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Engineering  |  Article

Food for Thought: Femgineering Lunch Recap

Jun 28, 2018

Here at Foursquare, diversity and inclusion is an integral part of our corporate culture that we’re always looking for ways to amplify. Inventing the future of location technology also means taking th...

Engineering  |  Article

You Are (Probably) Here: Better Map Pins with DBSCAN & Random Forests

Mar 19, 2018

Users of Foursquare City Guide and Foursquare Swarm (in addition to users of the thousands of apps built by our API and data partners) routinely interact with our venues on a map. A map is the most na...

Engineering  |  Article

Using Type Safety to Make Translations better

Jan 18, 2017

One of the reasons why we chose Scala at Foursquare is for its expressive type system. We can use the type system to eliminate large classes of bugs at runtime. Recently, we eliminated hundreds of bug...

Engineering  |  Article

Pants 1.0

May 02, 2016

Today, the Pants Project announced the release of Pants Build 1.0. Foursquare is a proud contributor to Pants, and we’d like to thank and congratulate our fellow contributors in the Pants community. F...

Engineering  |  Article

Improving Our Engineering Interview Process

Apr 04, 2016

Up until a year ago, Foursquare had a very typical interview process for a startup. We started with a phone call where the candidate implemented one or two simple questions in a collaborative editor. ...

Engineering  |  Article

Cross Language Information Retrieval Via Taste Translation

Feb 15, 2016

What’s the best place for lamb in Santiago? If you’re a local, you’d know to hit up Jewel of India for their cordero magallanico or Barrica 54 to try the Garrón de Cordero. But what if you’re an Engli...

Engineering  |  Article

Finding Similar Venues in Foursquare

Dec 08, 2015

Foursquare has a deep collection of more than 65 million venues. One of the signals we use to help users discover new places they’ll love is similar venues. Similar venues not only powers the features...

Engineering  |  Article

Improving Language Detection

Aug 25, 2015

At Foursquare, we attempt to personalize as much of the product as we can. In order to understand the more than 70 million tips and 1.3 billion shouts our users have left at venues, each of those piec...

Engineering  |  Article

Personal recommendations for the Foursquare homescreen

Aug 06, 2015

Earlier this summer, we shipped an update to Foursquare on Android and iOS focused on giving each user a selection of “top picks” as soon as they open the app. Our goals with this new recommendation s...

Engineering  |  Article

How the World Looks to Your Phone

Jul 02, 2015

We take a lot of pride in our location technology (also known as Pilgrim) being the best in the industry, enabling us to send these relevant, high-precision, contextual notifications....

Engineering  |  Article

Managing Table and Collection Views on iOS

Apr 03, 2015

As most iOS developers can tell you, dealing with UITableView or UICollectionView can be a pain. These UIKit views form the basis of most iOS apps, but the numerous callback methods that you have to c...

Engineering  |  Article

Gson Gotchas on Android

Mar 17, 2015

This is Part 2 in our 2 part series on latency. In Part 1, we discuss some techniques we use for measuring latency at Foursquare. Here we’ll discuss some specific Gson related changes we made to impro...

Engineering  |  Article

Measuring user perceived latency

Mar 12, 2015

At Foursquare, tracking and improving server-side response times is a problem many engineers are familiar with. We collect a myriad of server-side timing metrics in Graphite and have automated alerts ...

Engineering  |  Article

Geographic Taste Uniqueness

Mar 05, 2015

Last August we launched Tastes to help our users customize their local search experience. Taste tags like “trendy place”, “pork buns”, or “romantic restaurant” not only help users find the kinds of pl...

Engineering  |  Article

Announcing the first Foursquare API Demo Day!

Oct 27, 2014

Every couple of weeks we have an internal demo day — an hour where people demo things they’ve been working on to the rest of the company. Demos can be anything from a prototype app feature to a cool d...

Engineering  |  Article

Exploring the Foursquare 'Taste Map'

Oct 21, 2014

In order to deliver great personalized local recommendations, Foursquare needs to understand not only which places are the best, but also what makes places all over the world different from each other...

Engineering  |  Article

Introducing Pants: a build system for large-scale codebases like Foursquare's.

Sep 16, 2014

Foursquare and Swarm are written predominantly in Scala on the server side. But as we’ve grown, so have the size, complexity and diversity of our codebase:...

Engineering  |  Article

What today's announcement means for developers

May 01, 2014

Today we announced some big news about the products we work on every day here at Foursquare. Read about it if you haven’t already - it’s some pretty exciting stuff. But what do these changes mean for ...

Engineering  |  Article

Good Tech Lead, Bad Tech Lead

Jan 30, 2014

Good tech leads act as a member of the team, and consider themselves successful when the team is successful. They take the unsexy grungy work and clear roadblocks so their team can operate at 100%. Th...

Engineering  |  Article

Mongo on Hadoop

Jan 28, 2014

At Foursquare, one of our most important pieces of data infrastructure is getting a copy of our production Mongo database into Hadoop. Today, we’re open-sourcing two parts of this job, a utility to du...

Engineering  |  Article

The Mathematics of Gamification

Jan 03, 2014

At Foursquare, we maintain a database of 60 million venues. And like the world it represents, our database is ever-changing, with users from all over the world submitting updates on everything from th...

Engineering  |  Article

A chat about data science and our fun visualizations

Dec 11, 2013

A little while back, I gave a talk on a Big Data Panel at the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s China 2.0 conference. We had a great discussion about the uses of data science and the fun visualiz...

Engineering  |  Article

Foursquare's new notifications and the future of contextual mobile experiences

Dec 08, 2013

For the last year I've been obsessed with a new breed of mobile applications that are aware of a user's context: who they are, where they are in the world, and what is going on around them. Apps like ...

Engineering  |  Article

How we built our Model Training Engine

Dec 05, 2013

At Foursquare, we have large-scale machine-learning problems. From choosing which venue a user is trying to check in at based on a noisy GPS signal, to serving personalized recommendations, discounts,...

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