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How Code was Meant to be Written:
NBCU Develops the Critical Need
for Technical Agility in Media and
Entertainment
By Amar...
// BACKGROUND & INDUSTRY CONTEXT
3
CONNECTED TV
Internet-enabled TV and apps
Roku, Hulu, Amazon Prime, AppleTV
BROADCAST TV
Over the air broadcast and broa...
4
NBCU Ad Sales by the Numbers
6
# Commercials Scheduled
Over 5M commercials scheduled
for 2015 across all properties
$ Reve...
The multi-screen world
7
Even though cross screen planning is difficult because buying systems are disparate
today, we sho...
9
LEARNING FROM LEADING PLATFORMS
Technology
Built almost all technology for content, commerce and
advertising in-house. T...
Every company Needs to Build Great Software
// NEW APPROACH – PARADIGM – REUSABLE
FRAMEWORK
diversity
of data
growing
volume of use
cases &
iterations
growing
volume &
velocity of
data sources
Individuals and interactions over processes
and tools
Working software over comprehensive
documentation
Customer collabora...
NBCU’s Software Approach
design first
rapid
prototyping
agile / cross-
functional
micro-
components
“full-stack”
Technology agnostic means continually sandboxing
new tech
Lean user-centric design drives simplistic, intuitive
experience...
Roles Developer
UX Engineer
Product/ Project
Owner
QA
Technical Product
Manager
User
Devops
Good infinite loops…TDD && CI/CD
Scalable
platform &
network
Sensible
decoupling
Mature
DevOps
Client
partnership
Continue to Iterate
20
21
On Air
iFrame
Compare Carmine
Client
Performanc
e
CIReporting/
Welcome
Screen
Tableau
Mobile
Agency
Portal DMT
SMS/RMX
PAM...
DMTCP RMX TAD
On Air
Data Mart/Lake/Data Warehouse
Sales unit
Services
Data Maker
Data
Stores
ATPPAM
Logical data
Mart/
La...
Key Takeaways
• Everything is iterative, not just development
• Flexibility
• Quality
• Continued teaching & learning
• Su...
• Event storming
• Micro-services & micro-
components
• Design-first approaches
• Data pipelines
• App computing & marketp...
How Code was Meant to be Written: NBCU Develops the Critical Need for Technical Agility in Media and Entertainment
How Code was Meant to be Written: NBCU Develops the Critical Need for Technical Agility in Media and Entertainment
How Code was Meant to be Written: NBCU Develops the Critical Need for Technical Agility in Media and Entertainment
How Code was Meant to be Written: NBCU Develops the Critical Need for Technical Agility in Media and Entertainment
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How Code was Meant to be Written: NBCU Develops the Critical Need for Technical Agility in Media and Entertainment

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SpringOne Platform 2016
Speaker: Amar Sharma; Director, Engineering, NBCU

No one can predict the direction of the television industry or the ephemeral whims of the consumer. However, any corporation seeking to survive in the ever changing media industry must have the technical capability to be immediately responsive to the needs of the business. As the convergence of linear and digital advertising has reshaped the industry, NBC Universal evolved to a CI/CD methodology and became extremely disciplined in the way that product is formulated, prototyped, and iterated upon. Find out more about how their microservices infrastructure and the new way they approach software development has equipped them to make better, data-driven decisions about their product investment.

Published in: Technology
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How Code was Meant to be Written: NBCU Develops the Critical Need for Technical Agility in Media and Entertainment

  1. 1. How Code was Meant to be Written: NBCU Develops the Critical Need for Technical Agility in Media and Entertainment By Amar Sharma
  2. 2. // BACKGROUND & INDUSTRY CONTEXT
  3. 3. 3 CONNECTED TV Internet-enabled TV and apps Roku, Hulu, Amazon Prime, AppleTV BROADCAST TV Over the air broadcast and broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW CABLE NETWORK TV Linear cable TV content Discovery Network, ESPN, A&E VIDEO ON DEMAND Via TV or Web Xfinity Video on Demand, DIRECTV on Demand FULL EPISODE PLAYER Via Web ABC.com, ESPN.com, AMC.com TV EVERYWHERE Via Web HBO GO, Xfinity TV Go, DIRECTV Everywhere What does “TV” actually mean?
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. NBCU Ad Sales by the Numbers 6 # Commercials Scheduled Over 5M commercials scheduled for 2015 across all properties $ Revenue The system will manage over $11B in revenue for 2015 * System Opportunities Build custom systems to help the transactional, analytical reporting areas. Further invest in technology to enable Productivity,
  6. 6. The multi-screen world 7 Even though cross screen planning is difficult because buying systems are disparate today, we should be prepared from a technology & workflow perspective to turn the capability on when buying converges at advertisers / agencies.
  7. 7. 9 LEARNING FROM LEADING PLATFORMS Technology Built almost all technology for content, commerce and advertising in-house. They embrace technology. Allows for quick iteration, better business aligment, agility and control over IP. All of them have invested in self-service programs which makes the time from buying to campaign launch short and efficient. Data Have significant user registration / identity data across screens. None of them let the data leave their firewalls as it provides competitive advantage. Massive implementations of machine learning to inform predictive models. Deploy experimentation and work with large unstructred data sets. These companies invented “Big Data”. People Invest heavily in engineering, mathematics and data sciences. Their research and analytics teams have advanced SQL skills and experience in machine learning using “Big Data”. Go-To-Market Building relationships with advertisers directly. In many cases, agencies are dis-intermediated as they do not provide much value in the equation. This works well with the rising trend of advertisers building in-house DSP / DMP capability. Lastly, content distribution models are changing fast which is why their software services oriented architecture allows them to accommodate those business decisions (because software is often part of the disruption. 1 2 3 4 Thoughtstarters • Are we investing in and aquiring talent to match these leading companies? How do we start shifting our teams to think about unstructured, imperfect data to make decisions? • How do we build more in-house versus outsourcing? How are we going to create IP if all development is outsourced? • Are we building strong client-direct relationships? Do agencies matter? • Do we have the right products, data? How do we get more of our own first party data? Product Almost all of them are working on demonstrating ROI, i.e. sales lift to the target audience. They have already moved beyond reach & frequency. They also provide holistic campaign management across screens. 5
  8. 8. Every company Needs to Build Great Software
  9. 9. // NEW APPROACH – PARADIGM – REUSABLE FRAMEWORK
  10. 10. diversity of data growing volume of use cases & iterations growing volume & velocity of data sources
  11. 11. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan Core Principles
  12. 12. NBCU’s Software Approach design first rapid prototyping agile / cross- functional micro- components “full-stack”
  13. 13. Technology agnostic means continually sandboxing new tech Lean user-centric design drives simplistic, intuitive experiences Continuous development/integration allows for tighter feedback, and faster failure Non Dogmatic Guidelines Test Driven Development enables confident commits Analytics provide insights into what’s working and what’s not Paired or peer reviewed code provides additional oversight
  14. 14. Roles Developer UX Engineer Product/ Project Owner QA Technical Product Manager User Devops
  15. 15. Good infinite loops…TDD && CI/CD
  16. 16. Scalable platform & network Sensible decoupling Mature DevOps Client partnership Continue to Iterate
  17. 17. 20
  18. 18. 21
  19. 19. On Air iFrame Compare Carmine Client Performanc e CIReporting/ Welcome Screen Tableau Mobile Agency Portal DMT SMS/RMX PAM RMX ATP Service Layer: Data Maker Logical Data Mart CDW iFrame MSTR Siteminder/SAML 2.0 Application Tier Reporting Tier Data Tier Data Abstraction Tier Operational Dashboard API Gateway GripIT/Rovi Pro M Media Vu VCD/PPRS Nielsen SalesForce TVROCS Playlist/ AsRun SAP REACT/ OWL Compass EAI Current Architecture
  20. 20. DMTCP RMX TAD On Air Data Mart/Lake/Data Warehouse Sales unit Services Data Maker Data Stores ATPPAM Logical data Mart/ Lake/ Data Warehouse Client Tier Inventory Services Plan Services Rate card Services Log Services Event Services Reference Data Services Factors Services ETL API Gateway/Abstraction Layer Microservices Architecture
  21. 21. Key Takeaways • Everything is iterative, not just development • Flexibility • Quality • Continued teaching & learning • Sustainable pace • Efficiency & Reuse • Talent • Technology and community
  22. 22. • Event storming • Micro-services & micro- components • Design-first approaches • Data pipelines • App computing & marketplaces • Cloud-first (state of mind) • Immutable infrastructures Going forward

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