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Radical Candor: An Experience Report

February 15th, 2019 by Will Ellis

Although it can be easy to know if you’ve messed up badly as a manager, it’s not always as easy to know if you’re doing a good job. In particular, the power dynamics at play can make it hard for people on your team to feel confident letting you know what’s working well and what’s working not so well. In this article, I’m going to talk about an approach I started using in the last few years that seems to strike the best balance of getting the input managers need while still promoting a healthy culture of direct feedback.

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Garbage Collection in Redux Applications

January 24th, 2019 by Jan Monschke

This post describes why and how we implemented a garbage collector in our Xbox application on top of Redux and in addition to the JavaScript engine’s regular garbage collector.

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A Pragmatic Approach to Tech Debt Reduction

November 23rd, 2018 by Christine Patton

Almost every company accumulates tech debt as time goes on. Tight deadlines, changing requirements, scaling issues, poor or short-sighted system designs, knowledge silos, inconsistent coding practices, turnover of key staff — these things all happen and can contribute to tech debt. So what can be done about it once it’s there?

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Integration Testing for Memory Leaks

November 23rd, 2018 by Matthew Healy

Memory leaks are a common problem when writing iOS applications, and while we all know we should be on the lookout for them, it’s often too easy to miss a vital weak reference. By leveraging integration testing, we can catch these issues and spend more time actually building features.

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How We Develop New Features Using Offsites and Clean Architecture

November 2nd, 2018 by Guilherme Endres

In 2017, our team of six engineers wanted to try out a clean architectural pattern and decided to use VIPER. In the text below, I’ll cover how the team worked on this.

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Using Kubernetes Pod Metadata to Improve Zipkin Traces

September 19th, 2018 by Steve Conover

We revisited our distributed tracing setup and incorporated Kubernetes pod metadata into it, significantly enhancing our engineers’ ability to troubleshoot problems that cut across microservices.

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Hands-Off Deployment with Canary

August 29th, 2018 by Jorge Creixell and Tobias Schmidt

At SoundCloud, we follow best practices around continuous delivery, i.e. deploying small incremental changes often (many times a day). In order to improve the user experience, we’ve been exploring different ways of reducing the impact and the Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) of faulty deployments. Enter canary releases.

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Creating Readable Spark Jobs

August 6th, 2018 by Luciano Molinari

Nowadays, it’s rather common to encounter Apache Spark being utilized in a lot of companies that need to process huge amounts of data, and things aren’t any different here at SoundCloud — as one can imagine, we have lots of data to process all the time.

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Getting a Team Back on Track

July 25th, 2018 by Arbo von Monkiewitsch

Sometimes, an important team that’s part of an otherwise healthy company culture starts tanking and the people on the team get frustrated and even quit.

In this article, I want to share what I learned when I started to manage a team — referred to as the R Team from here on out — that had huge problems when I took over as Engineering Manager, as well as explain how I got it back on track.

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Defining a Role with a Retrospective Activity

June 22nd, 2018 by Aleksandra Gavrilovska

Agile retrospectives are a widely used practice within engineering teams. They provide teams with a way to reflect on how they work and become better at what they do. One of the main benefits of retrospectives is that they empower teams to define and make changes by analyzing what happened in an iteration and by determining what can be improved moving forward. Here at SoundCloud, we hold retrospectives at the end of every iteration (every two weeks), and we often do them at the end of projects as well.

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