This is me

This blog is a complement to and is dedicated mostly to technology. My initial idea was to have a notebook where I jot down interesting stuff I read on tech, so that I have a reference point for later use. Then, I thought, hey, why not make it public? So here it is: “From The Trenches - The Code”.

Who am I?

My name is Alexandru Gris. Most of my professional life I have spent working in the videogames industry, with Ubisoft Entertainment for about 10 years. During my career there, I had various positions: engine developer, lead programmer, producer and, finally, studio production manager (Head Of Game Development). I love technology, I love building stuff while working with smart, creative people. I have a deep interest in software architecture, clean code, leadership, organization design, entrepreneurial thinking and high quality project management.

I currently work for 1and1, a major European Internet company, which owns the and GMX portals.


  • Statistics, continued

    In this post I tackle basic algorithms for computing probability density functions and cumulative distribution functions, as well as generating random numbers according to a distribution. Afterwards, I will compute the Gini index (G) and the entropy (H) coefficients, which are used to measure how much a distribution differs from the uniform distribution. Towards the end, I will touch the topic of validation with two methods: bootstrapping and k-fold cross validation.

  • My Machine Learning Notebook - Part 1 (Data Preprocessing)

    This is the first part of my Machine Learning notebook. As I am totally new to ML, the content follows the Udemy course “Machine Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Python & R”. As in the course, I’ll be using Spyder and RStudio.

  • C++ Play - Green Threads in C++

    In this post I will write about green threads and provide a sample implementation in C++ - or, better say, in C++ mixed with assembly language. The code is highly compiler-dependant (VC++17) and fragile, thus not production-ready. It makes assumptions about stack layout and data in registers and even something as simple as turning on optimizations will most likely crash it. But it was a fun programming exercise for a concept often implemented in asynchronous libraries or found in some programming language constructs. Interesting links: Fibers, Coroutines, Set Context, Actors, Cooperative multitasking

  • Docker And Containers Part 3

    This is the third part of my personal Docker cheatsheet. The content includes: cleaning up the system, running an SQL Server Windows container, connecting to it through the SQL Server Management Studio and using volumes for storing container persistent data (in this post saving mysql databases). The last part will be dedicated to Docker Compose.

  • Docker And Containers Part 2

    This is the second part of my personal Docker cheatsheet. In this part I will enable host file access to containers and continue with the more complex example of building and debugging Linux C++ applications in Visual Studio, using a Debian container in the background.

  • C++ Play - Multithreading (Queues)

    In this post I am going to build a multithreaded queue to exemplify various issues regarding synchronization. I am going to measure the cost of locking and thread contention and provide some ideas to improve performance. I am going to build the tests incrementally, refining the solution as I progress through the code, but I will also skip some steps to keep the post meaningfully short.

  • Docker And Containers

    In this blogpost I write about Docker. My personal Docker cheatsheet. So why Docker? Because I am interested in distributed computing and I want to play with various technologies. I want to be able to spin quickly complex setups and, at the same time, keep my desktop as clean as possible. The good news is that I can find all the software I need as docker containers. Even SQL Server or IIS, if I want. Beside a huge collection of sofware already configured and the means of keeping tidy your deployments, Docker offers process isolation / sandboxing, simplified updates and ability to build your own repositories. This post also touches Windows Containers running on Windows Nano Server or Windows Server Core - new features available in the Docker for Windows space.

  • C++ Play - Multithreading Part 2

    In this post I touch a little bit synchronization primitives and write two different implementations for a reader-writer lock. The code comes from an earlier project, started before std::shared_lock was introduced to the standard. Beside the standard library, RW locks are part of Windows SDK as Slim Reader/Writer (SRW) Locks and on Linux, with pthreads. There is no need (and not recommended) to implement them manually, as I do in the code below. But since this is a tech blog and and it is meant to play around with technology, here are two possible implementations.

  • C++ Play - Multithreading

    In this post I am planning to build upon C++ 11/14 features introduced in the previous posts and play around with threads and synchronization. I am going to start with the threading support introduced in the standard library, then move forward to Windows-specific code. I will use Windows code to exemplify how to build a minimal type-safe threading library using the new C++ 11/14, similar to the standard one.

  • C++ Play - my own short guide to C++11/14 (Part 2)

    In the previous blog post I covered a lot of ground: variadic templates, improvements to classes, improvements to standard library, smart pointers and lambdas. We also briefly touched move semantics as well as decltype and declval. In this part I am going to continue with move, delegated constructors, user defined literals and static_assert. In the next article I will write about local storage for threads while briefly touching thread support in the new standard library.

  • C++ Play - my own short guide to C++11/14

    C++ has evolved dramatically in the past years. It is virtually a new language, a huge improvement over the C++ I used to practice in the 2000s. Much more expressive templates, richer libraries, more emphasis on compile-time safety and performance improvements. Far from the C with classes in the early 2000s and far from the convoluted template constructs which appeared later to improve compile-time issue detection and type safety. To refresh my memory and also get up to speed with the new trends, I have spent a couple of hours digging through the docs, doing some tutorials. Here are my notes.

  • Welcome to Jekyll!

    I was looking for a simple blogging platform that provided for my following needs.

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