In this talk, media server engineer Josh McNamee discusses the challenges in shipping Disguise’s 'Single Large Canvas', the software feature that lets U2 put images on the inside of the Las Vegas Sphere.

Across disciplines and time zones, the team worked through a series of complex challenges to deliver a pipeline to let 23 machines fill a 16k video wall. Live events work to very short deadlines, where a whole project can come together in a matter of days before the band walks on stage. In this environment, software issues can and do emerge at the eleventh hour and have to be carefully triaged, tracked and resolved with confidence. 

As the scope of customer requirements shifted and came into focus, the project expanded from a team with a single engineer and grew rapidly over three months. Members were split across two continents, stamping out bugs in overlapping shifts and shuttling information back and forth between in-house testing and on-site testing. 

Discussing both the managerial and technical challenges, this talk will go through what worked, what didn’t, and what lessons were learned for the next show - which was only six months later!