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Bazel Community Day – Israel

EngFlow and Wix bring the Bazel community together in Tel Aviv

On February 23, 2023 EngFlow and Wix teamed up to organize the first Bazel Community Day in Israel. Wix hosted the event in its event space in the picturesque Tel Aviv Port, welcoming guests from the Google Munich Bazel team, as well as engineers from local and global companies.

Impressions from Bazel Community Day, Tel Aviv

Impressions from Bazel Community Day, Tel Aviv

Approximately one fifth of the attendees self-identified as beginners, with an interest in exploring Bazel, and they promptly joined Benjamin Peterson for a repeat of the Bazel Beginner Bootcamp.

Bazel Bootcamp with Benjamin Peterson

Bazel Bootcamp with Benjamin Peterson

The remainder of the attendees stayed in the main room, and enjoyed the following talks.

Brief history of Bazel Community Days - Helen Altshuler

Bazel Community Days started in 2018, created by Bazel Community itself! At the time, Bloomberg and Codethink teamed up and invited BazelCon attendees for a day of hacking on Bazel issues and discussions on advanced topics. Since then, the Bazel Community has organized several Bazel meetups with the goal of bringing together local community engineers passionate about Bazel, as well as enriching their experience with advanced Bazel topics such as a “Bazel Custom Rules Workshop” at Mux in San Francisco, and Eight Thirteen Nine features to to help you build fast, better software” at in London.

There was a growing need in the community to meet more often, and discuss advanced topics, and also a new demand for Bazel beginner topics.

That’s how Bazel Community Day was created in 2022, alongside BazelCon, organized by EngFlow and Aspect, with sponsorship from Datadog, Spotify and Tweag. The first Bazel Community Day was a good opportunity for EngFlow to refresh the 2018 Bazel Bootcamp materials, and we are now including Beginner bootcamp as part of Bazel Community Days.

To sign off, Helen mentioned keeping an eye out for the next Bazel Community Day hosted by Snap and Engflow in San Francisco on May 23rd 2023, as well as another in Q3 2023, possibly in Iceland. Let us know if you’re interested in attending this event.

How Wix Migrated From One RBE Provider to Another With Zero Downtime - Zachi Nachshon

Wix is one of Bazel’s earliest adopters, and has been using Bazel since 2016! They have a very advanced developer infrastructure, with corresponding scaling requirements. This talk included Wix’s journey with remote build execution (RBE), including a recent migration from another commercial solution to EngFlow.

With this migration, Wix saved 20% on their cloud infrastructure cost compared to their prior RBE provider as a result of a more efficient resource utilization and intelligent auto scaling by EngFlow and build profiling tools, in addition to getting expert insights and support from engineers who are core Bazel contributors. Zachi shared best practices for companies contemplating migration, which included using a tight feedback loop, bubbling up failure points early and starting with easy wins.

  • Wix saw a 60% compute reduction on the default pool (build + unit)
  • Wix saved 20% on their cloud infrastructure cost compared to their prior RBE provider as a result of a more efficient resource utilization
  • EngFlow’s unique build profiling capabilities helped Wix developers to optimize build times

Bazel Workshop: Build Performance Analysis & Improvements - Antonio Di Stefano

After gleefully confessing that he was the author of an implementation of snake in Starlark, Antonio quickly got stuck in to delivering a sequence of tips for speeding up your build. As he said:

“nobody wants to get older waiting for their build”

Watch the video for the full list and details, but a few spoilers include keeping Bazel warm, keeping an eye on your dependencies, and using persistent workers and caching.

At the end, members of the audience supplied their own performance tuning tips during the Q&A session.

Managing external dependencies with Bzlmod - Xudong Yang

Xudong delivered a deep dive on how to manage external dependencies in your Bazel project. Starting off with basic concepts like rulesets and package managers, he then explained repos and labels in workspaces, before talking about developments in bzlmod and handling transitive dependencies.

Future of Bazel - Tobias Werth

Tobias asked his team members what they had been working on this year, and turned that into a great talk on the future of Bazel. Highlights include:

  • spoilers for Bazel 7.0
  • improving speed on slow networks
  • async execution
  • completing the migration of remaining rulesets to Starlark

Soaking it all in at Bazel Community Day in Tel Aviv

Soaking it all in at Bazel Community Day in Tel Aviv

All in all, great speakers, an engaged audience and a delightful venue made this yet another successful community day. We look forward to seeing you all at one of the next ones!

Next Bazel Community Day in San Francisco

Do you want to join us on May 23rd 2023 in San Francisco? Let us know if you’re interested in attending this event hosted by Snap and Engflow.

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