September 13th, 2017

Shopkick Tech Blog: Shopkick at PyBay 2017

Programing, Python, by admin.

This year a bunch of us devs attended the second annual PyBay
conference
, proudly sponsored by, you guessed it,
Shopkick! From the panel to the keynote to
manning our booth, the speakers, attendees, and co-sponsors made PyBay
2017 a blast.

This year, PyBay accepted two talks from shopkick engineers, and we
figured we should shed some extra light on the bits of shopkick in
each of them.

The Packaging Gradient

Up first, The Packaging
Gradient
, presented by
principal engineer Mahmoud Hashemi
(aka yours truly), dove deep into the interconnected matrix of
technologies used for shipping software. It highlights the big
differences between shipping libraries and applications, as well as
the finer gradiations within each of those.

At Shopkick we have hundreds of internal libraries, and at the end of
the day we ship dozens of Python server applications. The talk touches
on container-based packaging and deployment systems, like the ones
Shopkick has been using since 2011. The talk even describes a bit
about how we ship hardware, as part of manufacturing the beacons used
for presence detection inside of retailers.

For more information, check out the blog post The Packaging Gradient
is based on
, or
shoot me an email.

Best Practices in Legacy Codebases

For our second talk, Moving Towards Best Practices in Legacy
Codebases
, frameworks engineering duo Kurt
Rose
and Moshe
Zadka
draw upon their combined 35+ years of
Python experience to bear on a nuanced-yet-practical approach to
wrangling huge codebases.

Shopkick has always been a startup, with all that entails. Years of
fast-paced development and experimentation can leave quite a bit of
technical debt in its wake. Now, having committed to paying off that
debt, how can we successfully upgrade our codebase while minimizing
business impact? This talk covers what’s worked for us so far.

Conferring conclusions

All in all, this year’s PyBay managed to outdo 2016 by a healthy
margin. Polling the six of us who attended, reviews are unanimous:
tutorials were a fantastic resource, and the mix of talks was just
right. Some favorites were Sandy Ryza’s talk on solving NP-hard
problems
, Paul
Ganssle’s talk on timezone
complications
, and of
course, the lightning talks.

In a repeat of last year’s conference, we’re talking to a couple lead
developers to hang out with Shopkick on a longer-term basis. If you’re
in the Bay/Toronto and are looking to step up your development game,
give us a shout!

In any case, we couldn’t be happier to attend such a great regional
conference.


Big thanks to Grace Law, SF
Python
, and the whole PyBay
team
who made it all possible. See you
next year!


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