Mastering the Art of Scaling: CTO Seth Carney's Deep Dive into Courier's Growth, Challenges, and Success

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Episode Description

1. 🚀 Seth Carney, the CTO of ⁠Courier⁠, an all-in-one notification platform for developers, shares his journey from an InfoSec engineer to a CTO in this episode.

2. 📈 The discussion covers the evolution of Courier, which now processes billions of events each month, showing the power of scaling.

3. ☁️ Seth talks about how ⁠Amazon Web Services⁠ (AWS) has been instrumental in accommodating their infrastructure needs and the challenges they faced along the way.

4. 🛠️ Insights are provided on the role of tracing and observability tools at Courier, how they manage a vast set of metrics and logs, and their approach to latency issues and changes.

5. 💼 The second half of the conversation revolves around the balance between generating valuable events, traces, logs, and metrics and those that are just costing money.

6. 💡 Seth's mindset on building and scaling systems has changed over the years, and he emphasizes the importance of partnerships and transparency in Courier's business model.

7. 📊 Data plays a crucial role in decision-making at Courier. They use data to inform their decisions and provide observability for their customers.

8. 🌍 The episode also touches upon Courier's plans for global expansion and the engineering challenges that come with higher service level agreements.

9. 🚧 Seth discusses the importance of overcoming hurdles and unlocking value during scaling, using various strategies to achieve success.

10. 👥 Finally, the importance of building trust with customers through data transparency and reliable notifications is highlighted. Seth shares his belief that the best scaling and growth occur when there is a great partnership between the customer and the engineering team.

Full disclosure, Courier is a customer of ⁠Propel⁠, the company I co-founded along with Nico Acosta and Mark Roberts.

Show Notes

(0:00:11) - Scaling and Infrastructure Challenges at Courier
Seth Carney and I discussed his career, Courier's journey, AWS scaling, and billions of events monthly.

(0:11:01) - Tracing and Observability in Courier
Seth and I discussed Courier's tracing and observability tools, latency, experiments, traffic diversion, and tracing/sampling in development.

(0:17:53) - Scaling and Value in Engineering Leadership
Seth and I discussed value of events, logs, metrics, scaling, customer expectations, and partnership.

(0:26:32) - Building Partnerships and Transparency in Business
Seth and I discussed transparency, scale, customer needs, and partnership benefits.

(0:31:57) - Data's Role in Decision Making
Seth and I discussed data's role in Courier's success, customer observability, data warehouse access, and Propel-powered analytics.

(0:39:25) - Reliable Notifications and Data Analytics
Data can inform decisions, build trust, provide insights, and drive engagement.

(0:50:27) - Expanding Global Footprint and Engineering Challenges
Seth and I discussed global expansion, engineering challenges, product updates, data residency, and SLAs.

(0:59:44) - Improving Speed and Discussing Family Life
Seth and I discussed efficient solutions, investing in hardware, data-driven decisions, global expansion, and SLAs.

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