A Former engineer detailing about how Dropbox accrued 175M users

A Former engineer detailing about how Dropbox accrued 175M users

Dropbox revealed to reach 175M users at its DBX Conference in San Francisco, which moved up 75M from the earlier mark of 100M last year and that’s rating at about 9.37M per month. Co-founder Drew Houston also noted that they’re saving ’1 billion files’ a day.

Dropbox is a file hosting service provided by Dropbox. It delivers cloud storage, file management, and client software. Dropbox allocate a special folder on each of user computer, which Dropbox then synchronizes so that it emerges to be the same folder in spite of of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder also are easy to get to through a website and mobile phone applications.

Dropbox hit 25 million users just two years ago in April of 2011, and hit 45 million users later that year. Reaching its 100M milestone, Dropbox gifted an additional 10GB of storage to people that tweeted stories about how Dropbox was being used.

Rajiv Eranki, who was earlier head of server engineering at Dropbox, gave a room full of engineers at the RAMP conference, joined Dropbox in 2008 and left in 2011, as he wanted to undertake, he says, “new, different challenges” one of which is probably opening a cocktail bar in New York. (RAMP is run by some big companies that have emerged from Hungary: Prezi, Ustreamand LogMeIn).

After being pulled away from a prospective profession in academia, Eranki joined when Dropbox had only 2,000 users. He worked at mounting up the platform with just one other person operating full time on the back end. In those days, Dropbox had just one database machine and one front-end server.

He told the listeners how that early team did “a lot of things that weren’t efficient but did actually scale for thousands of users.”

That added, they “would not have changed a thing” and this kind of contrary, slightly disorganized way Dropbox started up actually created some profit in engineering terms.

They could dash queries on the user behavior with no trouble without using any special code. They could do Joins across databases whenever required. And the structure permitted for a lot of bug fitting as they could do queries in My SQL easily. Users with large numbers of shared folders only had to make one query of the database. Another benefit was that having just one front end meant the team only had one log to look at.All this meant they “gained tremendous flexibility and scalability,” said Eranki.

For beginners, they could do things that would generally needed lots of work otherwise. Another great learning from the early days was this: They used Python for everything. And it worked.

It meant that after one million users the whole stand was still only operating on hundreds of lines of code, instead of thousands. By using Python for it all “we could get to 40m users without having to write thousands of lines of C code.” Even the client app was written in Python.

It appeared that “most graphs are useless”. Instead they used dashboards to study the performance. Eventually, it turned out that “users” who used Dropbox all the time – were either using is illegally (like trying to use it as a CDN etc) or it was just bugs.

It was the second prime users of Dropbox as you can call them the core rightful users that they were displaying that ended up signifying how Dropbox could develop as a real business. It’s moments like that when a product can turn into a multi-million-user business. Eranki also came up with some great startup training.

He said that every time they attempt to look forward to things or “be clever in advance” they were unsuccessful. In fact, it was much easier to just stay on summit of the architecture as it grew and keep tabs on it.

To avoid ‘Murphy’s Law’ of things going wrong, they would do things like take web servers and hard reboot them just to see if they would restart themselves.

The team also found it was easier to keep log data rather than delete old code usually there would be a need for it later on for whatever reason. “Delete nothing unless necessary,” said Eranki. There was a major doubt in adopting new technology in those early days.

Dropbox is currently in the middle of relocation itself as a depository and organization system for your photos. Redesigns of the app late last year and releases earlier this year have made photo sharing one of the major ways people use Dropbox in an improved manner.

Eranki shared some things went in the wrong direction. They did not maintain a good track of downtime or ruined show. And with hiring, they realized that they should have started earlier and things would have been better when the hired people who were associated to the company in some way or knew the company. From this they learned to hire more people who were in turn proficient in drawing more prospective hires.

In the end, Eranki said that his early Dropbox team found that “being clever about architecture in advance is hard” and “scaling for us was more about prioritizing projects… and building process.”

When questioned about if Dropbox could reach to a billion users from its present 175 million, he said yes it could. After all, that’s only five times larger than what it is today.

Announcements at the conference were having the Data store API for letting apps save and guard user data added or untouched while their device is offline. Meanwhile, the new Drop-Ins with native Chooser and Saver let apps easily pull in your files from your Dropbox into their apps. Houston says “Today is the first day of your life where you don’t have to worry about this stuff. You can focus on making a great app.”

Other announcements during the DBX keynote included a new version of Yahoo Mail for Android with a Dropbox amalgamation was declared, and that Dropbox acquisition Mailbox is releasing a new iOS version with Dropbox integration too.