Why managing dev environments is a full time job at Eventbrite


How is the Eventbrite application architected?

What’s your development environment setup now?

How did you decide it was time to build yak?

What areas do you recommend tracking regarding developer productivity?

How did you collect feedback at Eventbrite?

  • Instrumentation into the tools. Every time a developer would build, run, or deploy docker images we would send metrics. Similarly, every CI job would do the same. Then we would generate some dashboards for the metrics to track and measure the progress over time. If you are using a tool like Sumologic or Datadog, it’s very easy to send custom metrics and build dashboards.
  • Quarterly engagement surveys.
  • Demos: invite other engineers to show them the progress and engage with them.
  • New hires: these new employees bring a fresh perspective and they are not afraid to ask questions and challenge the status quo.
  • Networking: build relationships with other developers (coffee breaks, office visits, lunches, etc..)

Can you give some examples of developer productivity OKRs (objectives and key results)?

  1. Time to start the developer environment is under x min
  2. This time is usually wasted time, so it’s important to track it and improve it. If the dev stack is unreliable or slow, it would be captured in this OKR.
  3. Engagement is over x%
  4. If you send an engagement survey every quarter, you can have an OKR to make sure the trend is upward. Seeing a drop would mean that the team might not be working on the most relevant projects.
  5. Average time from commit to QA/Prod
  6. This one will capture the CI/CD pipeline effectiveness. If you experience some flaky tests or deployment errors in the pipeline, it would negatively impact the key results.

Are there any warning signs people should look out for in order to know their developer productivity is suffering?

  • Increase in support cases and/or requests for help. If developers need external help to do their work, this is a sign that a process is too hard to use or not well documented.
  • On the other hand, I’d be worried if you find out that some processes aren’t working properly but nobody reported them to your team. You want developers to be always looking for improvements and not accepting a broken process.

Kelda and Eventbrite





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