Twitter Flight 2015 Dev Conference: Fabric

On 21st October, I attended to Twitter Flight conference. It has been a while since I went to a big dev conference and I have to admit I came back motivated on building some apps.

I think, in general, it was a really good opportunity to learn new things, meet other people working in the same sector and see what Twitter has to offer to developers. Related to the talks, some of them were quite good 🙂

Twitter flight developer conference

Twitter flight developer conference

During the event, Fabric was the main thing (at least for me):

  • A/B testing (real live demo with Optimizely)
  • How to build an SDK used by millions and its consequences
  • Technical challenges when dealing with massive datasets originated from stats (Analytics)

I have not had a look yet but will give it a go during the following weeks on building some app with the stats. They seem to be doing really cool things and I was impressed with their numbers:

It would be interested in knowing how they got such penetration into the market (I guess the Twitter app bumps up this number?).Some of the highlights I found useful apart from the feature announcements are:

  • Building sdks (in this case the one for Fabric) has a long time. Defensive programming is necessary and not only functional code is required. You need to think about the worst case scenario (yes, including unreliable http connections) and try to come with a solution. A bug could be on the system for a long time even when it is fixed as it is not software on the cloud, it is on the apps of the users.
  • Great talk from Ed Solovey about probabilistic data structures. I will be doing a post apart related to this subject as it is one of the most interesting talks I have seen.
  • Building services relying on unreliable http networks. Also it was interesting knowing how they adopted new protocols and changed their infrastructure in order to reduce the latency of their services.
  • Using docker for development and how to mock microservices. They open sourced a tool called galley.js.
  • Periscope talk: I really liked it as it was a quick overview of what they are using to build periscope. One thing that came to surprised me is that they depend on several external technologies in order to provide the service. This could be a risk for Periscope if one of them fails: In particular, the live video streaming.

And to finish (with a Twitter style), here are some of the tweets I think reflect the flight conference:

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