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Peek Behind the Scenes at Socialize

Socialize is well known for the robust infrastructure of its drop-in social platform, which handles over 20 requests per second -- over 1.5 million requests in the past 24 hours across thousands of mobile apps and millions of end users.  But how does a team of just ten employees set up and manage such an infrastructure?  Here's a sneak peek behind the curtain so you can see how it's done.

Our databases, servers, Partner API and SDKs have been architected to always push meta data to our systems.  Each component is built as stand-alone infrastructure, allowing us to audit and optimize intelligence on how each piece is performing.  We then leverage tools by Splunk to turn our massive log files into actionable intelligence, and we use TeamCity for continuous integration.  Even further behind the scenes we are using Nginx, Apache, load-balanced Amazon AWS & RDS, Robotium, Selenium, gh-unit, OCMock, KIF, Google App Engine and other best-in-class technologies. It all comes together on a 50" flatscreen monitor and 32" iMac that our Quality Assurance engineer monitors and all our employees can see.  We even have a flashing green light that turns red when a build breaks or we detect latencies in our system, and all our developers are notified when there's a problem.

Here's a video of Sean describing the systems and how we use them to ensure Socialize is always available and performing flawlessly in your app:

More pictures of our system:

Click to Enlarge -- Our Performance Dashboard Socialize is well known for the robust infrastructure of its drop-in social platform, which handles over 20 requests per second -- over 1.5 million requests in the past 24 hours across thousands of mobile apps and millions of end users.  But how does a team of just ten employees set up and manage such an infrastructure?  Here's a sneak peek behind the curtain so you can see how it's done. Our databases, servers, Partner API and SDKs have been architected to always push meta data to our systems.  Each component is built as stand-alone infrastructure, allowing us to audit and optimize intelligence on how each piece is performing.  We then leverage tools by Splunk to turn our massive log files into actionable intelligence, and we use TeamCity for continuous integration.  Even further behind the scenes we are using Nginx, Apache, load-balanced Amazon AWS & RDS, Robotium, Selenium, gh-unit, OCMock, KIF, Google App Engine and other best-in-class technologies. It all comes together on a 50" flatscreen monitor and 32" iMac that our Quality Assurance engineer monitors and all our employees can see.  We even have a flashing green light that turns red when a build breaks or we detect latencies in our system, and all our developers are notified when there's a problem. Here's a video of Sean describing the systems and how we use them to ensure Socialize is always available and performing flawlessly in your app: More pictures of our system: /td> /td>

Focusing on Focus: Why We Sold AppMakr

Back in January of 2010, my co-founders Sean, Isaac and I created one of the first mobile app creation platforms, AppMakr.

At the time, we had a thriving mobile app consulting business called PointAbout, and we were building high-end (and expensive) apps for large brands. Our team made the iPhone app for The Washington Post and Cars.com. We built the Newsweek iPad app and an iPad app for Disney, along with apps for clients like General Motors, US Army, the Entertainment Software Rating Board and others.

Making custom apps was really expensive -- especially in those early days. We had a dream of democratizing app creation so it was accessible to anyone. From that idea, AppMakr was born.

The day before we launched AppMakr, our team took bets on how many apps would be made in AppMakr's first month. Some people guessed 10, others 100. We had no idea what were about to unleash: In AppMakr's first 3 months, users made many thousands of apps. We had to scramble to support the growth. We even got angry calls from Apple's app review team who were overwhelmed by the number of apps being submitted; that's how our App Quality Index came to be, as a way to turn their frown upside down.

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