Surviving the Big Rewrite: Moving YELLOWPAGES.COM to Rails

Location: Portland Ballroom 253 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.17, 23 ratings)

At the start of 2007, we began a project to re-implement the entire
YELLOWPAGES.COM site in a more agile technology with a new
consumer-friendly site design. After about three months of research
and nearly 4 months of development, we launched a new Rails-based
site on June 28, 2007.

In this session, we’ll outline key points we think were critical to
our success in avoiding the common “Big Rewrite” pitfalls:

  • Defining a stable target
  • Building an effective team
  • Making timely decisions
  • Planning to get everything done

We’ll also discuss our architectural goals and requirements, and how
we designed and built our site for performance and scaling:

  • Our basic architectural design
  • Platform determination
  • Avoiding pitfalls which make scaling difficult
  • Optimizing for performance
  • Estimating capacity
  • Tuning
  • What we’ve done since launch
Photo of John Straw

John Straw


John Straw led the development team which pulled off the YELLOWPAGES.COM Big Rewrite.

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