03 Nov

To Be Continuous: Organizational Scaling

In this episode, Edith and Paul discuss the steps that a startup can take for successful organizational scaling. They bring up important questions including: What roles should your team members play as your company grows? How do you prioritize resources? Is Paul a good coder?  This is episode #26 in the To Be Continuous podcast series all about continuous delivery and software development.

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14 Oct

To Be Continuous: Specialization In Organization Design

In this episode, Edith and Paul dive into the question of specialization. They discuss the pros and cons of working with specialists vs. generalists, and how your decisions in this area can have a wide ranging impact on your product and company.  This is episode #25 in the To Be Continuous podcast series all about continuous delivery and software development.

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26 Apr

Zombies eating your AWS bill?

Zombies AWS Bill LaunchDarkly Feature Flags

The near-infinite elasticity of Amazon’s EC2 service is amazing. You can easily and cheaply spin up new instances whenever you need them. At LaunchDarkly, we provision new instances every time we deploy a new version of one of our services, which often happens multiple times in a day. We use Ansible to orchestrate the provisioning and deploy process, which means that we have easily repeatable deploys, and no server is a snowflake. Using the ‘cattle, not pets’ mindset, we routinely create and destroy instances. The script basically does the following steps:

  1. Provisions a fresh set of instances using a base AMI image that we have created
  2. Pulls down the latest code and config files from S3 (which is where our build server publishes to)
  3. Runs a few smoke tests to be sure the app has started up
  4. Swaps the load balancer configuration so the load balancers start sending traffic to the new instances
  5. Waits for the old instances to finish processing any requests that they had received before the load balance switch
  6. De-provisions the instances running the old version of the code

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