In the beginning, there was eBay…
Then, in the fourth year of eBay's reign as an online auction house, a small classifieds marketplace website started in Amsterdam, dubbed simply "Marktplaats". After five years, Marktplaats began to attract the attention of eBay, and eBay decided to bring Marktplaats into its fold, and test its ability to operate a classifieds website.
Then eBay looked upon its classifieds project, and saw that it was good. Marktplaats had spread throughout the world, under the name Intoko. A few months later, eBay decided to create the eBay Classifieds Group. It would take the best pieces of itself to form the the foundation of this new group, and continue to spread online classifieds around the world.
Thus, on 28 February 2005, Kijiji Canada was born in the corner of an office in Toronto, merging itself with Intoko. Kijiji was built on the foundation of eBay, both in its business structure, and its code structure. eBay looked upon its work, and saw that it was good.
All right, all right, enough with the Biblical allusions.
Kijiji's been a part of Canada for ten years, and in those ten years, we've gone from a neat place to buy and sell with your neighbours, to a major force in this country. We're the tenth-most-popular site in Canada. We're the place to go to buy a used car, and our Real Estate and Jobs divisions are challenging the dominant players in those markets. Like Visa, we're everywhere you want to be, and we've done it all through grit, determination, and by making sure that we take care of our users.
But what goes into all that? Surely it's not still a small corner of an office. Not by a long shot. Kijiji grew so big in that office that we pushed eBay and PayPal out to another floor, then our sales groups out to another office across the street. Eventually, we all got back together in an enormous former foundry in the
Software Entertainment District of downtown Toronto.
Our development effort began as a pair of developers for local initiatives, coordinating with a global development team in California that took care of all the Kijiji sites worldwide. But in 2012 we began expanding our local tech group, growing to about 40 members, developers, QA and Site Operations.
We got big, and soon broke away from that centralised development model to chart our own course. We still keep in touch with our cousins in the eBay Classifieds Group, to learn from each other. We've accelerated from waterfall development, to scrumming our way through two-weeks sprints, to daily releases.
And yet people still seem to think we're a tiny shop running out of somebody's basement. Let's put those rumours to bed, and give everyone a good look at the people behind the curtain.
We're very happy to open this window to the world. We'll cover everything we do on a daily basis, back-end, front-end, operations, testing, … It will be a mix of lessons we learned, technologies we're exploring and random thoughts we find worth sharing. Stay tuned.