5 Things Engineers are Thankful For

Posted by Liam Molloy on November 25, 2015 in Development, Inside our Offices

This Thursday most of us will be sitting around a table telling each other what we are most grateful for this Thanksgiving season. Many responses will probably be friends and family, food and the new Star Wars movie. As an engineer there is a unique set of tools, programs and people that I just can’t Read More

The Ancestry “Magnetic Containment Field” meets Docker

Posted by Harold Madsen on August 19, 2015 in Development

In the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the magnetic containment field prevents contact of antimatter with normal matter in a warp core. If the field were to collapse or fall below 15% of its maximum integrity, the starship would be destroyed. This containment field was a very important safety system for starships (reference Wikia). Read More

Robust Flag Enumerables

Posted by Chad Groneman on June 2, 2015 in Development

Flag Day in the USA is just a couple of weeks away.  Flags are used to represent different things (usually nations or states).  While the things a nation’s flag stands for are more important than what flags in code represent, it’s easier to discuss how to use flags in code, so that’s what I’ll do Read More

Scaling Node.js in the Enterprise

Posted by Robert Schultz on March 31, 2015 in Development

Last year we began an effort internally at Ancestry to determine if we could scale out Node.js within the frontend applications teams. Node.js is a platform that we felt could solve a lot of our needs as a business to build modern, scalable, distributed applications using one of our favorite languages: JavaScript. I want to Read More

Lesson Learned: Sharing Code With Git Submodule

Posted by Seng Lin Shee on February 26, 2015 in Development, Operations

You are probably aware of Git Submodules. If you haven’t, you may want to read about it from Atlassian and Git itself. In summary, Git provides a way to embed a reference to a separate project within a main project, while treating both projects as separate entities (versioning, commits etc).  This article applies to any Read More

Monitoring progress of SOA HPC jobs programmatically

Posted by Chad Groneman on October 17, 2014 in Development

Here at Ancestry.com, we currently use Microsoft’s High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster to do a variety of things.  My team has multiple things we use an HPC cluster for.  Interestingly enough, we don’t communicate with HPC exactly the same for any distinct job type.  We’re using the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) model for two of Read More

Big Data for Developers at Ancestry

Posted by Seng Lin Shee on September 25, 2014 in Development, Operations

Big Data has been all the craze. Business, marketing and project managers like it because they can plot out trends to make decisions. To us developers, Big Data is just a bunch of logs.  In this blog post, I would like to point out that Big Data (or logs with context) can be leveraged by Read More

Stop using anchors as buttons!

Posted by Jason Boyer on September 2, 2014 in Development

Semantic buttons and links are important for usability as well as accessibility. Hyperlinks indicate a URL change, whereas buttons are used to perform an action. I thought this post up in response to a question asked on Stack Overflow over 5 years ago. Which one should you use? <a href=”#” onclick=”doSomething()”>Do Something</a> <a href=”javascript:void(0);” onclick=”doSomething()”>Do Read More

Core Web Accessibility Guidelines

Posted by Jason Boyer on August 13, 2014 in Development

How do you ensure accessibility on a website that is worked on by several hundred web developers? That is the question we are continually asking ourselves and have made great steps towards answering. The approach we took was to document our core guidelines and deliver presentations and trainings to all involved. This included our small Read More