Using Akka to Scale Gilt's Massive Push Notification System

In this technical talk, Gilt Principal Software Engineer Adam Kaplan will describe the engineering behind Gilt's push notification system, which can send three million messages in less than 60 seconds. Adam will give a brief history of push notifications at Gilt, then focus on the development of his team's current system: a distributed architecture built with Scala, Akka, ZooKeeper, and other technologies. He'll explain how Akka's clustering capabilities not only make mass messaging possible, but also promote overall system integrity, scalability, and better performance (and, on the business side of things, higher revenues!). He'll place push notifications in the context of Gilt's general engineering culture, which emphasizes a micro-services architecture, fault tolerance, and (the good kind of) redundancy. Finally, he'll give a forward-looking view of where push at Gilt is going -- and how the work his team performs ensures that all of those millions of messages stay on the right side of that line between "push notifications" and "spam."

Bio:

Adam Kaplan is a principal software engineer at Gilt, where he works on a variety of initiatives including push notifications, wait list and the mobile app. Prior to joining Gilt, Adam--who considers himself a generalist--was a software architect at The New York Times, where he built their first iPhone and iPad news apps. At the NYT, he worked directly with Steve Jobs and the Apple executive team to code one of the first apps for the iPad prior its release. A graduate of Northeastern University, Adam is a native New Yorker and a recently minted private pilot. When he's not tackling challenging problems at work, Adam enjoys sunset flights along the coast and rock climbing.

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  • Jang-Soo L.

    The presentation was great! Tangentially: Haven't seen the slides up yet on the tech.gilt site.

    March 28

  • Suhas

    Will there be a video recording of this event? I could not RSVP in time.

    March 18

  • Scott L.

    Great meeting, thanks

    March 19

  • Frank S.

    Great presentation! Would be interested in seeing the slides.

    March 19

  • Mehboob A.

    Curious about Postgres and high performance database architectures, then check out Postgres conference in NYC - Apr 3, 4 bit.ly/pgnyc2014

    March 19

  • Henrik E.

    Thanks Gilt and Adam for a great presentation today. I wanted to point out, now that we're all convinced that Akka is a great platform, that a very easy way to get started with this technology is the Typesafe Activator.

    It is a browser-based (or command-line if you prefer that) tool to get started with the Typesafe reactive platform. For more information and download please check out: http://typesafe.com/activator

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding Typesafe reactive platform.
    Thanks,
    Henrik

    1 · March 18

  • Saikiran Y.

    Can't make it either.

    March 18

  • Thomas W.

    Can't make it in time. Hopefully someone can use this

    March 18

  • MCD P.

    The location requires full names to sign into the building. Please update your RSVP to include your full name. Thanks.

    March 6

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