Richard Boulton home

Weeknotes 8

12 May 2014

This week was particularly short, containing a bank holiday and a day of holiday. It was also somewhat different from normal, since I've been doing my first rotation on "second line" support. This mainly means helping people with deploying stuff, and monitoring the site to ensure nothing's broken. I've learnt a fair bit more about how the site is set up, and various awkward corners of our deploy process. It's also been interesting to see how other teams work by working with them a bit more closely.

I've also been spending time working to ensure we can upgrade our version of Elasticsearch to a version which is merely old rather than ancient. I've now got all the applications which use our main elasticsearch cluster working happily with either release 0.90.x or 0.20.6, so we can upgrade the cluster from 0.20.6 without having to upgrade the applications at the same time. I'm hopeful we'll get this upgrade done this week, which will allow us to start using more elasticsearch features, such as search spelling correction. We're hoping to upgrade to an even more recent release in the near future, but there are sufficient incompatibilities between versions that jumping straight to a more recent version isn't a sensible option.

I spent a little time with the digital marketplace team talking about their search. They have an interesting set of constraints, having to balance a need to provide relevant results with a need to avoid bias or appearing to recommend particular suppliers. I expect to be talking to them further in future to help them build their system.

While I've been on second line, my normal team has been doing some great work on unified search and on tidying up some of my prototype code on using popularity of pages as a feature in the ranking of our search results. I'm excited to see that getting ready to go live, perhaps even this coming week.

I also spent a little time on Friday deploying some updates for search to tidy up some awkward issues.