Steady Progress: 4


Hello, I'm Mitch Trale—Technologist at PucaTrade. Steady Progress is a series of posts detailing upcoming technology changes at PucaTrade. 

Something New

2017 has brought many changes to PucaTrade. We spent the last couple of months in 2016 developing Promoted Trades, and their introduction to the system this year has been a success. There are still a few issues we’re working through to ensure that Promoted Trades are as useful as they should be. We want to feature Promoted Trades more prominently in Package suggestions, and we want to provide you with more filter options on your Wants list.

Beyond Promoted Trades, we've been fixing bugs, adding small quality-of-life features, and supporting the backend infrastructure through database optimization, better logging, and upgrades to some core libraries—check out the Version History. In 2017 we hope to build social/friend features, offer more leaderboards, create a more general API, and speed up site performance to reduce load times, among many other things. If you want to see exactly what we're working on, take a look at our Trello board. As you can see from the board, we have a lot on our plate. To be honest, it's more than we can handle alone. This has got us thinking about making some changes in the technology team.

Something Coming

PucaTrade’s technology team has devoted time towards this project in different amounts since the spring of 2013. In the beginning, there were three of us—Chris, Cody, and myself—and we worked on the project one or two days a week. The money was not really there, but we were passionate about PucaTrade and were committed to building something cool and useful for the Magic community.

We kept most early development in-house, working with a few trusted colleagues around the Bay Area. Later, we reached out to talented people we'd met online, and collaborated with engineers, economists, and domain specialists whenever we could. With new collaborators we continued to build new features, more robust data management processes, and better backend tools and reports so that we could monitor how the system was performing.

Now, we're reaching out again. We're interested in meeting open and thoughtful developers who care about PucaTrade and who want to see it succeed and grow. We have a number of new initiatives planned for this year, and would like to meet members of our community who are willing to offer their skills and drive to make an impact on the technology that powers PucaTrade. If your skill set falls in our stack, we'd like you to consider reaching out.

Our stack is React, Node, PHP, MySQL, and Linux. We've used these tools to solve some interesting problems, and we'd be happy to share our approach and our infrastructure with others who have a passion for technology. Some of our infrastructure is boring but some of it is very wild. There are interesting things to learn from our experience, and there is always room for improvement. We are also open to using new technologies, as long as they play well with our core systems.

If you would like to learn more about contributing to the technology at PucaTrade, please email me with some information about yourself, your relationship to Puca and Magic in general, and some links to projects you've worked on. We're flexible with time, and we work remotely via Discord and other tools. Our ideal collaborators are open-minded, creative, and incredibly capable software developers.

Something Else

Before I go, I wanted to share a screenshot of a haircut we gave our database CPU utilization earlier this month. We run a lot of frontend and backend processes through our Master and Replica, and we monitor the load on each database. Lately, we have made some progress in stabilizing our load, after diving deep into some expensive / slow backend processes. We've also redirected some client-driven database traffic to our Replica, and are continuing to investigate CPU spikes we find in our logs. Essentially, we've made the site a little bit more responsive and stable by doing some deep database "cleaning". 


These Steady Progress updates have become less steady, and will become more occasional. I'll drop in with another update as it's needed. In the meantime, I'm optimistic about 2017, and am looking forward to meeting some new people, and building some new things on PucaTrade.

Thanks for reading and for the trades.


MCT is a Technologist at PucaTrade. You can reach him by email at and find him on Twitter @johanmagnus94 and @mitchtrale

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