Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Women in Technology meetup at Netflix!

Last week, Netflix welcomed about 150 women to its campus for a set of lightning talks followed by demos and networking. Organized in coordination with CloudNOW, the event was high on the fun and high on the tech.

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Lightning talks included:

Devika Chawla, Director of Engineering, Netflix. Devika’s talk was titled “In Pursuit of Rapid Messaging Innovation”. The Messaging Platform has probably sent you a message via email, push or in-app messaging channels. We learned how her team is building a platform for rapid innovation by de-coupling from senders and moving to a system driven by dynamic metadata.

Alolita Sharma from Wikipedia talked about “Rich Media Content Delivery and Open Source”. The challenges that her team faces regarding the sheer number of languages that they support are interesting -- and potentially foreshadow what many of us will face in the future.

Tracy Wright traveled up from the Netflix LA office to talk about how her team managed technology migration from a data center based high touch workflow to a the cloud based exception based approach in “Cloud Migration for Large Scale Content Operations”. The success of this transition depended on a team mindset migration as well as the toolset migration to the cloud which underscored the value of effective change management.

Seema Jethani, from Enstratius talked about the challenges that we all face in “Approach to Tool and Technology Choices”.

Wondering how (and why) Netflix has implemented a “Flexible Billing Integration Architecture”? Nirmal Varadarajan described this, and tied it back to the earlier talk given by Devika. The presentation focused on ways to build components that can be reused for large scale incremental migration and a flexible events pipeline to facilitate an easy way to share data between closely aligned but loosely coupled systems.

Evelyn De Souza joined us from Cisco Systems. She presented from her work on “Cloud Data Protection Certification”. You can learn more about Evelyn and her work at the Cloud Security Alliance.

Continuing with the theme of “Agility at Scale”, Sangeeta Narayanan explained how the Netflix Edge Engineering team tackles the challenge of moving fast at scale. She described the importance of building agility into system architecture as well as investing in Continuous Delivery. She showed us some screen shots of their Continuous Delivery dashboard, which was presented at the Edge demo station as well.

Eva Tse wrapped up the lightning talks with her discussion of “Running a Big Data Platform in the Cloud”. She showcased how they leverage the Hadoop ecosystem and AWS S3 service to architect the Netflix’s cloud native big data platform. Eva’s team is very active in open source, and many of the tools/services that built by the team are available on netflix.github.com.

There were several demo stations set up, and attendees lingered with food and drink, enjoying the demos and networking. The CodeChix featured a Pytheas demo, based on Netflix OSS!

If you missed the event, you can watch the recording here.

It was great to see so many people at this meetup!