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.

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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