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Rod Barlow, Software Architect at Shopzilla

 Rod  Barlow

Rod Barlow is a Software Architect at Shopzilla, responsible for building and leading the company’s world-class engineering team.  His passion for performance and software craftsmanship has amplified Shozpilla’s impact, performance and reach in the US and Europe.  Today, he is a proven leader and mentor to engineering teams both in the US and EU that oversee the company’s portfolio of consumer-facing sites, including 8 websites in 4 countries.

Web: http://rodneybarlow.org

Twitter: @rodneybarlow

Presentation: "Hot Swapping your Engines at 30,000 feet - War Stories from Shopzilla's Site Redesign"

Time: Thursday 15:35 - 16:35

Location: Franciscan I & II


Bizrate.com and Shopzilla.com taxied out to the Internet comparison shopping runway in 1999 and 2004. Two sites which started as gleaming Lear Jets, soon resembled aging Cessnas: our page load times were a full 7 seconds. We hastily crafted a new flight plan entailing a service-oriented site architecture (resilient to sub-system failures), and a RESTful layer on top of our search infrastructure. In true Agile spirit, we attached our new engines to the wing in mid-flight. Our redesign was wildly successful, though with our successes came many, frequent, catastrophic failures. Perhaps our most epic fail was scaling in the large for Bizrate.com. One iteration in particular saw the entire team wielding bottles of “perf spray”, as we learned the hard way that performance is not afterthought. There were lots of other failures throughout our unforgettable journey – from sharing too much code, purposefully emailing out error logs, and overlooking the incredible effect of real world production traffic on our new sites.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight, as we share war stories from Shopzilla's site redesigns (and hot-swap our engines at 30,000 feet). We'll share our expensive lessons learned in the hope you'll better navigate the turbulence.