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Flite Hackdays - Q1 2014 Edition

It was time again for Flite Hackday where we get together for 24hrs, form teams, and build cool stuff! The purpose is to get out of our day-to-day work mode and to try new things or learn something new. It’s a way for us to tap into our creativity and inspire new ideas. The results from this installment of Flite Hackday was pretty impressive and shows just how talented the team really is! The following is a summary of the different projects…


Team: Dan T., Jiangyue, Mekuria

iFlite is a demo to show how easy it is to take any Flite ad and give it native interaction such as expansions in an iOS app using a custom UIWebView in iOS and a Flite Mixin to allow our ads to communicate javascript commands to iOS. It also serves as a self contained debugging tool by utilizing QR codes to bring in a Flite ad and record and display all interaction and metrics from the ad with out having advance knowledge of browsers or Xcode developer tools.

Debugging Components in SauceLabs

Team: Steve R.

As part of our regression testing, we run Selenium-based tests using a service from SauceLabs. These tests run javascript directly in the window of the virtual browser that has loaded an ad, and can do things like check for the existence of expected dom elements, or that clickthroughs have taken the browser to a new window.

A difficulty when developing these tests is the lack of access to the browser while the test is running, and therefore access to browser-based developer tools that help us understand and debug our javascript. The Voltron Inspector Component provides transparency into javascript tests run in SauceLabs virtual browsers by displaying logs directly in SauceLabs’ test results. If the Voltron Mixin is included in the tag, details from metrics events will be logged. Even without the mixin however, the developer of the test has the option of putting in log statements to display contextual information that will help develop and debug the test.

Realtime App w/ Firebase

Team: Saami, Lana, Grant

There are a number of pool enthusiasts at Flite and mini tournaments spring up from time to time. To track the results, they use a website called Nomad Pool which gets the job done but isn’t particularly well made. At the same time, we wanted to try out using a realtime app platform called Firebase. The app creates 8-player, single-elimination brackets and also has a leaderboard. The result was a very simple, single page of HTML with a little bit of client-side JS to power the whole thing.

Firebase is a great product and really lets the developer focus on making a great reatime app without worrying about the fine details. At Flite we love realtimey apps and we can see it being used in a variety of projects and maybe use Angular and/or Ember too, which pair nicely with Firebase.

Live Top Ads Visualization

Team: Davey, Jason

We created a live visualizations of the top ads being served by Flite, ordered by the number of impressions per minute. We ran a test against our QA servers and generated fake traffic for ads imported from our production environment. We used our existing Realtime infrastructure and a JavaScript layout library called Isotope

The default view is the ads running right now, but you can optionally check out ads from up to two hours previous to the current time. You can also change the layout mode.

Platform Engagement w/ Chartio

Team: Toshi, Lev, Angel, Rob

We endeavored to use Chartio to pull in data from Flite “Radar”, Google Analytics and Salesforce to create an Account Manager dashboard that would show at a glance a bunch of specific, real-time information about their accounts. Chartio was nice to work in, but we had to hand code queries to Google Analytic that involved custom variables, so we never set up the Salesforce connection.

In the end, we validated that we could get all the info into one place, and created, for instance, dashboards with these graphs comparing types of Flite ads published or created (HTML5 vs. Flash) for two different customers.

Dev in the Cloud

Team: Paul K, Chakri

At Flite, we have a pretty complex development environment and it can sometime be daunting to have all the different webapps and such up and running. To simplify life for developers, it would be awesome to have entire dev environments deployed to the cloud! We took a look at using CloudFormation to provision AWS resources developers need to mimic production topology and workflow.


Team: Eugene, Matt P, Mike

This project involved hardware, software, a little raspberry pi, a Wii controller, and some booze. The video says it all…