Recap: Seattle Scalability Meetup @ Redfin HQ

Crowd at Redfin HQ for February's Seattle Scalability Meetup

Redfin Engineering had an incredible time hosting the Seattle Scalability Meetup earlier this week. In the past, we’ve had celebrity guest speakers give talks in our San Francisco office, but we’ve just never been able to make it happen in Seattle before. (If you’re curious, see Ryan Dahl on node.js, Alex Payne on how and why Twitter uses Scala, and Jeff Hammerbacher on Hadoop.)

Part of what made this possible now is the fact that we recently expanded and remodeled our Seattle headquarters.  Our new space includes a meeting room overlooking the waterfront that was able to accommodate the 100 attendees for this vibrant meetup.

We were treated to two excellent technical talks.  The first was from Paul Gross at Braintree, who spoke about how Braintree supports high availability.  The talk covered how Braintree has engineered every layer of their stack to be tolerant of both planned and unplanned outages.  Braintree has open sourced quite a bit of the code they use to accomplish this, including a custom load balancer and scripts for handling automated failover for Postgres.

Next, we heard from Mike Miller, the Chief Scientist at Cloudant.  Cloudant describes its product as “a globally distributed, document database-as-a-service that scales from megabytes to petabytes.”  Supporting geospatial indexing and querying is a key part of Cloudant’s value-add, so their team has taken a hard look at geospatial in technologies like PostGIS, and then applied those learnings to features that work on their globally distributed database.

Afterwards, we met up for a beer at Sonya’s, which is just down the street from Redfin HQ.  We’re looking forward to hosting this Meetup again in April.  We’ll also be hosting the Seattle JS meetup for the first time on March 14th (

Hope to see you there!