Engineering

Engineering Blog

Taking Zero-Downtime Load Balancing even Further

Ever since we rolled out our zero-downtime HAProxy reload system a few years ago, we have been disappointed that it required additional investment to work well for our external load balancing on our edge. We did generate a prototype that used an intermediary qdisc so we could apply the approach, but after evaluating the prototype, and finding that Linux wasn’t going to fix the upstream Kernel issue, we decided to go another way. Our edge is different than our internal load balancing tier because we have typically terminated TLS with another great proxy: NGINX. NGINX is useful because it does...

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Introducing Yelp's Local Graph

We’re continuously adding new features to our API to make it easier for developers to integrate with our data and share great local businesses through their apps. Today, we’re releasing access to query our data via GraphQL, a graph query language. This is available immediately through our developer beta program. What is GraphQL? GraphQL is a query language for APIs that places emphasis on being able to query for exactly the data you want. I’m sure most of you at some point have thought, “I really wish this endpoint had more data,” or, “I only need one or two pieces...

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How Yelp Runs Millions of Tests Every Day

Fast feature development is critical to a company’s success. We all strive to increase developer productivity by decreasing the time to test, deploy, and monitor changes. To enable developers to push code safely, we run more than 20 million tests every day using our in-house distributed system called Seagull. 'Seagull' by Fil.Al is licensed under CC BY 2.0 What is Seagull? Seagull is a fault tolerant and resilient distributed system which we use to parallelize our test suite execution. Seagull is built using the following: Apache Mesos (manages the resources of our Seagull cluster) AWS EC2 (provides the instances that...

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Continuous Integration on Android

Continuous Integration (CI) is a powerful tool for the Android team at Yelp. It gives us a platform to ensure quality on all eight of our Android apps, allowing us to emphasize testing and ensure our newest features aren’t breaking our oldest masterpieces. For example, we don’t want Yelfies to crash the app while you’re writing your next great review. To achieve this, we have a dedicated cluster of AWS machines running our CI server. These machines run JUnit tests, static analysis, build APKs, merge code, and send us notifications. They also work with Firebase Test Lab to start up...

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Returning to Grace Hopper: Bringing our Workshop Back for Round Two

Jen W. is a backend engineer at Yelp in San Francisco and, when not running after her toddler, loves nothing more than to knit while watching superhero TV. Susanne L. is a database engineer at Yelp in San Francisco and loves to [b/h]ike the hilly city and its surroundings. Wei W. is an iOS engineer at Yelp in Hamburg and an avid (trashy) TV connoisseur in her free time. This past year at Grace Hopper, Jen, Susanne, and Wei teamed up to present “Crucial Conversations in Your Career: Increasing Your Impact,” a workshop featuring interactive skits and group discussion. This...

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Open Sourcing Yelp Beans: Bringing People Together, One Cup of Coffee at a Time

We’re excited to be open sourcing a tool we built during a hackathon, that helps Yelp employees meet coworkers within the company: Yelp Beans. A screenshot of the Yelp Beans app It started a little over a year ago, when I began going to orchestrated one-on-one coffee meetups in the Bay Area sponsored by a local startup. It was a program where you could meet designers, engineers, and product managers in your area for a 30 minute coffee meeting. It helped me understanding my career direction and was an opportunity to ask questions of people at varying stages in their...

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Recent Improvements to the Fusion API (and Upcoming v2 Changes)

Since our launch of the Yelp Fusion API, we’ve been working hard over the past few months, fixing bugs people have reported on GitHub and adding missing features. We’ve also added a few things to improve the overall experience: The search endpoint got a small update on filtering by attributes. We’ve added support for filtering businesses based on whether or not they have online waitlisting, participate in Yelp Cash Back, or offer Yelp Deals. We added a public changelog to help the community keep track of changes to the API. The changelog will contain updates such as bug fixes, feature...

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Open Sourcing Yelp Love

Encouraging positivity has been a central pillar to Yelp’s culture from the beginning. If a teammate rolls out a huge feature, helps you out in a bind, or just makes a funny joke, we believe you should be able to show them a small token of appreciation. That’s why we developed an internal tool called Yelp Love, a web application for sending notes of appreciation (aka love) to your coworkers within Yelp. Yelp Love started as a Hackathon effort back in 2013. Over the course of two hackathons, we rolled out Yelp Love to the entire company. Since its deployment,...

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