Metrics-driven Engineering at Etsy

Kellan Elliott-McCrea (Blink Health)
Velocity Culture Ballroom EFGH
Average rating: ****.
(4.41, 17 ratings)

Sixty-five engineers at Etsy deploy code to our production servers more than 30 times a day. We keep this process safe with a suite of unit tests, integration tests, and a large number of application-centric dashboards written by engineers. We capture metrics in Ganglia, Cacti, and Graphite and these metrics from technical aspects like outgoing bandwidth and web server requests per second to business aspects like new registrations and gross sales.

I plan to present an overview of the tools we use for collecting metrics and the code we use to quickly build one-page dashboards for different aspects of our site (e.g. general health, image storage, search infrastructure). The underlying theme is that these tools are not difficult to use, but typically lie in the “operations” domain. At Etsy, we’ve gone to great strides to get engineers excited about contributing to metrics and dashboards, and make it dead simple to do these things quickly so that it doesn’t impact their ability to meet deadlines.

Between now and the summer, we’ll be releasing some of the tools we are using for metrics collection and dashboard building on GitHub. I will be going into some technical detail (read: real code!) on how we integrate these tools.

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Kellan Elliott-McCrea

Blink Health

Kellan Elliott-McCrea is the senior vice president at Blink Health, where he runs engineering, product, and design. Kellan spends a lot of time experimenting with how to get the best results from cross-functional teams building software. Previously, he took 18 months off to be a stay-at-home dad, taught engineering leadership seminars, was CTO at Etsy, and spent five years at Flickr doing what needed to be done. He’d like to apologize for coauthoring OAuth.

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Justin Dorfman
06/30/2011 7:16am PDT

Amazing talk. Period.

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