New Jersey is rebranding their identity. NJ has always been associated with telecommunications but is developing a reputation for startups, entrepreneurs, and technology. Hoboken’s successful tech startup, Jet.com, is at the forefront of this monumental shift and Gad Berger, Senior Software Engineer II at Jet, plays an integral role in the process.
“I think that there is a thirst and hunger for more exposure for techies in NJ,” Gad said.
Walmart’s recent acquisition of Jet hits home for the New Jersey tech industry, it creates a course for NJ to be a successful hub for technology. “I think that this acquisition shows that NJ can be a place of innovation and success for startups,” Gad said. “It also shows that NJ doesn’t have to just be all about finance and telecommunications. We have just as much capacity to succeed in other fields.”
Despite Walmart’s recent acquisition of Jet, Gad’s work will not change — and he likes that. “We still have the same goal…With Walmart, we’re able to scale up quicker in many regards, like access to more fulfillment centers, access to more merchants and products, and access to better payment processing rates. And, a healthy marketing budget also helps.”
Talkin’ Bout Tech
On a day-to-day basis, Gad helps program many of the processes that makes Jet.com so successful, including shipping, logistics, and data management.
Gad is team lead on a project to support issues related to the catalog data after its ingestion. “I contribute heavily to the code base,” Gad said. “But I also get to define our team’s direction and process, which I really enjoy.”
Gad’s team follows an agile-like process using Jira to track their sprint boards on a 2-week cycle. All of the teams at Jet are on the same 2-week cycle, concluding with a sprint review in front of their superiors. “It makes this company which can feel so big at times, also feel small and familiar,” Gad admitted.
“We are also very keen on transparency,” Gad said. There are weekly tech talks during lunch at work, allowing all teams to get on the same page. Topics often relate to both tech and business, but sometimes the talks are on topics that team members are passionate about. Knowledge can be hidden within any kind of story.
What Makes A Jet Fly?
The engineers building and maintaining it the right way, with the right tools. Every team at Jet uses a lot of Azure-related tools because their system is built on the Azure cloud platform.
On top of that, Gad’s team is using event sourcing for their source of truth. In Gad’s article on the topic, he relayed how event sourcing fixed mismatched data in Jet’s SQL database. Gad described the outcome, “In a matter of 20 minutes the projection microservice read the event log, processing a little over 50k events. At the end of those 20 minutes, both production values and the projection database were in perfect harmony. Amazing.”
Gad went on to describe the tools Jet engineers use to maintain and streamline their work. “Our architecture is a microservice-based architecture, which means that we work with distributed systems. The back-end supporting our microservices are written entirely in F#, our lingua franca at Jet. We deploy our services using Jenkins to a Nomad cluster that allows us to manage the lifecycle of each microservice.”
With a microservice-based architecture, each team can modify its own software stack without affecting outside teams, which translates to fairly seamless work.
Since Jet’s front-ends are written in Angular 2, their engineers typically talk to API endpoints written in Asp.NetWebApi, a framework that makes it easy to build HTTP services that reach a broad range of clients, including browsers and mobile devices.
Jet Set On A Mission
On the surface, Jet proposes to the customer savings on things they already buy, undercutting competition and having a seemingly more honest business approach.
“The other thing that you don’t see behind the scenes is that we believe in our mission of trust, transparency, and fairness,” Gad said. “It factors into everything that we do in the company, including how we interact with our customers. The experience is designed to feel fair and transparent from the moment you add an item to your cart, until you receive your item, and even through returns and cancellations.”
Transparency in modern companies is important to factor into the equation for success.
“As for growth, we had a mission to grow from the onset of the company,” Gad said. “In order to prove our belief in providing savings and efficiencies in shipping, we needed to scale everything about the business. We grew at the rate that we did, because we had to.”
They grew because they had to. Let’s go back to what Gad said in the beginning of the article, “I think that there is a thirst and hunger for more exposure for techies in NJ.”
Tech will only grow if we feel the urgency and the need to grow. We have to.
“Conferences such as Asbury Agile and the NJ meetups such as NJ Tech Meetup, Princeton Tech Meetup and Jersey Shore Tech offer a place for us to meet and explore our community. I like that, and I want to see more of that,” Gad said. “As a developer, I want to see more opportunities to interact with other developers local to me. These are the places where we learn from each other and get exposed to new ideas. It only benefits the curious to get out, explore, and event start their own communities.”
Don’t miss Gad’s talk on Friday, October 7th at Asbury Agile. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, there are only a few left. Register here.