What It's Like To Work On BuzzFeed's Tech Team During Record Traffic

    It's all about the company culture, folks. Here's how it all went down (or didn't) last night.

    8:23 p.m.: Jay's sysops pager goes off. His wife says, "Uh oh, is it the dress?" He replies, "What dress?"

    8:30 p.m.: I put the kids into their pajamas, brush their teeth, and hand them to my husband who puts them to bed. He says, "BuzzFeed keeps tweeting about a dress and I don't understand."

    9:02 p.m.: Active visitors on the site reach 450,000, a new record. Jake, data science, delivers a screenshot of the previous record from February 2014.

    PR is already pitching morning shows. This is also happening.

    Actual quote from a BuzzFeed server admin: "I AM THROWING SERVERS INTO THE INTERNET"

    9:09 p.m.: When we hit 500,000 concurrent active visitors, I invite Samir, social media, to dev-chat to join in on the fun.

    Samir explains how it happened.

    Facebook: BuzzFeed

    "People were discussing it in the office, so I figured I would tweet it, and saw a HUGE click-through rate. I posted it as a photo on Facebook because I wasn't sure if it was something where you had to see the whole photo or not, but no one was clicking through at all. So I reposted as a link, watched it for a few minutes, not much engagement, deleted it. Twitter was doing so well, I decided to just post it again and saw it immediately rise in the live stats and get tons of comments on Facebook."

    There's a lot of debate and joking about the actual color of the dress in the chat. Shaun, illustrator, uploads this gem.

    9:57 p.m.: Peak traffic. There are more than 670,000 active visitors on the site. The GIF below shows what off-peak and peak traffic looks like to a BuzzFeed server. WAIT FOR IT.

    10:30 p.m.: A couple of posts get stuck while publishing. Ben Smith, editor-in-chief, chats me and Amy, project management.

    Jay, Dan, Raymond, and Eugene (sysops), and Mark, chief technology officer, are spinning up servers as fast as possible.

    11:01 p.m.: The articles are published! By the end, we added over 40% more capacity, and readers never had any problems reading the posts or answering the poll.

    The good part about last night: BuzzFeed experienced a singular moment in global cultural relevance.

    The GREAT part about last night: working at an awesome company that appreciates tech.

    @catesish I think you may be buying sysops drinks

    @BuzzFeedBen @catesish i think we all are. bows down to @eventi @rayzorinc @jaydestro