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The Magic of Generating an Xcode Project

February 20th, 2020 by Andrea Cipriani

Learn how SoundCloud improved the productivity of its iOS engineers by using Tuist to generate Xcode projects.

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A Happy New Employee

February 7th, 2020 by Yusei Nishiyama

For a successful onboarding, you may rely on things like finding a good mentor or writing up a detailed checklist, but there’s more you can do. In this blog post, a new employee at SoundCloud illustrates a collection of engineering practices here that allowed him to get up to speed efficiently and which made the onboarding experience a positive one.

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Speeding Up Builds with Dagger Reflect

January 30th, 2020 by Nelson Osacky

A large portion of an Android app’s build time can consist of Dagger annotation processing, and most developers agree that productivity is important, so we decided to experiment to see if we could save time when compiling the SoundCloud Android app. This blog post covers how we used Dagger Reflect to save developer time with minimal changes to our codebase.

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The Power of Types for Errors

January 20th, 2020 by Danny Preussler

Limiting the number of primitives we use in our code in favor of using custom types instead is an easy win. In this way, we as developers will not only reduce the possibility of bugs by using the compiler, but we will also achieve more readable and self-documented types.

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Implementing Dark Mode Using the Observer Pattern

November 8th, 2019 by Matias Villaverde

Last week’s update to the SoundCloud iOS app includes support for Dark Mode. This took several months of work and collaboration between design and engineering teams across the company, so we wanted to share our approach to implementing Dark Mode and some of the obstacles we encountered along the way.

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Solving Remote Build Cache Misses by Annoying Your Colleagues

October 1st, 2019 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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Gradle Remote Build Cache Misses

August 30th, 2019 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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SoundCloud Is Playing the Oboe

June 21st, 2019 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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Alerting on SLOs like Pros

June 4th, 2019 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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Playback on Web at SoundCloud

May 3rd, 2019 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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