No Software Engineers? Sorry, Exactly the Opposite

Jeff Palmucci posted November 8, 2015
This post originally appeared as part of an internal email thread at TripAdvisor. If you do not enjoy ranting on the internet (and if you say you don’t, you are not kidding anyone), please read no further. <rant> So last Friday, Ian Bogost’s post on software engineering appeared on TripAdvisor’s internal humor mailing list, “catbert”. In it, he shares his opinion that software engineers aren’t really engineers proper, because of…
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Using NLP to Find “Interesting” Collections of Hotels

Craig Schmidt posted October 5, 2015
There are a lot of hotels on TripAdvisor. At the moment, there are 1790 hotels listed for Paris, 1054 hotels for London, and 466 hotels in New York City. We have been working on better ways to explore these hotels, and find an interesting place to stay. In this blog post, I'll describe an upcoming feature on TripAdvisor, that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to find groups of hotels that…
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The second-best feature of Java 8

Joshua Hendrickson posted September 21, 2015
After far too long, Java 8 finally adds support for real, actual lambda expressions in all of the places you hoped it would. I know of no one who would dispute that the best new feature in Java 8 is support for this basic construct that will simplify code and improve readability. However, you may not be aware that Java 8 includes more new features than just lambda support. So which feature of Java 8 ranks second best? I claim that you…
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Augmented reality on the iPad

Jay Ayres posted September 14, 2015
Another blast from the past, this time related to what was then the new and shiny iPad. We are very excited to announce a brand new Virtual Tours feature for our TripAdvisor iPad app, code-named “OwlCam”. When the iPad launched last April, one noticeable shortcoming was its lack of camera, preventing augmented reality apps from really taking off on the platform. However, augmented reality is such a great tool for…
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Optimizing image sprites for high-density displays with SVG

Jay Ayres posted August 31, 2015
Note: we first published this article several years ago on our old blog. We're republishing today based both on recent staff experiences and on receiving questions on the topic from interview candidates. Image spriting is a well-known technique for improving webpage load performance. Performance is greatly improved by reducing the total number of resource requests to the server, whether those resources are CSS files, Javascript files, or image files. Spriting…
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HTML5 Navigation Timing

Ryan Hurley posted August 24, 2015
There are a lot of client side libraries and frameworks that are used on a modern website. On the TripAdvisor mobile website, we primarily use Zepto and Backbone but there are pages that use React as well. Though these tools can make a developer's life easier, they can also have a detrimental affect on client side performance. With the addition of navigation timing to the HTML5 specification, there is now…
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Going Material

Kedar Sarmalkar posted August 17, 2015
Google introduced material design in IO 2014 and finally established some strong android design guidelines. Here I'm going to describe some of things I had to do to convert the existing non-material TripAdvisor Flights screens to material design. Some of the steps were super easy and straight forward and some required a bit of troubleshooting and tweaking to get things right. Change the target SDK We had already done this…
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Making an Android Wear App

Dharmin Majmudar posted August 10, 2015
TripAdvisor helps you in multiple ways to plan your perfect trip right from finding places you would enjoy, getting trusted reviews from fellow travelers about that place, finding great restaurants that would enhance your trip and finally booking a relaxing hotel to end your perfect day. Once you are actually on your trip you would want to explore what's nearby, and what better way to lookup something quickly than turning…
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Lowering the Noise Floor

Thomas Alexander posted July 31, 2015
Automated UI testing is difficult, especially in a company that moves as fast as TripAdvisor. It seems that every week we have new features and UIs rolling out the door. Unfortunately, with all this development, there is bound to be some bugs that escape our tests. TripAdvisor currently serves 37 points of sale, with over 8 million locations, so comprehensive manual testing is frequently not an option. To aid us…
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Yes, I’m Lazy

Chris Colebourn posted July 24, 2015
The faster a web page loads the more likely people will use it. 80% of the time spent by a user waiting for a page to render is outside the server. The time is divided between downloading components, parsing, rendering content and executing scripts. For most pages, downloading is the largest component. Downloading content has two parts. The number of HTTP requests that need to be made and the total…
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