new landing page
  • Success metric: Number of new forms the user creates
  • Results: The number of new forms created dropped by 13.12% (statistically significant) in the test design. We didn’t roll out the change.

Example 2: Dashboard update – successful

Hypothesis: We thought that our form editor’s dashboard wasn’t encouraging product navigation enough. The page only contained graphs showing the results of form submissions. We wanted to test a new dashboard that added quick links to recently created forms and forms with recent submissions next to the complete listing of submission data.

  • Proposed update to test: A quick links panel next to form submission data
  • A: Control version – product as usual
  • B: Variation – improved dashboard
  • Success metric: Number of times users viewed form submissions.
  • Results: The number of form submission page views increased by 371.49% (statistically significant). We rolled out this update to our entire user base.

Sometimes, your A/B tests don’t provide conclusive or statistically significant results. That happened to us when we redesigned the paywalls in our platform. At that point, you can choose to throw away the code, which you might do if it adds unnecessary complexity that could become expensive to maintain in the future, or keep the code if it offers another benefit. We decided to keep our new paywalls because they reduced the time it would take to for us add new paywalls and reduced loading time on the website for users. Even though this redesign didn’t result in any significant performance improvements right away, it was still worth implementing.

  1. Conclusion – Key Learnings

What have we learned from two years of data-driven development at 123FormBuilder? Making data-driven decisions really works—as long as you keep these principles in mind:

  • Test one element at a time (small steps)
  • Establish the right goals and choose success metrics carefully
  • Keep the number of metrics reasonably low for each experiment
  • Make sure tracking is correct and metrics are recorded correctly by your system
  • Look for large opportunities: test areas with the most room for improvement in user behavior
  • Run tests for full business cycles: don’t end tests too quickly, or you might not capture the full diversity of users
  • Only consider statistical significance: don’t make conclusions based on raw numbers, even if they “look good.” Test for significance and use that as the basis for your decisions.

Once you choose to move from gut-based decisions towards data-based decisions, you need to embrace the data and trust it above all else. Otherwise, you’re not really making data-driven decisions at all.