3 Things I learned as an Engineer at Twitter

3 Things I learned as an Engineer at Twitter

You won’t learn this from the textbook. It has been almost one year since I left Amazon, and since then, I have learned and realized a great deal working at Twitter.

It has been almost one year since I left Amazon, and since then, I have learned and realized a great deal working at Twitter.

1. Service Health

Software engineering is not limited to building new features for customers to use; it is also ensuring that the existing services are healthy and functional. Services should never go backward in performance. This is important in order to maintain the trust of your customers. If your existing services cannot provide the same SLA (service level agreement), then why would customers use your services?

There are numerous ways to maintain services:

  1. Oncall
  2. Monitoring
  3. Automation Systems
  4. Operational Hygiene

Oncall is the largest contributor to maintaining the health of your services. If a service goes down in realtime, an oncall can mitigate this as soon as possible. If not, the longer the incident is unresolved, the higher the consequences are. For instance, the end-user impact could be not being able to onboard new users, which leads to revenue loss. It is the highest priority to never jeopardize the product such that users stop using the product.

Internal customers can ping oncalls via a communication platform, such as Slack, when their services or jobs are experiencing poor performance. Most of the time, oncalls get paged by a monitoring system. A monitoring system allows engineers to track the performance of their services via key metrics, such as success rate, read/write latency, traffic, memory space, etc. As a result, oncalls can get a complete story of what is going on in their services and thus can debug issues quicker.

data-science technology software-development software-engineering programming data analysis

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