What is a Multi-armed Bandit Experiment?
Let’s imagine you’ve decided to hit up the casino and try your luck at the slots. You don’t know which slots are best, but you have reason to believe that some of the slot machines are better than others. You only have a limited amount of money to play with, so you want to play each of the machines enough to learn which is going to be best (explore), and then as you learn, play the best machines most frequently to maximize your return (exploit). Choosing which machine to play is referred to as the exploration / exploitation dilemma.
Oftentimes database tables begin with the best of intentions. They can start out narrow and clearly named with well-defined content, but as our applications and teams grow, we may start to notice that those same tables begin to take on a different shape. It’s possible that they grow wider and are harder to work with than you remember. They could be holding data around multiple concepts, which might mean your models are breaking the single responsibility principle. Perhaps that table didn’t start out concise at all. There are many common scenarios that cause tables to exist in a cumbersome form, but it doesn’t mean they have to stay that way.
A little while ago, we decided to define and document ezCater's pull request culture in an effort to streamline onboarding and facilitate collaboration as our team doubles, quadruples, and beyond in size. Clearly communicating both how we operate and also why we do things the way we do, sets people up for success from day one. We're proud that new hires are able to contribute to the codebase during their first week and are always looking for ways to simplify onboarding.