Introduction

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Skyscanner’s Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline is built to support tens of thousands of deployments per day. The frequency of production deployments cannot come at the expense of security. In fact, security processes need to be integrated within the CI/CD pipeline. That’s why we added continuous security validation at each step of the pipeline, from development to production, to help ensure our applications stay secure.


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This post describes how we improved the query performance for our OpenTSDB cluster and enabled queries that previously were impossible by reducing the resolution of historic data.

Skyscanner’s focus is to drive every decision in Skyscanner by complete, timely and accurate data. As part of this, we’re operating a large metrics and logging platform that enables all engineers in Skyscanner to monitor their service 24 hours a day. We provide application logs and any metrics that our engineers would like to record; for instance, business and operational metrics for their services. We store and serve the data that powers Grafana…


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Introduction

Skyscanner’s products are powered by hundreds of services hosted on AWS. In order to deploy changes and new services to production with zero clicks, we have an automated pipeline that´s responsible for building, testing and deploying new code, and provisioning and configuring new infrastructure. Developers perform these changes by writing CloudFormation templates that model their service’s Infrastructure as Code (IaC).

CloudFormation is an AWS service that essentially allows developers to programmatically provision AWS resources. CloudFormation templates could have security issues similar to regular source code, such as hardcoded secrets, overly permissive permissions, and many more.

Our goal at the Security…


Cristiano Balducci is one of our squad leaders. A problem-solver at heart, Cristiano shares valuable insights on how you can identify issues and achieve your goals as a team. Read this short blog to discover his top tips on how to achieve some of the most impressive sprint goals. If you want to find out about how we troubleshooting our process and what we have learnt doing this click ​here​.

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How do we choose impactful sprint goals?

Here at Skyscanner we are arranged into squads and tribes; I’m a squad lead, and my squad — like many of the other engineering squads at the company — uses…


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Two years ago in Skyscanner we made the decision to start moving our workloads to Kubernetes. Today, even though this transition is far from complete, our infrastructure is using >2000 nodes spread across 30 different clusters to power a fleet of >160 services.

As part of the transition to Kubernetes, the Security team had to come up with a way to detect malicious activity in Skyscanner’s Kubernetes clusters. Due to the sheer size of the target we want to monitor, the solution we chose needed to be able to scale as much as our most demanding services, without hindering their…


When Alexandra Haret heard the ‘call of the code’, she left behind a ten year marketing career to retrain as a software engineer. Along the way she realised that her story is not as uncommon as she thought — and that not all grad schemes are created equal.

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Students attend a graduation ceremony at Walla Walla University in Washington, USA

In June I (re)joined Skyscanner as a thirty-plus year-old graduate software engineer. How did this come about? The answer to this question has two parts…

Part one — my not-so-uncommon story of career change

A few years ago, I decided to pivot from an almost ten-year career in marketing and address a question that was echoing more and more loudly in my head: would I enjoy working as a software engineer more? So I decided to woman-up, quit my job, and spend a couple of months on full-time home learning — and sooner than I ever dreamed possible, I got my first job as a web developer.

I remember…


Over the last few weeks Skyscanner has been looking for some of the best talent to join its engineering team. In this video, our Chief Technology Officer, George Goodyer talks about some of reasons he works at Skyscanner and what inspires the team day to day.


In this follow-up to her influential post, Finding the steps on the individual contributor ladder, Nicky Wrightson discusses her experiences as a principal engineer at Skyscanner, and assesses the company’s support for individual contributors — does it run deep, or is it skin-deep? Read on for her take…

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The sun rises over London, UK, where Skyscanner’s engineering team includes a closely knit community of principal engineers

Skyscanner is growing and our Engineers don’t just love working here — they love telling people about it. Over the next few months some of our most passionate engineers will be writing to showcase our London hotbed of software engineering talent, and how we’re impacting millions of travellers, all over the world.

Introduction

In my recent blog post, Finding the steps on the individual contributor ladder, I wrote about the problems that exist in the industry around defining and finding senior individual contributor (IC) roles like that of principal engineer (my own role). As I observed in my blog post, you…


What does it actually mean to be a ‘principal engineer’? Skyscanner’s Nicky Wrightson draws on her experiences, her missteps, and her research to profile one of the most in-demand roles in the world of individual contributors. Read on to find out if the IC route is for you…

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A plane flies through the cage of a building ladder in Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Skyscanner is growing and our Engineers don’t just love working here — they love telling people about it. Over the next few months some of our most passionate engineers will be writing to showcase our London hotbed of software engineering talent, and how we’re impacting millions of travellers, all over the world. Nicky Wrightson has also written a follow-up to this blog on what it’s like to be a principal engineer at Skyscanner, which you can find right here.

Introduction

I rose through the ranks to become principal engineer at the Financial Times. Since leaving there I have had two principal…


Skyscanner’s design system, ‘Backpack’, played a crucial role in enabling the company’s recent brand refresh. In this piece, Shaun Donnelly looks at how having a design system helped Skyscanner — and could help other businesses give themselves a makeover

Introduction

In September 2019, our new brand launched. It was the culmination of over a year of work, touching every part of the company.

Three screenshots of the Skyscanner app on iPhone, displaying various screens from the UI.
Three screenshots of the Skyscanner app on iPhone, displaying various screens from the UI.
Our iOS app showing off our new brand.

The squad I work in looks after Backpack — Skyscanner’s design system. We were tasked with using Backpack to seamlessly roll out the new brand across all of Skyscanner’s products. Here’s how we did it.

Primer

We describe Backpack as ‘the codification of Skyscanner’s design language’ — a representation of all the discussions, debates and decisions that make up design at Skyscanner.

Backpack is the codification of Skyscanner’s design language.

Backpack provides components for three platforms: Android (Kotlin/Java…

Skyscanner Engineering

We are the engineers at Skyscanner, the company changing how the world travels. Visit skyscanner.net to see how we walk the talk!

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