Topic: Tech Talk

Design Sprints at Constant Contact

For the past two years, we have been running design sprints here at Constant Contact. Design sprints are a 5-step process for solving discrete business problems through design and prototyping that end with user testing. Our innovation team works with different areas of the organization in a consultative capacity to facilitate design sprints for many […]

Losing the Trees through the Forest

I have written a number of articles for this blog about our adoption of the SAFe framework for scaling Agile. However, it became obvious in late 2014 that we had a fundamental problem. No matter how well we did release planning, epic prioritization, or release trains, it wasn’t getting us where we need to go. […]

From Idea to Production: Steps to Creating and Consuming APIs

Mike Adler, Constant Contact VP Engineering, discusses the history of APIs, and best practices that developers need to consider when building or consuming APIs. Mike made this presentation at the 2014 Ultimate Developer Event. Share your thoughts on what goes into building a world-class API, or, what you need from an API as a developer […]

iOS Security: How Apple Protects Data on iOS Devices – Part 1

Apple has invested a lot of resources into making the iPhone and iPad secure. Here I discuss some of the techniques that Apple uses to secure information stored on iOS devices. Guiding principles In an effort to provide a system that is both secure and easy to use Apple follows these principles. Hide complexity from […]

Innovation Program – Now Accepting Applications

Many of you have probably already heard of Constant Contact’s Small Business Innovation Program, our new accelerator program designed to help entrepreneurs and start-ups developing solutions for small businesses. Our doors opened for the first class at the beginning of the summer (doors which open up into the InnoLoft, our new 30,000 sq. ft. state […]

Supporting Mixed Mode Services in an API

A new contact management system In 2013, Constant Contact started to roll out our next generation of contact management features.  This new generation of CRM was not just some additional functionality – we moved to a new hardware architecture, a new software technology stack and a modern UI design to improve usability.  All in all, […]

Managing Technical and UX Debt

Constant Contact recently released one of our first release planned and executed with the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), known externally as our Toolkit release.  There will  be a future post about some of the lessons learned from that experience, We see  major release as an opportunity to do a retrospective on our process. This post […]

Putting Big Data to Work: What’s Going on with Gmail Opens?

Every month, the Big Data team here at Constant Contact looks at the previous month’s email open trends in order to learn more about what devices our customers’ subscribers use to view emails and how those devices have changed over time. The graph below shows the relative percentages of email opens among our customers’ email […]

Innovation: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Supporting and fostering innovation within a company is challenging and there are many ways that organizations try to foster innovation. I have worked for companies that: Tell employees they can dedicate 10 or 20 percent of their time to their own projects. Host “Innovation Weeks.” Form collaborative “Innovation Teams” to brainstorm innovative ideas. All of […]

Investigating the Impact of Gmail Email Image Caching

Recently, Gmail rolled out to production, the caching of all emailed images on Gmail servers. Many email marketing companies, including Constant Contact, have been wondering what impact this would have on the reporting of open rates for its customers. The following is what we found during our investigation of the issue. First, a little background… […]