Category Archives: Foursquare Engineering Blog

Foursquare Engineering Blog

Introducing Pants: a build system for large-scale codebases like Foursquare’s.

Foursquare and Swarm are written predominantly in Scala on the server side. But as we’ve grown, so have the size, complexity and diversity of our codebase: We currently have around 700,000 lines of handwritten code in 6500 .scala files. We … Continue reading

What today’s announcement means for developers

Update (August 2014): For the latest on our plans for the API, be sure to read our entire recent update for developers. Today we announced some big news about the products we work on every day here at Foursquare. Read … Continue reading

Looking forward to Mongo 2.6: A deep dive into the new write commands

We’ve been longtime Mongo users at Foursquare and each new version has brought enhancements in performance, reliability, and features. Mongo 2.6 has a bunch of new features that we’re excited about, but I’m going to focus on just one which … Continue reading

Good Tech Lead, Bad Tech Lead

A brief guide to tech leadership at Foursquare, inspired by Ben Horowitz’s Good Product Manager, Bad Product Manager. Teamwork Good tech leads act as a member of the team, and consider themselves successful when the team is successful. They take the … Continue reading

Mongo on Hadoop

At Foursquare, one of our most important pieces of data infrastructure is getting a copy of our production Mongo database into Hadoop. Today, we’re open-sourcing two parts of this job, a utility to dump Mongo to Hadoop, and code to … Continue reading

The Mathematics of Gamification

At Foursquare, we maintain a database of 60 million venues. And like the world it represents, our database is ever-changing, with users from all over the world submitting updates on everything from the hours of a restaurant to the address … Continue reading

Foursquare’s new notifications and the future of contextual mobile experiences

For the last year I’ve been obsessed with a new breed of mobile applications that are aware of a user’s context: who they are, where they are in the world, and what is going on around them.  Apps like Dark Sky, Google … Continue reading

A chat about data science and our fun visualizations

A little while back, I gave a talk on a Big Data Panel at the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s China 2.0 conference.  We had a great discussion about the uses of data science and the fun visualizations we do with … Continue reading

How we built our Model Training Engine

At Foursquare, we have large-scale machine-learning problems. From choosing which venue a user is trying to check in at based on a noisy GPS signal, to serving personalized recommendations, discounts, and promoted updates to users based on where they or … Continue reading

Foursquare Native Auth on iOS and Android: Developers, connect your users more quickly than ever

A few weeks ago we were excited to announce one of our most-wished-for features from our developer community, native authentication for iOS, and today we’re happy to announce we’ve also shipped support for native auth on Android in our latest … Continue reading