Category Archives: Op-Ed

Personal, subjective and biased opinions

Data as a new global currency! Thoughts about machine learning and artificial intelligence

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This week I attended an artificial intelligence workshop organized by the company I work for and very nicely delivered by Richard Jarvis from DXC. Therefore, I think it would be nice to share some things I’ve learned there alongside with some personal thoughts on buzz words like, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

First of all there is a huge misconception that those who are not math geniuses should probably stay away from this topic. I learned during the workshop that this is simply not true. Sure, if you really want to dive deep into machine learning algorithms researches you need to know mathematics. Fortunately, the world won’t probably need as many researchers as people who are aware how things work and that are able to build applications and bring value to users by relying on the research that’s already been made. Why I say that? Continue reading

Microsoft Build 2018 keynote summary

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The Microsoft Build 2018 kicked off today in Seattle with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella taking the stage and presenting Microsoft’s vision and strategy for the developer ecosystem. Scott Guthrie took then the audience through the main technical novelties with a lot of help from product managers and Microsoft partners or customers. If you missed the Microsoft Build 2018 keynote, here is a brief summary of what happened, taking note that it might be difficult to sum up in a few lines everything that was discussed for more than 3 hours.  Continue reading

The quest for a perfect IDaaS solution

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Every discussion about security should start with a discussion about identity and access management. It’s that important and therefore the quest for a perfect IDaaS solution is a painful but needed journey. One could of course choose to build its own identity and access management systems/software, but most of the time companies don’t have the necessary time and resources to do that since we’re seeing crazy release cycles nowadays. Going towards IDaaS is therefore a natural choice in a lot of circumstances. But do we really have a “perfect for every scenario” IDaaS solution somewhere out there? Let’s see! Continue reading

Thoughts about Cambridge Analytica

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There’s a huge scandal these days around Cambridge Analytica since The New York Times and The Observer reported on the company’s use of personal information acquired by an external researcher who claimed to be collecting it for academic purposes. In response, Facebook banned Cambridge Analytica from advertising on its platform. Reports also say that Cambridge Analytica CA worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. That’s just to draw the context. As a last introduction note, I won’t make any comment on politics or legal aspects of this scandal! Continue reading

Azure AD B2C vs Firebase

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Coming from the Microsoft world it was natural for me to immediately jump to Azure AD B2C when I needed to implement authentication in an Angular 5 application. However, things weren’t so rosy, so I had to look for alternatives after an entire day playing around with Azure AD B2C and so I met Google Firebase. And after more days of playing around and comparing pros and cons, I thought it might be useful for others to share some thoughts on these two products.

What was everything about?

I am currently working on a personal project that might be some day a consumer app. Since I like Angular a lot, it was a natural choice for me to use it for my front end work. The larger picture involves also a .Net Core API and all needed application layers. When I started to work on the front end, one of the first things I wanted to do is to implement authentication. Here it’s important to note that my project will hopefully be some day a consumer app. So that’s why I was looking at Azure AD B2C and not the (let’s say) normal Azure AD. Continue reading

Do you want to become a software developer? Here’s how!

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So, do you want to become a software developer and you didn’t graduate computer science? Do you feel that “your time has passed” and you still think that there’s a lot more to achieve? Well, this post is for you, so you might want to keep on reading! If you ask yourself if this is even possible, well…. yes it is! I’ve studied philosophy and theology and still I’m working for almost ten years in the IT industry, I’m playing around with code for around 2 years and now I’m a software developer. Is it easy? Not at all! Or it depends on what “easy” means for you. But it’s achievable and here are a few guidelines on how you can become a software developer.  Continue reading

SQL design patterns for multi tenant applications

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Cloud computing is now growing at a very fast pace for over 4 years now. Strictly related to the increased adoption of cloud technologies there is also an increasing interest in software as a service, as companies of all sizes around the world realized the benefits of paying a subscription for the software they use. In these perspective, software development companies and independent developers around the world build now multi tenant applications. However, multi tenant applications are a tricky from the planning phase, since customer data needs to be strictly isolated, the application itself must be highly available and easily scalable. And, as I also briefly mentioned in my previous article, everything starts from the database. That;s why I would like to briefly point out the main SQL design patterns for multi tenant applications.

In practical examples I will refer mostly to Azure SQL databases and the .NET ecosystem, although the main design patterns are still valid for any relational databases you might want to use. A lot of these aspects are described in different Microsoft Azure documentation articles. My goal is to summarize information that is otherwise dissipated in different sources. Continue reading

Databases for modern web applications

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Databases are one of the first things to think about when developing new software, especially web applications. I know that at a first sight, this topic seems to be a little odd: you simply use a relational database like SQL or MySQL ant that’s it, right? Well, I think that modern web applications are a little bit more complex and it might be worth considering other options and that’s why I would like to tackle this topic.

Traditional relational databases are clearly a goo fit for static applications. By static I think about applications that don’t change very often or that don’t require a huge amount of read and write operations. For example, if I would like to build my own blog at a certain time, I would surely choose SQL. And if I think about the data model for a blog post, it could be designed as something like this: Continue reading

It’s not only about code that works

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It’s been a month since I became a full time software developer at Amdaris and I thought it might be fun to write down some things I’ve learned during this exciting 30 days. This might be useful for people that are in the same position I was during my last year: having some dev knowledge, but finding it difficult to make a bold steps towards a full time developer role. My insights won’t be deeply technical right now and I will definitely avoid very specific .NET topics.

I didn’t know what to expect at the beginning, but for now every single minute was worth this change, because I really had a lot to learn. My first big challenge was getting fully familiar wit Git, branches, commits, pull requests, user stories and so on. These concepts were not necessarily new to me, but I really didn’t know exactly how they are put in practice during day to day activities. Discovering how developers collaborate using specific tools was so great, that I started to work with repositories also for my “personal” projects, since I can clone a specific repository to whichever machine I am working at a specific moment and I can continue to work even if I’m not always on the same computer. If you’re wondering, I am using Visual Studio Team Services to do that.  Continue reading

Thoughts about the future of technology

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Technology evolves on a very fast pace and it’s often difficult to predict the future of technology or some specific directions that technological development will head to. Still, last week there was an event that unarguably defines some strategic directions that technology development will surely emphasize. So last week, AlphaZero won a 100 games chess marathon against Stockfish.  Not only did AlphaZero win, but it didn’t lose a game at all! It won 28 games and drew 72. The spectacular aspect from a tech perspective is that AlphaZero learned the game in only 4 hours. Continue reading