A busy, fun week at Singly

Monthly Happy Hour

Every month we open our doors to the public for an evening of drinks, socializing and, inevitably, rampant discussion of APIs and personal data. It’s a great way to strengthen our relationship with the developer community while drawing feedback on our new projects and features – and learning about all the cool things everyone else is building. Join us next month, and, for now, check out a quick time lapse of this week’s happy hour:

Field Trip

Our other exciting event this week was a field trip to Oblong Industries, which is a company that’s building hardware and software to change the way that users interface with computers. Using gesture recognition, video conferencing, shared workspace and more, Oblong is doing some very interesting work.

Here we are interacting with Oblong’s cool technology:

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Here's a typical day at Singly. Some of use are traveling or working from home while the rest are in the office.

From itch to scratched: Google Hangout permalink

If your company employs remote workers you’ve likely tried to videoconference at some point and you’ve probably found that Google Hangouts is the best option available. If you’re like Singly and you use Hangouts every day for your standup, you may agree that it’s generally wonderful but for a few flaws.

Here at Singly, we were seriously pumped when Hangouts with Extras added static URL support, because it meant that someone didn’t have to spend 5 minutes setting up the Hangout and disseminating the URL.

We were as bummed as we had been pumped when that feature was removed and our standups started happening later and later.

At Google IO this year I got a chance to ask if that feature would come back, and while I didn’t get a clear answer I did get an awesome workaround:

  1. Use the newly released Google+ Events feature to create an event some date far in the future (I used a year in my test)
  2. Click the Hangout URL after the event is created
  3. Copy that URL and use it until the event expires a year from now!

For extra points you can create a website redirect like we’ve done at Singly (Apache syntax):

<VirtualHost *:80>
 ServerName hangout.your.com
 ServerAdmin "Your Name <you@your.com>"
 RewriteEngine on
 RewriteRule ^.*$ <YOUR GOOGLE HANGOUT URL HERE> [L,R] ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/hangout.error.log
 CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/hangout.access.log combined LogLevel warn
<VirtualHost>

We find it unfortunate that a feature we so dearly appreciated has gone to the wayside, but this project gave us a quick reminder of why we’re all here doing what we’re doing: to solve problems.

One more thing:
Check out the Singly Developer Contest!

Join us!

We’re always open to adding great engineers to our team. We have an opening at the moment for Infrastructure Engineer. We’ve built a powerful platform. We have some awesome apps in the works and it’s time to scale.  email us at ohhai@singly.com

Infrastructure Engineer

Your mission: Design, implement, maintain and scale Singly hosting infrastructure

  • Lead infrastructure projects from concept through final deployment
  • Identify and eliminate problems which limit scalability, security, and robustness
  • Evolve infrastructure to meet technical and business objectives, as we grow and change
  • Develop tools and applications to automate and standardize operational tasks
  • Partner with other engineers to complete projects spanning the full application and infrastructure stack
  • Respond to operational problems such as performance and availability issues, analyze and identify root causes, and take corrective action

Tools of the trade – Be able to work with technologies such as these, and others in their respective classes:

  • Amazon Web Services, especially EC2
  • Puppet
  • Node.js
  • Graphite
  •  Ubuntu Server
  • Git and Github
  • Capistrano
  • LXC

Here’s a bit about us:

We’ve built what we feel represents the future of the personal internet: the personal data platform. It supports our mission to empower individuals and developers — improving the ways we create, connect and share with applications and one another.

Our office is open, beautiful and bright. In fact, so is our team. We ♥ node.js, sunlight, good beer, music, vegetables and anything open source. We maintain a positive atmosphere; open communication; and an ever-challenging workload. And we’ve made it known to our account holders, investors and the internet: selling sugar water just isn’t our thing.