Forging a way forward for engineers – other than management

Our Engineering leadership team believes that hiring and retaining great people is the most important thing we do. Great people do great things; it’s why our company has been so successful.

However, until about three years ago, we were not providing career options to our staff that would allow them to continue to be great while also feeling fulfilled and rewarded, with a career progression that played to their strengths.

Basically, at a certain level, you either moved into management, or you were at a dead end. Read more

Message to Testers: Tell a Compelling Story!

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If you’ve spent enough time in your Quality Assurance, perhaps with a traditional title like “QA Engineer” or “QA Analyst”, then you have probably heard the following directive: As testers, we must tell a compelling story to our stakeholders. The context-driven testing community believes this to be paramount to anyone serving in the testing role.

But, what does this really mean? Are we just talking about a scripted checklist here? Are we just trying to sound elite? Is this just some form of covering ourselves to prove we’re doing our job?

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The Case of the 297 Extra Documents—a MongoDB Mystery!

During the second quarter of 2015, my team—one of the Platform teams within Engineering—updated the MongoDB dependency for notification-services as part of an effort to responsibly consolidate MongoDB replica sets across the organization.

In updating from MongoDB 2.4.6 to 3.0.2, we learned much about MongoDB and notification-services, and one particular lesson makes for a good mystery story. 1 I call this “The Case of the 297 Extra Documents.”

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Dealertrack Engineers speak at Vermont’s Code Camp #VTCC7

We’re lucky here at the hub of Dealer.com’s activity in a lot of ways, because Burlington has an amazing and close-knit, tech community.

All over the country, we know Dealertrack engineers that are super involved in their local community of developers, designers, competitive hackers and more. Here in Vermont, though, we’re lucky in that the marketing web product, Dealer.com has a lot of company muscle to help the local scene out for bigger events.

Dealertrack came through recently for the 7th annual Code Camp, held September 19 at the University of Vermont’s School of Business Administration.

According to Meetup, 165 people attended this year’s event, and our company was a proud premiere sponsor of the event.

Four of the key speakers were from our ranks – Michael Hellein and Scott Douglas, senior UI developers, and Jon Hoguet and Peter Vile, both technical leads.

For a complete synopsis of the Code Camp sessions take a peek at their site.

 

For more about our killer engineering team’s contribution to the event, continue on >>

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Dealertrack engineers use public data to #HacktheClimate

Corey, Ben, and David, left to right, at HackVT.
Corey, Ben, and David, left to right, at HackVT.

Three Dealertrack software engineers participated in the annual Burlington, VT-area hackathon, HackVT.

In its fifth year, the gathering has expanded from an event hosted by local tech company MyWebGrocer, to a sprawling hub of activity, attracting competitors from outside of Vermont to work for 24 hours on an application that fits the theme.

This year’s theme: Looking at ways to use technology to mitigate climate change. More than 140 data sets were collected by the organizers, the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, and using Google and state APIs, developer set to the task of making the world a little bit greener. Read more

Dealertrack’s Fall ’15 Hackathon in Full Swing

Twice a year, Dealertrack has an internal Hackathon for all of our Engineering staff across the nation. We’re now in our ninth go-round of this really awesome event that pulls the best of camaraderie and creativity out of our teams.

We break into teams with one mission: to create something spectacular.

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Mad Man: A Day in the Life Of Chris Yager, Dir. of Advertising Software Development

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Chris Yager, the company’s advertising development leader, came to Dealertrack after working for many years at IBM.

The Vermonter’s transition from a major establishment in the tech sector to an up-and-comer has suited him well, and he’s nimbly filled several roles since joining the company.

One thread runs constant in his experiences here, he tells us, and keeps him going – the promise of working with fantastic teams.

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Want a New Way To Test IE Browsers? Try modern-ie-vagrant

The “new” Internet Explorer – now, Edge – logo.

Microsoft, as part of their Modern Internet Explorer project for developers (now known as Microsoft Edge, their new browser), has released a series of virtual machine images covering everything from IE6 & Windows XP (shudder) all the way up to IE 11 & Windows 10.

They’ve released these in a variety of formats, from their own virtualization technology, called HyperV, to Oracle Virtualbox. All of these can be downloaded from http://dev.modern.ie/tools/vms/

The logo for Vagrant.

Unsatisfied with the workflow of downloading these images (all 35GB worth), I set out to leverage Vagrant to make it even easier to get started with these virtual machines. The result is modern-ie-vagrant. Read more

Python at Play: A Day in the Life of Miroslav Shubernetskiy, Software Engineer

Miroslav Shubernetskiy, software engineer.
Miroslav Shubernetskiy, software engineer.

Brooklyn resident Miroslav Shubernetskiy, 25, says he’s surprised at how much he loves the vibe of engineering software at Dealertrack.

When he finished school in New York, at City College, he was quite sure he didn’t want to go into the big, corporate development scene. Still, when he met what would be his team during his interview process and saw how they embraced the best parts of the tech startup culture, all that changed.

More than a year and a half later, he’s now finding ways to challenge himself  at Dealertrack, in leadership roles and the open source community, which he contributes to frequently. Read more

Managers, Check Your Ego at the (Shared) Office Door

Our Engineering leadership team here at Dealertrack has, what I would conservatively call, a healthy ego.

We believe in what we are doing, and we believe we do it well (nevermind that there’s someone out there thinking otherwise).

I define our leadership team as everyone from the chief technology officer, vice president, senior directors, directors, senior managers and managers. I also define our leadership team as our enterprise architect, product architects, solution architects, principal engineers, and tech leads.

As I am sure you can guess, we all think we are special and great and the best thing to happen to Dealertrack since Turing assembled his team to crack the Enigma machine. Read more