Scaling Twilio

OCT 03

On Sept 22nd, 2011 at the first Twilio <Conference> we had the opportunity to share details on how the engineering team has scaled up the Twilio infrastructure and organization over the past three years. Embedded below are the slides from the talk.

Over the past few years the company has grown from 3 to more than 70. We’ve expanded from phone service to long code SMS, short code SMS, browser VoIP, and mobile VoIP. We’ve extended the Twilio cloud beyond the 5-verbs to conferencing, transcription, presence, and app billing with Twilio Connect. We’ve scaled traffic by more 100x over the past year, and expanded our server infrastructure from a few servers to 100′s running in the cloud.

The presentation also touches on core technologies used by the team, which include PHP, Python, Twisted/gevent, Java, Asterisk/FreeSwitch/JSR289, MySQL, and Redis.

Beyond technology, the presentation also covers the core Twilio engineering cultural values we’ve emphasized to help foster sustainable engineering culture, process and technology:

  • Simplicity - continuously iterate toward simpler designs for internal and external processes, infrastructure and APIs
  • Automation - focus on building tools to augment human processes not necessarily replace them
  • Shipping - build systems and processes that let you ship high quality products more rapidly
  • Empiricism - enable data-based decision making by aggressively measuring infrastructure and business metrics
  • Humbleness - make post-mortems part of your team process and constantly re-evaluate how you and your team and seek ways to continuously improve

Hope you enjoy the talk. We’ll be sharing more presentations on Twilio infrastructure and technology over the next few weeks.

Posted by Evan Cooke on October 03, 2011