About Bill Yetman

Bill Yetman has served as VP of Engineering at Ancestry.com since January 2014. Bill has held multiple positions with Ancestry.com from August 2002, including Senior Director of Engineering, Director of Sites, Mobile and APIs, Director of Ad Operations and Ad Sales, Senior Software Manager of eCommerce and Senior Software Developer. Prior to joining Ancestry.com, he held several developer and programmer roles with Coresoft Technologies, Inc., Novell/Word Perfect, Fujitsu Systems of America and NCR. Mr. Yetman holds a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University.

Past Articles

Adventures in Big Data: Commodity Hardware Blues

Posted on June 20, 2014 in Big Data

One of the real advantages of a system like Hadoop is that it runs on commodity hardware. This will keep your hardware costs low. But when that hardware fails at an unusually high rate it can really throw a wrench into your plans. This was the case recently when we set up a new cluster… Read more

Ancestry.com to Present at Hadoop Summit

Posted on May 27, 2014 in Technology Conferences

Interest in direct-to-consumer DNA testing has grown dramatically in the past few years. When you’re measuring more than 700,000 DNA markers for each individual, how do you analyze all that data across a rapidly growing database, while providing actionable results for your customers? At the Hadoop Summit next week,

Adventures in Big Data: Join the Community, Share, and Give Back

Posted on February 19, 2014 in Big Data, Development

Ancestry.com to Host HBase Meetup on March 12th at our SF office  If you are thinking about starting a Big Data Initiative, you may want to consider its affect across the organization. At Ancestry.com, we have been a very traditional Microsoft .NET and SQL Server shop for a long time. Several Initiatives, two which involve… Read more

Adventures in Big Data: Presented Scaling AncestryDNA using Hadoop and HBase at QCon San Francisco

Posted on November 14, 2013 in Big Data, DNA, Technology Conferences

Jeremy Pollack, an engineer on the DNA Pipeline Team, and I presented together at QCon San Francisco this week. It was a real tag team effort from two different points-of-view – the “Manager” and the “Developer” view of the same project. Having both of us on stage was a first, but it seemed to work really… Read more

Adventures in Big Data: How AncestryDNA Uses Hadoop and HBase

Posted on September 26, 2013 in Agile, Big Data

I recently had the opportunity to present the story of the Ancestry.com DNA  pipeline project at the Utah Big Mountain Conference put on by Utah Geek Events. It really is a great story:

FedEx Day (a.k.a Hack Day) is a Fun Way to Introduce Innovation and Encourage Collaboration – and Improve Your Website

Posted on September 14, 2013 in Development, Inside our Offices

I’m taking a break from writing about “Adventures in Big Data” to focus on another passion – how to inspire collaboration and innovation within your organization. At Ancestry.com, we hold a FedEx Day twice a year, and try to make a big deal out of the event. The idea to run our own FedEx Day… Read more

Adventures in Big Data: Not writing much Java MapReduce code? You’re probably on the right track

Posted on August 10, 2013 in Big Data

It is interesting to reflect on how we thought we would work with Big Data and compare it to our day-to-day processes. We anticipated writing MapReduce jobs in Java that process our data, transform it, and produce aggregate results. Reality is somewhat different.

Adventures in Big Data: One Step Back…

Posted 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.

Adventures in Big Data: How do you start?

Posted on April 20, 2013 in Big Data

A little over 8 months ago, I was asked to build a data mining cluster at Ancestry using Hadoop. Even though Ancestry has been using Hadoop for nearly 3 years, this was my first exposure to the technology and the company’s initial attempt to collect everything. Honestly, I did not know where or how to start.… Read more