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  • October 1st, 2019 Android Gradle Productivity Engineering Mobile Solving Remote Build Cache Misses by Annoying Your Colleagues By Nelson Osacky

    Part of a build engineer’s role is to speed up builds. Improving build performance and avoiding work with caching is one way to achieve this, but another tool in the build engineer’s belt is that of disallowing slow builds. This is part two in a series about solving Gradle remote build cache misses.

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  • August 30th, 2019 Android Gradle Productivity Engineering Mobile Gradle Remote Build Cache Misses By Nelson Osacky

    Until recently, one of the top technical risks facing SoundCloud’s Android team was increasing build times. Our engineering leadership was well aware of the problem, and it was highlighted in our company’s quarterly goals and objectives as modularization. Faster build times means more productive developers. More productive developers are happier and can iterate on products more quickly.

    Modularization is key to decreasing build times, but avoiding work is another important part of the puzzle, and build caching is one way to avoid that work. Gradle, our tool for building Android, has a local file system cache that reuses outputs of previously performed tasks. We have been using the [Gradle remote build cache][] in order to save our developers’ time. It helps us avoid redoing work that other teammates have already done or switching to old branches. However, to get the full benefits of caching, you have to go beyond simply setting it up.

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  • June 21st, 2019 Android Mobile Playback Media SoundCloud Is Playing the Oboe By Miloš Pešić and Julio Zynger

    Media and playback are at the core of SoundCloud’s experience. For that reason, we have established and grown an engineering team that is specialized in providing the best possible streaming experience to our users across multiple platforms.

    To do this, we combine the industry’s best-fitting solutions with our own custom technologies, libraries, and tools. In this article, let’s dive into how we improved latency in our Android application by leveraging a new engine for our player’s audio sink.

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  • June 4th, 2019 Monitoring Prometheus SRE Alerting on SLOs like Pros By Björn “Beorn” Rabenstein

    If there is anything like a silver bullet for creating meaningful and actionable alerts with a high signal-to-noise ratio, it is alerting based on service-level objectives (SLOs). Fulfilling a well-defined SLO is the very definition of meeting your users’ expectations. Conversely, a certain level of service errors is OK as long as you stay within the SLO — in other words, if the SLO grants you an error budget. Burning through this error budget too quickly is the ultimate signal that some rectifying action is needed. The faster the budget is burned, the more urgent it is that engineers get involved.

    This post describes how we implemented this concept at SoundCloud, enabling us to fulfill our SLOs without flooding our engineers on call with an unsustainable amount of pages.

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  • May 3rd, 2019 Web Playback TypeScript Streaming Playback on Web at SoundCloud By Tom Jenkinson

    Maestro is a library we have developed to handle all playback across SoundCloud web applications. It successfully handles tens of millions of plays per day across soundcloud.com, our mobile site, our widget, Chromecast, and our Xbox application. We are considering open sourcing it, and this blog post is a technical overview of what we’ve achieved thus far with Maestro.

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