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Developers

Meet the Staff: The Marketplace Dev Team  

by posted in Developers, Team
Nov 15
2010

For the next instalment in our “what the hell does the dev team do series” we thought we’d actually tell you who the dev team is. We decided to do things a little differently for our meet the team post, and we all pulled names out of a hat to find out who’s profile we were writing. So here you go, the guys who put in the hard yards to create the marketplaces you all know and love.

Marketplace Dev Team

ErinErin

Erin Francis is a state cycling champion and a damn fine coder. He’s got a firm handshake, a magnificent haircut, a Flying V ukulele and a set of pearly-whites that’ve make senile men cry with joy. He moved to Envato two years ago, and we just wouldn’t be the same company without him. He’s an all-rounder who can pull off any fashion accessory. Transition lenses effortlessly show us both sides of his personality, as do his school shoes-with-casual-shorts combination. Yes, school’s definitely out for our gold-standard search expert.

Erin enjoys collecting bikes, playing video games and finding a cheaper way to do everything. On his off-hours, he picks up the slack wherever he can, be it staying back late to finish a redesign, organising the office networks, or even organising affordable food for the hungry Envato staff.

In fact, organising is Erin’s favourite thing. It’s part of everything he does. He organises our extremely profitable inter-office milk bar. He organises the strictly-not-for-profit sandwich club. He organises free beer on fridays. He organises rotas. He organises work-wheels. He organises my poker chips even though he’s not supposed to touch them. He gets his red blood cells to line up in a big row throughout his circulatory system each night before he goes to sleep, where he organises his many thoughts into clear, perfectly formed epiphanies.

Erin’s an environmentalist, a communist and an Australian icon – a Dame Edna for our times. If anyone thinks different, they can call him on 1800 CORRECT ERIN and tell him what they think of him. I’m not stopping you.
Written By James
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What Does The Dev Team Do All Day?  

by posted in Developers
Nov 1
2010

So the other week one of our users did a bit of wondering out loud in the comments, wondering what exactly so many developers do with all their time working on the Envato Marketplace. We were a little hurt that someone thought we only exist to jack up rates :(

Still, we can’t really blame him, we’ve never _really_ explained what goes on behind the scenes at Envato. I’m expecting we’re going to drag this out over a few posts over the next couple of weeks. In this post, I just wanted to briefly explain some of the hidden complexity behind the Envato Marketplaces. In many ways, the marketplace (that’s what we devs call it, “the marketplace”, all lower caps because we’re lazy typists) is like an iceberg. What the end customers see is just a shiny little protrusion popping out the top of the water, the really dangerous bits are submerged, ready to take a giant chunk out of your unsinkable ship, and much later be turned into a teen heart-throb type of movie. I may have taken that a little too far. Continue Reading

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Presenting Lazy Loading Controller Instance Variables  

by posted in Developers
Oct 25
2010

Here’s a video from way back in the archives. At the October 2009 meeting of the Melbourne Ruby and Rails User group I did a presentation on a lazy evaluation tool we created to help deal with the extra complexity all our view caching was adding to our Marketplace app.

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Marketplace API Version 2  

by posted in Developers
Aug 27
2010

Good news sports-fans! We’ve decided to stabilise the current bleeding edge version of the Marketplace API and mark it as version 2. This change is effective from today. We’ve got some exciting new API changes coming up over the next month or two, but before we start working on them we wanted to make sure we lock off the API as it is now so all the cool things people have built so far don’t break.

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Thinking Sphinx and New Relic  

by posted in Developers
Aug 20
2010

Over here on the marketplaces we use the really good search library Thinking Sphinx to interface between our Marketplace application and our underlying search infrastructure. We also use the really good online application performance tool New Relic to tune the site’s performance and get the most traffic served out of the least hardware. You can use this code snippet to add sphinx monitoring into new relic.

Thinking Sphinx lazily evaluates all search results. It doesn’t actually fetch the results of the query until you need to do something with the result – which is almost always iterating over the results from the view. Continue Reading

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Continuous Integration & Flashing Lights  

by posted in Developers
Aug 19
2010

Many years ago when I first started typing incomprehensible sequences of words and characters into my computer – programming – I knew nothing about test-driven development or continuous integration. For that matter, it didn’t even occur to me that I should be writing tests for my code. Even when I first learnt of test-driven development and people began telling me to try it, I still refused! Why would I spend 50% of my time writing code that isn’t a crazy-cool feature? If your reply to that was “You wouldn’t!” then you will no doubt one day learn the benefits of test-driven development the hard way, just like a lot of test-driven converts did. In a nutshell, test-driven development is a safety blanket and when you’re running an application as large as the Envato Marketplaces it becomes a critical requirement.

Here at Envato we have two very large test suites which equate to around 6,800 tests. Then again, the marketplaces are made up of just under 19,000 lines of backend code (not including JavaScript, HTML and CSS) so we’d be crazy not to have some way of ensuring all that code is doing what it’s supposed to do. Would you want to make changes to a codebase that large without a sizeable test suite to back you up? I didn’t think so. That’s why every single time we make a change to the marketplace codebase, no matter how big or small the change; we run every one of those 6,800 tests. Continue Reading

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Developers, Developers, Developers!  

by posted in Developers
Aug 17
2010

Envato Devs!

So a year and a half ago Derek and I made an awesome WordPress theme for the Envato Developer blog. It never really got going though, when I asked our lead dev John why, he replied: “when we stop writing code, we’ll write some posts” :-)

Still since we have a brand spankin’ new community blog, I thought I’d create a nice developer section for when they do begin writing! Since there isn’t anything here yet, here is the classic Steve Ballmer video: Continue Reading

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