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Interviu cu Richard Campbell (II)

Attila-Mihaly Balazs
Software Panther @ Synapp.io
DIVERSE

BPart of the British Betfair Group, Betfair Romania is the company"s largest Development Centre. Based in Cluj, it employs over 250 people skilled in a wide range of programming languages, business analysis, Information security and programme management. The Cluj centre"s work is focused on 5 main streams: Platform Development, e-Commerce, Gaming, Product and Enterprise Data Services.

The innovative technology at the core of Betfair products allows the processing of over seven million transactions a day, meaning more transactions than all of Europe"s stock exchanges combined; 99,9% of these transactions are processed under a second. .

Considering these challenges, Csaba-Attila Suket, Director of Technology at Betfair Romania, has answered a few questions for us:

Hello, Csaba. Could you please tell us a few words about yourself?

Hi, Ovidiu. In short, I am 33 years old. I studied Computer Science in Cluj, at the Babes-Bolyai University. I started at Betfair in 2008 and had different roles, beginning with Engineering Manager and progressing to the Director of Technology role.

Given I started my career as a data base developer, I feel closer to Oracle and the Data space, but at the same time I am a fan of SOA, Cloud, distributed systems and new languages such as Go, Agile/Lean - Betfair Romania is amongst the pioneers of Scrum in Cluj.

If I were to name one guiding principle for both my career and day to day life it would be: "think simple and positive, believe and achieve". My hobbies are hockey and the Oriental philosophies.

At the beginning, we mentioned the processing of over seven million transactions a day. What technologies is the Betfair platform based on, if we are referring to the server and the data base components?

During the last few years, Betfair"s Technology component has gone through several technological and organizational transformations in order to reach to a Delivery Centric model. At the moment, our teams provide end to end delivery for most of the Betfair platform, from the specification stage, design, implementation, testing, to release and operational process.

From an architectural point of view we believe in SOA: our middle-tier is based on Java technologies; we are using Oracle besides other NoSQL systems for data storage. All this is exposed through our web applications using JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Templating (FreeMarker). For these systems we are using a variety of internal frameworks based on Jetty and Spring (Core, DataAccess, AOP, Batch) and JMS where necessary.

For build and release we are using different tools such as Maven, Jenkins, Sonar, Nexus, Chef. Regarding the most important flows, we make use of caching systems, load balancing. The quality of our applications is very important to us. Therefore, to be able to deal with such a load we are using Mockito, TestNG, JUnit, Selenium.

Last but not least, the implementation of the DevOps concept provides us with an increased autonomy on the delivery part and ensures a prompt reaction to operational emergencies.

Which is the development strategy from the technological point of view?

At the moment, we are following several strategic directions, some of which are Cloud, new technologies/ programming languages and architectural evolution based on efficiency and ease in operating our products and components.

How do you see the evolution of Betfair Romania during the next year?

During the next year, our goal is to continue to invest in the quality of the products and the projects we deliver. Betfair Romania is a powerful business from all points of view; we are well positioned as an employer due to the technologies, opportunities and benefits we offer.

On a medium term, we will focus on increasing efficiency by continuing to offer opportunities for development and improvement on all levels for our employees. At the same time, we will keep on focusing on the organizational culture of our company.

For a more complete view, can you tell us what would be the main achievement of the last year, from a technical point of view?

It was a wonderful year, full of accomplishments, when we literally raced at a very high speed and our teams constantly delivered at a pace of about 40 releases in production every month.

This allowed us to improve, starting from the architectural level, to processes (operational, Scrum, development and testing, etc.). Moreover, in the last year we focused on creating opportunities for technological innovation for our employees; some of the business ideas that had great impact came from them.

All in all, I would say that our main achievement is, by far, the value added to the business through the newly developed applications and capabilities.

Csaba Suket - Director of Technology @ Betfair România

How do you see the evolution of Betfair Romania during the next year?

During the next year, our goal is to continue to invest in the quality of the products and the projects we deliver. Betfair Romania is a solid and powerful business from all points of view; we are well positioned as an employer due to the technologies, opportunities and benefits we offer.

On a medium term, we will focus on increasing efficiency by continuing to offer opportunities for development and improvement on all levels for our employees. At the same time, we will keep on focusing on the organizational culture of our company.

We have heard about the Betfair University. Can you tell us a few words about it and whom it addresses?

Betfair University is an internal program for our employees, carried out by Camelia Hanga and Andreea Misarăș, which provides professional and personal development opportunities. It is basically an umbrella concept for all learning activities ranging from courses, workshops to certifications, mentorship, round tables and various learning events. All programs are personalized according to the individual needs and those of the team. The trainer - student roles often change - each employee can contribute with his/her expertise. The range of learning activities is very wide - from technical courses to soft skills, management school, coaching sessions, programming competitions and Olympic Games.

Betfair University is a key element of the organizational culture, as we give our employees ownership of their personal and professional development.

If you were to write a technical article, what would its title be?

I think it would be: Capacity and Scalability on an E-Commerce Platform.

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