We Built a Diversity Dashboard for Buffer; Here’s How You Can, Too

This post is co-written by Julian.

At Buffer, we’re trying hard to be mindful of diversity within our team, as well as doing as much as we can to improve diversity of people in our industry. In an effort to understand diversity across our team as well as people who apply to work at Buffer, we started started collecting diversity data via questions in an anonymous …

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Why We Prioritize Culture Fit Over Technical Interviews In Hiring Developers

In the year and a half that I’ve focused on hiring at Buffer, I’ve received more than 2,000 applications for engineering roles. Of those applicants, 70 have gone on to interviews, and we’ve grown from a team of 2 to 10 engineers.

Learning how to hire great people is one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever faced. I’ve iterated on our process for hiring engineers and I’m glad to have the opportunity to share my lessons. Here’s my first post on our …

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Buffer’s New Data Architecture: How Redshift, Hadoop and Looker Help Us Analyze 500 Million Records in Seconds

Up until recently at Buffer, we had a big problem: we were drowning in data.

Buffer is a data-driven company. So many of the decisions we make hinge on data that we collect and analyze. We track and measure analytics data for all kinds of things – user behavior, how our A/B experiments are running, as well as system-generated data such as API logs.

As outlined in this post by Sunil, we have built a pretty robust platform for tracking and measuring …

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How We Stay Lean While Doing Performance Improvements

As our CTO Sunil has explained previously, we make all our product decisions based on metrics, meaning that we try to launch features early and measure how they impact all our metrics in order to decide which path to follow.

We had the intuition that our current analysis tab in the Buffer for Business area could be tweaked a bit to make the user experience better. And last week Niel, one of our awesome front-end engineers, started drafting out some ideas …

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Buffer’s Content Suggestions: From Lean Experiment to 20,000 Shares a Day

It’s always a pleasure to see something grow. Especially when it starts out small.

Content Suggestions at Buffer has enjoyed this interesting journey from small to growing, and in the span of eight months, it has quickly become one of our core services.

We love helping people share to social media, and content suggestions started out with this idea in mind.

How can we help users share?

The Experiment

One idea was to help people find fresh content. The first implementation started in the middle of January when our co-founder Leo and …

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How Buffer Uses MongoDB to Power Our Growth Platform

At Buffer, every product decision we make is driven by quantitative metrics. We have always sought to be lean in our decision making, and one of the core tenants of being lean is launching experimental features early and measuring their impact.

Buffer is a social media tool to help you schedule and space out your posts on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin. We started in late 2010 and thanks to a keen focus on analytical data, we have …

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How We Built Daily by Buffer in Two Weeks

Daily by Buffer is Buffer’s new content suggestion app available for iPhone, allowing you to add content suggestions to your Buffer each day through a simple interface. This is how it was built.

Daily by Buffer

While updating Buffer for iPhone for iOS 7 we launched content suggestions within our web app, which give users a variety of posts each day that can be added to their Buffer queue to help it stay topped up. Towards the end of developing the iOS 7 update a few of us developed the idea of building a similar app to Tinder where you could swipe these suggestions to approve/discard them.

Download Daily by Buffer for iOS

Buffer Labs

Daily is part of a new “Labs” initiative that we’ve started at Buffer, where we take a lean approach to crazy ideas and see if they’ll work.

Joel talks more about “Buffer Labs” and how we stay innovative as a 3.5 year old startup here.

We gave Daily the codename of “Table Mountain,” seen here on our whiteboard, while it was under Labs. It was a stopgap while we thought up a name for the app and also paid homage to our recent retreat to Cape Town.

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My Ideal Day as a Remote Programmer: Taking Charge of Your Daily Routine

I wrote previously about why programming is a part-time job, where I extolled the virtues of having breaks to allow time for my brain to think about problems I am working on. It seemed to resonate pretty well with people, and it is definitely relevant to fields other than programming. In fact, it’s probably valuable for all knowledge workers to have quality thinking time.

But how do you make the time to step away from the computer? How can you force yourself to think about things without committing yourself to immediately working on something?

I believe that the secret is to have a daily routine. A pretty fixed schedule to the day that hard-codes in those vital breaks to allow the brain to fully function.

In this post, I hope to describe how I try to structure my day to maximize my thinking potential. It’s an ideal day, and I don’t think I have ever achieved the perfection it aspires to, but even a reasonable approximation is extremely valuable.

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How to Think About Security at Startups: It’s a Never-Ending Job

In late October 2013, Buffer suffered a major security breach. As a startup of 8 people at the time, I’ll admit, security wasn’t a top priority on our minds. Our approach when it came to security was to checkmark the basics like setting up proper firewalls, enforcing SSL, and salt+hashing passwords. Going through a security breach changes your perspective on this. We made a huge mistake by doing the minimum.

Since that fateful day we’ve completely revamped how we approach our application security. My goal for this post is to help other startups and app developers understand that making security a priority doesn’t add much overhead and that the investment is well worth it.

The attack

On October 26, my Twitter and Facebook feeds had gone mad with reports that a magical fruit was helping people lose 15 pounds. I realized within seconds that the spam was coming from our app and affecting many Buffer users. Thankfully, because Twitter and Facebook use OAuth for API authorization, we were able to shut down the spamming ourselves within 10 minutes. Approximately 30k Facebook users had their walls spammed during just these 10 minutes. It took us a full week to understand the extent of what exactly happened for this to occur.

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What You Might Find in Buffer for iOS 8

Recently Apple announced iOS 8 and along with it many features that will be hugely useful for Buffer for iOS. Here are my initial thoughts on what you might find in our iOS 8 update this fall.

Buffer sharing via App Extension

We’ve sometimes struggled to get Buffer integrated in other applications, with requests coming in almost hourly for us to integrate in X & Y. With App Extensions we’ll be able to provide a composer that is available in all applications that use the Action Sheet.

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