Welcoming Recreation.gov

By Neil Chaudhuri | May 24, 2019

Vidya is proud to have worked on the development of Recreation.gov, a site built for the United States government using leading-edge technologies and practices to make it easier to visit the nation’s most beautiful landmarks and national parks including the Grand Canyon and Mount Whitney.

Often called the “Airbnb for Camping,” Rec.gov (as it is colloquially known) allows users to reserve permits to visit and/or stay overnight at federal lands, waterways, and monuments. There are even lotteries for those permits that are particularly in-demand.

In order to meet the demand of thousands of visitors, Rec.gov has been built with performance in mind. It utilizes what is probably the most innovative customer-facing technology stack in the federal government:

The project itself takes something of a startup’s view on quality by shifting the focus from functional testing to automation via a CI/CD pipeline powered by Jenkins to build the microservices and perform basic linting, Docker to build the images, and Kubernetes to orchestrate them. A dedicated Site Reliability Engineering team manages this pipeline, and their work is impressive. I have never been on a development effort that seemingly devotes more resources to continuous delivery than to feature development.

It is rewarding to have learned so much about these emerging technologies and, even more importantly, to have helped make the best of America available to everyone.