My New Role At Yahoo! : Solution Architect

Today I have formally taken up the role of a Solution Architect to help Yahoo! properties on board with a new solution that I help create for Global News My role is defined as follows Solution Architect Expediter – identifies support needed Expert – determines the best solution for a given engagement Consultant – identifies […]

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Profile Of a Typical Yahoo! Engineer (2005)

The Typical Yahoo!  Engineer from this point known as Y!E. (this is all my personal ramblings, if it doesn’t fit you, sorry.. it fits me) Y!E is someone who drools when his needs to design his software to work for 30 millions users.   Potentially growing at 40% every year. Y!E designs software with no upper […]

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Daily Life Of A Yahoo! Engineer (2005)

(Bringing back an old post from 2005) A Yahoo! Engineer (Y!E) is a very lucky person. Y!E gets into the office anywhere from 6:00am to 10:00am. If this was a bell curve, 80% fall under 9:30-10 Y!E gets to eat freshly cooked omelettes, hot cereal for under $3.00 Y!E gets free espresso drinks all day […]

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Job Description For A Software Architect

When I graduated from Berkeley with a computer science degree in 1992, I just wanted to write code. The professor at the time whom I admired the most was a super C hacker who loved to use C pre-processor to build super macros. I would sometimes pass by his desk and just listen to his […]

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Flips and Jumps at Acrosports Gym in San Francico : My First Published And Paid Writing on Yahoo! Contributor Network

Yahoo! bought a company named Associated Content, which was recently changed to Yahoo! Contributor Network. I am the software architect on the backend content management system for Yahoo! Media and actively working with the engineer trying to integrate the great tools from Associated Content into the Yahoo! infrastructure. In order to truly understand the power […]

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Most Emailed News : 7 Years Ago

memory flashback. Y! News launched it’s Most-emailed stories and photos page back in Feb 2000 and New York Times wrote an article that we were the first ones to aggregate and show the data back to users Back then, we looked at what users were emailing, when we troubleshoot the system and noticed a lot […]

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Obsessed with Y!

I admit I’m a bit obsessed with working at Yahoo!  I don’t work very very long hours but I spend a lot of my free time thinking about Yahoo!   I don’t believe I’m a workaholic, just someone who loves his job. I used to apologize for being so obsessed, but now I’ve come to terms […]

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The right way to say goodbye

( a random photo of SF civic center in the morning) Today a fellow Yahoo! engineer ping’ed me on IM and asked to shoot some 9-ball.   While we were playing, he mentioned that he was leaving in 2 days for the greener pasture of smaller startups. While I was still taking in the news, I […]

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The right way to say goodbye

Today a fellow Yahoo! engineer ping’ed me on IM and asked to shoot some 9-ball.   While we were playing, he mentioned that he was leaving in 2 days for the greener pasture of smaller startups. While I was still taking in the news, I finished shooting in the first 7 balls straight and was about […]

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Hiring For The Team

Image is from Kontra coffee in Copenhagen with my reflection, they are showing off their World Barista Championship trophies hiring the right engineers has always been a challenge. Do you hiring the best technical person but his personality may not fit well in the team? Do you hire someone who can learn quickly but is […]

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Everything Will Fail

Lesson of the day for engineers.   Whatever large system you design, some component of it will fail one day.  It’s a valuable exercise to draw a diagram of every system, machine, load balancer, DNS servers and start drawing a big X on each component and ask yourself what happens when that component fails. 1) What […]

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Context Switching

It’s a term I first learned 15 years ago in my computer OS class. Multitasking operating systems execute different programs ‘in parallel’ by giving each a little bit of time to execute. Because the CPU was fast enough, it appeared that every program was running at the same time. Now back to real work and […]

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PHP Coding While Thinking Of Food

I was writing some PHP code while a co-worker from Florida was chatting with me about Munich and how perfect of a city it was. I was intending to write function addTopicSet() But I ended up typing function addGoodSeafood() Damn Lucas

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focus, execute, kick ass

When I was interviewing new engineers for Yahoo! News back in late 2004.  I told them that they will part of a team that can make a difference. The team is small enough and our site audience is large enough (25 million) that they can contribute as much as they have the time and energy […]

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Poll: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

I’m mostly referring to obsessiveness about cleaning your house. I know I am obsessive since I was really antsy all day, the moment Kate went down for bed at 8:00pm I started cleaning until 1:00am.  Putting all her toys away, doing 3 loads of laundry, wiping along all the edges of the floor moldings, scrubbing […]

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What Makes A Great Engineering Team

The best team I ever worked in was the Electronic Services Group in SGI from 1995 to 1999. We built X11 Motif tools installed on every IRIX OS machine to search and apply patches automatically, log support calls over the internet, get hardware configurations and send back registration information. The tools were build on ontop […]

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What Type Of Investor Are You?

Well we all knew this would happen.  Google eventually would miss their quarterly numbers like all fast growing companies.  For those of you who always lament that you didn’t buy Google when it was  $200 or $300, this is your chance to test whether you are a real investor or just one of the sheep […]

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Rules of Engagement in Troubleshooting Bugs

When troubleshooting software bugs I follow these simple rules 1) Try to first understand the system from beginning to end, ask questions until you feel like you understand it. 2) Do not trust what anyone else says, verify it for yourself. (watch HTTP traffic with LiveHTTPHeaders, watch TCP traffic with tcpdump) 3) Make assertions, ie […]

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Only Room For 3

The first thing my manager said to me when he walked in was that he heard Yahoo! News retained the #1 spot again in December. I’m a bit obsessed with statistics. The first day I joined Yahoo! in 1999, that was the first thing I looked at, and I continued to dig through the data […]

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Software Bugs And George Orwell 1984’s Torture

Often times I help people with long lingering software bugs or computer problems and when it’s finally fixed, they usually thank me profusely or express their undying love for me :-) I tell them that it’s the Geroge Orwell 1984 philosophy.  If you have not read the book or you forgot what it’s about, read […]

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What don’t you like about your job?

Someone asked me tonight.  “You seem to like your job, now tell me one thing you don’t like about your job” I pondered that question and I can’t think of a single thing.  I think I’m either in denial or I’m one hell of a lucky guy. I love the pressure of the working for […]

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What don’t you like about your job?

Someone asked me tonight.  “You seem to like your job, now tell me one thing you don’t like about your job” I pondered that question and I can’t think of a single thing.  I think I’m either in denial or I’m one hell of a lucky guy. I love the pressure of the working for […]

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Tony the Lifer :-(

I was having ramen at Ryowa in Berkeley with someone I met who was  a consultant.  I told her I worked at Yahoo! for 6 years already, she was shocked at first then she said it’s ok, there are a bunch of “lifers” at her company as well. Somehow that didn’t make me feel better […]

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Work To Live or Live To Work?

Work To Live or Live To Work? It’s an age old question and people have different perspectives on this. Of course there is your family and friends who see a completely different side of you for like 4 hours a day and weekend time and of course those are the people who will always be […]

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Work To Live or Live To Work?

It’s an age old question and people have different perspectives on this. Of course there is your family and friends who see a completely different side of you for like 4 hours a day and weekend time and of course those are the people who will always be there for you and they are the […]

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No, I Don’t Type The News Stories

It has happened to me so many times now I think I’ll just have to accept it and just go with the flow. Trying to explain what a software engineer does for Yahoo! News to people I meet or family members has been interesting.  Here is a sample conversation with a friend I met. Friend: […]

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No, I Don’t Type The News Stories

It has happened to me so many times now I think I’ll just have to accept it and just go with the flow. Trying to explain what a software engineer does for Yahoo! News to people I meet or family members has been interesting.  Here is a sample conversation with a friend I met. Friend: […]

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Too Old At 34 For A Software Engineer

The photo is of my holding my Treo phone, my daughter Cate was taking a photo of me taking a photo of her. My dad was the person who pushed me into software engineering in college (I was drifting a bit with no goals) But after working for 5 years in SGI, my dad saw […]

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Daily Life Of A Yahoo! Engineer (archive 2005)

A Yahoo! Engineer (Y!E) is a very lucky person. Y!E gets into the office anywhere from 6:00am to 10:00am. If this was a bell curve, 80% fall under 9:30-10 Y!E gets to eat freshly cooked omelettes, hot cereal for under $3.00 Y!E gets free espresso drinks all day Y!E gets free pool tables, ping pong, […]

Read More…

Profile Of a Typical Yahoo! Engineer

The Typical Yahoo!  Engineer from this point known as Y!E. (this is all my personal ramblings, if it doesn’t fit you, sorry.. it fits me) Y!E is someone who drools when his needs to design his software to work for 30 millions users.   Potentially growing at 40% every year. Y!E designs software with no upper […]

Read More…

Spending The Night At Yahoo!

Tonight I don’t feel like driving home. I’m here with my 2 pillows and the Yahoo! blanket we got for 2003 Christmas. I’ll be spending the night trying to catch up on some work. It feels strangely very comforting to be here. Yahoo! has been like my 2nd home for the last 5 years. I […]

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Never ending bug list

I currently have 280 bugs assigned to me with priority 1,2,3 I don’t think I’ll ever finish the list.  A lot of them are just little annoying bugs.. But if they’ve been in the queue for 1-2 years, probably no one cares any more. One day I’ll clean up this list, get rid of the […]

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Geeks talking about money

Our lunchtime conversation often revolves around money because money is important part of life and one of the reasons why we work so hard.  It’s one of the factors that society uses to judge men and how successful they are. In today’s stocks market and realestate market in the bay area, where would you invest […]

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I hope Firefox != IE in 3 years

Given the large number of extensions available for firefox I’m surprised it has not been hacked more often. If you read the following story and replace Firefix with IE and replace Foundation with Microsoft, it’s kinda funny. Y! News Story: Crtical Flaw Found in Firefox There isn’t anymore loyalty towards browsers any more. I’ll use […]

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A Good Engineer == A Lazy Engineer

Software engineers are usually called upon to solve problems that involve large numbers. large number of machines large number of text to search large number of page views large number of users In order to be an efficient software engineer, you must always keep in mind to be lazy. Ask yourself, what is the easiest […]

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A Retrospective On 6 Years Of Yahoo! News

I joined Yahoo! in May of 1999.  I had my pick of either Y! News or Y! Sweepstakes.   Lucky for me, I picked Y! News Very soon, we are about to launch biggest redesign of Yahoo! News ever and I wanted to look back at what I remember of the history. As I understood it […]

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Can You Think Like A Computer?

I’ve been working in the computer industry for 12 years now. I get a lot of requests throughout the day with people asking me to troubleshoot technical issues they they are stumbling with. Most of these are troubleshooting issues such as why can’t I login from one place to another.. Why doesn’t this work? 99% of […]

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