Harold Madsen

Harold Madsen is a director of engineering at Ancestry.com, the world's largest online family history resource with the mission to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history. He has over 20 years’ experience in engineering and management. Harold manages the cross-cutting teams at Ancestry.com including DevOps, Framework and Performance. His most recent endeavor involves leading his teams to support Ancestry's move to Java, microservices and containerization. Harold enjoys hiking and camping in his free time and has hiked 10 mountain peaks and climbed one pyramid in Egypt. He is also distantly related to John Lackland, king of England of the Robin Hood legends.

The Ancestry “Magnetic Containment Field” meets Docker

Posted by Harold Madsen on August 19, 2015 in Agile, Development, DevOps, Distributed Computing

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

Featured Article: Want Great APIs? Start With Training

Posted by Harold Madsen on June 3, 2014 in API

Ancestry.com, has awesome software engineers, products, and APIs. However, programmers are not always trained as API designers and when it comes to API development, consistency matters. As companies build their API programs using multiple teams, APIs tend to develop their own personalities and become radically different from one another. That’s a problem. Fortunately, it doesn’t Read More

APIs Are Like Parenting

Posted by Harold Madsen on March 3, 2014 in API

I’ve presented at several conferences recently and one of the analogies that resonated with the audience was that of comparing API Design to parenting.  So, here’s the analogy: APIs Are Like Parenting… The year was 1966. My family was living in Ethiopia while my dad taught at the American university as a guest professor. I Read More