Sampling keys in a Redis cluster

We love Redis here at zulily. We store hundreds of millions of keys across many Redis instances, and we built our own internal distributed cache on top of Redis which powers the shopping experience for zulily customers. One challenge when running a large, distributed cache using Redis (or many other key/value stores for that matter) is the opaque nature of the key spaces. It can be difficult to determine the overall composition of your Redis dataset, since most Redis commands operate on a single key.

The way we Go(lang)

Here at zulily, Go is increasingly becoming the language of choice for many new projects, from tiny command-line apps to high-volume, distributed services. We love the language and the tooling, and some of us are more than happy to talk your ear off about it. Setting aside the merits and faults of the language design for a moment (over which much digital ink has already been spilled), it’s undeniable that Go provides several capabilities that make a developer’s life much easier when it comes to building and deploying software: static binaries and (extremely) fast compilation.

zulily hosted Women Who Code Event

A sample of zulily’s “women in tech” zulily knows that women in tech rock! On January 28, 2015 zulily hosted the Women Who Code Seattle chapter’s kick-off meeting, bringing women in technology together to discuss their passions. zulily has built its business on providing great value to moms. Our female engineers are a big driving force in delivering this expectation, so we were very excited to partner with Women Who Code.

Facebook–zulily Joint Hack Day

zulily launches over 9,000 unique styles – more than the size of an average Costco – every day. This causes unique time and scale challenges for the Marketing team as they rapidly create, place and manage ads. Facebook and zulily’s Business and Technology teams have been working together to build a platform - the Acquisition Marketing Platform (AMP) - to automate the ad management process on Facebook. During this partnership, we realized that both companies share a passion for enabling the engineering teams to move fast and put new, exciting features in the hands of customers.

Simulating Decisions to Improve Them

One of the jobs of the Data Science team is to help zulily make better decisions through data. One way that manifests itself is via experimentation. Like most ecommerce sites, zulily continuously runs experiments to improve the customer experience. Our team’s contribution is to think about the planning and analysis of those tests to make sure that when the results are read they are trustworthy and that ultimately the right decision is made.

Meet a zulily developer: Beryl

Who are you, and what do you do at zulily? I am Beryl, a Software Engineer on the EMS (Event Management Systems) Team. I work on the internal tools that help other zulily teams set up and manage sales. When did you join zulily? I started at the end of July, 2013 – almost a year and a half ago. What’s a typical day like for you? Every day I am usually spending some time working on my assigned projects, reviewing designs or code from other members of my team and supporting users.

Google Compute Engine Hadoop clusters with zdutil

Here at zulily, we use Google Compute Engine (GCE) for running our Hadoop clusters. Google has a utility called bdutil for setting up and tearing down Hadoop clusters on GCE. We ran into a number of issues when using the utility and were using an internally patched version of it to create our Hadoop clusters. If you look at the source, bdutil is essentially a collection of bash scripts that automate the various steps of creating a GCE instance and provisioning it with all the necessary software needed to run Hadoop.

Meet a zulily developer: Bala

Who are you, and what do you do at zulily? I am Bala, a Software Engineer on the EMS (Event Management Systems) Team. We create and operate the tools that help other teams launch and manage sales and deals. Our goal is to minimize the time it takes to get deals on zulily by providing efficient and easy to use tools. When did you join zulily? I started in October of 2013, so it has been a year.

Expect: How a 20-Year-Old Tool Saved My Project

I joined zulily in August of 2010, and at the time the company as a whole consisted of only 35 people. One of my first projects involved integrating one of our systems with a system owned by a much larger, more established partner company. The details of what these systems did aren’t relevant, except that the integration mechanism was for our system to drop XML files on an SFTP server that the partner company owned and operated.