Identity - The team at the core of Schibsted business - Schibsted Tech Polska
Robert Fijalkowski
Written by Robert Fijalkowski
Published January 26, 2021

Identity – The team at the core of Schibsted business

Schibsted Account is a universal platform working across 70 different brands. With the new iOS 14 privacy regulations and Google soon too start blocking cookies, the Identity team becomes the core of Schibsted business. How they handle such important tasks?

Business-critical role

Schibsted is a mother company for numerous media outlets in Scandinavia and marketplaces in Nordic countries. But to create a synergy between those businesses, you need a unified logging experience and reliable data sharing. It should also be familiar and consistent for the users and work for different needs across all websites.

The Identity team works on the most prominent solution of this kind in Scandinavia, with 70 brands using the system, 9 million users and around 100 logins per minute. That levels up the demand for both infrastructure and security levels. But on top of that, many future decisions rely on the data gathered from logged-in users.

Company’s Identity Provider is an entry point for Schibsted’s ecosystems that includes media and marketplaces – personal data. This makes Identity’s projects attractive for the malicious attackers. Placing advanced security measures (including preventic mechanisms) in place is a constant work that is done hand in hand with the company’s central security team.

How the team handles the task

The team is a usual mix of few frontend and backend developers, split between Sweden and Poland. Continuous integration and continuous deployment are keywords here.

Identity uses an own mixup of various agile methodologies. As with all the other Schibsted teams, last year, they had to face the challenge of moving to work from home. We ask them how they handle it:

During the “corona time” we are staying connected by various meetings, but also pair programming. But to be honest – we miss our integration “face to face” events.“ – says Piotr Knapik, Engineering Manager of Identity.

The newest versions of React & Node.js (express) are the baseline, with Scala, Kotlin & PHP supporting the backend side. The team handles testing DevOps, too, with AWS stack and tools like Travis to make builds and Spinnaker for pipelines and deployment.

The critical recent releases included 2-factor authentication, brand new login widgets, and migration of users in Finland, another market that Schibsted heavily invests in.

identity-schibsted

User logging to one media outlet creates an account that works for 70 over different sites.

The unusual & the future

It is always refreshing if the team has room for experimentation and a more unusual set of tasks. One example is the close cooperation with the UX team based in Oslo, with an in-depth analysis of qualitative and quantitative interviews, A/B testing, and decision making regarding future improvements.

The other experiments are proof of concepts written usually in Go and Kotlin. It gives the team room for trying brand new things and testing them far before their final implementation.

For 2021, the team received the task of further improving SSO solutions, simplifying the login experience, and the brand new account management page, giving users a chance to adjust settings from one place to several different websites.

We asked Piotr Knapik, Engineering Manager of the team to provide us with a TOP 3 most interesting facts about the project from the software engineer perspective:

  • A lot of cybersecurity things to learn/ do.
  • We are not afraid of experiments
  • We are focused on the quality of delivery, not rushing when we are not sure if something is “good enough”

If you would like to learn more about the team and you’re thinking about joining the Identity project, check out the current open positions in the widget below!

Written by Robert Fijalkowski
Published January 26, 2021