2015 Hack Days at Ancestry

Posted by Christopher Bradford on April 29, 2015 in Inside our Offices, Technical Management

Several years ago, we introduced FedEx Day at Ancestry: a 24-hour hackathon to build something fun & innovative, work with people other than your everyday team, and learn new technologies and skills. Participation is voluntary and we noticed that the number of people participating was starting to decline. We gathered feedback from the teams and made a few changes in February of this year in response. (more…)

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Past Articles

Recent University of Oxford study sheds light on estimating Great Britain ethnicity

Posted by Julie Granka on April 21, 2015 in DNA, Science

This post was co-written with Peter Carbonetto, Ph.D., Computational Biologist at AncestryDNA For every AncestryDNA customer, we estimate the ethnic origins of their ancestors from their DNA sample—what we call a “genetic ethnicity estimate.” AncestryDNA customers can currently trace their ancestral origins to specific parts of the world, including 26 regions across Europe, Africa, Asia,… Read more

The Science Behind New Ancestor Discoveries

Posted by Julie Granka on April 2, 2015 in DNA, Science

At AncestryDNA, we empower our customers to uncover exciting details about their family stories.  Today, we announced a new AncestryDNA experience based on years of research and development by the AncestryDNA science team that is revolutionizing the way people discover, preserve, and share their family history. Learn more about the announcement here. We are combining DNA… Read more

Scaling Node.js in the Enterprise

Posted by Robert Schultz on March 31, 2015 in Development, Web

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

AncestryDNA Scientists Achieve Advancement in Human Genome Reconstruction

Posted by Julie Granka on December 16, 2014 in DNA, Science, Uncategorized

Passed down through the generations, fragments of the genomes of long-gone ancestors exist today in the genomes of their living descendants. Those fragments can actually be used to recover parts of those ancestors’ genomes – without having to resort to some more morbid techniques for obtaining their DNA.  That means a potentially easier way for… Read more

Lessons Learned from a Monster Artist

Posted by Dan Lawyer on November 19, 2014 in Inside our Offices

Yes, we made monsters out of clay. If you happened to be in Midway, Utah at the very end of September you might have bumped into the Ancestry product team holding our annual product summit. About 80 of us gathered for an action packed two-day event filled with team building, strategic conversations, and a few… Read more

Monitoring progress of SOA HPC jobs programmatically

Posted by Chad Groneman on October 17, 2014 in C#, Development, Distributed Computing

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

2 Talks and 4 Posters in 4 Days at the ASHG Annual Meeting

Posted by Julie Granka on October 15, 2014 in DNA, Science

For the AncestryDNA science team, October brings more than fall foliage and pumpkins.  It also brings us the yearly meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), the main conference of the year in our field. On Saturday, we’ll arrive in San Diego to join thousands of other scientists for a four day conference… Read more