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Connecting the dots at the ISM APAC .NET Meetup

The .NET framework is a classic piece of technology developed in Microsoft that’s being used heavily even today. You might not have seen it, but you’ve likely used it with some of your daily applications. That’s because .NET is used by developers to build those applications. Recently we saw ISM APAC, share their experiences in building such applications and how e-commerce can change in the coming years at their .NET meetup.

Full stack development 101

The first speaker we saw was Ruwantha Ratnayake – Software Engineer at ISM APAC. He opened his session by introducing us to blazor.net. This is an experimental .NET framework using C# and HTML, which runs inside browsers using Web Assembly. It adopts the latest standards, but since its experimental, Ruwantha recommended that it not be used for commercial applications just yet.

Afterward, Ruwantha explained what exactly Web Assembly is. This is a technology that allows high-level programming languages (like Java, C++, Python) to be executed inside the browser. Most importantly, it does this at near-native speeds. He then went onto explain that Web Assembly itself uses another piece of technology called Mono to do this with .NET code.

Blazor.net uses technologies like Web Assembly to execute your code inside a browser (Image credits: alphacoders)

Blazor.net uses technologies like Web Assembly to execute your code inside a browser (Image credits: alphacoders)

Having explained the building blocks of Blazor.net, Ruwantha dived into his technical demo. He started off by showing us how to create a web page that displayed the words, “Hello World.” From here he gradually shared the more complex aspects of Blazor.net before concluding his session.

How machine learning is changing e-commerce

The next speaker we saw was Tuan Cassim – Tech Lead at ISM APAC who introduced us to machine learning for e-commerce. He opened by explaining what exactly machine learning is. In a nutshell, it’s all about collecting data, analyzing it to find patterns, and then predicting the future.

He elaborated on this saying that you predict the future by creating a model. This model acts on the patterns that were previously identified. However, Tuan pointed out that the model needs to be constantly validated and trained with fresh data. So how exactly is machine learning changing e-commerce?

The future of ecommerce | ISM APAC

The future of e-commerce

Tuan shared a few examples with us at the ISM APAC .NET meetup. One of these was helping giving better recommendations to visitors of e-commerce websites. Another would be the form of chatbots. These chatbots can interact with visitors in a manner similar to human beings. Furthermore, it also allows complex actions to be done after user segmentation such as price optimization and ad targeting.

Beyond e-commerce, machine learning can also be used to moderate comments on blogs. Tuan also shared that AirBnB uses it to protect the personal information of its users. Having shared these examples, Tuan handed it over to Buddhika Mayadunna – Software Engineer at ISM APAC. He concluded the session by introducing us to the trends changing e-commerce today such as chatbots, SaaS platforms, face recognition, etc. Finally, we saw an active Q&A session before the .NET meetup by ISM APAC came to an end.

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