By: Wayne Pichotta

Hackathons are a powerful tool to accelerate innovation by requiring usable and useful code in just a matter of days, these events prioritize substantive progress over lofty perfection. We’ve hosted several of these Hackathons internally at Truecar in the past few years, with a surprising number of groundbreaking ideas finding themselves refined and productionized after the Hackathon was over. In the remote year of 2020, we wanted to continue the tradition, and for months, we held out hope that the pandemic would improve and we could return to some kind of in-person experience. Despite all the advances…


By: Scott Chiang

In this blog post, I will go over how we overcame performance issues on a production Elasticsearch cluster that powers TrueCar’s core business.

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

TrueCar is a digital automotive marketplace that makes the car buying process simple, fair, and fun. We offer millions of vehicles for car shoppers to choose from, which means that it is important for us to store and search large volumes of data in real time. Elasticsearch is the leading application search solution, because it is built to scale, works fast, and allows complex queries that produce precise results. We use Amazon Elasticsearch Service


By: Artem Shugayev

Photo by Paul Carmona on Unsplash

Several years have passed since I last debugged MapReduce jobs running on a remote big data stack instead of my local machine. Much has changed since then, but the stack and its design remain pretty much the same. I’m still following the same steps to configure the environment and adding specific properties that can help in investigation. I’ll try to describe each step using an example from real life: a recent issue we investigated and debugged. If you are using the Avro format for your data, with Java Avro library version < 1.10 (avro.jar), …


By: Kate Seldman

When I landed the role of Product Writer at TrueCar, I’d held several other positions that focused on capturing a brand’s voice and engaging with its audience. At TrueCar, as the sole writer on the product team, I’ve gotten the chance to really hone these skills: I write everything from registration flows to landing pages to disclaimer copy.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

No matter what area or aspect of our product I’m working on, I always aim to create copy that:

  • Is useful and meaningful to our customers
  • Speaks to our customers in a language and tone that resonates with them

By: Joshua Go

Photo by Yancy Min on Unsplash

The story is familiar to any young company fortunate enough to survive and thrive beyond its early years: build fast, find a way to get things done, and jump on opportunities before the market moves on.

This mode of operating works for years, until it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, building isn’t fast anymore. Getting things done somehow feels much harder than it used to. All the opportunities that worked out and made you successful? Those became your core business, which means more systems to keep running, and it sure doesn’t help that you had to make…


By: Regis Wilson

Introduction

Webpack can be used to bundle assets for websites so that browsers can load resources at runtime to display data. There are many things that Webpack can do for you, including the following:

  • Loaders can transform, compile, transpile, minify, uglify, and compress static assets.
  • Plugins can do almost anything beyond loaders, such as optimize bundles, manage assets, and inject environment variables.

This GitHub page includes a subset of the most popular and “awesome” loaders and plugins available for Webpack, to give you a flavor of what’s available.

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

The difficulty for anyone who isn’t an expert in Webpack…


By: Regis Wilson

Introduction

A common pattern for serving static content using Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to use CloudFront to deliver content from Simple Storage Service (S3). This pattern is quick and convenient for getting static assets published and viewed on the internet. However, there are some deeper issues and technical problems needing solving that are hidden from view with this naive approach.

During a recent project, in which we tried to increase the performance of our landing pages, we discovered some strange problems with the way images are hosted for our site. Read on for more details about how…


By: Regis Wilson

At TrueCar, we spend a lot of time making sure our pages look attractive and display information cleanly and clearly. Most of our engineering time is spent making sure our web pages have the most useful content available, look great and are intuitive to use. We have a solid development platform and cloud infrastructure that delivers pages quickly and effectively. However, there are some glaring spots in our site where pages render slowly or perform less than optimally on mobile connections.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

We are working with a new set of initiatives toward creating useful and beautiful landing pages…


By: Jesse Mandel

While “build your existing datacenter in the cloud” shouldn’t ever be your long-term solution, sometimes there are reasons to lift and shift. AWS Server Migration Service easily moves servers to the cloud so you can continue your data center shutdown plan and tackle some of the legacy systems later.

Photo by EJ Yao on Unsplash

When TrueCar decided to migrate from a self-managed data center to AWS, we decided to take the time to rewrite everything in the cloud instead of just moving our servers. TrueCar is not a simple system, but it was easy to see the path: take a bunch of…


By: Noah Matisoff

The benefits of functional programming have become well-known and battle-tested, especially in recent years, and are being adopted in languages that aren’t touted as functional programming languages.

Specifically, in Ruby, there have been many great articles and talks on how to adopt functional style, and even how to mix it with object-oriented programming. Some insightful articles can be found below that will help with prefacing the rest of this article:

  1. Functional Programming in Ruby — Brandon Weaver
  2. Functional Programming in Ruby for people who don’t know what functional programming is — Amber Wilkie
  3. Avoid Mutation — Functional…

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Welcome to TrueCar’s technology blog, where we write about the interesting things we‘re working on. Read, engage, and come work with us!

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