Slides from Velocity 2009

At Flickr Engineering our favorite thing is rainbows. But fast stable websites come a pretty close second. So last week some of us drove down to San Jose to take part in the 2009 O’Reilly Velocity conference.

The conference consists of two tracks, performance and operations. The attendance was a great mix of people working on optimizing the whole web stack – everything from the download size of CSS to the PUE of data centers. There were talks on automated infrastructure, Javascript, MySQL, front-end performance recommendations and CDNs, but the most significant theme was the direct business benefits that companies like Google and Microsoft are seeing from microsecond speed improvements on their sites.

Some of the most interesting sessions for for us were:

  • John Adams talking about Twitter operations (details , slides , video )
  • Eric Schurman and Jake Brutlag’s joint presentation about performance benefits seen at Google and Bing (details , slides , video )
  • Andrew Shafer’s discussion of Agile Infrastructure (details )
  • Adam Jacobs and Ezra Zygmuntowicz’s talk about Cloud Infrastructure (details )

John and I also gave a talk on how Flickr’s engineering and operations team work together to allow us to iterate quickly without causing stability problems. The full video is available, and here’s the slides:

Thank you to Jesse and Steve for putting together a great conference. We’re already looking forward to next year.

Flickr at XTech (and slides from SXSW…)

Once upon a time, webheads used to talk about “conference season”, but it seems that these days there’s always a conference running somewhere. Having dispensed with Web 2.0, we’re now turning our attention to XTech 2008, which takes place in Dublin, Ireland from Tuesday May 6th to Friday May 9th.

The Flickr team has two talks lined up for those attending XTech. Through a freak scheduling accident they’re back-to-back, giving attendees the exciting opportunity to experience one and a half straight hours of pure Flickr-related goodness:

Hopefully we’ll see some of you there!

Looking backwards for a moment, this is also a chance to re-post the slides from my previous internationalization-themed talk, “Taking Over the World, The Flickr Way” which I gave at South by Southwest in March. This hour-long session was a high-level overview of some of the challenges and solutions we stumbled upon during the internationalization and localization of which we undertook in the first half of 2007:

Versions of the slides in other formats (keynote, swf, pdf) are available here.

As for Web 2.0 Expo, some of the team’s presentations should be showing up here in the next week or so, starting with slides from the delectable John Allspaw.

Web 2.0 Expo: You’re in Our Town Now

O’Reilly made the understandable, if unfortunate, mistake of scheduling a conference about 6 blocks from FlickrHQ. And we’ll be descending on next week’s Web 2.0 Expo in droves. Besides lurking around in the halls, a handful of us have successfully bluffed our way onto the schedule. Which means next week is your chance to come see the people who make Flickr talk about doing just that.

Thursday, 04/24/2008

A Flickr Approach to Making Sense of the World

Dan Catt will be holding forth on “A Flickr Approach to Making Sense of the World”, covering all things geo and nerdy, and bending very large geo datasets to your will. Thursday 1:30pm – 2:20pm, Room 2006

The Next Generation of Tagging

Don’t go anywhere, because right after the Reverend, Kakul Srivastava (Senior Director of Product Management), will be exploring the insights that arise at scale, and how to cope with them “The Next Generation of Tagging: Searching and Discovering a Better User Experience” Thursday 2:40pm – 3:30pm, 04/24/2008, Room 2006.

Friday, 04/25/2008

The Power of Online Communities

On Friday we’ll be kicking it off with some head to head scheduling. Our Community Manager Heather Champ will be bringing a ridiculous amount of expertise to The Power of Online Communities: Lessons from the Best of the Consumer & Business Community Managers. Friday 2:40pm – 3:30pm, 04/25/2008, Room 2009.

Capacity Planning for Web Operations

While across the hall John Allspaw will be explaining the art of Capacity Planning for Web Operations. (less politely known as, “If on the off chance your website doesn’t suck, you’re probably still screwed, ain’t you?”) John is literally writing the book on this subject, as well has helping plan Velocity. Friday 2:40pm – 3:30pm, 04/25/2008, Room 2010.

Casual Privacy

And in the anchor slot (thanks guys!), Kellan Elliott-McCrea (that’s me), will be talking about Casual Privacy, on techniques and algorithms for making lightweight privacy easy, while actually enhancing the sharing that is the heart of Web 2.0. (you might have seen the 5 minutes version last year at Ignite) 3:50pm – 4:40pm Friday, 04/25/2008, Room 2006.

Friends of Flickr

Perennial FoF Tom Coates of Yahoo Brickhouse and Fireeagle, will be giving his Designing for a Web of Data talk, and joining Matt Jones of Dopplr for Polite, Pertinent, and… Pretty: Designing for the New-wave of Personal Informatics. (Polite, Pertinent, Pretty, and British!)

And intriguingly, Children of Flickr: Making the Massively Multiplayer Social Web. But hopefully not in a “ … of the Corn” kind of way.

See you next week!