Our employees actively participate in industrial conferences on high technologies. This section contains some of our presentations. While abstracts are in English, the presentations themselves are mostly in Russian.

API plus fat client – a new paradigm in web development?

Who: Andrey Lebedev
Where: RIT 2013
When: 22-23 April, 2013

Any given major web service has its own API (Facebook, Flickr, Amazon, Vkontakte, etc.). But do smaller projects need one? What are the advantages of separating the front-end from the back-end through an API?

Technology is quickly advancing, as is Javascript— not the language used for animating webpage elements, but the powerful development tool. Few people are surprised by the need to use frameworks and libraries like AngularJS or Backbon e. Single-page web applications are more actively competing with mobile applications due to how light they are and their simplicity.
In this presentation, the advantages and features of developing using an API are covered:
1. The basic features and business and end-user advantages of single-page applications.
2. How to change development speed. After interfacing with an API, all system modules can process in parallel and independent of one another. This approach allows you to better concentrate on each part of the system without disrupting major development components.
3. Automated API testing methods.
4. Non-obvious advantages of single-page application search engine optimization.

Anatomy of Banner system

Who: Artem Volftrub
Where: Highload++ 2011
When: October 3-4, 2011

This talk deals with a banner platform and its components and based on our experience of developing at least three high-performance banner systems. The major topics include principles of efficient display of banners, banner view limits and architectural structure and limitations of banner platform. Much attention is paid to synchronization of data between various system components. We also consider some issues related to banner platform statistical component: statistics that banner system can collect; dealing with large amount of data especially on unique clicks; methods of analysis of advertising campaigns efficiency. We also touch upon the issue of false clicks and police tools, system monitoring, as well as support and maintenance of typical banner system.

Let us draw requirements

Who: Artem Volftrub
Where: RIT 2011
When: April 24-25, 2011

Every project starts with collecting and understanding it’s requirements. Depending on development methodology (RUP, Agile etc) used by a team, they look differently, but they are always present. The main idea of this presentation is to use as much visual information as possible while preparing system requirements. Web systems which we mostly develop are characterized by large volume of web interfaces and rapidly changing requirements. The key to a project success is efficient communication between customer and development team. Since usually most of such communication with a customer takes place at requirements stage, it’s important to involve customer in the process as much as possible, to understand expectations and lower the chance of different interpretations of such requirements by project members.
This presentation deals with modern methods of gathering requirements, describes specifics of web projects and their influence on requirements, and also analyses such problems as communication with customer, organization of the process of producing requirements for long-term projects and specifies major tools for requirements gathering. Presentation also deals with tools and methods of requirements visualization and interfaces design.

Ways of protecting media content. Is DRM possible in Web?

Who: Denis Eldandi, Aleksandr Kistanov
Where: RIT 2011
When: April 25-26, 2011

Large part of our projects are related to storing and publishing of video content on the Internet. One of the frequently asked questions of our customers is the issue of protection of content from illegal reproduction and distribution. There is a wide-spread belief that there exist software products and technologies that guarantee that reproduction and distribution of licensed content is impossible. This presentation deals with current technologies, their vulnerabilities. It also talks about open-source software having the same level of protection to that of proprietary and very expensive products.

What to consider when starting development on a high-load system. The Top-10 mistakes made even before development starts.

Who: Artem Volftrub
Where: HighLoad++ 2010
When: 25-26 October, 2010

According to statistics, at the beginning of 2010, there were around 43 million Internet-users in Russia--about 37% of the country’s population. The great potential of this market, as well as its rapid growth, has led many companies to hurriedly try to fill this niche by making web-projects that will “change the world”.
For a long time, the deterring factor for entering the web-app market was the difficulty of attracting an audience. After major social networks unveiled APIs for developing applications, the threshold for entering the market reduced to a minimum. Often, the efforts of only one developer are enough for an application to attract a million users. Farm Frenzy (Весёлый фермер), for example, has demonstrated that you can earn a fair amount of money in this market, which is why people have started investing in the creation of social network applications. A similar situation has been observed in other web-projects, which have nothing to do with social networks, but which are also meant for a wide audience.
The development of Internet systems has its own quirks. If projects are managed following the old tried-and-true methods, the results will most likely be unfavorable. Additionally, many mistakes are made because project managers are poorly oriented with the technology and try to control the developers in every possible way.
In this presentation, we will examine some of the most common mistakes, the majority of which are made before development begins, with real-world examples.

About Scrum

Who: Artem Volftrub
Where: Whale Rider 2010
When: 20-21 September, 2010

Scrum is a remarkable methodology for developing software; this conclusion is based on our practical experience using a variety of methodologies. Additionally, Scrum perfectly fits the unique features of our company (small teams, projects with vague requirements, fast-changing conditions). In order to better understand the essence of the problems covered in this report, we will need to present some features of our “habitat”. We’re certain that many people work under similar conditions, which are characteristic of most small teams:

1. All team members are all-round specialists who can fulfill various roles on various projects.
2. A large number of projects. Several projects are actively in development, but the number of “potentially active” projects exceeds the number of developers.
3. A large stream of internal requests. Potential projects must constantly be evaluated and preliminary research and analyses must constantly be conducted.
4. Remote team members are present.
5. The absolute majority of projects are done on a fixed budget.

When introducing Scrum, we found that we didn’t receive optimal results even when we followed described practices. We had obvious problems with quality, iteration periods, priorities and communication.
Over the course of several projects, we saw similar problems, but we also thought up and implemented procedures which would allow us to satisfy the vital conditions for staying within an Agile framework. In this presentation, we will observe the most interesting problems we came across, as well as their solutions:
1. Iteration planning without guaranteed resources.
2. How to minimize the gap between iterations and how to handle bugs.
3. How to minimize testing expenditures and economize resources.
4. Documenting Agile projects. The eternal question, “Do we need documentation?”
5. Projects with fixed budgets. How to satisfy the client and not come out empty handed.

Java as the language of Web: evolution or rebranding

Who: Anatol Filin
Where: RIF+IBC 2010
When: April 21-23, 2010

New life of Java: from corporate to Web application. JVM as the platform for languages of the future. Web evolution towards complication. Java evolution towards Web and simplification. Modern image of Java: simple development on powerful platform.

Anatomy of the Internet-bank

Who: Artem Volftrub
Where: Russian Internet technologies (RIT-2010)
When: April 12-14, 2010

Internet banks for individuals exist for quite a while, however recently they became considerably more popular. Some time ago personal Internet bank was more like a marketing tool, but today it is the real business tool that can generate revenues.
Despite the fact that there are several companies on the Russian market that offer wrap-box solutions, most of banks consider building their own product as an alternative to current systems.
The presentation deals with major technology issues that arise during development of an Internet bank. It also provides several recommendations based on the experience of development of a similar system for a bank holding.

Grails. Search is over

Who: Sergey Nekoval
Where: Russian Internet technologies (RIT-2010)
When: April 12-14, 2010

Grails — is the new framework for web development based on Groovy language for JVM that combines the best and most modern features of Ruby on Rails and Java technologies.
Grails is successful mostly due to reduced time for training and development, use of Domain-Specific Languages and growing support by Java community.
This is an easy presentation that could be interesting for both Java and Ruby specialists.
We have accumulated extensive experience in Grails that we would like to share.

Pragmatic approach to documenting Web projects

Who: Anatol Filin
Where: Russian Internet technologies (RIT-2010)
When: April 12-14, 2010

The presentation deals with documenting of the process of web systems development. Typical project is participated by a team consisting of specialists in various spheres: investors, business founders, business managers, analysts, developers, users, designers, testers, system administrators. All of them have different experience, different goals and speak different languages (sometimes even literally). Some roles may be not presented, some may be merged.
There is a relatively developed culture of project documentation that includes traditional artifacts: the Vision, Business requirements document (BRD), Functional requirements (FRD), Interface requirements, Technical and architectural requirements (TAD), Testing requirements, Infrastructure requirements, as well as Agile artifacts such as user stories, visual stories etc.
Web projects can vary greatly, there can be interface projects and projects with complex logics (financial, scientific), average sized and large sized, written from scratch and inherited from other developers. Besides that, customers may have different ideas regarding documentation, as some are satisfied with the simple list of features, some need detailed functional requirements, and some prefer Agile style. Teams can also vary: complete (analytics, designers etc), local and distributed.
This presentation does not offer the ultimate remedy. Its main goal is to assist in choosing of the optimal set of documents required for successful development of a project considering project specifics and project team.

How to build budget video-hosting system

Who: Sergey Nekoval, Denis Eldandi
Where: Highload++ 2009
When: October 12-13, 2009

This presentation describes architecture and specifics of major Japanese video-hosting (over 10 million hits every day) system. It shall be interesting to developers and system administrators of high load systems.

  1. Specifics of free hosting systems: free soft, cheap hardware, minimal labor expenses.
  2. Everything shall work and recover on its own: system administrator time is expensive. Monitoring, post-boot checks and auto patching.
  3. Memory is cheap, let’s buy more. Caching systems on PgQ – cheap and good.
  4. SPoF – is it always bad? How to survive with only one central DB.
  5. How to make file storage. Cheap and expensive files.
  6. How to squeeze 100% out of hardware. Server is large, it will survive!

This presentation is “anti-crisis” to a certain extent. Budgets reduction is the gloomy reality of many Internet projects.

Mobile wars: Services vs applications in mobile world

Who: Anatol Filin
Where: Joint conference RIF+IBC
When: April 23-24, 2009

This presentation is dedicated to mobile application world. Browser applications wherever possible push desktop applications out of business, however, in mobile world these trends are not that obvious.
Sometimes mobile applications win (App Store), sometimes services (i-mode in Japan). Mobile application context includes several dimensions: network operators – mobile manufacturers – mobile devices OS manufacturers – application developers – service providers. All those players exercise considerable influence on mobile development. Besides that important role is also played by geographic factor (America – Europe – Asia) and, however strange it may seem, cultural factor.
One of the problems we face is the compatibility and mobile standards problems. Porting of mobile application to a set of mobile devices sometimes can be more difficult than development itself. This is one of the reasons of existence of mobile platforms (analogy of virtual machine or semi-browser) that are the intermediate approach between mobile services and applications. Another intermediate approach includes browser services that use specific features of a phone: GPS, contact list, mobile purse, etc. Problems related to porting can make development of mobile applications unprofitable.
The report provides an attempt to understand whether the key success factor is the right technology or the right business model.

Scaling of banner advertising system
with centralized database

Who: Sergey Nekoval
Where: RIT: Highload
When: September 22-23, 2008

This presentation states that relational DB are scalable despite a wide-spread trend to create custom-build DBs (that trend is often spoken about at technical conferences). However, rumors on relational DB death are highly exaggerated.
When data are highly connected (such as in affiliate marketing case) relational DB not only provides advantage in speed of applications development, but also allows to reduce risks.

  1. Presentation describes architecture of existing banner advertising system with over 500 million hits a day that successfully works on Japanese market
  2. Some problems related to system evolution and centralization of DB are discussed.
Presentation highlights business benefits of investments into Enterprise-level DB (Oracle) at the early-stage and on possible scaling risks associated.

Internet-advertising based on CPA model

Who: Anatol Filin
Where: Internet and Business Conference 2008
When: April 16-18, 2008

This survey describes online advertising system with commission based on results that the speaker headed during his work at Japanese company ValueCommerce. The system was launched in 1999, in 2005 the part of the company was acquired by Yahoo!, and in 2006 the company went to IPO.
Presentation provides concise description of the business model with major revenue sources. Company CTR and CPA performance for last few years is analyzed and major trends are provided. It also gives review of the market on the basis of information taken from available sources.

Our employees actively participate in industrial conferences on high technologies. This section contains some of our presentations. While abstracts are in English, the presentations themselves are mostly in Russian.
Theme Materials Speaker Event Date
API plus fat client – a new paradigm in web development? Andrey Lebedev RIT 2013 22-23 April, 2013
Anatomy of Banner system Artem Volftrub Highload++ 2011 October 3-4, 2011
Let us draw requirements Artem Volftrub RIT 2011 April 24-25, 2011
Ways of protecting media content. Is DRM possible in Web? Denis Eldandi, Aleksandr Kistanov RIT 2011 April 25-26, 2011
What to consider when starting development on a high-load system. The Top-10 mistakes made even before development starts. Artem Volftrub HighLoad++ 2010 25-26 October, 2010
About Scrum Artem Volftrub Whale Rider 2010 20-21 September, 2010
Java as the language of Web: evolution or rebranding Anatol Filin RIF+IBC 2010 April 21-23, 2010
Anatomy of the Internet-bank Artem Volftrub Russian Internet technologies (RIT-2010) April 12-14, 2010
Grails. Search is over Sergey Nekoval Russian Internet technologies (RIT-2010) April 12-14, 2010
Pragmatic approach to documenting Web projects Anatol Filin Russian Internet technologies (RIT-2010) April 12-14, 2010
How to build budget video-hosting system Sergey Nekoval, Denis Eldandi Highload++ 2009 October 12-13, 2009
Mobile wars: Services vs applications in mobile world Anatol Filin Joint conference RIF+IBC April 23-24, 2009
Scaling of banner advertising system
with centralized database
Sergey Nekoval RIT: Highload September 22-23, 2008
Internet-advertising based on CPA model Anatol Filin Internet and Business Conference 2008 April 16-18, 2008

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