Life of a C# Developer: How to build and test an AWS Lambda locally

Today Serverless is a thing. Although everyone can write a blog post about how Serverless run on servers, I share the same visions as Mathias Verraes:

Given that, I decided to share my developer experience building, testing and deploying AWS Lambda functions in the .NET world. Not a “Hello World” example, but rather a real-world scenario, where some services integrate with each other. Since a Serverless function is a tiny piece of code in a much larger process, how can I test the flow on my development machine?

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Overburdening: how to cope with it and work is irrefutable

Sometimes teams must take up work that exceeds their capability. Consider a company policy that says ‘The call desk picks up calls within 60 seconds’. This policy forces a call desk team to pick up new calls within 60 seconds. Saying ‘No’ to new work would be a sensible thing to do. But just not in this case. When in such a position what can you do to overcome overburdening and still keep happy customers?

In this blog post I’ll show that by looking at the workflow one can discover new options to overcome the overburdening and still not say ‘No’.

Alternative ways are described in The Business Support Team Pattern and Help! Too Many Incidents! – Capacity Assignment Policy In Agile Teams.
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Crossing the bounded context, events-first, the REST is not needed

Technical design decisions can have a severe impact on companies their communication structure. Conway’s law explains; “Any organization that designs a system (defined more broadly here than just information systems) will inevitably produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.” Such is the story also with a microservices architecture. A lot of companies decide to use REST to communicate between bounded contexts and/or services. What can happen is that the services in the bounded context now get dependent on each other. The dependency on finishing a service their process will resolve in cascading failures if a service is down. Cascading failures will reflect on the way organizations communicate between teams. Teams now rely on each other before finishing their process. Dependency between teams can severely disrupt the company to respond better to the fast-changing demands of customers; companies get more entangled than before. To combat getting cascading failures, we must follow the communication structure of the business. We can do this by using Event Storming and going events-first.

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Speech Recognition and Synthesis in the Browser

With the recent upsurge of Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, speech recognition and synthesis have become an increasingly important tool in the developer’s toolbox. Working with speech data can not only improve the accessibility of your application. It can also increase conversion in your webshop, especially when customers shop on their mobile phones. Native apps have a large advantage in this space, as Apple’s SiriKit and Google’s Assistant SDK can get you up and running in a few minutes to hours.

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Thermometer sessions – Gaining insight in your team

Looking for inspiration on how to gain a shared insight in the current state of your team? And curious how to find actions for your team to improve? Read below about the ‘thermometer session’, a workshop that we designed to improve our own business unit. The goal of these sessions is to get an insight in the current & desired state of the unit. In other words: how does the team feel currently about the unit and how do they think it should be. Based on these insights we take action to further improve our unit, which results in a happier working environment for everybody.

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Improving a Team’s Collective Intelligence. Feedback Please!

It seems all over nowadays. Teams do it, peers do it, managers do it. Feedback here, feedback there, feedback everywhere. Feedback seems here to stay. Why? Because it makes people stronger. They learn how they behave and how their behaviour affects others. This transparency enables individuals to change and start experimenting with more effective behaviour. Wouldn’t it be great if we could apply a feedback instrument to the whole team? Improving team feedback!

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Building an AR app in a day

Recently we did a Techrally day at one of our clients, Intergamma. The client provided a couple of subjects of their interest, from voice search to automated classification. With a team of 4, we decided to build an augmented reality mobile app which shows DIY assembly instructions to help a customer ‘on the spot’. Did we succeed? Read on…

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Kubernetes-native continuous delivery pipelines with Brigade

In my quest for the ultimate tool for continuous integration and continuous delivery pipelines on a Kubernetes cluster, I’ve previously looked at well-known options such as Gitlab and Jenkins. These tools may have integrations with Kubernetes, but are usually anything but lightweight. If you just want to get your code from point A (git) to point B (a production Kubernetes cluster), you may be interested in a new tool named “Brigade“.

Brigade was introduced by Microsoft late last year. It’s an event-driven scripting tool for Kubernetes which aims to make CI/CD pipelines on a cluster easier. Contrary to many other tools, it tells developers to “leave your YAML at home”, instead opting for JavaScript.

In this blog, I’d like to walk you through the steps of setting up your first basic CI/CD pipeline with Brigade.

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Migrating your front-end to React, step by step.

Around you, small companies and startups are using React. Taking advantage of React’s composable architecture and modern tooling, they put out new features at a speed you could only dream of. You’d like to start using React as well, or perhaps you already introduced it for some small components. But you simply can’t afford to rewrite your entire front-end! Your customers are using your front-end daily, and they expect maintenance and new features! Luckily, you don’t have to rewrite, and you shouldn’t, really! You can migrate to React one small piece at a time.

In this article, I’ll demonstrate how you can wrap your existing code in a React component, untangle your application’s states and their representation, and open up the potential for further refactoring, without breaking your current application.

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Behavioural science, a way to influence human behaviour

We as humans make numerous decisions every day without even realising it. Even when making decisions which have a relative big impact on our lives, we often do this rather irrationally. How else for example could it be that a majority of people under-save for retirement? This is not based on a careful evaluation of cost and benefit.

So you see, even when it comes down to economic decisions-making, we see that this is most often based on something other than rational thinking. Our decisions are often susceptible to systematic biases in which our brain responds to impulses and external triggers in a predictably irrational manner.

Insights drawn from fundamental research in behavioural science make it possible to influence human behaviour and to be able to make predictions in how humans will respond to certain triggers. As a UX Designer, Marketeer or entrepreneur you are looking for ways to apply principles that influence customers and which lead to significant measurable results.

To which triggers does our human brain respond and in which way? How can we steer human behaviour and how can we apply design principles? These and other questions were answered, during the hands-on workshop at the Multichannel Conference Utrecht on April 19th 2018, by Eva Hörner and Harm Jan Luth, both UX Lead at Xebia.

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