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How Distillery helped ScoreBig scale their development team

Distillery helped us scale our development team at a critical point. They plugged seamlessly into our process, with top-notch quality and expertise.

Joel Milne

CO-FOUNDER, SCOREBIG

Scorebig Macbook

Results

  • Ability to scale their development team over time, calling upon Distillery engineers to help them accelerate their efforts as needed

  • Increased velocity of execution within an Agile framework (significantly bettering the company’s sprint velocity records)

  • High-quality collaboration from a team of engineers that knew their people, understood their business, and worked effectively on a distributed model

  • Improved user interface and UX to help them contend in a highly competitive marketplace

The Client

ScoreBig is a leading online marketplace for tickets to concerts, theater, and sporting events. The company is now under the management of a subsidiary of TicketNetwork.

The challenge

ScoreBig wanted to make its system work faster, improve the user interface and overall site UX, and integrate effectively with external systems (like Google Analytics, Facebook, and Gigya) and ScoreBig’s partners. To accelerate their software development efforts, they sought to augment the capabilities of their in-house team.

ScoreBig iPad

Raw Ingredients

This was a new relationship for both ScoreBig and Distillery. We hand-picked several trusted engineers to join ScoreBig’s four different product teams; they were able to quickly onboard and integrate. While ScoreBig’s in-house performance was already impressive, we made a measurable impact on speed to execution, delivering better-quality code with increased velocity within an Agile framework. In fact, our engineers roundly broke the company’s sprint velocity records.

Transformation

Working alongside the ScoreBig team, we performed work across the platform, including core logic from the back-end and the mobile application. The majority of our work, however, was front-end-facing. Representative efforts included the following:

  • 01. Used two database variants: MS SQL (as primary storage) and MongoDB (internally, to generate analytics and statistical data from the MS SQL database)
  • 02. Worked on integration with Google Analytics, gathering site data to provide to Google Analytics as well as obtaining data from Google Analytics
  • 03. Worked on integration with Gigya and Facebook, enabling users to log in using external systems
  • 04. Used AngularJS to render dynamic pages
  • 05. Used Varnish to help them to reduce response time
  • 06. Used SVG to develop a new way of rendering the seat maps

Given the excellent quality of our work, our relationship with ScoreBig continued for two and a half years, enabling ScoreBig to scale its development team as needed over that time. At the height of our involvement, approximately 13 Distillery engineers were working with ScoreBig. Over the course of our relationship, the following were key lessons learned:

  • 01. If you’re working on a high-load system, it's a good idea to execute operations asynchronously
  • 02. Given the competitive landscape of the online ticket marketplace, every second of response time is crucial. The less time responses take, the better it is for users. Similarly, more caching systems = better for users
  • 03. Using external systems is also a good idea; often, however, you’ll want to customize them for your needs
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TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS

C#, MS SQL, MongoDB, Less, jQuery, AngularJS , ASP.NET MVC, Projects hosted on AWS, Atlassian Stack (Bitbucket + Bamboo), NServiceBus , Elasticsearch , Couchbase, Memcached, Varnish, prismic.io , Sailthru, SVG