FlowCon: Continuous Delivery, Continuous Design and Lean Product Development

Posted by John Esser on June 28, 2013 in Agile, Continuous Delivery, DevOps, Technology Conferences

Over the past few years, Ancestry.com has been moving toward agile development methods. In fact, that’s the main reason I joined the company three years ago. Since starting at the company, I have worked at moving Ancestry.com into agile methods, including teaching Scrum. Over the years, agile has taken root in the company and the… Read more

Throttling Image Processing

Posted by Tyler Jensen on June 21, 2013 in Distributed Computing, Image Processing and Analysis

Ancestry.com, like any other site with millions of subscribers, experiences predictable load patterns throughout the day. To maximize site performance and customer satisfaction, we make every effort to schedule maintenance during off-peak intervals. Content processing, especially our repository of hundreds of millions of images, on the other hand, is a constant ongoing effort, and in… Read more

Ancestry.com to present at HBaseCon

Posted by Jeremy Pollack on June 12, 2013 in Big Data, Technology Conferences

Every week, AncestryDNA analyzes thousands of peoples’ DNA, decoding their family origins and finding their long-lost relatives. To that end, we used GERMLINE, an algorithm for finding hidden family relationships within a pool of DNA. However, the reference implementation of GERMLINE didn’t scale, and we were running up against its limitations. This Thursday, I’ll be… Read more

Creating Random Data for Testing

Posted by Anders on June 12, 2013 in C#, CSS/HTML/JavaScript, Testing

In my experience, tests that emulate real-world usage and use real-world data, find more relevant bugs, convey intent more clearly, and exercise the system under test more thoroughly than tests that do not. Consider testing a cab service to assert that a given vehicle arrives at its destination: cabService.SendVehicleToDestination(vehicle, destination); Assert.AreEqual(vehicle.Location, destination); Now, it shouldn’t… Read more

Location, Location, Location

Posted by Laryn Brown on June 4, 2013 in Big Data

Location, Location, Location – the importance of normalized place information in historical records One of the many challenges facing family history researchers is the changeable nature of things that at first blush feel immutable. The old church in the town square seems to have existed from the beginning of time, the place we call Los… Read more

Adventures in Big Data: One Step Back…

Posted by Bill Yetman on June 4, 2013 in Big Data

I decided to write this blog post to help people who are working with Big Data and Hadoop and would benefit from my experience. I always learn more from mistakes. I have lots of scars to prove that point. Even so, this blog is a bit painful to write.

A Fast 11 Years at Ancestry.com: Billions of Historic Records, Millions of Customers and A Boat-Load of Code Later

Posted by Scott Sorensen on June 3, 2013 in Analytics, Big Data, Inside our Offices, Machine Learning

I joined Ancestry.com as a developer in June 2002 – exactly 11 years ago – just as Ancestry.com was inventing the family tree technology that differentiates us today. The last 11 years have flown by as our team innovates against the constant challenge of improving our unique and dedicated community’s experience. Looking back over that… Read more