A short history of Brandwatch

Brandwatch is turning 15 this year. Indeed, the very origins of Brandwatch can be traced back to April 2000. And with this anniversary in mind, I thought it would be worth sharing how Brandwatch became what it is now, picking up a few lessons we learnt along the way. So, once upon a time... Chapter 1: Runtime Collective, ‘00 to ‘03 Fresh out of completing a PhD at Sussex University, I was lucky to hear about a brand new startup called Runtime Collective. And foolish enough to join it as one of its very first employees. So it is that »

Randomised Testing: Finding the needles in the haystack

You have some haystacks; you're fairly sure you've found most of the needles inside of them. You've checked the areas you usually find needles using tried and tested techniques. But you can't be sure - you can never be sure. Some haystacks are smaller or sparser than the others and they're not being used for anything too important. The checks you've made on these haystacks are probably enough to ascertain that the really dangerous needles have been removed, and if there are any remaining needles they should be easy enough to take care of. But what about that veritable mountain »

Scaling: thinking in hardware and software

I remember learning about hardware when I was a Computer Science undergraduate. It was mostly taught separately from software with both subjects residing in different modules on the curriculum. To students without much industry experience, it can be easy to think that hardware and software are extremely different subject areas; the former populated with stuffy electronic engineers and silicon, and the latter being where the real computer science happens: data structures, algorithms and code. At Brandwatch, we find that the best backend developers are the ones that think in hardware as much as software. We have very data-centric technology on »

Brandwatch Engineering: purpose and culture

The Brandwatch engineering team is going through a pretty fast evolution. In 2014 alone we nearly doubled in size and reached the milestone of 100 Engineers. In an industry where needs and solutions evolve faster than ever, we felt the need for a clearer sense of purpose, a direction for what we are trying to achieve and how we will contribute to the success of our company. And so… our mission was born: To build a real data platform and an ecosystem of intelligent products, with world-class engineering Our data platform already sets us apart - a stable, thick base »

Server-side rendering of visualisations using NodeJS

The team in Berlin is currently working on automated reporting for our users. We identified a use case wherein users want to check summary information of Brandwatch queries as a periodic report, without needing to log into Brandwatch Analytics to check a dashboard. The Automated Reports product fulfils this use case. Users can log into Brandwatch and set up a report to be delivered on a schedule, and then wait for an email that contains a link to a static report as well as the same report as a PDF attachment. Another time we'll examine how this entire solution was »