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Looking Back at 2023 - Wix Engineering


Wix Engineering Blog

We love telling the story of our daily challenges and how we solved them.


Throughout 2023, we shared our experience and insights on engineering culture, architecture, scaling, data, frontend and backend, open source and AI. All written by our very own Wix engineers.


Here’s a quick recap of some of our 2023’s blog posts, podcasts, meetups and insights.


 

Watch: Wix Engineering's Stats Behind the Scenes


During 2022, Wix Engineering faced several technical challenges and achieved significant technological milestones. We handled 4.5 billion HTTP requests and 11 billion monitoring events daily, ran 1 million end-to-end tests daily, and much more. Here are a few highlights from the work behind the scenes of Wix Engineering.



 

Scott Chacon, Co-Founder of GitHub: Wix Engineering Conference 2023, Keynote



As part of our recent Wix Engineering Conference 2023, a remarkable day that brought together over 1,000 of our developers for a day filled with learning and growth, we had the honor of hosting Scott Chacon, Co-Founder of GitHub, as our keynote speaker.


During this event, Scott shared his insights and unique perspectives on product design, along with the lessons he gleaned from his experience in building and expanding GitHub. He delved into how these invaluable lessons can be applied to shape the creative products of the future. We hope you had the opportunity to watch and gain inspiration from Scott's expertise. Watch:



Wix Engineering Conference 2023: When Professional Growth and Engineering Culture Blends


Why do we keep choosing to invest the time, effort and attention into crafting a full day of professional talks and practical workshops by and for our own developers? Read here


Want to see more? Check out the conference's YouTube playlist here.

 

Velocity@Scale: Pushing the Boundaries of Platform Engineering


Platform Engineering

Successful software businesses deliver high quality code fast. This goal, however, has become increasingly difficult to achieve.


In recent years Wix has been committed to take developer velocity to the next level. We have been building ‘Nile’ - a development platform optimized for productivity and developers’ happiness, which has already reduced the time it takes to write a microservice by 60%-80%. Nile allows us to move quickly in a complex ecosystem of thousands of microservices and focus on delivering real business value. In this meetup, we shared the behind-the-scenes of this effort, the mindset required to build our developer platform and a look to the future:


Building a Platform for Real Engineers - Yuval Perry




Metadata is Powerful - Introducing our Velocity Boosters - Oded Apel




Metadata is Powerful - Introducing our Velocity Boosters - Savva Khalaman




Platform as a Runtime (PaaR) - Beyond Platform Engineering


Usually when people speak about platform engineering, the scope is about CI/CD. At Wix we have taken a step further and to the actual development process optimizing and decoupling 3 pillars: Development, Deployment and Runtime.


In most cases the code we develop is structured and packaged in the same way we deploy it and run it, but this is not optimal for any of the 3 pillars. It is easier to develop as a monolith (with modules) in the IDE, to deploy as a service and run as a monolith. However technology constraints forcing us to develop as a microservice, deploy as a microservice and run as a microservice.


At Wix we have optimized software development and reduced up to 80% of the time it takes to develop a service and building a Platform as a Runtime, to allow an optimized runtime, deployment and development processes overcoming current technology constraints. Here is the gist of it.


You can also hear Aviran Mordo on InfoQ's podcast:



 


Meetups and communities

In 2023 we celebrated more than 15,000 members that joined our meetup group! Want to know more - join us here.


 

Women in Engineering Day 2023


Women in Engineering Day

On June 23rd, we celebrated International Women in Engineering Day 2023 by showcasing the stories and insights of some of the women working as engineers at Wix. These interviews feature Dalia Simons, Dovilė Lapinskaitė, Irma Hadar, Adi Mor, Olga Virchenko, Neria Poria Yashar, and Anastasiia Afanasieva. They offer valuable lessons learned and advice, such as "Make yourself heard" and "No amount of theory beats practice". Read here


 


AI at Wix: A Cross Review of Data Science, Engineering and Generative AI at Wix


Platformized Semantic Search — Lior Sidi


Semantic search unlocks the power of embeddings and boosts information retrieval performance. Recent advancement in GenAI made semantic search a key component in customizing Large Language Models (LLMs) for specific domains and needs. In this talk, we will share how we platformized semantic search powered by Vespa vector database. We will discuss the semantic search architecture and best practices for building end-to-end projects that boost business impact across Wix.





Wix ML Platform — Minimum Engineering, Maximum Data Science — Ralph Hagemeier


In this session we will delve into the capabilities of the Wix ML Platform. We will discuss how this platform facilitates the entire ML pipeline at scale, empowering data scientists to build, deploy, maintain, and monitor ML models in production with minimal engineering efforts.




Unlocking the Power of Generative AI for Content Creation and Design: Insights from Wix — Dr. Eli Brosh

In this session, we will showcase how Gen AI is currently used at Wix, and explore its potential to further enhance and automate website creation through AI-assisted content creation and design.




Master the Art of Data Science Collaboration: 5 Steps for Initiating Projects that Impact Millions


Data Science Collaboration

In his article, Lior Sidi dive deep into the core fundamentals that have been instrumental in his success in initiating AI projects across Wix. These fundamentals are not limited to Artificial intelligence projects alone - they can be applied to a wide range of initiatives, enabling you to minimize risk and collaborate seamlessly with different units and roles. From mapping and defining potential projects to bidirectional prioritization, showcasing tangible progress and more - don’t miss this great guide.


 

Open Source: From Writing 5 Lines of Code to 240K Downloads per Month


Open Source Wix

Photo by Caleb White on Unsplash


Read the story of Ziv Levy who turned a technical obstacle into a successful open-source project. Writing just 5 lines of code, he has now reached 240K downloads and counting. His journey, and the insights of how to bring value, is a great example of dedication and contribution.


 

Moving the Needle: 10 Lessons Learned from our FinOps Evolution


FinOps Wix

As we navigate through the winds of economic uncertainty, it's important to keep a watchful eye on our cloud services expenses. For many organizations, cloud expense is a major (and impactful) cost and its invoices can quickly swell if left unmanaged. Our FinOps journey started in 2017 and has since evolved by:


* Adopting effective management strategies

* Focusing on the engineering side of FinOps

* Taking proactive steps to reduce cloud expenses


And so far we succeeded in reducing our own cloud expenses by more than 25% (excluding financial plans). Here are 10 main takeaways from our FinOps journey you can embrace in your own organization, by Ziva Tubul and Dvir Mizrahi.


 


Community: Bazel Community Day - Wix Engineering Hosting EngFlow and Google


EngFlow team

In 2023 we were honored to host the very first Bazel Community Day in Tel Aviv with EngFlow.

In this special event, EngFlow brought together well-known Bazel practitioners to share their knowledge and expertise leveraging Bazel. Watch the great talks here: 



How Wix Migrated From One RBE Provider to Another With Zero Downtime - Zachi Nachshon




Leading EngFlow Bazel Workshop: Build Performance Analysis & Improvements - Antonio Di Stefano




Managing external dependencies with Bzlmod - Xudong Yang




Future of Bazel - Tobias Werth



 

Community: Wix Engineering Hosting Confluent


In 2023 we also had the honor, to have a joint meetup with Confluent, talking about Kafka and Scaling. Watch this special event featuring Confluent’s field CTO Kai Waehner and Wix’s Natan Silnitsky for a deeper look at Scaling and growth challenges, microservices, architecture, data platforms, and more.



The Heart of the Data Mesh Beats Real-Time with Apache Kafka - Kai Wahner




Lessons Learned From Working With 2,000 Event-Driven Microservices - Natan Silnitsky



 

Breaking an Endless Cycle - Huge Migrations Done Right


Software migration

How we rewrote our checkout API, used by millions of users worldwide, and even made the migration process faster, safer, and easier using a simple and effective approach? Read this insightful story by Ariel Livshits.


 

Efficient MySQL Schema Management: Complex Application Growth with Zero Downtime.


MySQL Schema Management

Navigating MySQL schema changes without production disruptions is a common challenge. Our automated workflow streamlines the process—validating changes, assessing impacts, and ensuring a seamless application. Learn how to enhance developer velocity while maintaining production stability in Lior Altarescu's blog post.


 

Vision, Plans, and Contribution: Interview with Yehonatan Daniv, W3C’s CSS Working Group Member



W3C’s CSS Working Group

Photo by Pankaj Patel on Unsplash


Looking ahead, Yehonatan Daniv envisions CSS becoming a powerful tool to configure browsers without relying on JavaScript for 80% of use-cases. CSS-specialized developers will optimize rendering, define interactions, and create stunning effects and animations, making the web more versatile and dynamic. Read this interview with Yehonatan, as we explore his journey as a web developer and member of the W3C CSS Working Group.


We discuss the importance of volunteering, View Transitions, Scroll-Animations, the future of CSS, and the power of collaboration in shaping the web.


 

Wix Engineering TechTalk - API, Microservices and Modeling


In the fast-paced world of software development, it’s important to stop our daily coding processes (just for a while!), clear our minds, and take a deep-dive into more advanced engineering topics and challenges - in areas such as microservices, scale, deployment and monitoring.


Join Avi Mualem and Oded Apel in this new 3-part YouTube show, as they share professional insights and take you into their own experiences and lessons learned from many years of experimenting, learning and practice.


E01: Intro & API First




E02: Microservices




E03: Data Modeling



 


The Great Migration - How We Migrated All of Our Premium Subscriptions


Software migration

We took on the extremely sensitive challenge of migrating all of our Premium Plan Subscriptions to a new premium platform. It was a delicate process that must not cause any downtime. In this article, by Gavin Rifkind, we share the engineering challenges, how we solved them, and lessons learned.


 


Meet Gilad Barkan: An AI-Driven Interview with Wix’s Head of Data Science Guild


Data Science Guild Wix

"We believe that AI technologies should be a part of every developer's toolbox today."


We sat with Gilad Barkan, Wix’s Head of Data Science Guild, for an AI-driven interview. Together, we talked about GenAI, Data Science, the future of AI, talent, and how developers should get ready for what the future holds for us.


 

Building Smart ETLs Using Iceberg Metadata


Iceberg Metadata

Are you having difficulty maintaining your data pipelines in accordance with frequently changing KPIs?

In this article Itai Sevitt explains how we resolved this challenge by utilizing Apache Ice berg tables metadata which ensures consistency and prevents data problems. Read here


 


Disciplinary VS Multi-disciplinary Teams: Pros, Cons and Why We Believe One of Them is Better



Multi-disciplinary Teams

In this article we take a deep dive into the world of team building. No, not the success seminars, going on hikes together or the lengthy team cooperation training. We’re talking about the raw structure - disciplinary teams, where people are brought together based on their profession, versus multi-disciplinary teams, where your focus is on some particular business needs instead. Pros, cons, which one is better and why we are rooting strongly for the multi-disciplinary structure - read Ittay Mizrahi's article to find out.



 


Wix Engineering Podcast, episode 20: Should You Build Modular Software? Introducing Wix Blocks


Most developers work on large code repositories, huge files which stack on top of one another resulting with a complex product. However, you can break a codebase into small, component parts that can be addressed directly. We call it “modular”. Listen here:



 


Taking Wix’s Platform to the Next Level With 3 Golden Rules For API Usability


API Usability

Our tech writing team stretches the boundaries to include devex review AND API usability. As such they have front seats to the battle between the need for speed and the quest for quality. Here are 3 golden rules for API usability born out of this friction. Read here


 

Be The Best At What You Do: Learning, Growth and Communities Full Transcript


"When I say that my mission is to make the world a better place by helping people develop quality software, I mean it." - Kent C Dodds.


Don't miss our insightful podcast interview with Kent & Tomas Miliauskas, "Be The Best At What You Do":



If you want to read the FULL SCRIPT script - see here.


 

Wix Server Guild


Wix Server Guild was established ten years ago and became the golden standard of how an “operational guild” should be. It was the first guild we created at Wix, and we keep scaling and running it full steam ahead while reinventing ourselves all the time as we go along. From Velocity to Onboarding, Internal Mobility, Hiring and more - watch:



 

More of Wix Engineering's updates and insights: 

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