Software Design

by Rinat Abdullin

Recent Posts

Building Dating Site at HappyPancake (Oct 07)

long Tue, Oct 7, 2014
This story is updated regularly. The last update was on October&nbps;07. Introduction At the end of 2013 Tomas Roos invited me to join the team of HappyPancake, largest free dating site in Sweden. It was initially written in ASP.NET with MS SQL Database server, soon to become a rather complex solution that was expensive to scale. Together with Pieter Joost, our small distributed team of 3 people started redesigning this site towards a simpler design that would be easier to evolve in the future.

Data Anonymization

post  Sat, Sep 13, 2014
Various organizations, such as hospitals, social agencies or commercial companies, sometimes need to release potentially sensitive information to the other parties. They might want to do that in order to gain additional insight into the domain or run a specific research for which they don’t have resources. While releasing such information, privacy of people and businesses should be protected. We don’t want risk the chance of somebody stealing that data and abusing information in it.

Behavioral Analytics

post  Mon, Aug 25, 2014
What is Behavioral Analytics? Behavioral analytics focuses on how users behave, and why. This covers a wide range of applications, starting from online shops and up to connected devices in your smart home. Deep understanding of the behavior allows to optimize for future circumstances, serving customers better or optimizing the use of resources. There is a lot of good that can be done here. For example, a smart restaurant might use weekly visitor patterns, combined with information about reservations and some forecasts to plan for the daily cooking routine and product replenishment.

Decomposing HappyPancake into components

post  Wed, May 7, 2014
Last night we had a really productive pairing session with Pieter, discussing the design of HPC2 and trying to decompose it into a bunch of components aligned with the use cases. Components are represented by golang packages composed of a bunch of small files each. Examples of such packages are: auth register profile notify poke etc This maps to C# projects in .NET world but with a lot less ceremony, which feels really good.

How do you decompose complicated system into components?

post  Tue, Jan 21, 2014
The answer to the problem of finding a proper way to decompose existing complicated system into smaller components is two-fold: Use known methodologies for finding potential boundaries; Iterate a lot to see if system system could be divided across these boundaries. Let's start with examples of methods for finding potential boundaries: Look at the domain model from the perspective of Domain-Driven Design, seeking out bounded contexts and aggregate boundaries there (although classical DDDish BCs and aggregates could often be split in smaller focused parts as well).

How Micro-Services approach worked out in production

post  Mon, Jan 20, 2014
Last week we released a new version of business backend at Lokad. Previous version was based on message-driven design with heavy use of CQRS principle, event sourcing and queues. There is a case study on that at Microsoft CQRS Journey. As I've discovered soon after, this architecture was a big pain in the ass due to being too monolithic and dogmatic. There was a lot of unnecessary ceremony involved in the simplest actions.

Studying Go language (golang)

post  Mon, Dec 16, 2013
Over the course of the last few days I've been studying Go language (or golang), as a part of my job at These days helped me to realise that requirement to learn new things is one of the best job benefits in my mind. Here are a few things that I've discovered about go: Golang programs can be compiled to run on FreeBsd, Linux, Max OSX and Windows. Once compiled, you just distributed a single binary and run it.

From .NET to Erlang - Starting Work with Large Free Dating Website

post  Fri, Dec 6, 2013
10 years spent in .NET were fun, but it is time to try something radically different. As you probably already know, I'm moving to a new project at HappyPancake - large free online dating website (largest one in the North Europe, if I'm not mistaken). I'll be working with outstanding people there: Tomas Roos and Tom Janssens. I'm a completely newbie in this development stack (summarised by Tom): Migrating a large free dating website from the Microsoft stack to Erlang/Linux...

Separation of contract and implementation in software

post  Mon, Nov 25, 2013
A bit earlier I posted a sample drawing with evolution options for a component in a big software application. This diagram is merely a convenience snapshot of performance optimisations and tech options available at any given point in time. Knowing about them in advance helps in planning future development. Each node on the tree of component evolution represents a design pattern that has its own advantages and costs. Costs almost always include increased complexity.

Stop overdoing things

post  Mon, Nov 25, 2013
During the course of the last years, software development somehow took a wrong turn and got vastly overcomplicated. These days we just tend to over-design and overdo things. Consider projects that never get shipped because stakeholders keep on drawing UML diagrams for the requirements. Consider web sites that never surface the public web because of ever changing UI designs. Consider implementations so convoluted that development teams spend their entire lives playing "hot potato" with JIRA bugs that keep on showing their ugly heads up.

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