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Category: Telecommunications Engineering

Open-sourcing Pulsar, Pub-sub Messaging at Scale

By Joe Francis and Matteo Merli, Yahoo Platforms Pub-sub messaging is a very common design pattern that is increasingly found in distributed systems powering Internet applications. These applications provide real-time services, and need publish-latencies of 5ms on average and no more than 15ms at the 99th percentile. At Internet scale, these applications require a messaging system with ordering, strong durability, and delivery guarantees. In order to handle the “five 9’s” durability requirements of a production environment, the messages have to…

90% of Municipal Engineering is Communication – UrbanWorkbench

I’m regularly reminded of the importance of communication as a part of municipal #engineering as I provide updates on projects and operations to decision-makers. Unfortunately, most university programs in engineering, and many junior level positions fail to prepare graduates and young engineers for this reality. Design work, physics, materials, mechanics, chemistry, and hydraulics are foundational aspects of an engineering career, but success comes through effective communication. The ability of an engineer to convey important information such as risks, options, budgets,…

How we built a VR project using web technologies

A screenshot of Standing At The Edge Of Geologic Time in virtual reality. Last Wednesday, the NPR Visuals Team published a virtual reality story about the geologic history of Rocky Mountain National Park. It was weird! Making a virtual reality project on the web presented a lot of new challenges for us. This blog post will explore some of the challenges and how we solved them. Making the Web Experience We had three main goals when creating the web experience…

WWDC 2016 has come and passed, but we…

iOS app extensions – launching this Wednesday, as part of iOS 8 – provide an exciting opportunity for developers of all types of apps to integrate with their customers’ devices like never before. Here at Tumblr, we’re thrilled to pull the curtain off of our share extension, which we’ve been working hard on for quite a while now. The process of building the Tumblr share extension has been fun, but also really frustrating at times. We’ve hit quite a few…

Mentoring – UrbanWorkbench

The idea of being a mentor, comes from the character with the same name in Homer’s Odessey, where Mentor has a teaching, encouraging, and oversight relationship with Telemachus, Odysseus’s son. The English language adopted the term to mean (via Wikipedia): Mentor: someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague. The past couple of weeks have seen an increase in professional mentoring activities for me, some of these have come as unexpected opportunities, such as: a…

A Better Way To Track Listening

A screenshot of our elections app titlecard during Mega Tuesday on March 15, 2016. For the entirety of the primary season, we have been running our elections app at elections.npr.org, focusing both on live event coverage during primary nights and updated content between events to keep users up-to-date on the events taking place each day. A major component of our election coverage is audio-driven, whether through our live event coverage during primary nights or the NPR Politics Podcast in between…

Introducing yakbak: Record and playback HTTP interactions in NodeJS

Did you know that the new Front End of www.flickr.com is one big Flickr API client? Writing a client for an existing API or service can be a lot of fun, but decoupling and testing that client can be quite tricky. There are many different approaches to taking the backing service out of the equation when it comes to writing tests for client code. Today we’ll discuss the pros and cons of some of these approaches, describe how the Flickr…

A First-Timer’s Insights from 2016 ISTA TransPack Forum

by Samuel Huppert, Packaging Engineer, Packaging Optimization, Chainalytics I am a young packaging professional and always looking for opportunities to learn and grow as an engineer. I was pleased to find that the 2016 ISTA TransPack Forum provided ample opportunity for me to further my professional development: Networking opportunities, from the welcome and exhibitor reception, volleyball tournament, to meals, allowed me to meet a broad range of people in the packaging industry. Attendees ranged from packaging lab technicians to packaging…

From App Academy to Engineer at Zenefits – Zenefits Engineering

Most people know that Zenefits Engineering is bursting with talent, but you may not know what daily life is like as an engineer at Zenefits. Today’s post is the first in a series of personal stories written by our engineers to highlight who they are, how each of them got here, and their perspective on being part of the Zenefits engineering team. To kick us off, Brian McGue tells his story that begins with the coding bootcamp App Academy where…

Introducing Elex, a Tool to Make Election Coverage Better for Everyone – Features

“End the elections arms race” has become a rallying cry in American data journalism. Many newsrooms spend tremendous resources writing code to simply load and parse election data. It’s time we stopped worrying about the plumbing and started competing on the interesting parts. We decided it was time we put some code against our beliefs – our contribution is a tool we’re calling Elex. What Is It? Elex is a command-line tool to get election results from the Associated Press Election API…