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Resilience, Dev Velocity, Code Reviews, Chaos, and More: Wix Engineering Conference 2021

Updated: May 31, 2022

We love telling the story of our technical challenges and how we solved them. Throughout the years we shared our experience and insights on engineering culture, architecture, scaling, mobile, frontend and backend and open source. All written and created by our very own Wix engineers.


But that's not all.


Aviran Mordo (@aviranm), VP Engineering, Wix


Once a year, we all gather at our annual Wix Engineering Conference. An internal event fully dedicated to enriching our collective engineering proficiency. Here are some of 2021's talks:

 

Leveraging Data in Motion in a Cloud-first World - Jun Rao, Co-Founder, Confluent | VIP speaker


Apache Kafka has emerged as the de-facto standard for data-in-motion in enterprise architectures, becoming the key integration layer to leverage the true value of data. 80% of the Fortune 100 are building their businesses on event-driven architectures.


In this talk, Jun Rao, Co-Founder, Confluent, will share the story behind Kafka, some use cases of how global companies moved away from data-at-rest to an event-driven real-time architecture, and how making Kafka Cloud native creates new opportunities for building one system of record. Watch:




Hack the Quarantine with Grafana and Electronics - Yonatan Mevorach


While working from home during quarantine, Yonatan’s team launched a new service. It was important for him to keep tabs on its metrics, but he didn’t have a second monitor just for displaying Grafana Dashboards as we do in the office. But then he had a “Eureka!“-moment. He decided to transform the Wix-branded Mini Arcade machine that was collecting dust on his desk into a Grafana monitor.


He knew nothing about electronics, soldering, or tinkering with hardware in general, but he didn’t let that stop him!


In this talk, Yonatan will showcase this wacky project and explain how lowly software engineers can become mighty hardware hackers. He will cover how to reverse-engineer how existing devices work, how to give them “Raspberry-pi brains”, and how to learn to solder to put everything together:





Testy - Gili Bernshtein


It goes without saying that tests are important for your product and your code, but what do you do when they start to get testy? How can you stay calm when tests get out of hand?


In this video Gili Bernshtein talks about some of these irritable tests and how to make them great again, how to start from scratch or improve what you already know, and how to write better tests in less time.






The Things We [Have To] Do For Resilience - Dmitry Komanov


On our journey towards handling almost the entire external traffic of Wix, we had to implement some unusual solutions for our unusual needs. In this talk Dmitry is going to briefly correlate some of our production issues with the features that we implemented as a response. Sometimes it's something obvious, and sometimes it's something weird. Watch:




Journey of Chaos Experiment Execution in Production - Leonid Haimov


We are going to run the first ever chaos experiment on the live production traffic! And while the experiment runs in the background, we'll cover the basics of chaos engineering and the benefits of doing chaos experiments in the organization by taking an example from an experiment that disconnects one of Wix Internet service providers from the Data center:



And some good drinks as well...


How We Built and Migrated to a New Scalable CI - Shay Sofer, Etamar Weinberg


Developer velocity can't be underestimated - we already know that - and CI/CD pipeline must provide a fast feedback loop. But what happens when your company just keeps on growing and your existing build server is starting to cave in under pressure?


In this talk, Shay and Etamar discuss how Wix built a scalable, highly concurrent CI solution and how we seamlessly migrated all of Wix's backend builds to it. Learn about the technical design challenges we faced and how we managed to reduce the time builds spent in queue from ~40-60 minutes (when under heavy load) to only seconds. And much more:



Oh, and you can also read more about it:


The Anthropology of Code Reviews - Adi Mor


Since the dawn of tech-times, it has always been product managers VS developers in terms of fighting over developing time. Delivering new features VS high code quality and velocity.


This power struggle led our team down the dark path - low-quality legacy code, written as a huge monolith, and low development velocity. This is a story of how devs and product managers on a team learned to co-exist in harmony, which lead to improved velocity and better spirits of everyone involved.


Learn to recognize velocity pains, identify the turning point, and how to create a concrete and clear technical plan and then "sell" it to the product manager with a very clear estimation plan:




Migrating to Multi Cluster Managed Kafka - Natan Silnitsky


As Wix Kafka usage grew to 5B messages per day, over 20K topics and more than 100K leader partitions serving 2000 microservices. We decided to migrate from self-operated single cluster per data-center to a managed cloud service (Like Amazon MSK or Confluent Cloud) with a multi-cluster setup.


This talk is about how we automatically migrated all Greyhound consumers and producers even while they were handling regular production traffic with 0 down time and the lessons we learned along the way.


These lessons include: 1. clusters by SLA - choose your clusters wisely 2. Automation, Automation, Automation - all the process has to be completely automated at such scale 3. Prefer a gradual approach - E.g. migrate topics in small chunks and not all at once. Reduces risks if things go bad 4. and many more. Check out Greyhound on GitHub.




BI for R&D - Measuring the Development Process, Amit Golan


Amit covers the challenges of collecting data, measuring and defining KPIs for the development process, plus will share examples of reports/ visuals that help get better visibility and draw insights. Watch:



 

For more engineering updates and insights:

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