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We are excited and proud to tell you that the Gilt iPhone and Gilt iPad apps have each been nominated for Webby Awards this year! Our apps are nominees in the “Mobile & Apps Handheld: Shopping” and “Mobile & Apps Tablet: Shopping” categories. If you love our apps (and we hope you do), please take a minute to vote for them. But hurry: Voting ends April 25!

  • Gilt iPhone App: Mobile & Apps Handheld: Shopping Category.  Vote now!
  • Gilt iPad App: Mobile & Apps Tablet: Shopping Category. Vote now!

Now in its 18th year, the Webby Awards is pretty much the Oscars of the Internet. Its organizing body, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, includes celebrities and techlebrities ranging from music legend David Bowie to Tumblr founder David Karp. This year’s awards generated 12,000 entries from more than 60 countries, so our nominations are a huge deal for us!

Last night I presented “Taxes and Payments at Gilt” at the Portland Java User Group in Portland, Oregon. I discussed Gilt’s checkout system, tax calculator implementation, and payment infrastructure. Thanks to Jama Software for hosting the event.

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Last night we welcomed the Full-Stack Engineering meetup back to 2 Park for another night of tech talks and good times! Founded in November 2013 by greenhouse.io Director of Engineering Mike Boufford, Full-Stack promotes a modern and holistic approach to software development. Read our Q&A with Mike to learn more about this rapidly growing new meetup group for the NYC engineering community.

Last night’s speakers—NBCUniversal Enterprise Architecture Manager Sam Boyer, HUGE Principal Architect Isaiah Belle, and open-source advocate Rocky Bernstein—talked about a range of topics, from Symfony2 and Drupal to setting up an open-source project. A recap in photos:

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Sandwiches from Num Pang hit the spot and earned rave reviews. Extra points for the vegetarian option!

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Mixing and mingling in our cafe.

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Guess the number of Gilt engineers in this picture! 

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Mike Boufford kicks off the evening.

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Gilt Lead Software Engineer Jim Englert gives a quick intro to our tech culture.

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Isaiah Belle

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Sam Boyer

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Rocky Bernstein

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The post-presentations Q&A

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The fellow in the vest is Gilt engineer Nathan Stilwell, who will present at February’s Full-Stack meetup (also at Gilt) on WebSockets.

Thanks to everyone who attended! RSVP here for next month’s Full-Stack to catch Nathan, Mike Boufford (on “Mastering JavaScript”) and Vimeo Video Systems Engineer Dieter Plaetinck (discussing metrics and GraphExplorer).

(Photos: Nancy Borowick)

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On January 16 and 17 some of my colleagues and I were in Budapest, Hungary for the first-ever Ping conference: a two-day, “by the community, for the community” get-together for Play Framework users and enthusiasts. It was great! The standard of presentations was really, really high, and the content was extremely relevant to what we’re doing here at Gilt.

All the talks were recorded and are available here under “Schedule.” Some highlights about what you’ll find:

  • In his great keynote address, Play co-creator Sadek Drobi explains why Play Framework is designed the way it is, and why functions are awesome.
  • Typesafe Senior Engineer Christopher Hunt gives an overview of some new tools that will soon be available for managing an app’s JS/assets.
  • Leanovate Software Engineer Yann Simon gives the best presentation on the cake pattern I’ve ever seen. I still don’t like the cake pattern, though :).
  • LinkedIn Lead Developer (and recent Gilt guest) Yevgeniy (Jim) Brikman gave a brilliant presentation on how you can build a dynamic page by streaming the results of Promises to the browser as the content becomes available.
  • Typesafe Play Tech Lead James Roper explained some of the performance characteristics of a Play web app (especially around thread pools and different types of executors), all with benchmarks
  • Zengularity engineers Pascal Voitot and Julien Tournay gave two really entertaining (and mind melting!) presentations: one about typesafe JSON parsing in Play, and another about Scalaz Streams.
  • Hamburg-based engineer Matthias Nehlsen gave a front-end Scala talk—a bit of a rarity—on using Scala.js for writing non-DOM related, browser-side code in Scala.js and using it with Facebook’s React.js library. Scala.js is impressively/surprisingly problem-free, Matthias says, while Angular.js doesn’t work well with immutable data structures.
  • Grant Klopper from The Guardian gave a very interesting, funny talk about how the Guardian engineering team is using Play to create their new mobile site. Other tidbits: The Guardian has open-sourced their whole frontend(!); they are doing immutable deployments and continuous delivery (Grant deployed to production during the presentation!); and load-tested their new site using the existing site. If response times in a certain part of the fleet go over a threshold, the fleet is doubled automatically; if that doesn’t fix the issue a developer gets paged.

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You’ve heard of stress-relieving office dogs and chief office mousers—now meet Giovanni, Gilt Tech’s official office horse.  He’s none too affectionate, but very low-maintenance. Whenever he gets bored, he calls his friends on his land-line.

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Recently AlleyWatch asked Steve to talk about what 2013 was like for Gilt, what 2014 will bring for the New York City tech community, and what he expects will happen for the NYC tech scene now that Mayor Bill de Blasio is in charge. Check out the full interview here!

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The crowd from last night’s NYC Tech Talks event at Gilt—not an empty seat in the house!

Last night a standing-room only (!) crowd of software engineers, CTOs and other technologists came to our Manhattan office to catch “Scaling Gilt: From Monolithic Ruby App to Distributed Scala Micro-Services,” a tech talk by our very own Yoni Goldberg. Yoni, a lead software engineer on our personalization team, gave a lively presentation that highlighted the reasons why we’ve adopted a micro-services architecture, the lessons we’ve learned along the way, and a few key questions every tech team should ask before developing a micro-services architecture of their own.

Check out Yoni’s slides here:

Yoni’s presentation was co-hosted by Gilt Tech and NYC Tech Talks, one of NYC’s top meetup groups for engineers. In addition to a fantastic crowd of tech professionals from Gilt, Facebook, Etsy, LinkedIn and other top companies, the night featured delicious food, post-presentation drinks and mingling, and lots of great conversations.

Here’s a photo-recap of the night’s fun:

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This way to the meetup!

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For dinner we ordered an assortment of scrumptious sandwiches from Num Pang, who—a few hours before the meetup—tweeted a preview pic at us along with a note: “Excited to cater at Gilt tonight!” (We were even more excited to eat their food.)

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Plenty of beer for plenty of software engineers!

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Gilt engineer/software sartorialist Nathan Stilwell greets some of our guests.

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Early arrivals hung out in our cafe.

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NYC Tech Talks co-organizer Mike Brittain officially kicked off the evening by welcoming the audience.

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Gilt CIO Steve Jacobs followed with a brief introduction to Gilt and Gilt’s tech culture before introducing Yoni.

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Yoni gives the audience a general overview of our MSA—450 micro-services and counting!

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The audience listens attentively to Yoni’s talk.

As part of his presentation, Yoni created Podium: a Node.js app that enabled attendees to submit questions in advance of the meetup and vote for their favorites. A sampling of submissions: image

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More questions for Yoni! 

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Yoni talks Scala shop with NYC-based technologist Russell Holbrook.

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Gilt engineer Ryan Caloras enjoys a post-presentation beer with some of our guests.

Thanks to everyone who attended last night’s event! Hope to see you at our next meetup: Full-Stack Engineering on Jan. 28.

(Photos by Craig Williston.)

Archana Kumar is a front-end engineer who recently joined our Gilt City team in NYC. Originally from India, she went to college in Melbourne, Australia and did her graduate studies at NYU. She’s excited to be working on the Gilt tech team, and has already earned a playful nickname around the office: “Who’s That?”  She has one dog, one husband, and a side career as a web-comic artist.

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Yesterday The Guardian published a Q&A with Gilt CEO Michelle Peluso. Just like the jewelry section on Gilt.com, the interview contains lots of gems—including this description by Michelle about our culture:

First of all, Gilt has always been a phenomenal mix of creativity, technology and analytics, and that kind of mix between super creative people and design people: you know, photographers, stylists, merchandise experts, web designers sitting alongside analytical and technology fire power. [It] is such an interesting combination and provides a very vibrant culture, a mix of right brain and left brain.

Secondly, Gilt has always been a super innovative and fast paced culture. It has to be. Everyday we’re putting on a new sale. Everyday, we’re changing with what we have in our warehouse. And so, that pace of innovation is always a part of the culture.

Third, I would say, there’s lot of celebration and fun at Gilt. We have to attract and attain the best people, so there’s so many different things we do to keep that culture vibrant and fun and innovative. We have this legendary Halloween party, picnics, pantries that are full of food, team events, shopping discounts. Just lots of things that make working at Gilt fun.

Read the full interview here!

We’re excited to welcome Deirdre O’Brien to our team in Dublin. Deirdre is a program manager and a mechanical engineer by training. She made her way into tech via engineering process support, and then moved on to developing and supporting business systems. In her last position, she worked in product engineering as a program manager—helping the cloud and platform teams to gain input and visibility from other departments and teams, and keeping projects moving along.

Welcome, Deirdre!