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.
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.
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.
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