Roy started out developing software for mainframes, through client/server, to today’s
reactive and service-oriented systems. In more than 35 years, he has worked for companies
large and small, including IBM, UBS and Citibank to smaller start-ups. Roy’s interest is in the
development of reactive, scalable solutions with an open-source stack, including Scala, Play
Framework, Akka, Postgres and Apache Spark.
At FoodCloud, technology underpins our model for successfully matching-up food surplus in the
retail industry with charitable organisations with the mission to feed those suffering from food
We have two important drivers for our solution: firstly, we manage a time-sensitive process with a
lot of variability: time-sensitive in that food surplus has, by definition, a limited shelf-life, and to be
usable, needs to be moved on to its final consumer with as few delays as possible. Additionally,
the time available to both the people working in the retail outlets and to the charity workers is
limited: we have a short window to process donation offers and arrange their collection.
The second driver is being able to provide accurate and timely reporting on the amount of surplus
being re-distributed. From the retailers’ side, this allows them to enjoy positive publicity, both for
their waste-reduction, and also for contributing to their local community. Transparency and
credibility are key in this area.
Addressing the first driver, timeliness, current Reactive system design principles gives us the
tools to efficiently and scalably react to food availability, interacting with our partners to arrange
collection and manage issues, in real-time.
Recent technological developments have also delivered a viable solution for open reporting, in the
form of Blockchain’s distributed ledger concept: by posting surplus food donation data to the
Blockchain, signed by the retailer, the receiving charity and ourselves as intermediary, we are
able to provide a public and transparent record, as proof of the benefits delivered by the retailers’
food donation programmes.
We have been able to leverage these recent development in software engineering, along with a
complimentary stack of modern components and frameworks, to rapidly evolve our technology
solution as the number of partner organisations has scaled.
This talk will provide an overview of these solution elements and how they have contributed to an
agile platform evolution.