We started graze.com 5 years ago to make healthier snacking easier, anywhere in the UK. For a long time we kept our tech quiet. When most people browse their favourite snacks they don't want to know about the complex algorithms that choose the contents of their box, nor the home grown logistics and manufacturing systems we have developed. Nor do they want to know about our deep integration with the Royal Mail or the complex challenges of a slick software development pipeline or of the automated provisioning of diverse infrastructure at AWS.
This blog is not for those people.
Though we won't be giving away the crown jewels, I hope we can use this blog to start to really contribute to the debate on some of the key tech issues of the day and to talk about some of our mistakes and achievements here. It is part of a wider initiative to start giving back to the communities that have supported us. We have benefited enormously from the dedication and effort of people across the world and it is time to return the favour.
Our plan is five-fold:
Contribute to open source projects
Our incredibly talented team of developers and systems engineers have a huge amount of experience and knowledge under their belts. We're going to take that experience and feed back into projects from which we have gained so much.
Open source areas of our platform
Though large parts of our platform are purpose built with a very specific application in mind we are committed to open sourcing where appropriate – not just so that others can benefit from our R&D but also so that we can benefit from your input as the software matures in the hands of the crowd. This has started and you will hear about that in this blog's next post.
Discuss our engineering challenges and achievements on this blog
We do some pretty amazing things here and we want to start talking about them. Hopefully we can help you avoid making some of the mistakes that we have made along the way and with any luck we'll pull back the curtain on what an extraordinary team and working environment we have here at graze.
Dedicate hacker time to support these initiatives
Open sourcing and blogging takes time and we recognise that. We are introducing hacker time here at graze (to be discussed in future posts on this blog) and one of many great uses of that time is to support this initiative. We care that we can contribute, the team here are passionate about it and everyone at graze supports that.
Get out more
You'll start to see more of the team attending events and talking about what we do. It's a great experience for the individual, it's great to be able to talk about what we do and get some peer review and it's a great way for you to come and meet us in an informal setting. We are ALWAYS on the lookout for smart people – if you are the right person and you want to be a part of what we are doing then there'll be a place for you here at graze.
I really hope you enjoy this blog, and from time to time it helps you scratch that itch or gets you out of a hole. Your blog may well have helped us do that in the past. It seems only fair.
by Tom Percival