First things first, Trust each other

  “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” Ernest Hemingway Trust is the bedrock of all effective teams. When it exists, team members speak freely, don’t second guess each other and formal hierarchy fades into the distance. Sadly, trust is often hard to gain and very easy […]


Commoditizing Music Machine Learning : Services

Five years ago, music personalization at Spotify was a tiny team. The team read papers, developed models, wrote data pipelines and built services. Today personalization involves multiple teams in New York, Boston & Stockholm producing datasets, feature engineering and serving up products to users. Features like Discover Weekly and Release Radar are but the tip of […]


To Coach or Not to Coach?

coaching

A little while back during a coaching book club, a few Spotify coaches started a discussion about a common pitfall they found: why do we default to the coaching stance so much? The coaching stance is a tool used to help a partner to think and problem solve a situation through non-judgmental dialogue with the coach. It […]


Managing Machines at Spotify

cpm

Introduction When you log into Spotify, browse through your Discover Weekly playlist, and play a track, you’re interacting with some of our fleet of around 12,000 servers. Spotify has historically opted to run our core infrastructure on our own private fleet of physical servers (aka machines) rather than leveraging a public cloud such as Amazon […]


Spotify’s Event Delivery – The Road to the Cloud (Part III)

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 21.00.14

Whenever a user performs an action in the Spotify client—such as listening to a song or searching for an artist—a small piece of information, an event, is sent to our servers. Event delivery, the process of making sure that all events gets transported safely from clients all over the world to our central processing system, […]


Spotify’s Event Delivery – The Road to the Cloud (Part II)

Gabo System Design 2x

Whenever a user performs an action in the Spotify client—such as listening to a song or searching for an artist—a small piece of information, an event, is sent to our servers. Event delivery, the process of making sure that all events gets transported safely from clients all over the world to our central processing system, […]


Spotify’s Event Delivery – The Road to the Cloud (Part I)

Old System Design

Whenever a user performs an action in the Spotify client—such as listening to a song or searching for an artist—a small piece of information, an event, is sent to our servers. Event delivery, the process of making sure that all events gets transported safely from clients all over the world to our central processing system, […]


Things We Learned Creating Technology Career Steps

This is part three of a three-part series on how we created a career path framework for the individual contributors at Spotify. Part one discussed the process we used to formulate the framework. Part two contained version 1.0 of our framework. In this segment, I’ll talk about the lessons we learned rolling out the framework […]


Spotify Technology Career Steps

This is part two of a three part series on how we created a technical career path for individuals at Spotify and what we learned in the process. This post contains the actual version one of our Technical Career Steps. This is the complete document, so it is a bit long. In the next and […]


Building a technical career path at Spotify

Spotify launched a career path framework for individuals last year. Since then, I’ve spoken to leaders at several other companies about it. This seems to be a bit of a hot topic, so I’ve decided to write about our model and how we arrived at it. Hopefully, this may be useful to your company. This […]