Vincent Costel

What I learned in 2018 as a software developer

Here are some of the new things I learned as a software developer in 2018.

One of my favorite new tech this year is certainly Durable Functions. Durable Functions is an extension of Azure Functions that lets you write stateful functions in a serverless environment. It unlocks a lot of scenarios that were cumbersome to implement with vanilla Azure Functions, like functions chaining, fan-out/fan-in, etc. It gives me a lot of ideas and I will definitely use it more in 2019.

We started using OSRM for our vehicle routing needs at work. After trying Itinero briefly, we went with OSRM instead. It involved working with a lot of fun tech like Docker, Azure Container Instances and Azure Kubernetes Service.

We had performance issues parsing large Excel spreadsheets (hundreds of thousands of rows) with EPPlus, so I rewrote the code using the Open XML SDK from Microsoft. EPPlus is super user-friendly and abstracts a lot of things, whereas with the Open XML SDK, you basically read and manipulate XML files directly. Not glamorous, but it was an interesting challenge and I obtained great results in the end.

Late in 2018, I explored MiniZinc as a side-project at work. It was very interesting but also very humbling as there are a lot of concepts of mathematical concepts I don't fully grasp. In 2019, I'd like to follow one of the courses they offer on Coursera: Basic Modeling for Discrete Optimization.