The luxury fashion brand BALR. has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2013. As the online sales went through the roof, the web development team had to play catch-up. Nonetheless, our agile-minded stakeholders gave the in-house development team all the time needed to ‘do things right’ during the transition from a small webshop to an enterprise e-commerce application. We started out installing and deploying demo applications of a range of e-commerce platforms until we found the best match for our requirements. We only started working on features after having finished all the DevOps work. BALR. 2.0 became our first project where docker runs in the development, testing, acceptance and production environments, using one and the same Dockerfile.

To assure the quality of our Symfony based e-commerce application, PHPUnit tests, phpspecs and behat scenarios are run by Travis CI for commits and pull requests. When all tests pass for a merge commit, Travis CI builds the application for the deployment environment corresponding to the branch merged into. Then, it automatically uploads the built application to the corresponding environment of our Amazon AWS Elastic Beanstalk (EB) application. EB supports docker and allows us to easily duplicate an entire AWS application configuration including security groups, regions, auto-scaling configurations, etc. with the click of a button. Standing on the shoulders of giants and really taking the time to work with the best modern tools available today has several advantages for our development process. We can keep our tooling and CI/CD process up-to-date with the latest technology in small incremental steps and, above all, the proportion of time the development team can focus on implementing business logic increased dramatically compared to earlier projects.


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I expected more technical content.
The QA was quite good though.

Paul Celie at 11:39 on 30 Jun 2017

Would have been more interesting in how they did it, in stead of what they did.

i was quite unsettled by the long Balr commercial at the start. first 10 minutes was a talk about how great Balr is. i think that's quite inappropriate.

speaker seemed very nervous and was missing some energy to grab the attention.

the talk itself could have used some more in depth knowledge.

QA was good though. i think the speakers do have the knowledge but some more work on the talk and some more practice on public speaking would be advisable.

Too long intro about BALR.

Talk itself was flat and the speaker was incredibly nervous, which didn't help.

Martijn Smit at 14:45 on 30 Jun 2017

Allthough a bit commercial, the talk itself was quite nice.

Talk was more like a commercial. Too bad the speaker was nervous and talked a bit monotone. The talk could have been a little more technical.

Hoped to have seen more in depth things about Docker

M.Nijdam at 15:53 on 30 Jun 2017

Nice not to technical but recognizable talk about their CI process and issues they had with it.
Some more diagrams would be nice in stead of a slide with logos I did not know all.
Q and A was the highlight of this talk.

Keep it up!

Sander vT at 15:53 on 30 Jun 2017

Ok, I hoped for more techical details and lessons learned.

Youri Thielen at 20:32 on 30 Jun 2017

The speaker talked in a very monotone voice. Content-wise I excepted more in-depth content about pros and cons, more background as to why/how.

The self-promotion and recruitment were a bit to obvious.

Dion Snoeijen at 10:24 on 1 Jul 2017

As mentioned before. I was hoping for more details about how they went about doing stuff instead of just what they did.

Jeremiah Small at 18:34 on 1 Jul 2017

Very useful for me, because we happen to be working on building same devops stack. Probably could have been less of the brand self promotion.

Commercial talk about how great BALR is. Lacking content. The QA was the best part of this talk.

Bart Guliker at 16:33 on 2 Jul 2017

The talk started off bad. 10 minute commercial about their company, that's definitely not what I attend for. I didn't really get much out of it, personally, because we already implement 80% of the tools and techniques mentioned. Obivously can't blame that on the talk. However, it was more on a level of namedropping some tools and services instead of explaining _how_ it was achieved.
Speaker had a very monotonous speaking voice. The person who did the QA was much better at speaking IMO.
My tips: deepen your subject to how you've achieved it, including perhaps some samples, screenshots, code, etcetera. Really drop the commercial stuff, and lastly try to add a little bit more life and emotion to your speaking. Keep practicing and you'll get there :)

Martijn at 08:53 on 3 Jul 2017

The speaker itself was obviously nervous, unfortunately that brought the level of the talk down from the start. Plus the whole self-promotion of BALR did not help it either. I felt that the 10 minutes used to promote BALR would have been better used to go a bit more into the details of why or how you are using the tools.

Tom (the guy answering the questions during the Q and A), was a lot calmer and answered the questions on a constructive and helpful way.

Vladas Dirzys at 10:47 on 3 Jul 2017

Introduction into BALR was too long. As well as the outro / thank you notes.

Too little content for DPC.

Tim Huijzers at 17:51 on 3 Jul 2017

Cool that they talked about all the tools they use but a lot were unclear of unclear how they applied them. clould have been less of a commercial.

Stephan Groen at 15:28 on 10 Jul 2017

Good Q&A, would have been nice with some more in-depth technical info, especially for this audience. Was nice to see a company like this apply a pragmatic approach to using these tools and not over-engineering. Speaker seemed a little nervous, but talked calm and clear.