Michigan, Michigan Tech, and Netflix … oh my!

I was thrilled that the Michigan Tech Spring Break trip to Silicon Valley was able to make a stop at Netflix. My co-worker, Roy Rapoport, and I had some fun conversations with the students and I’m looking forward to their LinkedIn requests when they get settled back into life in the Copper Country. Oh, and fun tidbit — MTU was recognized in the “Top 20 Public Colleges with the Smartest Students” by Business Insider this week. Congrats to my alma mater!

And, this week, Evan Hauck stopped by Netflix to visit. He’s in town from Southwest Michigan to speak at the GPU Conference in San Jose. I first met Evan when he spoke at CodeMash Conference, two years ago. He’s doing some really interesting work on mass spectrometry while co-oping at Leco Corporation in St. Joseph, MI. What’s so unusual about Evan is that he’s a high school senior this year. A-mazing. Oh, and the connection with the Michigan Tech blurb above? Evan will attend Michigan Tech next year, and will study Computer Science. That “smartest students” thing is definitely getting a boost from Evan. Looking forward to seeing him on the Spring Break trip in a few years!

 

 

Prerequisites for Netflix Precompilers at CodeMash

In CodeMash-speak, we call the tutorials “precompilers”. If you’re planning to join the Netflix precompilers on Wednesday, here are the prerequisites (downloads, mostly) so that you’ll be ready to get started immediately. We only have 4 hours and lots to do!

Architecting for the Cloud: Hands on With NetflixOSS
Sudhir Tonse
Wednesday, January 8, 8:30-12:30

Browser (preferably Chrome or Safari as Netflix Asgard will not work with Firefox)
JDK 1.6 or later (Oracle SDK peferred)
gradle (See http://www.gradle.org/installation)
(*) git (see http://git-scm.com/book/en/Getting-Started-Installing-Git)
(*) Your favorite IDE. Instructions will be in Eclipse (Juno or later)
Gradle plugin recommended
(*) Apache Tomcat 7.X

The items marked in (*) are optional.
Git is used to clone the existing NetflixOSS repositories. If you dont have git installed, please download https://github.com/Netflix/karyon/archive/master.zip
IDE: Although useful you may also follow along with vi/emacs/<your favorite text editor> as well. We will use gradle to build and run the apps

Setting up your Environment for the AWS Cloud using Netflix OSS
Joe Sondow and Peter Sankauskas
Wednesday, January 8, 1:30-5:30

Your own AWS account (you can convert a shopping account), with Billing and Payments enabled.
Access to AWS console
git installed
Your favorite text editor.

We’ll walk you through the rest!

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

Netflix schedule at CodeMash

If you’re interested in the cloud and how you might leverage Netflix OSS to migrate your company without starting from scratch, you won’t want to miss the Netflix sessions at CodeMash (January 7-10 in Sandusky, OH). We’ll talk about technology, culture, open source, and how they all fit together to make a great product and an amazing work environment.

Yes, I joined Netflix this year, and I’m thrilled that Sudhir Tonse, Roy Rapoport, Jeremy Edberg, and Joe Sondow will be experiencing their first CodeMash. And it’s gonna be a doozy — starting with snow-delayed travel. And, I’m also ecstatic that veteran CodeMash speaker and entrepreneur Andy Glover has joined Netflix (about a month ago!), and will be speaking as well.

Sudhir and Joe are doing a One/Two punch on precompilers. Sudhir will whet your appetite for NetflixOSS in a morning session on Wednesday. Through a test account, you will be able to quickly experience several NetflixOSS projects in “Architecting for the Cloud: Hands on with NetflixOSS”. If you’re sold on the concept, you can join Joe Sondow for an afternoon session, “Setting up your Environment for the AWS Cloud using Netflix OSS”, which will focus on bootstrapping NetflixOSS. We’ll use Peter Sankauskas’ Netflix CloudPrize winning contribution for usability: bootstrapping NetflixOSS with Ansible Playbooks and Cloud Formation templates. And, Peter will join us as a special guest!

We’ll help kick off the conference by joining a panel on “Open Source in Business” on Wednesday night at 7 pm.

You’ll also meet Jeremy Edberg, who will talk about architecting resiliency through failure in “How Netflix Architects for Survival” and how we created a system that allows us to reduce the bureaucracy around system changes while improving how we resolve problems in “Following the Changing Weather of the Clouds”.

Roy Rapoport leads our Insight Engineering team, a team that collects a lot of data and collates it into information then translates that into insights. He will talk about how Python showed up at Netflix and how our focus on Freedom and Responsibility made that possible. His talk is entitled, “Python in the Back Door: How We Brought Python into Netflix”.

And I’ll be sharing Roy’s theme about how programming languages evolve at Netflix, doing a variation of the talk I did at OSCON, “Sneaking Scala Through the Back Door”. Coincidentally, Roy’s team is almost exclusively Scala!

And — we’ll have a vendor session on Thursday, where we will talk about NetflixOSS in an open discussion format. Ask questions about getting started, why we do it, how the culture works. We’ll be there.

Here’s a PDF of the scheduled Netflix talks.

Looking forward to seeing you. Safe travels to Ohio!

 

SRT Solutions takes the next step!

It’s been an incredible year so far, with a whole quarter to go!

In May, I posted that I had joined Netflix in Los Gatos, CA, as Director of Engineering for Cloud Tools (which I’m truly enjoying, by the way). What I didn’t mention at the time was that Bill Wagner and I were in discussions with Atomic Object about buying SRT. It was very important to both Bill and I that our customers and our employees were well taken care of, even as we had decided to both move on to different challenges. Atomic Object offered exactly that.

Culturally, they were a great fit. The two companies are very similar, in terms of both ideal projects and hiring practices. We rarely competed for projects, so we didn’t have much in terms of customer overlap. And, while AO had offices in both Grand Rapids and Detroit, the Ann Arbor market has always seemed quite distinct.

The conversations were immediately productive, and always easy to move forward. We all wanted the same thing — and when people cooperate, great things happen. I couldn’t be more pleased that SRT Solutions has joined Atomic Object!

Carl Erickson, President of Atomic Object, said “SRT is a great company — they’re smart, they have a great reputation for making clients happy, and they care about making software right. We’ll be a formidable team”. A formidable team, indeed! I look forward to hearing continued great news about Atomic Object!

Fun at Netflix … join us!

My team is still looking for some great developers who feel passionate about working with other teams, improving resiliency in the cloud, and building out a continuous delivery platform. You may have heard of the Chaos Monkey — we have many more ideas where that one came from!

If you have a solid Java background, we definitely want to talk to you. Lots of JVM language excitement on the team: Groovy, Scala and yes, some Java too. Our jobs site is at jobs.netflix.com.

This is an amazing time to be at Netflix. I hope you’ll consider reaching out and talking to me about our team. I’ll be at SpringOne2GX in a few weeks (9/9-9/12), in Santa Clara. We’re also hosting a Scala meetup at Netflix on 9/9.

You can find me on twitter at @dmarsh or on Linked In. Hope to talk to you soon!

Simple Concurrency with Akka this week in Ann Arbor

If you’re at all curious about writing concurrent, highly scalable, distributed systems, attend the Ann Arbor Scala Enthusiasts group this Wednesday, June 19, at 6 pm. Nilanjan Raychaudhuri, is a consultant/trainer who works for Typesafe, and he will be speaking this month.

You will find more information on the meetup page.

The meeting is free and open to the public. It will be held at SRT Solutions, 206 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

Enjoy!

Conformity Monkey: now open sourced

This week, Netflix open sourced yet another member of the Simian Army: Conformity Monkey. This monkey is charged with inspecting Amazon Machine Images (AMI) to determine if they meet the rules that we have specified.  At Netflix they range from ensuring that security guidelines are met to specifying failover information.

By open sourcing Conformity Monkey, Netflix has made this software widely available so that your guidelines can be specified as rules in your configuration. As standards emerge for cloud deployment, it can be a confusing place for new developers. The use of Conformity Monkey can help structure your environment around emerging best practices, developed internally or in the community as a whole.

Let us know how you might be able to use Conformity Monkey by commenting on the announcement post. We would love to hear from you.

Netflix is hiring for the Simian Army team. Join us to work on the monkeys!

SimianArmy

Open Source Software at Netflix

Netflix has decided to open source many projects, contributing to the mindshare for cloud development. Follow the Netflix Tech Blog for the latest news, but I’ll also highlight things that I think might be interested as I have time.

The Simian Army is Netflix’s solution to keeping your cloud working well. From the Chaos Monkey (which improves your overall, long-term resiliency by shutting down your instances) to the Janitor Monkey (which detects and cleans up instances you no longer need), the Simian Army is worth investigating if you use the Amazon cloud. It’s available as open source, so you can use it and even choose to contribute.

Today, another team at Netflix open sourced Garbage Collection Visualization (gcviz). Being able to look at garbage collection as events is essential to understanding its impact on outages.

Oh, and if you REALLY like the Simian Army, maybe you will come join my team. We’re hiring for work on the Simian Army and Edda.