Latest from the blog

TechPong 2015 – The Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center Donates to Welcome House

This guest blog post was written by George Mohan, Departmental & Communications Coordinator – Language & Career Services at Immigrant Services Society of BC, ISSofBC. Our donations from the recent TechPong Tournament in Vancouver will go towards ISSofBC’s new Welcome House which is currently under construction right here in Vancouver. What happens when you mix tech, ping pong and an appreciation for Wes Anderson Films? TechPong!

TechPong is a ping pong tournament in which leading companies in Vancouver’s tech sector participate by sending their best ping pong players to raise money for a charity of their choice. As the global community witnessed a dramatic increase in violence in Syria this year, TechPong committed towards raising funds to help Syrian refugees fleeing violence and persecution.

This year, Dun and Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Centre participated and raised nearly $1,000 to donate to the ISSofBC Welcome House. Representing the team was Nima Hazar, a software engineer who had his game face on and took the time to answer some of our questions in the packed Imperial Vancouver, where the tournament was held. Read More…

By on November 3, 2015

The Making Of Our New Office Space [VIDEO]

Late last year our team started to grow rapidly. By the end of January we had tripled in size and while we loved our skyscraper office with a stunning view of the North Shore mountains, we were getting to the point where we were sharing desks, using local coffee shops for meeting rooms, and literally tripping over each other. The time to move to a new space was evident.

We spent a lot of time looking for a location that would fit who we are as a team both culturally and as a business. It was important to us to stay in the heart of the city and be a part of the new innovation core growing up on the Granville Street corridor. With some well-known neighbors moving into the area, such as Amazon Web Services, Sony Image Picture Works, and Microsoft Canada, Downtown Vancouver is quickly emerging as the city’s next high tech hub. The most important consideration however in our hunt for a new home, was to find enough space to create an environment that would enable us to work productively as an agile software development team. And to house a ping pong table of course. Read More…

By on September 9, 2015

Adrian Cockcroft: Cloud Trends, Devops, and Microservices [VIDEO]

On July 9, we had the pleasure of hosting cloud computing visionary Adrian Cockcroft to kick off our technology talks series, ‘D&B Tech Talks’ (#dnbtechtalks) here in Vancouver. A 150+ strong crowd was suitably wowed by the talk, and enjoyed the rare opportunity to ask Mr. Cockcroft questions in person.

Over the course of 60 minutes, Adrian spoke about current and emerging trends in cloud computing, microservices, devops, and how to efficiently scale in a constantly evolving tech landscape.

Since the event, many people have asked us for a full video of the talk. We are proud to present it here—edited with all of the slides from the presentation. Please note, the video does not include the audience Q&A from the night. Read More…

By on August 7, 2015

D&B Geeks: From jQuery to React

How We Improved Performance and Modularized the Code

The D&B Geeks build product, and write about it, at the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center.

Based on our decision to use React, we decided to work towards removing jQuery from our code. This blog post describes how we made a big step in that direction. As a nice side effect, we improved the performance of our visualization rendering and turned our code into smaller pieces that are easier to maintain and test. Read on to find out what was necessary to achieve that and how you may be able to apply that to your codebase as well. Read More…

By on July 31, 2015

#dnbtechtalks: Adrian Cockcroft on Cloud Trends, DevOps and Microservices

July 9th saw the first ever ‘D&B Tech Talks’ (#dnbtechtalks) event explode onto the Vancouver scene with a keynote and Q&A from cloud computing thought leader, Adrian Cockcroft. Anticipation had been building in the local tech community in the lead up to the event, and a packed house at The Imperial Vancouver was not disappointed.

Nearly 200 people were in attendance to learn more about The Future of Cloud Innovation from one of the world’s most admired minds in tech today. Adrian has a lovely way of sharing heaps of technical information in a way that is accessible to business leaders and engineers alike.

His talk was split into two equal parts. The first half focused on cloud trends. He started with exploring the rapid rise in cloud adoption, and how 2014 was the year of mass public cloud adoption among enterprises. He also spent some time on how the adoption of current cloud technologies increases agility and functionality, bringing significant cost savings. He also gave us some insight as to why Docker is gaining such popularity and who might prevail in the battle for the private cloud. Read More…

By on July 17, 2015

Ladies Learning Code and the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center Send Girls to Coding Camp

This guest blog post was written by Meredith Underell, Vancouver Program Manager at Ladies Learning Code. Proceeds from our first D&B Tech Talk, The Future of Cloud Innovation, featuring Adrian Cockcroft, will go towards sending 5 girls on full scholarships to coding camp this Summer as part of the Girls Learning Code initiative.

Girls Learning Code Camps are designed for creative girls between the ages of 8 and 13 years old who want to use technology to change the world. Technology can be intimidating, but it can also be extremely rewarding, with dedication and perseverance.

At our technology camps, we will help girls become creators and not just consumers of technology. Our focus is to make sure that these learning experiences are fun, engaging, empowering and inspirational. Through hands-on, collaborative, project-based learning, girls end each day having built something. These camp experiences are designed to help girls see technology in a whole new light – as a medium for self-expression, and as a means for changing the world.

We want to help girls:

1. Discover a passion for learning about technology

2. Experience the satisfaction that comes from being a builder of the web and technology

3. Become more confident and self-assured makers

4. Develop a willingness to try new things

5. Increase their knowledge of technology-related careers

….all while having fun!. Read More…

By on July 7, 2015

500 Growth Hackers Pack Traction Event in Vancouver

Last week’s Traction Conference brought together the brightest technology and business leaders from Vancouver and beyond for two days to discuss ideas and share insight on taking your startup to the next stage and beyond. Anyone who was lucky enough to get what was easily the hottest ticket in town this week, can attest that it was great value all around. I actually can’t recall the last time so many brilliant minds from companies such as HootsuiteDropboxLynda.comMarketoTwitterTwilio, were together at one event in the city to discuss startup growth hacking and ultimately, traction.

So what exactly is growth hacking you ask? The term growth hacker was first coined in 2010 by CEO of Qualaroo, Sean Ellis, who, in a blog post defined a growth hacker as “a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.” Many people claim growth hacking is essentially a technique used by tech startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure. In the end I believe it’s about scaling your business in a lean, low budget, non traditional way – something all of us have experienced in a startup environment at one time or another.

The short and easily digestible speaker sessions were mixed with fireside chats and expert panels. Speakers shared their knowledge on everything from content marketing, Big Data, A/B testing, and monetization, to analytics, customer retention, virality, and partnerships. Read More…

By on June 25, 2015

D&B Geeks: React-Based Visualization Components

The D&B Geeks build product, and write about it, at the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center.

The Core Tools team at the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center is responsible for building cross-team, re-usable visualization components such as line charts, bar charts, and other tabular visualizations. Life as a software engineer is never as simple as that though… :-) Our charts must be flexible enough so they can be combined. They must have legends, axes, markers, and process user input. On top of that, it is our responsibility to provide an authoring tool to easily create, style and publish charts.

In this post, I am going to focus on why we chose React, the component architecture, and where we’re heading with that. Read More…

By on June 11, 2015

Cloud computing visionary Adrian Cockcroft coming to Vancouver

On July 9th, we are excited to be bringing together some of BC’s brightest technology minds to spend an evening with former Netflix Chief Architect of Cloud Services and current technical fellow for VC firm Battery Ventures, Adrian Cockcroft. Join us to hear from Adrian on his top predictions for the cloud computing industry in 2015 and beyond, as well as how cloud-native applications, continuous-delivery and DevOps techniques, will speed the pace of innovation and disruption. A percentage of the proceeds from the event will go towards Girls Learning Code, a not-for-profit initiative of the Ladies Learning Code organization.

Having led Netflix’s migration to the large scale, highly available public-cloud architecture that we know today, Adrian was an early pioneer of public cloud technology and is now one of the world’s most visible men in cloud computing. Adrian is also the author of several well-known books, and the founding member of eBay Research Labs. Read More…

By on June 8, 2015

A Brand Built on Relationships

I’m fascinated by the history of Dun & Bradstreet. Turning 174 years old this year, it’s one of the oldest and, arguably, most influential companies in North America’s history.

Whenever the company comes up in casual conversation (at tradeshows, networking events, the occasional dinner party), the exchange typically starts off something like this:

“Dun & Bradstreet? Sounds familiar.”

“We’ve been providing business information to enable credit decisions for 173 years. We used to collect this information on horseback and hand-write credit reports. Today we have the world’s largest commercial database, and enable credit decisioning using the latest in predictive analytics technology.”

“That’s really cool. I had no idea!”

Dun & Bradstreet may just be one of the coolest and most storied companies you’ve never heard of. We’ve essentially been doing the same thing for the best part of 200 years. In that time, we’ve moved from hand-written credit reports, to 6-monthly print cycles, to phone and fax distribution, right through to the Big Data-fueled software age that exists today. Read More…

By on June 5, 2015

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