Shine excellence recognised as Innovation Finalist in NAB Supplier Awards 2014

NAB 2014 Supplier Awards

Shine Technologies is proud to be acknowledged for excellence as one of three Finalists in the NAB Supplier Awards 2014, Innovation category.  This acknowledgement demonstrates Shine’s commitment to being a partner over being a vendor.

Shine’s partnership with NAB goes back several years and spans many projects in different parts of the bank. The specific project leading to this acknowledgement involved working with NAB to provide a new digital platform built on AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud and using the AEM (Adobe Experience Manager) content delivery platform to host

Business benefits of the project were described by NAB GM of Digital, Mr Todd Copeland in The Australian on 22 July 2014. The article states that “NAB is attributing savings of almost $6 million in infrastructure and licensing costs over five years, and big increases in applications for loans and credit cards, to its move to a more agile digital publishing and marketing platform. The ability to change content on its online and mobile sites much more quickly can directly be linked to a 30 per cent increase in applications for one banking product”. “The redesign of a personal loan form in nine weeks — led to a 45 per cent improvement in the conversion rate of applicants to customers.” Credit card pages that were tested and “optimised” for the best response rate using the new platform generated 3000 more applications a year. Mr Copeland said “It was very cost-competitive, we’ve driven 400 per cent efficiency through my team directly.”

In terms of innovation, the project provided full auto recovery and scaling on demand, which is a world first and has set the standard for all AEM on AWS implementations. Shine introduced and drove the project to AWS best practice with regards to: design, tooling and processes to ensure the solution could reach a 99.95%+ availability, through the use of innovative tools including “Bees With Machine Guns” and “Chaos Monkey”, providing customers with a great customer experience, reliability and confidence in NAB systems.  Amazon acknowledged the innovation driven by this project through inviting NAB Head of Digital & Online Services, Mr David Broeren to present as a Keynote Speaker at the 2014 Amazon Web Services Summit in Melbourne on 12 August 2014 (slides 60 – 82).

Shine Technologies is proud to be a Finalist, thanks NAB for its ongoing partnership and congratulates SEMA on winning the Innovation category of the NAB Supplier Awards 2014.

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Shine wins Computerworld Data+ Award!


Shine is proud to have been awarded the Computerworld Data+ award for our work with Google BigQuery.  The innovative work is a great example of using great technology to deliver business benefit.  You can see the write up of the award here:

Congratulations to the Shiners on the team: Luke, Pablo, Graham and Kon!

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Shiner Ben Teese to speak at YOW! Connected on Mobile Web Development


Shine Senior Developer Ben Teese will be speaking at YOW! Connected next week.

Held in Melbourne, Australia on September 8 and 9, YOW! Connected covers both Mobile Development and The Internet of Things.

Ben’s talk topic is ‘The State of the Mobile Web’ and is scheduled for 3:30pm on Tuesday. It’ll include advice about when to go web and when to go native, best practices for mobile web development, and a discussion of hybrid mobile apps.

If you’re attending the conference and run into Ben, be sure to say Hi!


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Using ‘HugeCollections’ To Manage Big Data



When writing complex software things don’t always go as planned. You implement a new feature that works perfectly well locally and in a test environment, but when your code hits the real world everything falls apart. Sadly, that’s one of the things we all have to deal with as software developers. On a recent project for a major telecommunications client we needed to be able to process more than 20 million records every night. That equated to 5GB of storage and unfortunately the environment where our process was running had up to 4GB of memory.

Processing such a vast amount of data brings a lot of challenges along with it, especially when you also need to combine it with a few more million records that are located in a database. Adding code to retrieve associated information and transform raw data might take an extra few milliseconds per each record. However, when you repeat that operation 20 million times those few milliseconds can easily turn into hours.

So there we were asking ourselves why it was taking so long. Is it an index we forgot to add to the database? A network latency problem? These things can be very hard to pin down.

We needed to think outside the box to get around this one.

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Put On Your Streaming Shoes


The Kick-Off Meeting

It went something along the lines of:

  • Client: “We have a new requirement for you..”
  • Shiners: “Shoot..”
  • Client: “We’d like you to come up a solution that can insert 2 million rows per hour into a database and be able to deliver real-time analytics and some have animated charts visualising it. And, it should go without saying, that it needs to be scalable so we can ramp up to 100 million per hour.”
  • Shiners: [inaudible]
  • Client: “Sorry, what was that?”
  • Shiners: [inaudible]
  • Client: “You’ll have to speak up guys..”
  • Shiners: “Give us 6 weeks”

We delivered it less than 4.

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SSH through a Raspberry Pi Railway Signal

lightipadWe’ve all been there. You are in the supermarket with two bottles of diet cola in one arm and a packet of brown rice with quinoa in the other. Your site lead calls you with a request from a client who has locked themselves out of their account. Normally you would direct them to the administration interface but, because of the paradox inducing way in which they have bent the fabric of space and time, this will require some manual intervention.  You need to apply some subtle but distinct database changes. Simply delete a row or two from the QUANTUM_PARADOX table. Well, it’s actually a view… but that’s not important right now.

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Swift from an Objective-C developer’s perspective

After the most recent WWDC, most iOS developers aren’t talking about cool new iOS 8 features or APIs. Instead,  they’re talking about a whole new language: Swift. Yes, you heard right – a whole new programming language. How exciting it is!

Apple has been working on Swift secretly for a few years. It is a modern programming language that takes the strengths of other popular languages (for example, Python) and avoids the bad things about Objective-C (for example, poor manual memory-management and awful block syntax). As Apple declared, it’s Objective-C without the C. Not only this, Swift is also able to access the Apple Cocoa Touch framework and share the same LLVM compiler as Objective-C, so they can be seamlessly mixed in a same project.

Now you might be just like me, wondering why Apple would introduce a new language for iOS and Mac OS programming. Let’s walk through some most exciting parts of Swift to see if we can find a reason.

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