James Avery on Optimizing the Engineering Team Structure - Episode 126

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By Jeffrey Palermo. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Joining the podcast once again is return guest, James Avery! James is the Founder and CEO of Kevel, previously known as Adzerk. Kevel is the next generation of publisher ad serving; offering the infrastructure APIs needed to quickly build custom ad platforms for sponsored listings, internal promotions, native ads, and more. It's built to be faster, easier to use, and more comprehensive than anything on the market today.

James originally started Kevel back in 2010, FTPing files up to an IaaS VM, and now he has a whole team and receives 3 billion requests per day! In this episode, he shares the story of Kevel, his unique take on how to structure a software engineering organization, how to align the dev organization with the architecture, and how to scale a custom index with a large number of ads.

Topics of Discussion:

[:38] Be sure to visit AzureDevOps.Show for past episodes and show notes.

[1:00] About The Azure DevOps Podcast, Clear Measure, and Jeffrey’s offer to speak at virtual user groups.

[1:20] Clear Measure is hiring! Be sure to check out the link in the show notes.

[1:30] About Jeffrey’s newest podcast, Architect Tips!

[1:59] About today’s episode with return guest, James Avery!

[2:30] Jeffrey welcomes James back on to the podcast.

[2:42] James shares the story of his company, Kevel, and what they do.

[5:21] Do they source the ads themselves at Kevel? What does the customer do on their own?

[6:33] Micro-blogging (such as Twitter) killed long-form blogging. Does James think long-form blogging may make a comeback?

[8:00] Jeffrey and James talk censorship.

[10:35] Discussing different analogies for architecture.

[13:17] James gives an overview of the technology stack that’s under the covers in Kevel.

[14:42] In AWS, how does James reason around regions, disaster recovery, etc?

[15:54] James touches on AWS’ past and current reliability.

[17:29] How many running processes makes the whole system of Kevel work?

[18:40] How many engineers are part of the Kevel team?

[19:02] A word from Azure DevOps Podcast’s sponsor: Clear Measure.

[19:35] James shares his unique take and philosophy on how to structure a software engineering organization.

[26:48] James shares what the approach has been to test at various levels.

[29:59] James shares some key lessons they learned from working in a high-scalability environment.

[31:39] Kevel has a massive amount of data and has tons of indexing. How much is in memory versus them utilizing storage providers?

[35:29] Jeffrey thanks James for joining the podcast.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Architect Tips — New video podcast!

Azure DevOps

Clear Measure (Sponsor)

.NET DevOps for Azure: A Developer's Guide to DevOps Architecture the Right Way, by Jeffrey Palermo — Available on Amazon!

bit.ly/dotnetdevopsebook — Click here to download the .NET DevOps for Azure ebook!

Jeffrey Palermo’s Youtube

Jeffrey Palermo’s Twitter — Follow to stay informed about future events!

The Azure DevOps Podcast’s Twitter: @AzureDevOpsShow

James Avery

The Azure DevOps Podcast Ep. 51: “James Avery on Scaling to 3 Billion Requests Per Day”

The Azure DevOps Podcast Ep. 124: “Charles Flatt on Learning as a Developer”

INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love, by Marty Cagan

Want to Learn More?

Visit AzureDevOps.Show for show notes and additional episodes.

137 episodes