Observability?! – Where do we go from here?

MEME: I always, always test my code. The I test it again in production.

The last two years in software development and operations have been characterized by the emerging idea of “observability”. The need for a novel concept guiding the efforts to control our systems arose from the accelerating paradigm changes driven by the need to scale and cloud native technologies. In contrast, the monitoring landscape stagnated and failed to meet the new challenges our massively more complex applications pose. Therefore, observability evolved as a mission-critical property of modern systems and still attracts much attention. The numerous debates differentiated monitoring from observability and covered its technical and cultural impact on building and operating systems. At the beginning of 2019, the community reached consensus on the characteristic of observability and elaborated its core principles. Consequently, new tools and SaaS applications appeared marking the beginning of its commercialization. This post identifies the forces driving the evolution of observability, points out trends we presently perceive and tries to predict future developments.

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Yet another Connected Vehicle Cloud Platform

Getting Ideas… write a User Story

When I thought about an idea for a project, part of the lecture “Software Development for Cloud Computing”, I had two related use-cases in mind. So I wrote down those high-level user-stories:

As a user who owns a non-connected car, I want to access some information about my car on my smartphone so that I know about the position of my car and additional information like fuel level, consumption or driving statistics.

 

As an employee who wants to drive a pool-car, I want to know where the vehicle is parked so that I don’t have to search on different parking spots around the building.

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Autonomous War – Which dangers are associated with warfare without human intervention?

The term autonomous war has been a controversial topic for years. But what exactly does the term actually mean? Autonomous war means the use of autonomous lethal weapons (short: LAWs) and machines or vehicles, which are primarily used by the military for modern warfare. Autonomous weapon systems can decide independently about life and death on the battlefield. However, autonomous weapon systems are more commonly known in the media as “killer robots”.

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Building a Document Translator for a Multi-Language Blog

Motivation

Multi-Language Blog Navigation

The idea for this project occurred to me while I was listening to my sister share her vision for her recently started blog: To create a platform where writers of different ethnicity can publish texts in their native languages and exchange their stories with people from all over the world. Conquering the language barrier and making the texts available at least in the three most prominent languages – German, English and Arabic – requires the involvement of translators who are fluent in at least two of the demanded languages. Anyone who has ever attempted to make a translated text sound natural knows that this is no easy feat and can take up to many hours of finding the perfect balance between literal translation and understandable text.

This is where I saw room for improvement. Nowadays, machine translation tools have reached a decent level of fluency, despite not being able to capture the intricacies of different linguistic styles. Combining them with people who have a basic understanding of the source language can help speed up the process and reduce the effort considerably. Continue reading

Web server with user registration and guestbook with image upload

Overview

The users access the website where they have the option to the view the guest book, register or log in. To register the user has to provide a username, an email address and a secure password (more than 8 characters, upper and lowercase characters, numbers and special characters). Then an email with a verification link will be sent to the provided email address. Clicking this link will enable the user to login.

Upon login the user can post messages in the guest book, which will be saved to the MySQL database. In addition to a text message the user can also upload an image which will be transferred to an S3 Bucket, which in turn will trigger a Lambda. Here the image will be resized to make it suitable for displaying in the guest book and it will be transferred to another S3 Bucket and permissions will be set to make in publicly accessible. The URL to this image will also be saved in the MySQL database.

Project architecture
Project architecture (created with Cloudcraft.co)

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Blockchain Risks and Chances – An 2018 Overview on Public and Private Blockchain, Smart Contracts, DAOs and ICOs

A few years ago, talking about Blockchain was largely consistent with talking about the technology behind Bitcoin. In contrast, Blockchain nowadays comprises a whole technology branch, whereby the Blockchain itself can be implemented in lots of various ways. Not a year ago, on December 17, 2018, the peak of the Bitcoin hype was reached by the breakthrough of $20,000 per coin. With the Bitcoin hype also, the hype around the Blockchain was further fueled. Consequently, we now have over 1800 Blockchain Platforms with Cryptocurrency listed on coinmarketcap.com. In addition, there are numerous frameworks and providers for so-called Private Blockchains, which are mostly used in companies and consortiums. Therefore, I’ll give an overview in this blog article of the current development in Blockchain as well as its chances and risks. I’ll also deal with technologies such as Smart Contracts, DApps, DAOs and ICOs, which are possible or have grown through Blockchain.

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