Our lead software engineer Chris takes a brief look at the WeSwap tech journey so far. From starting out, to managing rapid growth, to ensuring quality... Chris will also be looking closely at what's next for the WeSwap tech team.
When I first joined WeSwap in 2014 we were a scrappy insurgent start-up with a few hundred customers. We had a nice, solid platform, written in PHP. It was solid, dependable and got us through our first major expansion in 2015. But, we were limited.
The monolithic approach (data input and output, data processing, error handling, and the user interface are all interwoven) meant that the platform was hard to expand, and started to feel like a Jenga tower that we’d taken a block out from every level, the next move was probably going to cause it to fall over.
We also only had one database and that was starting to feel the strain, with transaction deadlocks and slow queries becoming more common we realised that we had to split things up a bit, or keep buying bigger servers, not a good situation for a low-margin start up.
We had to change something, so we did three things: 1. hired our first QA, 2. split our platform into Microservices, 3. improved our deployment process.
We're always trying to do things better. Site speed is one area in which you need to keep up with the pace: both in terms of how fast our site and our apps are, but also how quickly we deploy and get our features out to you.
We're also having to change the way we build our features, to ensure that when we add something new, we don't break our old clients and leave our customers high and dry, (unless you're climbing a sand dune in Dubai perhaps).
We've got all sorts of exciting challenges to take on. Whether it's making our platform more stable and secure, making our UI better and more fun or making sure your is matched with other travellers there's never dull moment and it's all with the overall aim of helping you to Stress less and travel happy.
Thanks to Chris for his pearls of Tech wisdom. If you have any questions for Chris, or anyone else in the WeSwap team, pop them in the Comments section below and we'll back to you quicker than you can say WeSwap Tech Team AnsWer Me This.