On Track to Data-Driven

Posted by Aaron Ling on December 25, 2013 in Big Data, Distributed Computing, Technical Management

Ancestry.com becomes more and more aware of the value of the data our website generates every single day. We have a lot of customers coming to the website to discover, preserve and share their family history. They come from different parts of the world and are looking for information that helps them tell the story… Read more

Featured Article: Migration to Continuous Delivery at Ancestry.com

Posted by Seng Lin Shee on December 7, 2013 in Agile, Continuous Delivery, DevOps, Technical Management, Testing

Starting with the adoption of Agile development practices, Ancestry.com has progressed to a continuous delivery model to enable code release whenever the business requires it. Transitioning from large, weekly or bi-weekly software rollouts to smaller, incremental updates has allowed Ancestry.com to increase responsiveness and deliver new features to customers more quickly. Ancestry.com has come a… Read more

Exposing APIs to Your Clients

Posted by Seng Lin Shee on November 27, 2013 in API, Development, Mobile, Technical Management

So, you want to share your super awesome system with the world. You have it all figured out. You implemented it as a web service, and you have exposed the necessary APIs as HTTP endpoints. Your hope is that people will start to leverage those endpoints and begin to build awe-inspiring apps that will further… Read more

Untangling Authentication and Authorization

Posted by Seng Lin Shee on September 27, 2013 in Development, Mobile, Technical Management, Web

When designing web service APIs, a decision has to be made to protect the usage of such APIs. If you are working within a protected firewall, and you trust every single user or machine on the network, this article does not apply to you – you are in API heaven. For the rest of us,… Read more

How Ancestry.com Practices Agile to Solve Challenges with Consumer DNA Testing

Posted by Aaron Ling on August 29, 2013 in Agile, Big Data, Science, Technical Management

A typical web application starts with a blank page. Then in further sprints, you can add features to it. (I sound like one of your Agile coaches, don’t I?) But in reality, the business needs you to deliver more value than a blank page. So, how can you quantify the minimum value you are delivering… Read more

DevOps: Finding the right place for a new idea

Posted by Daniel Sands on May 2, 2013 in Agile, Continuous Delivery, Inside our Offices, Technical Management, Web

For the last year and a half, we’ve been breaking in a new concept at Ancestry.com called a DevOps engineer. There is a ton of material on the internet about what DevOps means to various groups, and how they’ve implemented it. A lot of it revolves around SCRUM, Agile processes, and other approaches to increase… Read more

Technical Management at the Right Level

Posted by Christopher Bradford on April 23, 2013 in Technical Management

As is often the case with technical managers, I started out as a software engineer, and miss the experience of day-to-day coding. I became a team lead and then “officially” moved into the ranks of management as I took responsibility for multiple development teams. As I considered how to be more aware of how these… Read more