A Year in Review: 2021

By Devon Blandin, The Artsy Engineering Team

Ufff, 2021 was a tough year. It was the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. We tried our best to support each other through these challenging times and in that spirit, we feel like it’s important not to lose sight of our accomplishments. As we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022, here are some Artsy Engineering wins from this past year.

What did you ship in 2021? We would love to hear about it and celebrate with you!

  • Recorded and released 42 episodes of the Artsy Engineering Radio
  • Onboarded 23 engineers in Berlin, Germany
  • Leveraged our investment in React Native to launch the Artsy Android App
  • We opened 13,368 pull requests! 12,054 were merged and 1,050 were closed. (note: includes contributions in private repositories)
  • Responded to and resolved 29 incidents
  • Collaborated with iTechArt engineers on impactful projects
  • Migrated more repositories to deploy continuously
  • Significantly improved Core Web Vitals across our web surfaces
  • Answered a bunch of questions in our #dev-help Slack channel to help get each other unstuck!
  • After many false starts, we finally agreed to pull the trigger on a full auction bidding engine rewrite
  • More stable end-to-end automated testing tooling (codenamed “integrity”)
  • Worked with Applause to help us with external QA for our mobile apps
  • Bootstrapped a new data engineering team
  • Launched our a new recommendation model (codenamed “affinity score”)
  • Developed an in-house auction results pipeline
  • Launched improvements to our recommendations (New Works for You) for the first time in a while!
  • Launched integrations with Arta (shipping), Avalara (tax compliance), Algolia (search), Adjust (analytics), Braze (marketing), and Postie (marketing).
  • Moved 38+ of Force (artsy.net) apps to a new and improved V2 setup
  • Rebuilt our design system Palette, updated its documentation, and migrated many web and mobile surfaces to the new look
  • Rebuilt our artwork inquiry flow! Finally!
  • Migrated to a new marketing email service provider without incident (described as a project “i wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy”)
  • Added Make Offer support for artwork inquiries
  • Hired our first agile coach!
  • Tech leads are taking more ownership over the success of their teams
  • Moved a bunch of projects off of Heroku and onto our Kubernetes infrastructure
  • Invested in an improved turn-key set-up for new folks
  • Integrated our API with more third-party art management systems like ArtBase and Artsystems
  • Spun up a trial integration with Split (experimentation and feature flagging vendor)