10/28/2013

Dev Centric Culture - Breaking Down The Walls

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

We have been doing Continuous Delivery and DevOps at Wix for several years now and as part of that, I have been training my team at the methodology of DevOps and changing the company’s culture. Last week I was trying to explain to some colleagues how we work at Wix and about our dev culture. While doing it I realized that we are doing much more than just DevOps. What we actually do is something I call “developer centric culture” or in short “Dev Centric” culture.

What is Dev Centric culture?

Dev Centric culture is about putting the developer in the center and create a support circle around him to enable the developer to create the product you need and operate it successfully.

Dev Centric Circle

Before I’ll go into details about Dev Centric culture and why is it good let’s look on the problems we have, what we are trying to solve and why it is more than just DevOps.

DevOps is about breaking the walls between developers and operations but after few years of doing DevOps and continuous delivery we realized that DevOps is not enough. The wall between the developers and the operation is just one wall out of many. If you really want to be agile (and we do) we need to break down ALL the walls.

Let’s take a look at a traditional development pipeline.

  • Product that “tells” engineering what they need to do.
  • Software architect designs the system and “tells” the developer how to build it.
  • Developers write the code (and tests in case the work in TDD)
  • QA checks the developer’s product and cover it with more test
  • Operations deploy the artifact to production

So what we have here is a series of walls. A wall between the product and engineering, a wall between engineering and QA and of course a wall between engineering and operation. (Sometimes there is even a wall between architecture team and developers)
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10/11/2013

A first look inside Google’s futuristic quantum lab

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In May, Google launched the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab with hardware from the Canadian quantum computing company D-Wave and technical expertise from NASA. It was an ambitious open research project aimed at exploring both the capabilities of quantum computer architecture and the mysteries of space exploration — but in the months since, they’ve stayed quiet about exactly what kind of work they’ve been doing there.

Now Google they’re breaking the silence with a brief short film, set to debut at the Imagine Science Films Festival at Google New York. The film takes a look at various researchers working on the project, as well as the computer itself, which has to be operated at near-absolute-zero temperatures. Researchers hope the quantum architecture will eventually be used to optimize solutions across complex and interconnected sets of variables currently outside the capabilities of conventional computing. That could allow for new solutions in computational medicine or help NASA to construct a more comprehensive picture of the known universe. “We don’t know what the best questions are to ask that computer,” says NASA’s Eleanor Rieffel in the video. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to understand.”

Source: The Verge

10/9/2013

Most Developers Are Middle-Aged Married Folks

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Usually when we think of “brogrammers,” we picture Silicon Valley hipsters that may have graduated from college, but can’t leave the frat house behind. The reality, according to Evans Data survey of more than 1,400 programmers, is somewhat different.

For one thing, while popular culture celebrates the idea of developers as pizza-eating loners, the data suggests otherwise. According to Evans Data, 71% of developers are married and only 3% are divorced (compared to a 40% divorce rate nationwide). Roughly 68% of developers have between one to three children. Only 32% are childless. Most developers are married with children.

Not surprisingly, then, most developers aren’t particularly young. Of the 18.2 million programmers on the planet, most left college long ago. While the median age has been falling for years, in North America the median age is still a reasonably stodgy 36.

Lastly, while brogrammer culture is rightly derided as juvenile, it apparently has flourished among a highly educated workforce. We may celebrate the dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, but 85% of developers have college degrees, 40% have Master’s degrees and another 5% have doctoral degrees.

In other words, developers should know better.

Samsung announces the Galaxy Round with a curved display

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Samsung has taken the wrapper off its rumored smartphone with a curved OLED display. The Galaxy Round, which will launch on SK Telecom in South Korea, has a 5.7-inch 1080p screen the same size as seen on the company’s Galaxy Note 3, but there’s a difference — it curves on the vertical axis in a similar fashion to some of Samsung’s OLED TVs.

Samsung is touting a new feature called “Round Interaction,” which allows you to look at information such as missed calls, battery life, and the date and time when you tilt it on a flat surface with the screen off.

10/8/2013

Android adware vulnerabilities are so BAD, researchers won’t ID it

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A popular mobile ad library used by multiple Android apps poses a severe malware threat, researchers at infosec firm FireEye have warned. The security researchers said that altogether 200 million affected apps had been downloaded.

This ad library aggressively collects sensitive data and is able to perform dangerous operations such as calling home to a command-and-control server before downloading and running secondary components on demand.

Mobile ad libraries are third-party software included by host apps in order to display ads. Because this library could potentially be used to conduct large-scale attacks on millions of users, FireEye refers to it anonymously by the code name “Vulna” rather than revealing its true identity.

An analysis of the most popular apps (those with over one million downloads) on Google Play reveals that 1.8 per cent of them used “Vulna”. The potentially affected apps have been downloaded more than 200 million times in total.

FireEye catalogues a variety of built-in aggressive behaviours which, in addition to vulnerabilities with the technology, make Vulna a threat.

Adobe deals with data breach affecting 2.9m customers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Adobe has been hit with a massive cyber attack, where hackers obtained customer IDs, passwords and encrypted credit card information of more than 2.9 million customers. Adobe believes the hackers also breached source-code data of several Adobe products, including Acrobat and ColdFusion.

The software giant behind products like Photoshop, InDesign and Shockwave Flash announced last week they had been hit by two separate attacks targeting customer and company information. Adobe is in the process of sending password-reset e-mails and customer security alerts to affected customers to try to mitigate the damage, but there’s a bit of a problem with that approach.

According to independent security reporter Brian Krebs, Adobe has known about the breach since Sept. 17, and they believe the attack happened sometime in mid-August. Considering those customers’ information has been in the hackers’ hands for nearly two months, resetting passwords and canceling credit cards at this point may be moot.

Adobe’s investigation is still in its early stages, and the company hasn’t finished unearthing the full scope of what data may have been compromised.

10/7/2013

Building Engineering Culture Based On Quality To Drive Innovation

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When I joined Wix in 2010 my job was to rebuild the back-end engineering team. The previous team that took the company to where it was back then was scattered to other projects and except for one developer from the original team I had a completely new team.

A couple of months after I arrived and started to figure things out with my new team we decided to move to continuous delivery methodology. Since we faced many challenges in both moving to continuous delivery and the need to re-write the whole back-end system, we needed very good software engineers to build a new framework and to be the first ones to lead the company’s Dev-Centric culture.

We wanted to create a culture based on quality in terms of software engineering and people responsibilities. Since every person in a growing company has a profound effect on the company’s culture, it sets the tone for the recruitment process. Ever since I got to Wix I have never stopped recruiting engineers, however recruiting is a big challenge. I was looking for exceptional software engineers. The standards for passing the interview process is very high and very few actually succeeded, but that is a price I’m willing to pay in order to build an ‘A team’.

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