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Tock and The Alinea Group

General Info
Nick Kokonas
Chicago, IL


The best software should not only be intuitive, but be also be elegant and fast — almost an extension of your mind. We are building Tock to be fast, easy to use, and scalable to thousands of restaurants. Our application servers use Java 8 by extending the Undertow server framework. We evaluated a lot of other languages and felt that Java would provide a secure and high-performant platform while allowing the team to write code quickly because of our past expertise developing for it. Java 8 is the most significant improvement to the language in a long time, and our team has a deep understanding of the production vagaries of the JVM. In total, the team has 10+ years of maintaining JVM-based products at Google and elsewhere. And we can't say enough good things about Undertow — it is super fast, easy to use, and rock solid. We love it and think you will, too. Even though more than half of our engineering team spent their years before Tock building and deploying large-scale systems at Google, we're building a production system that is independent of any cloud-based provider. As a result we're deploying our services in Docker containers. We're using Kubernetes as the deployment solution for Docker on top of the amazing infrastructure provided by the Google Cloud to run these deployments securely and efficiently. We provide end-to-end SSL encryption between restaurants and guests to our servers for all traffic — not just a small fraction of it. We believe that your data is your own. Restaurants using Tock will not only be able to download all of their data at any time, but if they decide to leave Tock, we'll even redirect your entire ticket site to the website of your choice for a year — at no extra charge. Notable Open Source Software that Tock uses (not exhaustive) include AngularJS, Facebook React, Redux, Elm,Lodash, Undertow, HAProxy, Docker, Kubernetes, MariaDB, Jenkins CI, Gatling, Guice, Google Guava, and Protocol Buffers.   We're using Angular and React to build lightning-fast interfaces that have the feel of a native app on both mobile devices as well as desktop computers. We believe in a reactive and responsive design that accommodates not only the device but, more importantly, the user. Because technology and speed mean nothing unless your product is simple and intuitive. And we're betting heavily on the web. We designed Tock from the ground up to be a desktop and mobile-friendly web-based platform, not just an app. The web is ubiquitous — there's no app approval process or download (or upgrade!) necessary to use Tock. The latest and greatest version of our software is available to anyone using Tock at any time. This is not an afterthought — this is our primary platform. We intend from the beginning to facilitate the relationship between restaurant and consumer without making Tock into an intermediary, and we believe the web is the best way to make that happen.
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