NET-A-PORTER at Scala eXchange 2013

We are delighted to announce that NET-A-PORTER will be taking part in Skills Matter’s Scala eXchange 2013 in London on the 2nd and 3rd of December, 2013.

Ian Forsey and I have been invited to talk about our practical experiences building Scala projects. On top of that, NET-A-PORTER will be sponsoring the event as a gesture of support to the Scala community.

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Labs Team at the Youth Tech event

In June the NET-A-PORTER Labs team volunteered their services at Edit Amplify’s “Youth Tech” event hosted at the Google Campus, London. Leaders in the fields of Technology, Digital and Design were invited to share an insight into their day-to-day work with 13-14 year old students from Little Ilford High School in Newham. The aim of the event was to excite students about a career in technology, offer an opportunity to talk directly to employers and help inform their course choices over the coming years.
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Software Engineering

Are you failing enough?

When I started in the Labs team at Net-a-Porter, the job description contained the following desired trait:

Candidate is unafraid to fail, but fails fast

This phrase was new to me at the time and it certainly wasn’t something I could say I was actively doing, but three years later failing fast is not only something I strive to do as a software developer, but something I look to do in aspects of my day-to-day life.

So what does this phrase actually mean? The phrase has two parts; let’s look at each of them.

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Web Technologies

Amazon EC2 for Small Development Teams

In the Labs team here at Net-A-Porter, we have been using Amazon EC2 to run small proof-of-concept web applications, and we have enjoyed working with it. In under a minute, you can fire up a new server in the cloud and SSH in. That is incredibly useful when you want to get something up-and-running quickly.

We have learnt a few lessons along the way which I’d like to share in this post. Just to reiterate: we have been using EC2 for small prototypes, so the suggestions below are targeted at small dev teams who don’t have backgrounds in system admininstration. The suggestions are going to be less relevant if you are running large-scale production systems in EC2.

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Web Technologies


Originally a guest post on the Google Developer Blog (James Christian and Scott Seaward, March 2011)
In this post we share our experiences developing for this platform – as well as highlighting special considerations for end-users and our video production process.

We’re going to cover:

  • The Concept
  • Our Technical Approach and Challenges (For the devs)
  • Our Design Evolution (For the designers/UX)
  • Video Production Considerations (For the producers)

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