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Engineering News

The relaunch of our engineering blog – Kickstarter Engineering

We, the Kickstarter engineering team, are happy to announce our latest migration: our engineering blog, from self-hosted to Medium. In 2013 we launched our blog to share our creativity, our mistakes, and our open source projects. We’ve had many great posts and discussions thus far, and today we move to Medium to engage more deeply with the community. For individuals and engineering teams alike, Medium provides a clean and easy way to publish, read, and share ideas. We are excited…

Presenting an Open Source Toolkit for Lightweight…

By Aasish Pappu, Roi Blanco, and Amanda Stent What’s the first thing you want to know about any kind of text document (like a Yahoo News or Yahoo Sports article)? What it’s about, of course! That means you want to know something about the people, organizations, and locations that are mentioned in the document. Systems that automatically surface this information are called named entity recognition and linking systems. These are one of the most useful components in text analytics as…

First things first, Trust each other

  “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” Ernest Hemingway Trust is the bedrock of all effective teams. When it exists, team members speak freely, don’t second guess each other and formal hierarchy fades into the distance. Sadly, trust is often hard to gain and very easy to lose. But with some help it quickly becomes the glue that separates performing teams from mere groups of people. Agile Coaches have large arsenals…

Shhhhh… I have a secret… – Kickstarter Engineering

As Kickstarter moves from a monolithic application towards a service oriented architecture, we needed to develop a fast and secure way for a service to programmatically retrieve API tokens, passwords, keys, etc. We are currently managing our containers using Amazon’s ECS (Elastic Container Service), which we like for its seamless scalability of Docker containers, and really wanted to secure the application’s access to sensitive information. We looked at a few tools and even built some ourselves, but we were instantly…

Functional Swift Conference 2016 – Kickstarter Engineering

On October 1, 2016, a group of engineers from Kickstarter’s native team presented at Functional Swift Conference 2016 in Budapest. Gina Binetti and Lisa Luo gave a great talk called Putting the Fun in Functional Reactive Programming: Leveraging MVVM & TDD for a better life: Brandon Williams also spoke on Finding Happiness in Functional Programming: We’re looking forward to hosting the next Functional Swift Conference in 2017 at Kickstarter’s NYC office! Source link…

Etsy’s Debriefing Facilitation Guide for Blameless Postmortems

In 2012, I wrote a post for the Code As Craft blog about how we approach learning from accidents and mistakes at Etsy. I wrote about the perspectives and concepts behind what is known (in the world of Systems Safety and Human Factors) as the New View on “human error.” I also wrote about what it means for an organization to take a different approach, philosophically, to learn from accidents, and that Etsy was such an organization. That post’s purpose…

Tumblr Engineering — Command Line Tumblr

As a platform that prides itself on being a home for artists and creatives alike, it only makes sense that we allow our users to fully customize their Tumblrs to fully express themselves. Here at Tumblr, the world is your oyster not only in terms of looks but also in how you create your theme. I wanted to demonstrate how you too can develop a theme using Redux and React. Since there are plenty of docs and tutorials on how…

3 Takeaways from IoPP’s Packaging Machinery Course

I recently completed the IOPP Packaging Machinery Basics course at Frain Industries in Chicago, a “survey course” that introduced attendees to a wide range of types of packaging machinery. The course is designed for engineers who work on the design side of packaging, as many packaging professionals have minimal experience working with packaging machinery. This is in large part due to machinery is marginally covered or not taught in many packaging engineer degree programs. Three Course Highlights/TakeawaysNow that I’m a…

How Etsy Uses Code “Slush” to Manage Development During the Holidays

Note: This article was adapted from an internal Etsy newsletter earlier this year. As the holidays roll around, it seemed like a timely opportunity to share what we do with a larger audience. As the calendar year draws to a close, people’s thoughts often turn to fun activities like spending time with family and friends and enjoying pumpkin or peppermint flavored treats. But for retailers, the holiday season is an intense and critically important period for the business. The months of…

Reflective Metatesting. Protecting You from Yourself and Everybody Else. – Wealthfront Engineering Blog

Infrastructure projects often take user-defined configuration classes as input. I’ve worked on several during my tenure at Wealthfront. You cannot trust the validity of these configurations, even if you wrote them yourself. A pattern I’ve grown to love is writing JUnit tests that use reflection to gather all the input classes to run a suite of tests against them. Tests that automatically validate all classes of a given type increase the chance that failures will be caught at build time while…