Week 5: The JS Firehose

One highlight of the past week was a talk by Paul Carke, CTO of Ocado. It turns out that Ocado is not an online supermarket as many of have been led to believe, but is firstly and at heart a technology company. Paul Carke illustrated this point with a couple of incredible infographics, the first a virtual-lightshow of neon-coloured units, presumably representing individual customer orders, tracking back and forth along kilometers of conveyor belt in a warehouse. The second showed delivery routes unspooling from distribution centers across England. These two representations alone were extremely impressive (though I did notice that Norfolk and Cornwall were completely dark) and attest to the rapid pace at which Ocado is unsettling the grocery market with automation.

Lunchtime talks are the jet propellant of Makers. Usually there are phrases and acronyms that are over my head, but it’s motivational to be exposed to these vast areas of unknown technology, many still in the process of being hashed out.

My pair partner for the past week, Sanda Golcea, and I have been drinking from the firehose of JavaScript. Without getting too technical, JS is an interesting switch because it allows you to delegate away orders and then get on with something else while those orders are being fulfilled. With Ruby you can get sort of stuck giving an order, unable to move on until it’s done. This makes JS immensely powerful in the context of the web, where a lot of requests have to be made for resources that take time to retrieve.

Week 5: The JS Firehose

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