At the end of last year, I gave a presentation at QConPlus about some of the more interesting software architectures we ended up building on the Biden for President campaign. The last architecture I discussed was that of CouchPotato, which was essentially a media intelligence platform we built to quickly extract meaning from a video or body of text. CouchPotato became an important resource in our environment and serviced a number of use cases both in background automation and end user tooling. A big use case, and the original reason we built CouchPotato, was for transcribing debates in real time.

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CouchPotato Architecture Slide


The 2020 election was unique in more ways than not, and will forever change the expectations and understanding of how a successful presidential campaign operates. Even barring the fact that we faced the most divisive and irresponsible incumbent in the general election, I have no doubt the process we followed to our ultimate victory will be the roadmap for how to win elections in the future. Everything has been reshaped by this campaign — from delegate strategy to travel, from online fundraising to field organizing, from research to digital, and everything in between.

Tech was a continuum across all dimensions…


On Infrastructure at Scale: A Cascading Failure of Distributed Systems

At Target, we run a heterogeneous infrastructure in our datacenters (and many other places), where we have multiple different backend hosting infrastructure for workloads. Most of this is a legacy artifact of putting infrastructure into production for different use-cases and application development and deployment patterns. The Target Application Platform (TAP) provides a common interface for running and managing workloads, where we can spread workloads across different hosting infrastructure transparently to applications. …

Dan Woods

Dan Woods was CTO for Biden for President during the 2020 election. Previously he worked building tech for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

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