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Citymobil — a manual for improving availability amid business growth for startups. Part 2

Mail.ru Group corporate blog High performance *System Analysis and Design *Start-up development Product Management *


This is a second article out of a series «Citymobil — a manual for improving availability amid business growth for startups». You can read the first part here. Let’s continue to talk about the way we managed to improve the availability of Citymobil services. In the first article, we learned how to count the lost trips. Ok, we are counting them. What now? Now that we are equipped with an understandable tool to measure the lost trips, we can move to the most interesting part — how do we decrease losses? Without slowing down our current growth! Since it seemed to us that the lion’s share of technical problems causing the trips loss had something to do with the backend, we decided to turn our attention to the backend development process first. Jumping ahead of myself, I’m going to say that we were right — the backend became the main site of the battle for the lost trips.
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Total votes 23: ↑22 and ↓1 +21
Views 652
Comments 0

Business processes. BPMN model extraction from the document. Part 1

ERP-systems *ECM *Development for Office 365 *Product Management *Business Models
Translation
The modern projects on the optimization and the automation of many business processes, assume, as a rule, that the first step will be the analysis of the large amount of the client’s documents. The purpose of it is the modelling the business processes “as-is” in a very tight schedule. The list of the analyzed documents includes normative legal acts, industry standards, SCRUM user stories, regulations, technical specifications and other corporate documents.

The analyst for the project faces a rather time-consuming task which is at the same time a routine one as well. It doesn’t have many means of automation at present. According to the analysis of modern means of business process modelling, even such well-known applications on the market as Enterprise Architect, ARIS, Bizagi Modeler do not have any support mechanisms for business process model building in their text description.

This article is focused on the BPMN model extraction from the document.
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Total votes 3: ↑3 and ↓0 +3
Views 1.6K
Comments 0

10 critical skills every DevOps engineer

IT career DevOps *
Sandbox

What is DevOps and Why is it important?


DevOps is the combination of Development teams and Operation teams in order to create a business with traditional software development practices. DevOps gaining popularity at a rapid pace. Let's see how DevOps helps the delivery of Software products.

When the development and operational teams are inseparable silos, it makes development life cycles longer due to lack of communication and cooperation between two teams. By merging those two we can make software development shorter cycles.

DevOps is not a profession. It's culture. It builds teams and makes engineers work for a common goal rather than individual performances. This leads to better collaboration and increased efficiency.

More importantly, DevOps reduces rollback failures, Rollbacks and give time to recover. The main characteristic of DevOps. This helps to find bugs and failures quickly giving rise to rectify bugs or recover from failures.
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Total votes 16: ↑12 and ↓4 +8
Views 13K
Comments 2

Citymobil — a manual for improving availability amid business growth for startups. Part 1

Mail.ru Group corporate blog High performance *System Analysis and Design *Start-up development Product Management *


In this first part of an article series «Citymobil — a manual for improving availability amid business growth for startups» I’m going to break down the way we managed to dramatically scale up the availability of Citymobil services. The article opens with the story about our business, our task, the reason for this task to increase the availability emerged and limitations. Citymobil is a rapid-growing taxi aggregator. In 2018, it increased by more than 15 times in terms of number of successfully completed trips. Some months showed 50% increase compared with the previous month.

The business grew like a weed in every direction (it still does): there was an increase in server load, team size and number of deployments. At the same time the new threats to service availability emerged. The company faced a task of the most importance — how to increase availability without compromising company growth. In this article, I’ll talk about the way we managed to solve this task in a relatively short time.
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Total votes 24: ↑24 and ↓0 +24
Views 892
Comments 0

Estimation of VaR and ConVaR for the stock price of the Kazakhstani company

Mathematics *Research and forecasts in IT Finance in IT

The last decades the world economy regularly falls into this vortex of financial crises that have affected each country. It almost led to the collapse of the existing financial system, due to this fact, experts in mathematical and economic modelling have become to use methods for controlling the losses of the asset and portfolio in the financial world (Lechner, L. A., and Ovaert, T. C. (2010). There is an increasing trend towards mathematical modelling of an economic process to predict the market behaviour and an assessment of its sustainability (ibid). Having without necessary attention to control and assess properly threats, everybody understands that it is able to trigger tremendous cost in the development of the organisation or even go bankrupt.


Value at Risk (VaR) has eventually been a regular approach to catch the risk among institutions in the finance sector and its regulator (Engle, R., and Manganelli S., 2004). The model is originally applied to estimate the loss value in the investment portfolio within a given period of time as well as at a given probability of occurrence. Besides the fact of using VaR in the financial sector, there are a lot of examples of estimation of value at risk in different area such as anticipating the medical staff to develop the healthcare resource management Zinouri, N. (2016). Despite its applied primitiveness in a real experiment, the model consists of drawbacks in evaluation, (ibid).


The goal of the report is a description of the existing VaR model including one of its upgrade versions, namely, Conditional Value at Risk (CVaR). In the next section and section 3, the evaluation algorithm and testing of the model are explained. For a vivid illustration, the expected loss is estimated on the asset of one of the Kazakhstani company trading in the financial stock exchange market in a long time period. The final sections 4 and 5 discuss and demonstrate the findings of the research work.

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Total votes 13: ↑13 and ↓0 +13
Views 1.1K
Comments 0

Ambient music and its effects on writing code

Productivity Inside corporate blog GTD *Freelance
Translation
In this post I’d like to talk about our background music choices for writing code. The developer soundtrack, if you will. To narrow it down, I’m going to discuss one specific genre, ambient music.


Homo laborans and music


Today the effect music has on all living creatures, humans included, is a fairly well-researched topic. It’s been common knowledge for a while that classic music helps people to calm down and relieves stress, while high-energy tunes of various genres can make your workout results way more impressive.

Plenty of scientific papers have been published that explore this phenomenon, especially by medical researchers and psychologists (use of music as a part of treatment plan, the way different organs respond to it, etc.). Naturally, many of those you gotta take with a grain of salt as there’s always the risk of crossing the line into pseudoscience, but there’s no shortage of reliable sources that confirm that link.

You don’t need to go further than Habr to find plenty of insightful articles that talk about the influence music has on a working environment and attention span of the workers. But this particular one has a slightly different intent.
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Total votes 20: ↑19 and ↓1 +18
Views 2K
Comments 0

Microsoft expands Azure IP Advantage Program with new IP benefits for Azure IoT innovators and startups

Microsoft corporate blog Microsoft Azure Start-up development IOT

Drawing of lightbulb in protected circle


At Microsoft, we’re investing in helping our customers as they move to the cloud. We see an opportunity to help support companies in this changing environment by bringing our security, privacy, compliance and intellectual property assets and expertise to bear in order to help them be more successful. We’re excited to now take an additional step that expands innovation protections.

Today, we are pleased to announce the expansion of the Microsoft Azure IP Advantage program to include new benefits for Azure IoT innovators and startups. We first announced Azure IP Advantage in February 2017, to provide comprehensive protection against intellectual property (IP) risks for our cloud customers. A trend we saw at the time – and one that continues today – is a growing risk to cloud innovation from patent lawsuits. Last year, we joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) and the License on Transfer (LOT) Network to help address patent assertion risk for our customers and partners.


This article in our blog.
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Total votes 7: ↑7 and ↓0 +7
Views 475
Comments 0

Physical unclonable functions: protection for electronics against illegal copying

Information Security *IT Standards *FPGA *Research and forecasts in IT Manufacture and development of electronics *
Translation

Source: The online counterfeit economy: consumer electronics, a report made by CSC in 2017

Over the past 10 years, the number of fake goods in the world has doubled. This data has been published in the latest Year-End Intellectual Property Rights Review by the US Department of Homeland Security in 2016 (the most current year tracked). A lot of the counterfeiting comes from China (56%), Hong Kong (36%) and Singapore (2%). The manufacturers of original goods suffer serious losses, some of which occur on the electronics market.

Many modern products contain electronic components: clothes, shoes, watches, jewellery, cars.
Last year, direct losses from the illegal copying of consumer electronics and electronic components in the composition of other goods were about $0.5 trillion.

How to solve this problem?
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Total votes 14: ↑14 and ↓0 +14
Views 4.4K
Comments 0

How to quickly prepare for a job interview with questions on algorithms and technologies

РДТЕХ (Разумные Деловые Технологии) corporate blog Entertaining tasks Java *System Analysis and Design *IT career
Greetings to all readers of Habr! My name is Yuriy, I have been teaching high technologies, Oracle, Microsoft and others for more than 20 years, as well as creating, developing and supporting loaded information systems for various business customers. Today I would like to tell you about the current direction: interviews on data processing technologies. The Russian variant of this post you can find here.

It doesn't really make sense for an employer to ask the applicant about traditional programming technologies. That is why I'm going to tell you how to prepare for an interview in only one narrow area related to information processing languages, namely, the processing of long integers(long arithmetic) and the identification of information properties of real world objects, which are described in long integers.
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Total votes 8: ↑6 and ↓2 +4
Views 2.5K
Comments 0

Congratulations Imagine Cup EMEA Regional Final Champions: Team Finderr from the United Kingdom! Russian team is third

Microsoft corporate blog Start-up development Conferences

Imagine EMEA group photo blog.jpg


The Imagine Cup 2019 competition is well underway with our second Regional Final wrapping up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands this week. Team Finderr from the United Kingdom took home the first-place title and a spot in the World Championship for their app solution to find lost objects with a smartphone. Congratulations!

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Total votes 7: ↑6 and ↓1 +5
Views 249
Comments 0

The History of SXSW: How It All Started

vscextv corporate blog Community management *Start-up development Conferences History of IT
SXSW is a festival of culture and technology held every spring in Austin, Texas. It’s a global phenomenon, with hundreds of thousands attending the event every year and millions more following the media coverage. Even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve certainly felt its influence on our culture.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Total votes 10: ↑9 and ↓1 +8
Views 1K
Comments 0

The Origins of Startup Culture: How the Early Success Stories Shaped the Modern State of the Tech Industry

vscextv corporate blog Start-up development History of IT Old hardware Biography of geeks
In the late 1930s, two Stanford students, William Hewlett and David Packard, were inspired by their professor’s plea to turn the Bay Area into the national capital of high tech. Operating out of the cheapest property they could find — a garage in suburban Palo Alto, they built their first commercial product, the HP200A oscillator. Now a private museum and a California Historic Landmark, this place is a living monument, commemorating the birth of the Silicon Valley startup culture.

This event preceded the similar and widely publicized success stories of Microsoft and Apple by more than 30 years. But it nonetheless perfectly defines the startup culture as we know it today. How come?

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Total votes 17: ↑16 and ↓1 +15
Views 1.9K
Comments 0

Zotero hacks: unlimited synced storage and its smooth use with rmarkdown

Open source *R *Studying in IT Data storaging Lifehacks for geeks
Tutorial
Here is a bit refreshed translation of my 2015 blog post. The post shows how to organize a personal academic library of unlimited size for free. This is a funny case of a self written manual which I came back to multiple times myself and many many more times referred my friends to it, even non-Russian speakers who had to use Google Translator and infer the rest from screenshots. Finally, I decided to translate it adding some basic information on how to use Zotero with rmarkdown.


A brief (and hopefully unnecessary for you) intro of bibliographic managers


Bibliographic manager is a life saver in everyday academic life. I suffer almost physical pain just thinking about colleagues who for some reason never started using one — all those excel spreadsheets with favorite citations, messy folders with PDFs, constant hours lost for the joy-killing task of manual reference list formatting. Once you start using a reference manager this all becomes a happily forgotten nightmare.

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Total votes 13: ↑12 and ↓1 +11
Views 9.3K
Comments 6

How to land a job in Germany for IT professionals

IT career
Sandbox
At my agency we work a lot with international candidates and German companies. So, I wanted to write a small essay about the visa issues because often they will influence your chances of landing a job heavily. Since I work mostly with German market, I will talk about the processes in Germany, the processes may and probably are different in other EU countries. Hopefully the information will be helpful and will give you some clarity.

As all of you know, nowadays there is a big demand for experienced IT professionals in almost all EU countries. When I say experienced I mean 3+ years of experience. Companies are adjusting their teams to accept English speaking colleagues from around the globe, coming up with different perks to smooth up the relocation process and in general the IT world is becoming predominantly English speaking. Germany government understanding the demand by the industry has made the process quite fast and straightforward. I expect even easier process to be implemented in the upcoming year or two.

Visa sponsorship


Companies in Germany do not sponsor visas like in other countries, there is no such a term here. Companies either hire non-EU candidates or not. The decision is strictly an internal decision and is not influenced by any quotas, permissions etc. If you get a job contract from a German company (be it a big conglomerate or a small startup) you have a right to apply for the work visa.

Do I need a university degree?


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Total votes 23: ↑21 and ↓2 +19
Views 5K
Comments 12

How Protonmail is getting censored by FSB in Russia

Habr corporate blog Information Security *Habr Server Administration *Legislation in IT
Translation

A completely routine tech support ticket has uncovered unexpected bans of IP addresses of Protonmail — a very useful service for people valuing their Internet freedoms — in several regions of Russia. I seriously didn’t want to sensationalize the headline, but the story is so strange and inexplicable I couldn’t resist.


TL;DR


Disclaimer: the situation is still developing. There might not be anything malicious, but most likely there is. I will update the post once new information comes through.


MTS and Rostelecom — two of the biggest Russian ISPs — started to block traffic to SMTP servers of the encrypted email service Protonmail according to an FSB request, with no regard for the official government registry of restricted websites. It seems like it’s been happening for a while, but no one paid special attention to it. Until now.


All involved parties have received relevant requests for information which they’re obligated to reply.


UPD: MTS has provided a scan of the FSB letter, which is the basis for restricting the access. Justification: the ongoing Universiade in Krasnoyarsk and “phone terrorism”. It’s supposed to prevent ProtonMail emails from going to emergency addresses of security services and schools.


UPD: Protonmail was surprised by “these strange Russians” and their methods for battling fraud abuse, as well as suggested a more effective way to do it — via abuse mailbox.


UPD: FSB’s justification doesn’t appear to be true: the bans broke ProtonMail’s incoming mail, rather than outgoing.


UPD: Protonmail shrugged and changed the IP addresses of their MXs taking them out of the blocking after that particular FSB letter. What will happen next is open ended question.


UPD: Apparently, such letter was not the only one and there is still a set of IP addresses of VOIP-services which are blocked without appropriate records in the official registry of restricted websites.

Total votes 66: ↑64 and ↓2 +62
Views 6.7K
Comments 4

Why does Dodo Pizza need 250 developers?

Dodo Engineering corporate blog Programming *Personnel Management *
Translation
In autumn, we announced we were going to expand our IT team from 49 to 250 developers. And immediately we were buried under an avalanche of questions — mostly, people were interested why a pizza chain needs so many software engineers. How did we come up with such a number? So now I want to answer that.


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Total votes 25: ↑23 and ↓2 +21
Views 2.9K
Comments 0

Pentesting Azure  — Thoughts on Security in Cloud Computing

Microsoft corporate blog Cloud computing *Microsoft Azure Reading room Cloud services
A few months ago I worked with a customer on how a team should evaluate the security of their Azure implementation. I had never done a pentest(extensive security testing)on an Azure application before, so these ideas were just the thoughts off of the top of my head at that time based on my experience in security.

Matt Burrough’s book, Pentesting Azure Applications, goes even deeper and it is a must-read for security experts focused in Cloud Computing, I’m reading it right now.

Below I share with you these pre-book thoughts, and will compare them in a future article with the ones I will learn — or confirm — after reading Matt's book.

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Total votes 14: ↑13 and ↓1 +12
Views 1K
Comments 0

You Do Not Need Blockchain: Eight Well-Known Use Cases And Why They Do Not Work

Ростелеком-Солар corporate blog Decentralized networks Information Security *Business Models IOT

image


People are resorting to blockchain for all kinds of reasons these days. Ever since I started doing smart contract security audits in mid-2017, I’ve seen it all. A special category of cases is ‘blockchain use’ that seems logical and beneficial, but actually contains a problem that then spreads from one startup to another. I am going to give some examples of such problems and ineffective solutions so that you (developer/customer/investor) know what to do when somebody offers you to use blockchain this way.


Disclaimers


  • The described use cases and problems occur at the initial stage. I am not saying these problems are impossible to solve. However, it is important to understand which solutions system creators offer for particular problems.
  • Even though the term ‘blockchain use’ looks strange and I am not sure that blockchain can be used for anything other than money (Bitcoin), I am going to use it without quotes.

1. Supply chain management


Let’s say you ordered some goods, and a carrier guarantees to maintain certain transportation conditions, such as keeping your goods cold. A proposed solution is to install a sensor in a truck that will monitor fridge temperature and regularly transmit the data to the blockchain. This way, you can make sure that the promised conditions are met along the entire route.

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Total votes 24: ↑23 and ↓1 +22
Views 3.1K
Comments 0