Published
December 1, 2016
Author
Rob Meyer (@robfromca)
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Lessons Learned from Shipping an Alexa Skill in ~60 Days

By Rob Meyer (@robfromca) in Lessons Learned on December 1, 2016 | Responses (0)

On November 30th Expedia launched our first skill for Alexa, representing another foray for us into world of voice interfaces. In this posting we’ll share a few thoughts about how we put this skill together and some tips and tricks about working with voice user interfaces. Where We Started Around the middle of August serious conversations began regarding an opportunity to build an Alexa skill. If we were going to do it, we wanted to have it ready by Christmas. Because the deadline was tight and voice user interface is a new space, we…

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Published
November 21, 2016
Author
Vithun Gajendra
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Gamifying Continuous Integration

By Vithun Gajendra in Cloud, Culture on November 21, 2016 | Responses (0)

For the last couple of years we’ve been moving applications from our data centers into the cloud. One of the advantages of moving to the cloud was that we could host our applications in different geographical regions bringing them closer to the user. Also each team working on an application gets the chance to easily have their app hosted on multiple environments (test/stress/integration/production). Having multiple versions of an application running at the same time across multiple regions and environments brought its own challenge of visibility. It was not straight-forward to know what’s running where…

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Published
November 14, 2016
Author
Brennan Taylor
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Better Test Code Coverage Through Data

By Brennan Taylor in Mobile Development, Testing on November 14, 2016 | Responses (0)

About a month ago our team (the ever growing and more distributed and diverse iOS app team responsible for the Expedia app) decided to try some new things to boost test coverage. We introduced a github build check that measures the code coverage for any particular change using codecov.io. Our starting point for this check was 90% to start. We hadn’t measured this on a per-patch basis before so the check started as advisory only, to see if we could drive team awareness. This data will help us set a harder…

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Published
November 7, 2016
Author
Jayanthan Padinjaredath
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Things that matter

By Jayanthan Padinjaredath in Culture on November 7, 2016 | Responses (0)

This week marked my second year at Expedia and I have been giving some thought to aspects of working with people and teams that I have found to be important. We know a lot about how technology, process, people, and budget choices impact how teams perform. The following are my beliefs around improving team performance that don’t always get the same attention. Building relationships Building genuine relationships is hard, but it’s also the most important thing you can do. Understanding that people are different, but each one will probably do some…

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Published
November 3, 2016
Author
Andre Caron
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

AWS Lessons Learned for Data Processing Pipelines

By Andre Caron in Cloud, Devops, Lessons Learned on November 3, 2016 | Responses (2)

Last year my team and I embarked on a mission to migrate Expedia’s Media Services image processing pipeline to AWS. The media services are used to ingest images from hoteliers and image providers, optimize them, and distribute them to be used by our sites. The new queue based cloud pipeline was put in place to replace an aging batch system. Moving to a cloud infrastructure has brought many advantages; we can easily scale when the load is heavier, have faster deployments, and mostly no more worrying about ordering more disk…

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Published
October 20, 2016
Author
Kevin Yao
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 1 minute

An evening with React.js in the San Francisco office.

By Kevin Yao in Client Side Web, Events on October 20, 2016 |

React is taking the world by storm. It is now one of the most popular open-source libraries and the community is growing fast. At Expedia, we are always evaluating new technologies and React was a technology that many developers here got excited about as it matured. Therefore, in our first-ever evening meetup at our San Francisco office we presented the principles that made React so successful: declarative style, component-based architecture, and learn-once-write-anywhere strategy. We also talked about what made it tick with the developers working in today’s chaotic javascript world….

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Published
July 28, 2016
Author
Willie Wheeler
Category
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Applying data science to monitoring

By Willie Wheeler in Big Data, Devops on July 28, 2016 |

Lately, in collaboration with Karan Shah, I’ve been focusing most of my efforts on operational monitoring. We need to know when bad things are happening, are about to happen, or have been happening for a long time. Monitoring is a good example of a problem that’s easier to state than it is to solve. In practice a lot goes wrong: Sometimes we fail to monitor things that we care about. Sometimes we monitor things we care about, but we route the alerts to the wrong audience. Sometimes we monitor things…

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Published
July 11, 2016
Author
Matt Callanan and Alexandra Spillane
Category
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 1 minute

IEEE Software Publishes Wotif’s DevOps Journey

By Matt Callanan and Alexandra Spillane in Devops on July 11, 2016 |

Alexandra Spillane and I recently wrote up Wotif’s DevOps journey for IEEE Software Magazine’s special “Software Engineering for DevOps” May/June 2016 edition. The article, entitled “Devops: Making it Easy To Do The Right Thing”, outlines how standardizing Wotif’s deployment mechanism and building a platform centered around the DevOps ideals of collaboration and fast feedback broke us out of a downward spiral of ever worsening release problems. Here’s a snippet: In 2013 and 2014, Wotif overhauled its software release processes, reducing the average release time from weeks to hours. A DevOps and…

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Published
June 15, 2016
Author
Rob Meyer (@robfromca)
Category
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 0 minutes Less than a minute

HomeAway Tech Blog Launches

By Rob Meyer (@robfromca) in General, Travel Technology on June 15, 2016 |

HomeAway, The newest member of the Expedia Inc. family of companies has launched a HomeAway tech blog. They’ve kicked it off with some interesting postings; my personal favorites of which are an interesting statistical analysis of payment gateway response times and a great exploration of eCommerce for developers new to the space. It’s definitely worth following and I’m excited to see what they post next.

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Published
April 28, 2016
Author
Rob Meyer (@robfromca)
Category
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 0 minutes Less than a minute

Hotwire Tech Blog

By Rob Meyer (@robfromca) in General, Travel Technology on April 28, 2016 |

Our engineering colleagues at Hotwire launched a tech blog recently similar to this one, with tangible tips and tricks that their team wants to share with the world. Today’s post is a look at continuous integration on iOS using a tool (set of tools really) called fastlane. I’m using fastlane for an internal app and have so far have been pretty impressed, I recommend checking out both the tool and the Hotwire blog.

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