Hotwire Tech Blog

Scribes from Hotwire Engineering

Goal

At Hotwire one of our goals is to create processes and tools that help deploy new features in iOS apps as often as possible with high quality. In other words, we want continuous deployment for iOS apps. To get there we have two main challenges – one is regression time and another is deployment time. In this blog we will focus on how we reduced deployment time to App store from hours to minutes with the help of Fastlane & Jenkins. It took hours because there are several sub tasks involved like creating a release build, uploading to iTunesConnect, uploading binary & dSYM to Fabric (Crashlytics) for crash…

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1.16 hackathon t shirt

Hotwire recently hosted its first team hackathon for 2016 focused on #Choice, drawing participants from Bellevue, Guadalajara, Kiev, and San Francisco. The 30 teams were formed from 120 hackers from Customer Operations, Engineering, Marketing, Product and Supply.

The hackers were asked to address the power of choice by developing new features to bring more, better and unique choices to customers. The challenge presents a great opportunity to offer more inventory choice and also present existing…

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PROBLEM

When customers search for inventory at Hotwire, we want to present them with results that are relevant and meaningful. This will help the customers get to the inventory they are looking for faster and in turn power the growth of the business by impacting suppliers’ ability to push available inventory. Feature testing at Hotwire and Expedia has proven that sort is a very powerful lever to drive the business as a majority of the purchases are made from the top results. The sorting infrastructure at Hotwire was strongly coupled to a rule based system that limited the speed of iteration and the complexity of sorting models that can be tested. We wanted to solve the…

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The purchase path in any m-commerce app needs least resistance and must be devoid of errors. Credit card entry is a very important component of the purchase path, and in our initial versions of the app this particular component was powered by a third-party open source library. The decision to use that library was purely based on time-to-market.

Why write our own?

Throughout the months that the Hotwire android app was in the play store, there were a significant numbers of errors attributed to this library which exposed deficiencies, especially in the following areas.

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Our partners give us access to their unsold inventory – empty seats on flights, empty hotel rooms, and extra cars on the lot – at big savings. By showing the name of our travel partner after customers book, Hotwire can get travel deals that are significantly below published prices.

Because we can’t disclose a lot of detailed information about the hotel, showing the general location of the hotel via neighborhood polygons on a map becomes a very important feature for our app.

The initial versions of our Android application had only…

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