My last two crazy months

For the past two months (maybe 2.5, I no longer remember) I've been working a lot of extra time so we could meet the deadline for launching the new We finally did it, only one day late, and just missing two features from the full "requisites".

It's been really crazy the last weeks. Working around 13 hours, weekends studying and doing university assignments or reading and thinking about the things we had pending to do, I even had both dreams and nightmares the last weekends about the release, about javascript code... I even re-coded mentally one feature in a 3 hours nap.

And of course the release day... 25 hours non-stop trying to both fix problems of a late production environment setup, last minute changes that broke functionality (never ever change MVC routing logic the release day, even i f is not SEO-perfect), and the single most crazy achievement: Building the Amazon avatar generator instances and setting up everything (code fixes in a Vim terminal included).

I wouldn't repeat it again, no matter how important the deadline is, but we've also learned a lot and taken notes of mistakes and problems to avoid them in future releases.

That said, for being the first release and we being just three developers (one since less than a month), two designers (one also does frontend javascript coding), two illustrators and two systems guys (from Barcelona, they are awesome), it is an insane amount of work done, almost a miracle.

We've built some features in record time, like recoding half a CMS in two weeks (one dev), building a full game publication system that copies lots of assets, manages 15 tables and hundreds of fields in 1.5 days, the javascript minimization and versioning took around 1 hour...

I have to prepare a talk about our games API for the Gamelab Barcelona 2013 event at the end of the month, but after that I will also prepare another two talks, one about the general architecture of the new website and other about the "Avatars" system we've built (my favourite feature), so after summer if anybody wants me to give a talk, I'm open ;)

I could write a lot about how the avatars work, about the distributed jobs system it uses to generate serverside assets, about the canvas javascript version of that same system that provides a WYSIWYG realtime avatar editor (using exactly the same logic as the serverside generation as it sends the server what you want to put and it replies with the layers, masks, etc.), about the in-house CMS I built to manage all avatar assets and store inventory... but I prefer to prepare a talk instead, some images are worth more than a thousand words.

In just 48 hours we have some insane stats already, and we only had two performance issues that have been already addressed. Not bad for combining technologies and tools like PHP, Javascript, Java, MySQL, HBase, Protobuf, ElasticSearch, Gearman... And just using 16 dedicated servers and 9-10 Amazon instances

But the best part is that this is just the beginning; we placed the basement for building not a house, but a skyscraper.

Tags: Development

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