Board Room to Back Office

5 11 2010

How quick are you from board room to back office?

Through the four stories I shared in my QCon presentation yesterday, the broad accomplishment of Shopzilla’s greenfield site redesign, was incredible business agility. It’s true that we’re very fast from board room to back office.

I’ll extrapolate a little here on how our continued investment in our engineering and deployment infrastructure has been the biggest enabler for our agility.

Archetypes

Perhaps our biggest enabler has been our Maven archetype. In fact, we no longer have only one archetype, but a myriad archetypes for different purposes; web-services, spring-batch, Java-based command-line jobs.

Our archetypes allow our engineering teams to focus more immediately on solving business problems. Engineers of all levels of seniority, focus less on boilerplate, project structure, and deployment concerns. Our Maven archetype encapsulates;

  • JMX MBean exposure using Spring
  • Metrics exposure, through JMX using JAMon
  • Sample Spring configuration and wiring
  • Patterns forcing separation of configuration from application binaries

Business Agility, Cross Pollination, DevOps

As a result project structures look mostly the same from team to team, making cross pollination easy. Importantly too, our applications are homogeneous from a deployment / DevOps perspective. Distilled, performance of applications deployed to our any environment, can be visualized on our internal dashboards (permanently) in a matter of minutes.

I’ve written about this topic previously on the Shopzilla Tech Blog. The hindsight here is particularly interesting, in seeing how much the archetype approach has allowed agility from a business perspective. The proof: beso.com and more recently, tada.com.

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