Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Netflix in the cloud and HTML5

One of the fun things about working at Netflix is that we are always "leaning forward" and looking for new technologies to leverage. As we roll out our website to run on the Amazon cloud, we are also re-architecting the code base, adding internationalization support and bringing in the latest technologies. One of these is HTML5, which is raising the bar for cross browser support for advanced user interface features, and is now supported by a large and rapidly growing percentage of the visitors to In addition many TV based devices now embed webkit, which is the HTML5 compatible technology that underpins the Safari and Chrome browsers. The user interface engineering team is looking to hire the best and brightest to work on these cutting edge technologies. Here's a write-up for one of the open positions:

Are you passionate about building great website experiences used by millions of visitors each day? Come to Netflix where we are using HTML5 based web technologies to move ecommerce directly onto televisions in our customers’ living rooms. As part of our Customer Acquisition team, you will lead the way to our internationalized television user interface designed to help new customers find Netflix and start streaming movies in seconds. This new experience will be deployed to HTML5 capable embedded browsers and served from our cutting edge cloud based backend service.

Update - Hacking Netflix and TechCrunch picked up on this posting. MG Siegler at TechCrunch decided that I was talking about streaming video and Silverlight, which I wasn't. I was thinking of HTML5 features that let us build very cool user interfaces with drag-and-drop, canvas transforms etc. for the web site, and for embedded TV devices specifically. The Silverlight player is used for PC/Mac playback only, and the basic HTML5 Video doesn't have a viable DRM solution at this point. I'm the Cloud Architect for Netflix, so my involvement is to architect robust and scalable support in the cloud for these new user interfaces.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Garage Structure Completed

After lots of stops and starts, all that is left to do is some exterior paint and to fit the main doors. Work has already started on the electrical installation and water for fire sprinklers. Since the walls got so wet, they warped and parts of the siding had to be replaced. For some reason Tuffshed did other jobs on days where the weather was nice, and turned up to work on this one whenever it rained. We had what was probably the last rain of the winter on Sunday and Monday, but the roof was already tiled by then. The last video was the trusses being installed, here is the rest of the sequence.

Moving the viewpoint to catch trench digging around the back of the garage.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Cloud Architect

my role at Netflix just changed, from managing development of personalization in the cloud, to over-all cloud architect for Netflix. New challenges and a much broader scope. One challenge we have as we migrate to the cloud is that we need to build a new way to log and analyze what the systems in the cloud are doing, and we are basing this on Chukwa, Hadoop and Hive, all running in AWS. So we are looking to hire a Hadoop developer, and are looking at the research going on at Berkeley's RAD lab with interest.