Category Archives: Inside 1&1

Agile Toolbox, episode #1 – How to start a state-of-art application

Let’s give a little background here… in our day-to-day activity, we sometimes struggle when we start a new project.

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And from here to project failure it’s not a long way.

At Delivery Management we often hear that it’s too time-consuming to estimate a complete backlog and try to get an idea about the project size and that we should rather do just-in-time estimation and release planning.

So what can we do to answer the natural desire of our sponsors and different stakeholders to know more or less how big their project is and how to approach it? Well, for this we have the Affinity tool.

We thought to make an exercise. Let’s take one completely new application, gather a group of developers and see if we can actually achieve our goals by running an Affinity process.

First step was to find an app idea that was easy to grasp for everyone and write down the features. The appointed PO took his new role very seriously:

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And the rest is history: we played the Product Owner and Scrum Master roles, several enthusiastic colleagues joined with their superskills and in less than 3 hours we had all the ingredients to properly start a new application:

–          A common vision of the product and of the product roadmap as envisioned by our PO

–          A decision on the technologies to be employed

–          A sketch of the technical solution

–          An estimated backlog (in SPs)

–          A rough idea of how long the project will take, obtained with the Wideband Delphi technique

–          The list of assumptions

–          Some risks we could already foresee

–          An idea on how to approach the project

–          And last but not least… the eagerness to start, because everyone was already IN

It is a very powerful tool, 2h45min and we already knew so much about what it takes to build our app.

Agile promotes individuals and interactions so what better way to achieve great software than to bring people together since the very beginning, present them the vision and let them draw the solution?

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The feedback was also positive, even if we were running a bit out of time at the end.

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We’ll definitely do this workshop again (and adjust a bit the scope to match the proposed timeframe) so please stay tuned if you’ve missed the first one.

Or, if you want to try it in your upcoming project and need help setting things up, pay us a visit at the 14th floor.

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Category: Inside 1&1
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A Story for the Hacker In You

Dare to Hack!

Have you ever dreamt to be a Hacker?… At least for a few hours?

Did you ever take part in a Hackathon?

 

I had the chance to be the Host in Bucharest for our internal

1&1 Cloud Server Hackathon

01 welcome to hackathon

 

Is it for me?

So, what’s in it for me? – You would ask.

And you’re perfectly right.

I would say that a hackathon “is for you” if you love to explore new things, if you like to be the first to walk unbeaten paths, and unearth bugs and other beasts hidden in a brand-new software.

That was the case for us on Thursday night.

Preparations started days before – checking video connection between locations, making sure we have everything needed in such events – laptops, projector, cables, pizza, drinks.

 

Kick Off: 17:00 CET in all locations

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We kicked off on Thursday, June 18th, 17:00 CET simultaneously in 1&1 offices from Bucharest, Logrono, Karlsruhe, Munchen and Gloucester.

From Bucharest we had 15 participants.

We were connected via Video call and Chat with all the other locations and were in contact with the Platform guys and also with Customer Care.

The rules were clear: we were not allowed to make the platform unstable nor attack customer contracts, but nevertheless we could send in code that was able to do so 🙂

After a short introduction by Javier, our colleague from Arsys Logrono – subsidiary of 1&1 in Spain – everybody was given his/her test account and  was free to start playing around the platform.

The Platform

03 Cloud Server API

 

About the platform I have to say it’s a pretty powerful virtualization API that will soon be launched for all 1&1 Cloud Server customers to play with and contribute.

You can practically do anything you can imagine to manage programmatically your 1&1 Cloud Servers.

 

 

The competition

Starting on Thursday night and before Monday 22nd June end-of-day, any participant in the hackathon could enter the competition.

A jury formed by experts of the Cloud Server Platform will check all submissions and award for:

–          the major vulnerabilities found on the platform or API and for

–          the Best Mobile App and the Best Desktop App.

It’s all About the Thrill

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So, how is it like to be part of a hackathon?

This is a good question because you actually can’t tell when the time flies by.

It’s something close to a hive swarming – lots of messages coming by the chat wall, small issues or big issues waiting to be solved right away:

Due to the relative small timebox, the people focused Thursday night on finding bugs and testing all the possible scenarios in the API.

60 people filed 33 bugs in 5 hours.

The good thing is that they found only minor vulnerabilities and some improvements for the platform.

Since the deadline for submissions was extended until Monday 22nd end-of-day, the thrill is still on – we wait to see the Winners.

Try it yourself!

If you want to feel the thrill yourself, I invite you to find a hackathon near you – that’s not so difficult – there was one a few weeks ago in Bucharest:

http://www.meetup.com/HackaTMe-24h-Hackathon-6-7-June-We-Love-Digital/events/222395426/

 

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Category: Events | Inside 1&1
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1&1 COSMO Open Source

I am glad to announce that 1&1 open sourced COSMO, our CalDAV Calendar server to the calendaring community. You will find below some general info on 1&1 open sourcing but also more details about COSMO server.

History

In 2012, in Bucharest Mail and Media division, a new team was created with the goal to develop a new Calendar solution. Soon after start, analyzing the information on calendaring, we decided to base the solution on an open source CalDAV server: Cosmo from Chandler. Chandler, which has his own interesting history behind, (see more details here) was a closed project since 2008 when the community around it stopped developing the product. Considering the implications, we developed the server with the goal to be able to give COSMO back to open source community in the future.

1&1 and OPEN SOURCE

I will not cover here the benefits of open sourcing or when it make sense to open source your code. I will provide some info on how to do it when all the other aspects are clarified.

Even if there are no hard rules to follow in 1&1 if you want to open source the code, it is very important to be fully transparent on your intentions from the beginning. First start discussing this with your Team Lead and make sure you have the full support of your team.

Steps to follow are easy and well described. There is also a dedicated InsideOne Open Source Wall where you can ask questions or read about other the experiences your colleagues had with open sourcing. As a side note, during the process we discovered that most of the 1&1 projects open-sourced are published under 1&1 Github account (hosting now almost 60 projects). However if your project is big enough it can also be published as a standalone one from the start or in two steps.

Getting starting with COSMO

Now coming back to COSMO.

The project contains only CalDAV core of our Calendar application. It provides an API that 1_calendarcontains abstractions over CalDAV and iCal specific objects and a plugin mechanism that allows developers to write custom logic without having to alter Cosmo Core code.

The goal is to keep this architecture simple and easy to understand and extend, separating specific implementations from protocol related ones.

Browse, demo, and learn how to use

The project can be downloaded from here: https://github.com/1and1/cosmo

After downloading it into project root directory you only need to run the mvn tomcat7:run-war and the calendar server will be packaged, tested and run. Then you can use the COSMO API from any calendar client running CalDAV protocol. Below you will find the steps to configure Mozilla Lightening client and use it with the COSMO server.

  1. Install the Lightning Thunderbird add-on and restart Thunderbird.2_calendar
  2. Press Alt + D to open the “File” menu.
  3. In the “New” submenu, select “Calendar”.
  4. Select the “On the Network” option and then “Next” to continue.
  5. Select the “CalDav” format.
  6. In the “Location” field, enter the path “http://localhost:8080/cosmo/dav/.
  7. Click “Next”.

So, in a few steps you will have a basic calendar solution up and running.

Any contribution or feedback is highly appreciated.

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Category: Inside 1&1 | Technology & Development
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1&1 Internet Development moves to Sky Tower to provide its employees the best workplace on the market

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1&1 Internet Development a wholly-owned subsidiary of 1&1 Group, the leading European internet specialist, is relocating its offices to Sky Tower, one of the most modern office buildings in Bucharest, a new landmark of the capital city. The software development center established in 2003 in Romania, with almost 300 active employees at this moment, is considered by media and employer branding studies, as one of the companies that made a significant leap forward in 2014 “Top 20 companies to work for in the IT industry” study, thanks to their recent actions that support the general employee satisfaction.

This move also aims at creating better working conditions and building a work environment around the most important asset of the company: employees.

“We were looking for an environment to meet two conditions: firstly, to meet our group’s standards in terms of quality of working space and in the same time to provide our employees in Romania the best conditions for boosting their potential within a great working environment. I think that this is a great way of telling our employees that the company appreciates and respects their work and rewards it with a state of the art working place, too”, said Wolfgang Gunne, General Manager 1&1 Internet Development.

The relocation has been completed on December 15th, when all the staff of 1&1 has occupied 3 floors of the Sky Tower building on Calea Floreasca 246C.

“SkyTower is a modern and efficient building and a new architectural symbol of Bucharest, changing not only the city’s skyline, but also the perspective on office space characteristics in the heart of the capital. We are delighted with the relocation of 1&1 Internet Development in SkyTower and the chance to offer our services to all of our existing and future clients. We focus on customer satisfaction and strive to improve employee experience as much as possible. We even provide employees in the building with a wonderful discount card, a singular product in Bucharest, which offers attractive discounts in various partner stores in the shopping areas nearby. We are confident that the offices will meet all expectations of 1&1 Internet Development and we look forward to a beautiful partnership,” said Ruxandra Grinzeanu, General Manager SkyTower Building.

With own recreation rooms and small-professional cafeterias inside the office space, with an innovative climate control system that uses only fresh air(no air re-usage), with parking spaces for cars, bicycle racks and having even own showers, with more and easier to reach side activities such as shopping, eateries or leisure facilities, the company is interested to provide employees the best workplace on the market.

Commuting to SkyTower is also easy, as the building is very close to the subway station Aurel Vlaicu, has access to large boulevards and the number of bus/tram stops in the near vicinity facilitate any travel plans.

“Work at 1&1 Internet Development is fascinating for any software developer thanks to the products we develop, technologies we use and a great team making it all possible. Now, thanks to this relocation, it becomes more enjoyable than ever”, Wolfgang Gunne said.

1&1 Internet Development thus completes a new leg in the maturity process, following extensive recruiting campaigns during the last 3 years. The company plans to keep recruiting high level IT specialists(Software Developer, Software Architect, System Architect, Quality Engineer, User Experience Designer, Operations Engineer, Product Owner, Business Engineer, Scrum Master, Delivery Manager) for certain technologies and competencies, in order to best respond to global trends on internet development.

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Category: Inside 1&1
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Android Browser SOP bypass

For the past couple of weeks, everyone has been talking and focusing on the Shellshock exploit. This might put another serious vulnerability found in all pre-4.4 versions of Android a little in the background.

Nevertheless, the Android Browser SOP bypass is a very serious vulnerability, as it allows an attacker to read the contents of other tabs in a browser when a user visits a page the attacker controls. The vulnerability was first disclosed in late August 2014, but there has not been much in the way of public discussion of it. Exploiting the flaw is a straightforward matter and allows the attacker to bypass the same-origin policy in the Android browser.

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Category: Inside 1&1 | Technology & Development
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Brought to you by the 1&1 Blog Infrastructure

This year, the spring brought more than just fresh air and sunny days; it brought exciting changes in the 1&1 Blog Infrastructure and in the online presence of the company.

We’ve started at the end of March with a redesign of the blog for the German market. For this, first we started with a totally new theme, developed by an external agency named First Square, and deployed on a new multi-site WordPress environment.

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Category: Inside 1&1
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STAR loading…

This is a guest post written by Scoala de Valori

More than a month from its start, the STAR adventure is in full development, and the 30 high school students passionately keep working on the software applications. We are happy to see that the Scoala de Valori and 1&1 project has had such a success with the youngsters and has been so very welcomed by all the participants!

proiect STAR

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Category: Events | Inside 1&1 | People
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STAR – Software Talent Academy Romania

STAREvery once in a while, no matter how devoured by the daily dynamics of software development we get, we feel the need to turn to the present, to the communities around us. In the end this is where all those belonging to the big 1&1 Romania team come from, right? And if that is the case, wouldn’t it be ok to scan and scrutinize time and ask ourselves who our future colleagues are; who are those who may come work along our side in a few years?

Together with Scoala de Valori, 1&1 Romania has asked itself this very question. And they joined forces in starting an initiative that would target teenagers with a passion for software development.

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Category: Events | Inside 1&1 | People | Technology & Development
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Winterfest 2013

Access TeamAn old saying states that “Good things come to those who wait”. Well, with all due respect to popular wisdom, this Winterfest edition taught us that better things come to those who ACT!

If I were to flashback to when it all started, the following memories invade my head. Adrian F., head of Access Development Romania Team gathers us in the small, familiar, 406 room for an ad-hoc meeting. Team rounds up, door gets closed, everybody still on their feet and then the news comes: “Guys, this year we will be responsible for organizing the Winterfest party in 1&1. What do you think?”. Judging by facial expression, a mix of curiosity, anxiousness, uncertainty and excitement filled the atmosphere. As with any change that impacts daily routine, people approach it with caution at first. But even though we were not sure how to do this, what exactly will happen and if we’ll pull it through, we figured out this was a nice time to jump-in and start paddling. So everybody committed to this.

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Category: Events | Inside 1&1 | People
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1&1 Internship: What one of our interns say

One of our interns speaks about his internship with 1&1 Internet Romania and how this experience helped him learn how things work inside big companies.

The 1&1 Internship Program was probably the best work experience I’ve ever had. Studying at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, I’ve always wanted to get in touch with a great company and learn how things work inside. At 1&1 I had the opportunity to find out many interesting things about different topics regarding software development and testing procedures.

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Category: Inside 1&1 | People | Technology & Development
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