[cs615asa] HW #N
mpaulaus at stevens.edu
Mon May 18 09:02:47 EDT 2015
For Homework #N, I decided to attend the NY Tech Day meetup at Pier 92 in
Manhattan. I decided to attend this meetup because it’s a fantastic place
to meet people who are currently attempting to launch successful products
and online services, all of whom have unique systems administration
One service that was being displayed was TheTake. This online service gives
the user the ability to “scan” movie media and retrieve every piece of
clothing or accessories displayed in the movie at that point in time. The
user can then see the original object (usually with a high price), and a
more affordable object of similar make. The technology powering this
service is a Heroku backend running Java, with a MySQL database containing
the audio for a massive amount of movies, which the user’s iPhone queries
when they “scan” a movie. This is then matched up with products registered
in the associated time span. This was a massive effort on their part as
they continue to populate their database with more movies and products and
expand their user base. They’ve taken every precaution to ensure that their
product is modularized and can scale quickly and efficiently on their EC2
As a quick aside, quite a few of the services shown ran on either Heroku or
Node.js for their backend, possibly running on EC2 or Azure. It’s quickly
becoming apparent that whether the app is just getting off the ground or
already has thousands of users, the scalability of Node.js and Heroku are
absolutely necessary, especially when paired with flexible cloud computing.
Another very interesting product was called Type0.mx, which is a
front/backend management framework. What made this service unique was the
fact that a company could use Type0.mx to manage their entire app, from the
backend to the frontend, on Type0.mx’s own servers. This extensive
framework allows devs to focus on coding their products, while providing
the devs with extensive error/ticket tracking, spam protection, email
integration, and multiple API interfaces for their various frontend apps.
What was especially cool about this product is that Type0.mx dogfoods the
service themselves while developing their service. This means that they are
continuously iterating on their design, and since the apps developed with
Type0.mx are sitting on their secure Heroku/EC2 servers, you don’t need to
change a thing on your project’s backend when they make fixes or upgrades
to Type0.mx. Naturally, this represented a huge challenge to them, as they
have to ensure that their library upgrades (things like Node.js and Ruby
support) don’t break any apps that are currently running on their servers.
They mitigate this risk via extensive backend automated testing and
concurrency on multiple EC2 servers, which make the migration to upgraded
services much smoother.
All in all, I got to meet a ton of interesting people and interact with a
bunch of new products. If anyone has the chance next year, I highly
recommend they go. NY Tech Day is invaluable for getting an idea of where
startups are going in terms of backend/frontend services and frameworks.
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