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Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Giving a newborn baby a firehose to drink from"

After a complete system rearchitecture, full code rewrite, and database migration, Trusted Opinion Site was re-born.

Birth was painful (as it should be) with sleepless nights and emotions were running high. But that's pretty much what was expected. What was not expected is the huge amount of crawling traffic the site got from the second it was up (hundreds of thousand hits per hr). It looked (and still feels) like we are under DOS attack. But we are not! That's the new reality - computers are much better at networking than humans are, and by the virtue of the Internet, they use their potential to the full extend.

I like the quote from our COO Todd Greene: Launching the site these days is like giving a newborn baby a firehose to drink from"

A few lessons from the launch:
  1. What looks impossible and feels impossible, is possible as long as everyone ignores that it is impossible
  2. Food is important! After 30 hours of work it becomes even more important than internet connectivity
  3. People mood is more important that server health (and harder to fix)
  4. Shortcuts always bite. Taking shortcuts in data migration bite really hard. Even in order to save a few hours of downtime, even if you really-really want it, do not take shortcuts!
  5. And, the most important, do not forget celebration when the job is accomplished! Even thou I put it into the migration project plan, we managed to ignore the task.

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