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Here's a common user experience for Zalando customers: You're checking out a shirt on its product detail page. You notice the full-body model image, which features a complete look, and become completely distracted when you suddenly notice that the model is wearing the exact style of sneakers that you've been looking for! You can't identify the sneaker brand, so you try to use filters to find the correct style in our shop. After clicking through dozens of pages showcasing hundreds of sneaker styles -- unfortunately none of which is the one you're looking for -- you abandon your search. In the end, you've wasted lots of time and haven't bought the shirt, let alone the sneakers. Read more…

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The standard way to kill a TCP connection in PostgreSQL is to use pg_terminate_backend($PID). However, in some situations this function does not work. To help you avoid negative outcomes when closing such connections, here is a simple hack. Read more…

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Every year more and more of Zalando’s total traffic comes from mobile. Since releasing our first app in 2012, we've developed award-winning mobile platforms that deliver first-class shopping experiences to our +14 million customers across Europe. This post reveals insights into Zalando’s development approach to mobile apps – focusing on iOS for now. We’ll tell you about our Android operations in a separate post. Read more…

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Last week Zalando’s Bus team hosted an internal workshop on the popular source code management systems GitHub Enterprise and Atlassian’s Stash. Read more…

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Everyone likes to save money--and when you’re running a huge business like Zalando, saving money by making your systems more efficient can mean saving millions of Euros. That’s why I’m excited to tell you that the Zalando Data Intelligence team recently found a way to save us piles of money. In this post, I’ll tell you how. Read more…

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In our previous article, we described how the Zalando Data Intelligence team accurately infers individual item weights from the weights of parcels we send to our customers. But we didn’t share the secret sauce--the juicy details of building a Bayesian statistical model. In this article, we want to fill in these gaps and explain exactly how we constructed the model that got us such great results. Read more…

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Any front-end developer working on a large website will eventually face the problem of how to prepare and effectively deliver icons to users. There are few ways to achieve this goal. At Zalando, we have been using CSS sprites and icon fonts. Neither solution is perfect, but both get the job done to a reasonable degree. This article will help you to evaluate existing solutions and ultimately decide which one will work best for you. Read more…

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Packaging and deploying software has always been a somewhat important topic for both developers and system engineers. We here at Zalando prefer native system packages over language specific package formats to deploy software in a fast, reliable and consistent way. It is also a benefit to have only one toolkit for managing all (or most) software, by reducing the confusion between pip / npm / gem and apt-get / yum who is managing which files. Read more…

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Learn how we build a prototype using the Camunda BPM engine with Cassandra.

This is a guest post by Daniel Meyer, Technical Lead at Camunda. You can follow him on Twitter here. Read more…

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Last week the Zalando tech team hosted our second Coder Dojo on pair programming and Test-Driven Development. (In software craftsmanship language, a coder dojo is a place where developers can train and practice their skills.) Similarly, we Zalandos use our Coder Dojos to practice programming without dealing with the pressures and restrictions of project deadlines and existing code bases. Read more…