Vend was launched with the intention of becoming a global cloud company. Four years later we have users in over 140 countries and have processed over 1 billion in sales. As a fast-growth startup, keeping up with demand is pretty critical and we work hard to provide some of the best up-time in the industry. Behind the scenes this requires lots of pluck, cutting-edge technology, and an amazing team of innovative engineers.
For some of you, that may be all you want to know. But for those who love tech and its glorious buzzwords, follow along as Morgan Pyne, our VP of Technology, takes us behind the (software) scenes at Vend.
Vend is a ‘native’ cloud application. How is that different from other cloud apps?
A cloud application is software that you can access from a web-browser anywhere. Since cloud is def the future of software, a lot of traditional software providers are bolting their legacy systems into the cloud – which works, but isn’t really ideal as it’s harder maintain and improve on.
Vend was ‘born’ in the cloud, so all its foundations are cloud-based, making it really secure, more powerful, and easy to scale with demand.
As a native cloud company, we have a pretty great head start when it comes to development processes and infrastructure. We’ve set ourselves up for unlimited growth. There aren’t many cloud companies that operate at the same level as us.
What do you mean by ‘unlimited growth’? Does that mean anything for Vend customers?
Basically unlimited growth means we can meet consumer demand without any problems. You know how a website can go viral all of a sudden, and all the visits can cause it to crash? Instead of ever reaching those kinds of limits, we just add new servers and databases and easily meet demand. This ensures Vend is fast and responsive for everyone all the time.
In terms of our software, unlimited growth means we’ve set things up so it’s easy for us to add new features and improve existing ones. This is actually really exciting for us, and has required lots of pluck and innovation from our engineers.
What is Vend doing that is different?
Imagine traditional code as a huge tower. If you need to completely replace level 12, some remarkable feats of engineering are required.
Vend’s code is horizontal and componentized, so it’s relatively easy to restructure and make additions. In industry-speak this is called Horizontally Scalable Architecture, and we’re definitely leaders in the space.
What is Vend doing in the cloud space that is innovative?
We’re big proponents for Agile development – which has the end result of delivering updates to our end users really quickly. What’s innovative about our Agile methods is our Continuous Development Pipeline.
To elaborate, rather than shipping big chunky updates at intervals (v1.0, v2.0, etc), we update and improve our code continuously – sometimes deploying code 30+ times a day. We’ve automated most of this process – including testing code both before and after deployment – so it’s super fast and low risk. We’re definitely top-tier in the world for this.
Being able to integrate Vend with other cloud services is super exciting for businesses. Can you tell us about how this works?
We offer an API – which basically means Vend can “talk to” other apps and share key information. So if you want to automatically push your daily sales totals to your accounting platform, you can. The possibilities are endless and really exciting for us and retailers alike, so we’re putting a lot of work into our API to make sure it’s top-tier. After some recent updates to our API, the number of API users have increased 100% every month. Expect to see a lot more happening in this space over the next few months.
If there was one ingredient that allows a company to grow this fast, what would it be?
Amazing developers and engineers. The scope of what we do is so big and ambitious, if we didn’t have amazing people willing to tackle the inevitable challenges we wouldn’t get anywhere. So we work really hard to hire the right people – and then harder to make sure our people get the support they need to be world-class leaders at what they do.
About Morgan Pyne
Morgan is the Chief Technology Officer at Vend, responsible for making sure the core infrastructure running the site and app performs superbly.