Adventures in San Francisco – part three, an introduction and a talk with

Following on from my earlier visits to Sauce and the Googleplex, before attending Google I/O 2016 I took the time to visit Keen IO.

Keen IO

If you don’t know about Keen, they are an awesome platform, providing analytics for developers. In this post, I’ll show you a couple of ways we’ve used Keen IO, as well as bringing you video of the talk I gave about it during my visit to Google I/O 2016.

With Keen’s developer-friendly APIs, it’s easy to collect, explore, and visualize data anywhere. Apps and websites, customer-facing dashboards, IoT devices, you name it.

You can use Keen as an object store; just send them JSON, they will manage the schema, analyse the data and visualize it for you. However, the real power comes from being able to use their set of APIs any way you like: collect data in the real world from your IoT (Internet of Things) device; run online queries; visually compare metrics; extract data and use your own visualisation tools — it’s all possible.

Here are two very different examples of how we have used Keen IO.


Keen is one of the ways we implement Real User Monitoring for The image below shows a simple percentile metric for DOM interactive over a three-hour snapshot, the y-axis showing time in milliseconds.

DOM interactive

This can be broken down into many levels of granularity, including geolocation, device type and content type. (In a future post, I’ll go into more detail about performance monitoring and how to get started.)

IoT data collection

Recently, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP sponsored Fullstack 2016 London. A few of our developers attended a workshop working with Tessel 2, “a robust IoT and robotics development platform”.

The teams had three hours to hack together a project that interacts with the real world. One of the resultant hacks,, was used to solve an age-old conference problem: free and available wifi. The team looked for all the available wifi networks, and, by sending the data to Keen, ranked the networks by availability and proximity.


Getting back to the trip to San Francisco, I wanted to chat with the Keen team about the platform and where they are going and they were also interested in knowing more about Net-A-Porter. I worked closely with their community team to organise my trip, my talk and they also wrote a post about development at YNAP on their blog.

Their team was super accommodating and all awesome people, so thanks to everyone at Keen. After all the fun of travelling around San Francisco, I was due to give my talk at their happy-hour event. With it being the night before Google I/O 2016, and with our journey with Polymer starting at I/O 2015, I thought that was the perfect topic. Below is the talk I gave giving details how we have evolved as a tech team.

So that was the the last of my adventures around the city, next it was onto Google I/O. Now I realise it’s quite late to give a round up of an event that was two months ago, so for my final part I will not just cover the event but try to put into practice some of the stuff I learned.

(Parts one, two and four.)

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