Continuous Improvement

Continuous ImprovementWe have written about this before. At RunSignup this is both a cultural component as well as a technical foundation.

Culturally, we seek to continuously improve. We try to develop good solutions for customers, but they are never perfect. We learn from the feedback and then make improvements. You can see this by how we issue new releases of old functionality like Teams, Donations, Results, TXT Messaging, etc. This cultural acceptance of not being perfect and always listening for ideas for improvement give us literally thousands (we had over 1,800 releases in 2014) of micro-improvements, like the little report we added to the daily registration email today. This allows us to serve our customers well.

Technically, we have built a high availability platform that allows us to make changes to the code and infrastructure and have zero downtime for all but the biggest changes to the database (we have one coming on Thursday). Over the past several weeks we have completely upgraded the servers we are running on Amazon AWS to the configuration we outlined in the Boilermaker opening blog.  With zero downtime. In fact the system is now designed with higher availability and you may have noticed the site got several milliseconds faster 🙂

This afternoon, we updated the software infrastructure (upgrade to HVM and a new version of PHP and a new implementation of caching) on all of our webservers. We have pretty high volume right now with several registrations happening every minute. Not a single registration was delayed or interfered with.  Techies call that “PRETTY COOL!”

We invested a lot of expertise and time to give ourselves these capabilities so that we can truly implement our cultural goal of continuous improvement. This means we can serve our customers well – which makes the hard work all worthwhile.

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