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SE Radio 95: The New website with Matt Wall and Erik DoernenBurg

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  • Nice interview. I like the “this is what we did and how”

    No problems solved, but a nice overview of how they worked and strugled. Good to hear about the tools they use. And how they grow over time.

    Thanks for the podcast.

    Bram van Oosterhout

  • IT architecture seems to be a bit like that job question, how much do you earn? it seems to be seldom talked about. This was a very good interview with a lot of interesting information on the architecture and the specific tools and techniques used to rebuild a web site into a best of breed site. This was particularly interesting form me as my company is doing pretty much the same thing, 2 year project, bring in agile approach, create a software stack to be deployed across a number of related sites, Millions of unique browsers per month.

    Just a question, is there a chance of getting a link to the slides as they were presented at any number of conferences? it seems that the JAOO ones are password protected, to participants? There is also OOP 2008 and TheServerSide 2007 according to

    cheers Michael

  • this was an excellent interview – the right level of detail and interesting discussions about solving problems and tackling complexity.

    More case studies like this please!!!


  • Hi Erik,

    I too found your interview extremely interesting, as it talks about a technology stack that is almost the same as the project that I’m currently working on. I would love to have a look at any presentation slides that you may have prepared for your talks. I am particularly interested in the build and multi-phased testing infrastructure you described. What sort of technologies did you use for your acceptance/functional tests? What about load, scalability, penetration and accessibility tests?


    Alexander Yap
    ThoughtWorks Australia

  • Thanks saramic for your comment. We have a couple of slide decks, one from OOP2008 / Jaoo and one from Xtech which we presented in Dublin the other day going into a little more detail on our information architecture. I’m at home at the moment and don’t have the slides with me but I’ll get them over to you when I get back in the office.

    Good luck with your project!


  • Hi Mat,

    Thanks for the info.
    A question about your Selenium tests. Did you drive your Selenium tests using the tables format, or via Java code, or using a behaviour-driven framework like story-runner?

    Alexander Yap
    ThoughtWorks Australia

  • Alexander,

    We drive our Selenium tests via Java code. For each screen in our administration application we have a Java abstraction that can drive the screen in Selenium. This means that developers don’t have to switch mindsets too much when writing acceptance tests.

  • I’ve now uploaded the slide deck we used at OOP 2008 to my site. You can find it at:

    That said, you’ll probably find that the slides don’t make too much sense without Mat and I talking. Not a big fan of PowerPoint prose.

  • Hi,

    It sounded like a nifty tool for monitoring hardware usage/stats was mentioned, but I couldn’t catch the name, and my phonetic Googling wasn’t up to the task. Could someone familiar with it let me know the actual name?



  • We use Zabbix to monitor the various system attributes in our architecture. We also use Oracle Enterprise Manager to monitor the database and Cacti for realtime monitoring of services.



  • Hi Mat,

    Thanks – I was having a very difficult time trying to guess likely spellings using Google 🙂



  • I couldn’t be happier for Kris. Roy Preston of Springfield, an original East Liberty associate who has worked at Honda Bloomfield’s high speed research center.

    He showed a highly impressive performance.

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