Q&A with the Barefoot Genealogist

Posted by Camille Penrod on June 19, 2015 in Inside our Offices

After attending computer camp at the age of twelve, Crista Cowan’s father gave her a special task—computerize decades of family history information. She spent years of Sunday afternoons preserving her family history. This task became a hobby, then an obsession. It lead her to private client jobs and then a career as a Corporate Genealogist… Read more

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… 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

Migrating From TFS to Git-based Repositories (II)

Posted by Seng Lin Shee on August 8, 2014 in Agile, Development, Inside our Offices, Technical Management

Previously, I wrote about why Git-based repositories have become popular and why TFS users ought to migrate to Git. In this article, I would like to take a stab at providing a quick guide for longtime TFS / Visual Studio users to quickly ramp up on the knowledge required to work on Git-based repositories. This… Read more

XX+UX happy hour at Ancestry.com with guest speaker Erin Malone

Posted by Ashley Schofield on July 21, 2014 in Inside our Offices, Technology Conferences, UX

A career journey is a curvy path that usually takes unexpected turns, and as a designer in the growing field of UX, it’s sometimes a struggle to find the right environment to foster great design discussions with fellow UXers. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most at Ancestry.com is the great team who have helped… Read more

Ignite at Ancestry.com

Posted by Chris on April 1, 2014 in Inside our Offices

What is Ignite? Ignite is a format for giving a talk on any subject. A speaker uses twenty slides, which auto-advance every 15 seconds, to provide a five minute talk. The purpose of this article is to elaborate on these talks and explain why we’re doing them and why you should try it at your… Read more

All Work and Some Play

Posted by Jeff Lord on March 19, 2014 in Inside our Offices

When I joined Ancestry.com, we were a small start-up of a few hundred employees in some cramped offices behind the post office in Orem, Utah. Now almost 15 years later, we’re an international organization of more than 1,400 employees with offices around the world. Yet despite our growth, Ancestry.com has continued to provide employees with… Read more

Throwing Dynamite into the Log Jam

Posted by Tyler Jensen on February 6, 2014 in Development, Inside our Offices

I changed teams at the beginning of the year from search services to an R&D team working on some exciting projects. The team has created a distributed system to repeatedly process and analyze many billions of family history records using a complex and time consuming algorithm that has been challenging to scale up and out.… Read more

Work Hard, Play Hard

Posted by Jim Mosher on December 12, 2013 in Inside our Offices

At Ancestry.com, our development teams work hard. We also take time to celebrate success and play hard. For example, last year, the entire development team was invited to go zip lining and fly fishing in Provo Canyon. Individual teams also have opportunities to reward their team members and do some out-of-the-office team bonding. Recently, after… Read more

Team Fun in Teamwork

Posted by Tyler Jensen on October 31, 2013 in Inside our Offices

Today is Halloween and my whole team got into it. I brought the costumes and they graciously agreed to wear them long enough to join the company costume contest. The Search Services Team Humor warning — we didn’t win the contest but we did experience collective shame and humiliation–or what we prefer to call team… Read more