Babbel Bytes

Insights from the Babbel engineering team

How we established monitoring for our product health

Chris Dahl –

In the past, we introduced monitoring and alerting that tracks the technical status of our platform and services. However, we sometimes experience issues that our monitoring cannot detect. This could be team-independent or cross-team issues or even issues that do not have a technical reason. For example, two alerts in different teams might not appear urgent but combined they make an impact. To answer these questions, we have started working on Product Health monitoring.


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Terraform provider for Code Climate is open-sourced

Kirill Zonov

Here is a short release notice. At Babbel, we’ve been using Code Climate successfully for a while, but we were unhappy about the lack of the Terraform provider for it.

Finally, we’ve decided to build our own provider and now it’s open-sourced.


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Start the career as a Software Engineer

Lyudmila Barabash –

One year ago I changed my career from a Recruiter to a Junior Software Engineer. The path was long and challenging but it was worth it! I am happy to share my experience by giving the answers to the most popular questions I get.


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The significance of giving back to open-source

Nikola Velkovski

Companies should encourage and allocate time for their engineers to be able to contribute back to open-source. It does not only improve the product that they are contributing back to, but enhances the feeling of self-worth which in turn has a big positive impact on the well being of the engineers and the company itself.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” Phil Collins


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Testing global event listeners within a React component

Davide Ramaglietta –

Although many developers working with React consider it an anti-pattern, occasionally, there is the need to listen and react to an event globally within a React component. As every good developer out there, you probably want to provide a unit test for this functionality. However, while implementing the test, you might face some troubles… Here comes this article trying to help you on your way through.


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Babbel Neos: the story of eight new junior engineers at Babbel

Gabor Torok –

Babbel Neos was born in May 2018: a Berlin-based, salaried engineering training program for applicants from unconventional, non-computer-science backgrounds. Our target? The aspiring developer who might find it difficult to get a job, otherwise. Through the program we cultivated a mentoring culture and sought to increase diversity within our engineering teams. Six months later, at the program’s conclusion, we hired all eight trainees as junior software engineers at Babbel. They all come from different cultural and professional backgrounds. Six of the eight are women.


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Signing OkHttp requests with the AWS V4 signing algorithm

Frederico Gonçalves

A lot of companies nowadays depend on services provided by Amazon. Babbel is no exception. Calling these services through Http usually requires the requests to be signed. Although Amazon provides a vast amount of libraries that handle this for you, sometimes you need to use your own. Maybe the level of customization you’re seeking is not possible with the provided libraries. Maybe you want to add a feature that uses other 3rd party libraries that are incompatible with the ones provided by Amazon. Or maybe you simply want to avoid adding an entire library just to use a very small part of it. In this blog post, I’ll introduce an open source library we’ve built here at Babbel that signs OkHttp requests.


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