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The hospitality industry has seen more than a few changes in the past year — some exciting and encouraging, some a bit more challenging. Through it all, though, the tech team at Mews has continued to look ahead to find innovative and thoughtful ways to improve our product and help our customers be more successful.
So, as we kick off 2022, we thought we’d take the opportunity to reflect on — and share — some of what our tech team accomplished in 2021, what that means for our customers, products, and partners, and to look ahead to what 2022 holds for us. In other words, here’s a peek Under the hood of Mews technology in 2021.
First, the team
What better place to start this retrospective than a look at how we’ve grown? We’re thrilled to have reached 100 team members. That number means a whopping one-third of all Mews employees are part of tech and we’re continuing to expand.
A few members of our growing tech team
Why do we need a team of this size? The answer is simple: our product portfolio is broad and to cover everything from our PMS to apps to payments to our open API and marketplace, we need these army of experts to keep it all running smoothly and improving. Speaking of improving, keep reading to find out what we’re most proud of from the past year.
Our biggest tech accomplishments of 2021
Technology evolves so fast it can be tough to keep pace, especially in a startup environment. That’s why a lot of our 2021 initiatives focused on state-of-the-art technologies, tools, and frameworks.
Here’s a snapshot of the many, many initiatives that kept each of our teams busy in 2021.
- We migrated (incrementally) from .NET 4 to .NET 6 which significantly improved backend performance and at the same time we decreased test execution time by 60% and server response time more than 2x. In other words, our developers are now even more productive.
- We undertook numerous infrastructure improvements, starting with making public APIs more resilient, and we reorganized in a way that allows us to scale while also supporting all use cases and guaranteeing the platform’s reliability. We also introduced a way for partners to generate SDKs instead of implementing them manually. You may have also noticed that we also migrated to our new domain, Mews.com.
- With partners spread across the globe, we recognize latency can be a concern so we found and implemented a way to reduce it, and we initiated a new infrastructure as code solution.
We found a way to improve latency for customers around the globe
- But wait. There’s more. We know two-way integrations are the most efficient, so we identified ways to improve the flow of data, increasing resiliency and decreasing processing time. A nice side effect is that hotels now have complete visibility into a process that was historically a black box and a general nightmare to dig into.
- We underwent not-so-simple simplification efforts in our technology and codebase and now have one single unified tech stack across all applications, making it much more attractive and easier to work in for developers.
- You may have noticed improvements in our visual design too. We migrated many of our products to our new design system for improved quality, consistency, accessibility and overall user-friendliness.
Take a look at our new design system
- Thanks to black box synthetic monitoring and collecting metrics, we can now track the performance of the applications, which means we were better able to identify and rectify issues and at the same time make our applications more performant and less resource-intensive.
- We underwent tech stack changes on the frontend too and got rid of our custom dependency injection container in favor of React services. We’re also getting closer to a single page hotel application thanks to rewriting our window/modal manager.
- We migrated our kiosk application to Flutter which now means we can share more code with the other application for hotel employees. It also allowed us to release a version of the kiosk on iOS and pilot a MDM (mobile device management) solution for iOS kiosks. Watch for more on that in 2022.
- After much research and prototyping, our data engineers settled on one single data warehouse solution for use across the company. The migration is under way and already showing additional benefits like a faster Mews Analytics pipeline and update rate.
- The QA team spent 2021 developing and adopting an E2E testing framework. This involved migrating from C# tests written in Coypu to a Robot framework, which lowered the bar of entry and allowed us to automate repetitive tasks, and ultimately it means we could grow QA coverage of our apps and make E2E tests mandatory before deployment, guaranteeing the quality of our test suite.
IT and security
- Security matters, and we’re going into 2022 even more secure, with our ITS group passing ISO 9001, ISO 27001, NF525 and mainly PCI-DSS level 1, and we’ve bumped Microsoft licenses of all employees to the highest possible (E5), allowing us to apply all necessary security policies. We also kicked off an independent product security team to maintain existing initiatives and find opportunities to improve our platform security.
What's next for 2022?
The more hoteliers and brands we talk to, the more we realize that platform and technical capabilities are top of mind. We’re happy to say we’re passing the audits, but we don’t want to stop there, and our focus on technical features will only grow this year.
We aim to not just follow the standards, but to define them for the industry, and that means making platform security and reliability from the customer perspective our number one priority. As we continue to grow and evolve, we want to do so efficiently so we’ll be exploring ways to do that and to support our developers — and, in turn, our customers — with the latest and greatest technologies.
This article was adapted from the original post on the Mews Developer Blog. If you’d like more details on the tech changes, be sure to check out that article. And if you’re interested in joining us on this exciting journey, you can find out more about our company and openings on our career page.
Honza is a Mews OG, having joined way back in 2012. He's now our Chief Technology Officer, heading up a team of 150+ developers, data scientists, QA and IT engineers.
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