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We’ll start with an overview of the roles that A/B testing can play in a web application (design optimization, feature ramp-up, backend migrations and others) and how it relates to other techniques (e.g., side-by-side testing). We’ll then outline the various approaches for implementing A/B testing and discuss their pros & cons.
In the second part of the talk, we’ll present one particular implementation, Etsy’s A/B framework (it’ll be open sourced by OSCON time) in detail. We’ll look at our PHP API and how we integrate it with a variety of other tools (Apache, Hadoop, Splunk…). We’ll include a few notes on experiment design along the way.
The last part of the tutorial will be hands-on: PHP developers can try out the Etsy framework; developers who are using or interested in other stacks can take the ideas from the talk and code up the rudiments of an A/B framework in their favorite language. We hope to take a look at some of these efforts and discuss how one might be able to build on them.
Zhi-Da is a software engineer who has worked in a variety of areas including parallel computing, security, and web applications. He’s built and used several A/B testing systems in recent years. He currently works on A/B testing, search, and other neat stuff at Etsy.
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