To design your Azure environment in alignment with your existing AWS infrastructure and optimize your migration plan, follow these steps:

Assess your existing AWS infrastructure: Begin by thoroughly understanding your current AWS infrastructure, including resource utilization, networking configurations, security measures, and services used. Identify the components that need to be migrated to Azure.

Define your migration strategy: Determine the migration approach that best suits your requirements. Options include a lift-and-shift approach (rehosting), where you migrate applications without significant changes, or a refactor approach, where you rearchitect and optimize applications for Azure. Consider factors such as application dependencies, downtime tolerance, and cost implications.

Provision Azure resources: Replicate the necessary AWS resources in Azure. Leverage Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) to provision virtual servers similar to your EC2 instances. Use Azure Blob Storage for scalable and durable object storage, suitable for hosting media files, backups, and other unstructured data. Azure SQL Database can be used to migrate your relational database from AWS RDS.

Set up networking: Create an Azure Virtual Network (VNet) to establish a private network in Azure. Ensure that it is connected to your on-premises network through a secure VPN gateway or Azure ExpressRoute. Configure subnets, network security groups (NSGs), and routing tables to control traffic flow and enforce security policies.

Implement security measures: Azure offers robust security capabilities. Apply Azure Security Center to monitor and manage security across your Azure environment. Utilize Azure Active Directory (AD) for identity and access management, enabling single sign-on (SSO) and role-based access control (RBAC). Employ Azure Firewall or Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) for network security and protection against threats.

Replicate data: Migrate your data from AWS S3 to Azure Blob Storage using tools like AzCopy or Azure Data Box. Ensure that the data is securely transferred and that permissions and access controls are properly configured.

Refactor applications: If you choose the refactor approach, modify your applications to optimize them for Azure. Leverage Azure App Services or Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for scalable and managed application hosting. Take advantage of Azure Functions for serverless computing capabilities.

Optimize costs: Analyze your resource utilization in Azure and take advantage of tools like Azure Advisor and Azure Cost Management to optimize costs. Use reserved instances or Azure Hybrid Benefit to save costs on VMs and Azure SQL Database.

Test and validate: Conduct thorough testing and validation to ensure that your applications and data are functioning correctly in the Azure environment. Perform performance testing, security testing, and user acceptance testing before proceeding with the final migration.

Execute the migration: Once you have validated your Azure environment, execute the migration in a phased manner. Start with non-production environments and gradually move critical workloads to Azure. Monitor the migration process closely, addressing any issues promptly.

Implement monitoring and management: Set up Azure Monitor to gain insights into the performance and health of your Azure resources. Utilize Azure Automation or Azure Logic Apps for automated management tasks and workflows. Implement Azure Backup to protect your data and ensure business continuity.

Continuously optimize and refine: Regularly review and optimize your Azure environment based on usage patterns, performance metrics, and cost analysis. Leverage Azure’s scalability and flexibility to adapt to changing business needs.

Remember to consult Azure documentation, engage with Azure support, and leverage Azure Well-Architected Framework to ensure that your Azure environment is designed, implemented, and managed according to best practices.

 

 

Latest Articles on Blog

CS Series: Mihai

TQ Vibes

Colleague Spotlight Series: Mihai„Hudi” Hudișteanu
Welcome to the latest edition of our "Colleague Spotlight" series, where we delve into the unique professional perspectives and experiences of our team members.  The grapevine leaked that „we couldn't have achieved what we've achieved without Hudi' input. He's become indispensable to us.” So, without further ado, ladies and gents: Mihai „Hudi” Hudișteanu. [AM] Tell us a bit about yourself and your background so far. Who are you inside the role and outside of it? What's the favorite part of your role? [MH] As a web developer, my primary role involves the creative and technical process of coding to breathe life into websites, giving them functionality, interactivity, and a user-friendly experience. On a personal level, I'm someone who values team collaboration and camaraderie. I believe in starting the day with a coffee and a quick, impromptu stand-up meeting with my team, finding it a more personal way to gauge the team's pulse. My favorite part about my role is the freedom to experiment. I feel like work becomes much more rewarding when it is creative. Pair that with cool people and a collaborative environment and it's downright fun. [AM] You joined after an internship at techquarter, but what made you stay with us? What's a favorite project that you've worked on so far? [MH] The reason I decided to stay with your company is primarily the people. Especially when I first joined, I found myself in an environment that encouraged my growth and development. As I continued to improve, my responsibilities became more challenging, and I was given greater freedom to experiment. I absolutely love that aspect of the job; it turns work into a creative process. As for my favorite project so far, it would have to be Cascada. It was uniquely unconventional and unlike anything I had previously worked on. This project pushed us out of our comfort zones, and it was incredibly rewarding. With a small, close-knit team, we were able to work efficiently and adapt swiftly. It was highly satisfying to tackle complex tasks and pivot our focus rapidly. That's when I truly felt agile. [AM] Do you have any unusual rituals or habits that help you get in the working zone? [MH] Yeah, sort of. Before I kickstart my workday, I typically enjoy a cup of coffee and share a morning cigarette with my team. It has turned into a regular ritual, and now we naturally end up having an impromptu stand-up. It's not a formal meeting; it's more of a face-to-face interaction. It feels personal and provides an easier way to gauge the team's overall vibe and progress. [AM] If you were to confess one coding-related guilty pleasure, what would it be? To be honest, I have a couple of coding-related guilty pleasures. First and foremost, I'm a sucker for comments, especially doc comments. There's just something about well-documented code that I find super satisfying. And when those comments pop up as I hover over a method or function, it's even better. I can't help but explain how to use that code and throw in an example, even if it might be a tad overkill. Another one of my code-related guilty pleasures is crafting error messages. I've got a few front-end applications that can display an error message like, "This, this, and that failed. That makes no sense. Did you forget to start the server?" I can't resist adding a touch of humor or personality to them. [AM] In this world dominated by technology and computers, what's your nerdiest interest or hobby, tech or non tech related, that you think might surprise your colleagues? And how did you get to practice it? [HM] I don't believe my colleagues would find this surprising, but I have a genuine passion for delving into embedded programming every now and then. There's an inexplicable joy in using code to set mechanical devices in motion or make decisions based on real-world data. My most recent endeavor involved 'hot-rodding' my thermostat. Was it the most straightforward solution? Absolutely not :)) . It took me two weeks to get that project up and running. However, the journey was incredibly enlightening, and now I'm eager to automate even more things around the house [AM] If you were to equate your coding style to a dish or a type of food, what would it be, and why? [MH] I would liken my coding style to the process of making bread. It begins with simplicity but evolves to become effective over time. Continuous refactoring and improvements are essential along the way. When we embark on a project, we often lack a clear vision of the final product. Instead of attempting to predict the outcome, I focus on nurturing it throughout development, allowing it to take shape naturally, letting the dough grow, if you will.  
11/21/2023
Read all

TQ Vibes

Colleague Spotlight Series: Meet Eliodor, FullStack Developer
Through our “Colleague Spotlight” Series we’re curious to explore the different ways of thinking and working of our colleagues. In this month's edition we get to know Eliodor, known for his problem-solving skills and collaborative approach. Let’s dive in! Alexandra Mocan [AM] - Tell us a bit about yourself and your background so far. Who are you inside the role and outside of it? Eliodor Popov [EP] I am from Chisinau, and I currently live in Cluj. I’ve been with techquarter for 2 years now and currently I am a Senior Software Engineer on one of our biggest projects. Shortly after starting here, I’ve decided to move to Cluj (since back then we didn’t have an office in Chisinau) and I don’t regret it at all. I’ve got a warm welcome here and got to meet a lot of exceptional people in person. Inside the role, I see myself as a problem solver, collaborator and easy to work with. I like working with my teammates to investigate and solve difficult problems, and because I’m working with mostly more experienced people, I love learning new information and right practices for specific problems. [AM] Are there any team rituals or practices that you find particularly valuable in maintaining a productive and positive work environment? We don’t really have any team rituals, but we have Adrian who will always put a smile on our face and lighten the mood with one of his jokes. Besides that, we always try to have fun whenever we have an opportunity to do so. Not sure how productive it is, but at least we have some moments when work can be fun. [EP] As a senior software engineer, how do you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in .NET and fintech? I don’t have a way or a fixed source of getting all my news about the latest developments in IT technologies. I may sometimes read an article here and there but mostly, because in the university we were part of a new type of learning, PBL (problem based learning), and we would first be presented with a problem that needs solving, and then we would gather the information needed for that, I would say I’m the same with the latest developments in any technology. Once presented with a problem, I would search for solutions that would help me solve that specific case, and nothing else. I also try to attend conferences when I have the opportunity because they also provide access to the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices. Latest one was DevTalks in Cluj where a lot of the talks were about cloud-native technologies and AI. [AM] Can you share an example of a particularly complex problem you've solved in your role, and the innovative solution you implemented? [EP] I can’t say I have encountered any complex problems because I think they may be complex in our eyes because we don’t have enough information about it, but once we gather it and break everything into smaller, more manageable pieces, we would get to something that it’s not as bad as we thought. To talk about a recent example, I have encountered something that I didn’t have to deal with before in my career, and that would be how do we measure a system’s current state, its performance, and its communication with any other systems. Before that all I knew on this subject was about logs, we add logging everywhere, try to make it as detailed as possible, and whenever some user encountered a problem, we would either go and read the logs, and try to find anything related there, or locally try to reproduce the error (for which we would need detailed information from the user that encountered the error, which usually is not there). So, while researching about this, I found out about telemetry, a standard for it (OpenTelemetry) and how this can help organizations gain insights into their systems' health and performance, allowing for proactive monitoring and troubleshooting. There’s nothing innovative about this from my side, but to continue on with the previous question, this is how I found out about the OpenTelemetry standard, a cloud native project currently in the incubating stage, which is heavily worked on and it will be the standard communication between the systems and the instrumentation vendors. [AM] Outside of work, do you have any hobbies or interests that you're passionate about? How do you balance your professional and personal life? [EP] To detach myself after a busy day at work, sometimes I like playing video games. I would like to share with you a quote from Ted Lasso that reflects really nicely my relationship with video games: “[they are] something in my life that I really enjoy, but then I pretend that preventing myself from having them is somehow making my life better but in reality, all what I am doing is depriving myself of something that makes me happy, instead of attempting to adjust my relationship to it”. Other than that, here at TQ we gather weekly and play a friendly game of football (sometimes it gets intense). To balance my personal and professional life I try to keep them as separated as possible. So I would be active and really focus on work from 9 to 6, but after that I would try to disconnect myself from it, go home to my wife and really hope there wouldn’t be any production incidents that evening. I also try to go to the office everyday to create a clear boundary between work and personal life and to enjoy the morning and the evening walk.
10/16/2023
Read all

Business

Improving eCommerce experiences one data-set at a time

Adapting to change: The eCommerce Mantra

In today's fast-paced digital era, change is inevitable, especially in the realm of eCommerce. As consumer needs evolve along with the technology powering them, eCommerce businesses must strive to keep up with this rapid pace. Failure to do so not only negatively impacts Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) but also diminishes the quality of customer experiences.

The Hidden Costs of Ignorance

The influx of data and countless competitive products scattered across multiple platforms have made the eCommerce landscape increasingly complex. Any lapse in knowledge or missing piece of the puzzle can lead to a flawed customer experience (CX), cart abandonment issues, and ultimately, profit loss.

Introducing the Ultimate Tool

To mitigate these challenges for one of our clients, we have developed a comprehensive Software as a Service (SaaS) content analysis tool. This dynamic tool facilitates on-demand content visibility, providing sellers with valuable insights and guidance into their eCommerce content assets. It efficiently replaces the cumbersome manual processes of identifying areas for improvement, saving both time and resources.

Client-Centric Approach

Our clients needs and wants are our top priority. Which is why this success story is super concise. If you're interested in learning more about our expertise in eCommerce and how we could help you build a custom solution for your business case, please don't hesitate to contact us.
09/26/2023
Read all
Colleague Spotlight - Product Ownership

TQ Vibes

Colleague Spotlight Series: Meet Mădălina Blaga, our Product Owner
Through our “Colleague Spotlight” Series we’re curious to explore the different ways of thinking and working of our colleagues. In this month's edition we take an exciting journey into the world of product ownership with Mădălina Blaga, our own Product Manager. Join us as we uncover the indispensable role of a Product Manager, where success isn't just survival, but a joyful journey of thriving. Alexandra Mocan [AM]: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background so far. Who are you inside the role and outside of it? Mădălina Blaga [MB]: Hey there! Nice to meet everyone! My name is Madalina, and I am a Product Manager. I have been working in this role for a little bit over 6 years now, from which the first five and half years were in the banking domain. In my previous role, I was blessed enough to have met a wonderful team and learned on a continuous basis, by being responsible for digital products (such as Internet and Mobile Banking, digital onboarding flows, and other alternative digital solutions/apps), which were used by over 1 million clients. Inside the role, based on how my colleagues and friends describe me, I am: ambitious, always looking for ways to improve, and results oriented. Also, I am a team player, and I am always willing to help others. Outside of the role, I am passionate about beauty/fashion and traveling, while documenting all my travel experiences on my blog. Other hobbies of mine include reading and always finding out the latest trends in tech. I am a firm believer that we are all lifelong learners, and I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. 😊 [AM] And now to start things on an easier note: what does the role of a Product Owner entail, and how does it contribute to the overall success of a product? And a follow-up question - If you can please share an example of a situation in which your expertise has greatly improved the outcome of a product. [MB] The Product Owner role within a team is a crucial one since in most cases it plays a critical part in the overall success of a product. I am saying this because the Product Owner must ensure the product meets the needs of both users and stakeholders, all this while being successful in the market. The magic of this work starts by first doing the research and defining the product vision and roadmap, managing the product backlog, then working closely with the development team, and gathering & and prioritizing feedback. We must not forget that the PO is responsible for keeping up to date about the news happening on the market so that it can always adjust the strategy accordingly. Last, but not least the Product Owner must be passionate about the product they are working on, because it will always keep them motivated and focused on delivering the best product there is. Now that I can think of it, along the way I had some situations that indeed challenged me and the products I was working on, but one stuck with me up to this day. On one of the platforms, I worked on some of the data showed us that clients would not finish the entire flow and even they would drop off at the beginning of the flow. I know I spent some days checking the flow from the user's perspective trying to find the issue. I realized we missed one important pain point to address, so I made a proposal to optimize the flow and gathered with the UX teams and we drew together an improved flow, which was quickly developed. This made our number of daily users significantly increase. This is a good reminder that a Product Manager is an advocate for the users! [AM] In your experience so far, how does effective product ownership help in aligning the development team with the goals and vision of the project? [MB] Effective product ownership is not something to be taken for granted or neglected. After having read and learned after all these years about Product Management, if I were to draw some of the most important conclusions and best practices, they would be to keep the team informed and engaged every step of the way for the product vision (Product documentation is a must). This way not only they will understand what needs to be achieved but can also come up with technical solutions and, why not, other ideas for product improvement. Communication is key in the product development phase, along with backlog prioritization, and I do believe the development team should be empowered to make decisions about how to implement the product vision. In my experience thus far, the key is to be a good listener and flexible and that would help you in having a more productive approach in your collaboration with the development team. [AM] How do you prioritize competing demands and feature requests to ensure that the most valuable features are being developed? [MB] A huge part of the PO's responsibilities is to prioritize the backlog and always address changes as often as needed. There will be times when requests will keep on coming and all of them need a high priority for development. It may feel overwhelming at times, but essentially it all comes for me, as a Product Manager to these: A. What is my business goal? What are we trying to achieve through our product? Will this feature help us reach the goal we envision? If so, to what extent? B. Always, but always, when in doubt go back to the Metrics you established when started to work on the product, and if you feel there will be something that can help you improve one or more metrics, then you know your answer. Besides these two, I have learned over time that is essential to present and discuss your findings with your stakeholders, and based on their feedback you can then start to prioritize those features that will have the highest impact. In the absence of any of the above, one can always try and use a framework, and some well-known ones that I have tried and worked on were MoSCoW and RICE. [AM] One aspect of product ownership is bridging the communication gap between stakeholders, users, and the development team. How do you facilitate effective communication and collaboration? [MB] As I mentioned previously, a Product Manager/Owner needs to be flexible, but most importantly a good listener, so he/she can communicate effectively. I am always open to feedback, and this is something I have pointed out in all my collaborations with the teams with which I have worked. This fosters trust, so it’s crucial for the team to know they can always speak their mind and can approach me with whatever needs to be changed or adjusted. There is this joke that Product Managers always set up meetings to discuss other meetings, and as funny as it seems, it’s true. 🤣 I choose to be transparent and proactive in all the communication I am doing with the stakeholders, and the development team, as well as the users. [AM] Could you elaborate on how the product ownership discipline aids in anticipating and adapting to market changes, ensuring that the product remains relevant and valuable over time? [MB] When I first started working as a Product Manager, I was mostly doing competition analysis and was always looking out on the market reading about competitors and all their releases. By doing this, I have learned the most important aspects when choosing a product’s niche, its features, and its disadvantages. So, it’s a must to always check the business model, the flows, the UX, their competitive advantages, their pricing models, the upcoming news, and so on, because these are the details that will help a Product Manager keep their product relevant and most valuable. The competition’s weaknesses can easily become your strengths! [AM] How does the role of a Product Owner contribute to the iterative development process, such as in Agile methodologies, and how does it help in delivering value early and often? [MB] The PO plays a key role in the iterative development process. My main contribution comes with an understanding of the niche and product, then an understanding of both users and stakeholders and finally keeping the work aligned with the Product vision. Value is especially brought into the early stages by well-written documentation, which would lay the basis of all the upcoming features and changes that are expected in the future. Also, I would like to add to this the Agile practices such as sprint planning and daily standups because in this way as a Product Manager/Owner, I can ensure the team is always focused and is delivering value. Iterative development is mostly based on a series of short cycles and if you have a well-defined purpose for that increment, you can achieve lots in a relatively small amount of time. Agile Methodologies emphasize flexibility and adaptability, and that allows us to have a better response to any change. As a PO, my duty is to make sure we are bringing all the right changes at the right time, and that is a value-added that can make or break the product! :)
09/18/2023
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Students on Campus

Business

Streamlining Recruitment with Mobile Development
Connect all the dots on the go Back in 2018, the founding team of an education startup have identified a large problem in the international study market. At that time there was no efficient, reliable way for students, recruiters and institutions to collaborate and transact seamlessly with each other. With an existing easy-to-use platform for web, they now needed a technical partner who could create the mobile companion app to help recruiters and students on the go. Mobile development to the rescue By offering our expertise in mobile development and product design, we helped build a comprehensive mobile app where recruiter customers could scan, upload and preview documents directly on their phone, see student profiles and academic results, view courses that the students applied, connect with peers, get real-time notifications and news. In the same time, for students, the app facilitated the updating of their personal info, connect with their recruiting agent, scan, upload and preview documents and browse institutions and accommodation options. The Application Assistant Mobile App improved communication between students and their counselors, making it easy to access key information and keep track of the application’s status or potential bottlenecks. Our clients needs and wants are our top priority. Which is why this success story maintains confidentiality while being concise. If you're interested in learning more about our expertise in mobile development and the range of services we offer, please don't hesitate to contact us.
08/23/2023
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CS Series: Mihai

TQ Vibes

Colleague Spotlight Series: Mihai„Hudi” Hudișteanu
Welcome to the latest edition of our "Colleague Spotlight" series, where we delve into the unique professional perspectives and experiences of our team members.  The grapevine leaked that „we couldn't have achieved what we've achieved without Hudi' input. He's become indispensable to us.” So, without further ado, ladies and gents: Mihai „Hudi” Hudișteanu. [AM] Tell us a bit about yourself and your background so far. Who are you inside the role and outside of it? What's the favorite part of your role? [MH] As a web developer, my primary role involves the creative and technical process of coding to breathe life into websites, giving them functionality, interactivity, and a user-friendly experience. On a personal level, I'm someone who values team collaboration and camaraderie. I believe in starting the day with a coffee and a quick, impromptu stand-up meeting with my team, finding it a more personal way to gauge the team's pulse. My favorite part about my role is the freedom to experiment. I feel like work becomes much more rewarding when it is creative. Pair that with cool people and a collaborative environment and it's downright fun. [AM] You joined after an internship at techquarter, but what made you stay with us? What's a favorite project that you've worked on so far? [MH] The reason I decided to stay with your company is primarily the people. Especially when I first joined, I found myself in an environment that encouraged my growth and development. As I continued to improve, my responsibilities became more challenging, and I was given greater freedom to experiment. I absolutely love that aspect of the job; it turns work into a creative process. As for my favorite project so far, it would have to be Cascada. It was uniquely unconventional and unlike anything I had previously worked on. This project pushed us out of our comfort zones, and it was incredibly rewarding. With a small, close-knit team, we were able to work efficiently and adapt swiftly. It was highly satisfying to tackle complex tasks and pivot our focus rapidly. That's when I truly felt agile. [AM] Do you have any unusual rituals or habits that help you get in the working zone? [MH] Yeah, sort of. Before I kickstart my workday, I typically enjoy a cup of coffee and share a morning cigarette with my team. It has turned into a regular ritual, and now we naturally end up having an impromptu stand-up. It's not a formal meeting; it's more of a face-to-face interaction. It feels personal and provides an easier way to gauge the team's overall vibe and progress. [AM] If you were to confess one coding-related guilty pleasure, what would it be? To be honest, I have a couple of coding-related guilty pleasures. First and foremost, I'm a sucker for comments, especially doc comments. There's just something about well-documented code that I find super satisfying. And when those comments pop up as I hover over a method or function, it's even better. I can't help but explain how to use that code and throw in an example, even if it might be a tad overkill. Another one of my code-related guilty pleasures is crafting error messages. I've got a few front-end applications that can display an error message like, "This, this, and that failed. That makes no sense. Did you forget to start the server?" I can't resist adding a touch of humor or personality to them. [AM] In this world dominated by technology and computers, what's your nerdiest interest or hobby, tech or non tech related, that you think might surprise your colleagues? And how did you get to practice it? [HM] I don't believe my colleagues would find this surprising, but I have a genuine passion for delving into embedded programming every now and then. There's an inexplicable joy in using code to set mechanical devices in motion or make decisions based on real-world data. My most recent endeavor involved 'hot-rodding' my thermostat. Was it the most straightforward solution? Absolutely not :)) . It took me two weeks to get that project up and running. However, the journey was incredibly enlightening, and now I'm eager to automate even more things around the house [AM] If you were to equate your coding style to a dish or a type of food, what would it be, and why? [MH] I would liken my coding style to the process of making bread. It begins with simplicity but evolves to become effective over time. Continuous refactoring and improvements are essential along the way. When we embark on a project, we often lack a clear vision of the final product. Instead of attempting to predict the outcome, I focus on nurturing it throughout development, allowing it to take shape naturally, letting the dough grow, if you will.  
11/21/2023
Read all

TQ Vibes

Colleague Spotlight Series: Meet Eliodor, FullStack Developer
Through our “Colleague Spotlight” Series we’re curious to explore the different ways of thinking and working of our colleagues. In this month's edition we get to know Eliodor, known for his problem-solving skills and collaborative approach. Let’s dive in! Alexandra Mocan [AM] - Tell us a bit about yourself and your background so far. Who are you inside the role and outside of it? Eliodor Popov [EP] I am from Chisinau, and I currently live in Cluj. I’ve been with techquarter for 2 years now and currently I am a Senior Software Engineer on one of our biggest projects. Shortly after starting here, I’ve decided to move to Cluj (since back then we didn’t have an office in Chisinau) and I don’t regret it at all. I’ve got a warm welcome here and got to meet a lot of exceptional people in person. Inside the role, I see myself as a problem solver, collaborator and easy to work with. I like working with my teammates to investigate and solve difficult problems, and because I’m working with mostly more experienced people, I love learning new information and right practices for specific problems. [AM] Are there any team rituals or practices that you find particularly valuable in maintaining a productive and positive work environment? We don’t really have any team rituals, but we have Adrian who will always put a smile on our face and lighten the mood with one of his jokes. Besides that, we always try to have fun whenever we have an opportunity to do so. Not sure how productive it is, but at least we have some moments when work can be fun. [EP] As a senior software engineer, how do you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in .NET and fintech? I don’t have a way or a fixed source of getting all my news about the latest developments in IT technologies. I may sometimes read an article here and there but mostly, because in the university we were part of a new type of learning, PBL (problem based learning), and we would first be presented with a problem that needs solving, and then we would gather the information needed for that, I would say I’m the same with the latest developments in any technology. Once presented with a problem, I would search for solutions that would help me solve that specific case, and nothing else. I also try to attend conferences when I have the opportunity because they also provide access to the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices. Latest one was DevTalks in Cluj where a lot of the talks were about cloud-native technologies and AI. [AM] Can you share an example of a particularly complex problem you've solved in your role, and the innovative solution you implemented? [EP] I can’t say I have encountered any complex problems because I think they may be complex in our eyes because we don’t have enough information about it, but once we gather it and break everything into smaller, more manageable pieces, we would get to something that it’s not as bad as we thought. To talk about a recent example, I have encountered something that I didn’t have to deal with before in my career, and that would be how do we measure a system’s current state, its performance, and its communication with any other systems. Before that all I knew on this subject was about logs, we add logging everywhere, try to make it as detailed as possible, and whenever some user encountered a problem, we would either go and read the logs, and try to find anything related there, or locally try to reproduce the error (for which we would need detailed information from the user that encountered the error, which usually is not there). So, while researching about this, I found out about telemetry, a standard for it (OpenTelemetry) and how this can help organizations gain insights into their systems' health and performance, allowing for proactive monitoring and troubleshooting. There’s nothing innovative about this from my side, but to continue on with the previous question, this is how I found out about the OpenTelemetry standard, a cloud native project currently in the incubating stage, which is heavily worked on and it will be the standard communication between the systems and the instrumentation vendors. [AM] Outside of work, do you have any hobbies or interests that you're passionate about? How do you balance your professional and personal life? [EP] To detach myself after a busy day at work, sometimes I like playing video games. I would like to share with you a quote from Ted Lasso that reflects really nicely my relationship with video games: “[they are] something in my life that I really enjoy, but then I pretend that preventing myself from having them is somehow making my life better but in reality, all what I am doing is depriving myself of something that makes me happy, instead of attempting to adjust my relationship to it”. Other than that, here at TQ we gather weekly and play a friendly game of football (sometimes it gets intense). To balance my personal and professional life I try to keep them as separated as possible. So I would be active and really focus on work from 9 to 6, but after that I would try to disconnect myself from it, go home to my wife and really hope there wouldn’t be any production incidents that evening. I also try to go to the office everyday to create a clear boundary between work and personal life and to enjoy the morning and the evening walk.
10/16/2023
Read all

Business

Improving eCommerce experiences one data-set at a time

Adapting to change: The eCommerce Mantra

In today's fast-paced digital era, change is inevitable, especially in the realm of eCommerce. As consumer needs evolve along with the technology powering them, eCommerce businesses must strive to keep up with this rapid pace. Failure to do so not only negatively impacts Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) but also diminishes the quality of customer experiences.

The Hidden Costs of Ignorance

The influx of data and countless competitive products scattered across multiple platforms have made the eCommerce landscape increasingly complex. Any lapse in knowledge or missing piece of the puzzle can lead to a flawed customer experience (CX), cart abandonment issues, and ultimately, profit loss.

Introducing the Ultimate Tool

To mitigate these challenges for one of our clients, we have developed a comprehensive Software as a Service (SaaS) content analysis tool. This dynamic tool facilitates on-demand content visibility, providing sellers with valuable insights and guidance into their eCommerce content assets. It efficiently replaces the cumbersome manual processes of identifying areas for improvement, saving both time and resources.

Client-Centric Approach

Our clients needs and wants are our top priority. Which is why this success story is super concise. If you're interested in learning more about our expertise in eCommerce and how we could help you build a custom solution for your business case, please don't hesitate to contact us.
09/26/2023
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Colleague Spotlight - Product Ownership

TQ Vibes

Colleague Spotlight Series: Meet Mădălina Blaga, our Product Owner
Through our “Colleague Spotlight” Series we’re curious to explore the different ways of thinking and working of our colleagues. In this month's edition we take an exciting journey into the world of product ownership with Mădălina Blaga, our own Product Manager. Join us as we uncover the indispensable role of a Product Manager, where success isn't just survival, but a joyful journey of thriving. Alexandra Mocan [AM]: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background so far. Who are you inside the role and outside of it? Mădălina Blaga [MB]: Hey there! Nice to meet everyone! My name is Madalina, and I am a Product Manager. I have been working in this role for a little bit over 6 years now, from which the first five and half years were in the banking domain. In my previous role, I was blessed enough to have met a wonderful team and learned on a continuous basis, by being responsible for digital products (such as Internet and Mobile Banking, digital onboarding flows, and other alternative digital solutions/apps), which were used by over 1 million clients. Inside the role, based on how my colleagues and friends describe me, I am: ambitious, always looking for ways to improve, and results oriented. Also, I am a team player, and I am always willing to help others. Outside of the role, I am passionate about beauty/fashion and traveling, while documenting all my travel experiences on my blog. Other hobbies of mine include reading and always finding out the latest trends in tech. I am a firm believer that we are all lifelong learners, and I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. 😊 [AM] And now to start things on an easier note: what does the role of a Product Owner entail, and how does it contribute to the overall success of a product? And a follow-up question - If you can please share an example of a situation in which your expertise has greatly improved the outcome of a product. [MB] The Product Owner role within a team is a crucial one since in most cases it plays a critical part in the overall success of a product. I am saying this because the Product Owner must ensure the product meets the needs of both users and stakeholders, all this while being successful in the market. The magic of this work starts by first doing the research and defining the product vision and roadmap, managing the product backlog, then working closely with the development team, and gathering & and prioritizing feedback. We must not forget that the PO is responsible for keeping up to date about the news happening on the market so that it can always adjust the strategy accordingly. Last, but not least the Product Owner must be passionate about the product they are working on, because it will always keep them motivated and focused on delivering the best product there is. Now that I can think of it, along the way I had some situations that indeed challenged me and the products I was working on, but one stuck with me up to this day. On one of the platforms, I worked on some of the data showed us that clients would not finish the entire flow and even they would drop off at the beginning of the flow. I know I spent some days checking the flow from the user's perspective trying to find the issue. I realized we missed one important pain point to address, so I made a proposal to optimize the flow and gathered with the UX teams and we drew together an improved flow, which was quickly developed. This made our number of daily users significantly increase. This is a good reminder that a Product Manager is an advocate for the users! [AM] In your experience so far, how does effective product ownership help in aligning the development team with the goals and vision of the project? [MB] Effective product ownership is not something to be taken for granted or neglected. After having read and learned after all these years about Product Management, if I were to draw some of the most important conclusions and best practices, they would be to keep the team informed and engaged every step of the way for the product vision (Product documentation is a must). This way not only they will understand what needs to be achieved but can also come up with technical solutions and, why not, other ideas for product improvement. Communication is key in the product development phase, along with backlog prioritization, and I do believe the development team should be empowered to make decisions about how to implement the product vision. In my experience thus far, the key is to be a good listener and flexible and that would help you in having a more productive approach in your collaboration with the development team. [AM] How do you prioritize competing demands and feature requests to ensure that the most valuable features are being developed? [MB] A huge part of the PO's responsibilities is to prioritize the backlog and always address changes as often as needed. There will be times when requests will keep on coming and all of them need a high priority for development. It may feel overwhelming at times, but essentially it all comes for me, as a Product Manager to these: A. What is my business goal? What are we trying to achieve through our product? Will this feature help us reach the goal we envision? If so, to what extent? B. Always, but always, when in doubt go back to the Metrics you established when started to work on the product, and if you feel there will be something that can help you improve one or more metrics, then you know your answer. Besides these two, I have learned over time that is essential to present and discuss your findings with your stakeholders, and based on their feedback you can then start to prioritize those features that will have the highest impact. In the absence of any of the above, one can always try and use a framework, and some well-known ones that I have tried and worked on were MoSCoW and RICE. [AM] One aspect of product ownership is bridging the communication gap between stakeholders, users, and the development team. How do you facilitate effective communication and collaboration? [MB] As I mentioned previously, a Product Manager/Owner needs to be flexible, but most importantly a good listener, so he/she can communicate effectively. I am always open to feedback, and this is something I have pointed out in all my collaborations with the teams with which I have worked. This fosters trust, so it’s crucial for the team to know they can always speak their mind and can approach me with whatever needs to be changed or adjusted. There is this joke that Product Managers always set up meetings to discuss other meetings, and as funny as it seems, it’s true. 🤣 I choose to be transparent and proactive in all the communication I am doing with the stakeholders, and the development team, as well as the users. [AM] Could you elaborate on how the product ownership discipline aids in anticipating and adapting to market changes, ensuring that the product remains relevant and valuable over time? [MB] When I first started working as a Product Manager, I was mostly doing competition analysis and was always looking out on the market reading about competitors and all their releases. By doing this, I have learned the most important aspects when choosing a product’s niche, its features, and its disadvantages. So, it’s a must to always check the business model, the flows, the UX, their competitive advantages, their pricing models, the upcoming news, and so on, because these are the details that will help a Product Manager keep their product relevant and most valuable. The competition’s weaknesses can easily become your strengths! [AM] How does the role of a Product Owner contribute to the iterative development process, such as in Agile methodologies, and how does it help in delivering value early and often? [MB] The PO plays a key role in the iterative development process. My main contribution comes with an understanding of the niche and product, then an understanding of both users and stakeholders and finally keeping the work aligned with the Product vision. Value is especially brought into the early stages by well-written documentation, which would lay the basis of all the upcoming features and changes that are expected in the future. Also, I would like to add to this the Agile practices such as sprint planning and daily standups because in this way as a Product Manager/Owner, I can ensure the team is always focused and is delivering value. Iterative development is mostly based on a series of short cycles and if you have a well-defined purpose for that increment, you can achieve lots in a relatively small amount of time. Agile Methodologies emphasize flexibility and adaptability, and that allows us to have a better response to any change. As a PO, my duty is to make sure we are bringing all the right changes at the right time, and that is a value-added that can make or break the product! :)
09/18/2023
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Students on Campus

Business

Streamlining Recruitment with Mobile Development
Connect all the dots on the go Back in 2018, the founding team of an education startup have identified a large problem in the international study market. At that time there was no efficient, reliable way for students, recruiters and institutions to collaborate and transact seamlessly with each other. With an existing easy-to-use platform for web, they now needed a technical partner who could create the mobile companion app to help recruiters and students on the go. Mobile development to the rescue By offering our expertise in mobile development and product design, we helped build a comprehensive mobile app where recruiter customers could scan, upload and preview documents directly on their phone, see student profiles and academic results, view courses that the students applied, connect with peers, get real-time notifications and news. In the same time, for students, the app facilitated the updating of their personal info, connect with their recruiting agent, scan, upload and preview documents and browse institutions and accommodation options. The Application Assistant Mobile App improved communication between students and their counselors, making it easy to access key information and keep track of the application’s status or potential bottlenecks. Our clients needs and wants are our top priority. Which is why this success story maintains confidentiality while being concise. If you're interested in learning more about our expertise in mobile development and the range of services we offer, please don't hesitate to contact us.
08/23/2023
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