Engineering

Engineering Blog

The Yelp Production Engineering Documentation Style Guide

Documentation is something that many of us in software and site reliability engineering struggle with – even if we recognize its importance, it can still be a struggle to write it consistently and to write it well. While we in Yelp’s Production Engineering group are no different, over the last few quarters we’ve engaged in a concerted effort to do something about it. One of the first steps towards changing this process was developing our documentation style guide, something that started out as a Hackathon project late last year. I spoke about it when I was giving my talk on...

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How We’re Keeping Our Android UI Consistent

Every day, we ship the Yelp experience to millions of users through our website and mobile apps. Our design team is committed to shaping the best interfaces to make Yelp easier to understand and more practical for users. Writing a review should be as simple as searching for a restaurant or reserving a table on Yelp. The Yelp experience must be consistent across all products and platforms where we ship our applications. For this reason, every app has to comply with our trusty Yelp style guide. This post will explain how we’ve built an Android library around our style guide...

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First AWE EU Summit

At Yelp we pride ourselves on employee inclusiveness and building employee resource groups. We are excited to share with you the learnings of our first Awesome Women in Engineering (AWE) Summit in Europe, a one-day event on diversity and inclusion, leadership, and tech. We have two engineering offices in Europe, located in Hamburg and London. The AWE groups from both offices recently joined forces and co-organized the summit. The event was open to all Yelpers and the sessions were recorded so that we could share them with other Yelpers who weren’t able to attend. The summit opened up public speaking...

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Yelp Dataset Challenge: Round 10 Winners And Round 12 Announcement

Round 10 Winners The tenth round of the Yelp Dataset Challenge ran throughout the second half of 2017 and we received many impressive, original, and fascinating submissions. As usual, we were struck by the quality of the entries: keep up the good work, folks! Today, we are proud to announce the grand prize winner of the $5,000 award: “Understanding Hidden Memories of Recurrent Neural Networks” by Yao Ming, Shaozu Cao, Ruixiang Zhang, Zhen Li, Yuanzhe Chen, Yangqiu Song, and Huamin Qu (from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). These authors developed a visual analytics method for understanding and...

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Happy 10th Birthday to Yelp on iOS!

Yelp hit a big milestone last week: ten years ago, Yelp launched on the Apple App Store! On July 10th, 2008, Apple officially launched what was then known as the iPhone App Store, giving iPhone users their first-ever opportunity to run third-party native apps on their devices. It launched with a whopping 552 apps available for download, including the Yelp app! At the time, Yelp was only available in the U.S. (we would launch in Canada a few weeks later), and offered an incredible breadth of functionality: you could search for businesses, read reviews, and even bookmark! Staggering. It’s not...

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Performance Improvements for Search on The Yelp Android App - Part 3

In our previous blog post, we made changes to the app that improved the initial rendering performance and scroll performance of the search results in the Yelp android app. In this blog post, we’ll cover how we monitor the performance of these changes and future changes to the app to ensure no performance regressions occur and undo all of our hard work! Step 3: Monitoring Performance Improvements Making changes that improve performance is great, but there’s no point in making these improvements if future changes by engineers could undo all the hard work you’ve done to get to this point....

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Yelp's Secret Detector: Preventing Secrets in Source Code

We are always looking for new ways to bolster our security posture to keep our users and businesses safe. Today, we’re happy to announce that we will be open-sourcing our detect-secrets framework to prevent secrets from being committed to our codebase. This aligns well with our value to always Protect the Source and adds to our growing collection of secure-by-default frameworks which bolster web security without compromising employee productivity. The Problem Secrets in source code are points of weakness in an otherwise secure system because they are available to any and all repository contributors, cloned, copied and distributed. And each...

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How Yelp Modularized the Android App

When the Yelp Android App was first built it was a monolith, with almost everything inside a single module. Single modules are easier to deal with; there are no complex dependency graphs to account for and some details of how the app is managed, such as how testing is implemented, are simpler. Eventually the app and company structure grew to a size where the monolith made code changes and testing harder, where modularization would help the app scale. After some discussion we decided to break the app into modules, thinking carefully about how we structured the app. We’ll discuss our...

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