Join me at SXSW 2015

All Things Distributed

Sunday 3/15 4-5pm - I will moderate a panel at ff Massive 2015 about " Scaling a Startup " with Shane Snow , Rami Essaid , Trevor Coleman , and Jordan Kretchmer. Every year I enjoy travelling to the South-by-South-West (SXSW) festival as it is ons of the biggest event with many Amazon customers present. Thousand of AWS customers and partners will be in Austin for SXSW Interactive and given the free flowing networking it is a very important feedback opportunity for us.

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2015 Favorites

Tim Kadlec

The five most read posts of 2015, in order. Apple’s Web. I’m good for a heat of the moment rant about either standards or Apple (often both) every couple years. This year, it was about Apple’s influence over the standardization process after some fallout around the Pointer Events specification. Client-side MVC’s Major Bug. If your client-side MVC framework does not support server-side rendering, that is a bug.


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London Calling! An AWS Region is coming to the UK!

All Things Distributed

Yesterday, AWS evangelist Jeff Barr wrote that AWS will be opening a region in South Korea in early 2016 that will be our 5th region in Asia Pacific. Customers can choose between 11 regions around the world today and, in addition to Korea, we are adding regions in India, a second region in China, and Ohio in 2016. Today, I am excited to add the United Kingdom to that list!

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Data Mining Problems in Retail

Highly Scalable

Retail is one of the most important business domains for data science and data mining applications because of its prolific data and numerous optimization problems such as optimal prices, discounts, recommendations, and stock levels that can be solved using data analysis methods.

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Under the Hood of Amazon EC2 Container Service

All Things Distributed

In my last post about Amazon EC2 Container Service (Amazon ECS), I discussed the two key components of running modern distributed applications on a cluster: reliable state management and flexible scheduling. Amazon ECS makes building and running containerized applications simple, but how that happens is what makes Amazon ECS interesting. Today, I want to explore the Amazon ECS architecture and what this architecture enables.

Embrace event-driven computing: Amazon expands DynamoDB with streams, cross-region replication, and database triggers

All Things Distributed

In just three short years, Amazon DynamoDB has emerged as the backbone for many powerful Internet applications such as AdRoll , Druva , DeviceScape , and Battlecamp. Many happy developers are using DynamoDB to handle trillions of requests every day. I am excited to share with you that today we are expanding DynamoDB with streams, cross-region replication, and database triggers.

Amazon announces the Alexa Skills Kit, Enabling Developers to Create New Voice Capabilities

All Things Distributed

Today, Amazon announced the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) , a collection of self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create new voice-driven capabilities for Alexa. With a few lines of code, developers can easily integrate existing web services with Alexa or, in just a few hours, they can build entirely new experiences designed around voice.

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Expanding the Cloud: Introducing Amazon QuickSight

All Things Distributed

We live in a world where massive volumes of data are generated from websites, connected devices and mobile apps. In such a data intensive environment, making key business decisions such as running marketing and sales campaigns, logistic planning, financial analysis and ad targeting require deriving insights from these data. However, the data infrastructure to collect, store and process data is geared toward developers (e.g.,

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Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Machine Learning

All Things Distributed

Machine learning is a scientific discipline that explores the construction and study of algorithms that can learn from data. Such algorithms operate by building a model from example inputs and using that to make predictions or decisions, rather than following strictly static program instructions. Machine Learning is playing an increasing important role in many areas of our businesses and our lives.

Observations on the Importance of Cloud-based Analytics

All Things Distributed

Adoption is now really starting to explode in 2015 as more and more businesses understand the power analytics has to empower their organizations. As we move through 2015 and beyond we can expect to see cloud play even more of a role in the advancement of the field of patient diagnosis and care. Cloud computing is enabling amazing new innovations both in consumer and enterprise products, as it became the new normal for organizations of all sizes.

Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Survey of Local Algorithms

All Things Distributed

As we know the run time of most algorithms increases when the input set increases in size. There is one noticeable exception: there is a class of distributed algorithms, dubbed local algorithms, that run in constant time, independently of the size of the network. Being highly scalable and fault tolerant, such algorithms are ideal in the operation of large-scale distributed systems.

European Union Data Protection Authorities Approve Amazon Web Services’ Data Processing Agreement

All Things Distributed

Brussels – March 31, 2015 – Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced that the group of European Union (EU) data protection authorities known as the Article 29 Working Party has approved the AWS Data Processing Agreement (DPA), assuring customers that it meets the high standards of EU data protection laws.

The language and metrics of UX evolve at Velocity 2015

Speed Curve

At Velocity 2015 in Santa Clara, Bruce Lawson described the dramatic growth of connected users in Asia and Africa, while highlighting the challenge faced when trying to deliver great experiences to a broad range of devices. The techniques required to reach such a broad audience were covered by Tim Kadlec at Velocity 2015 in Santa Clara, who took us through the process of creating a high-performant responsive site that can effectively reach a diverse global audience.

Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of a Distributed System

All Things Distributed

Several problems in Distributed Systems can be seen as the challenge to determine a global state. In the classical " Time, Clocks and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System " Lamport had laid out the principles and mechanisms to solve such problems, and the Distributed Snapshots algorithm, popularly know as the Chandy-Lamport algorithm, is an application of that work.

Expanding the Cloud: Amazon Machine Learning Service, the Amazon Elastic Filesystem and more

All Things Distributed

Today was a big day for the Amazon Web Services teams as a whole range of new services and functionality was delivered to our customers. Here is a brief recap of it: The Amazon Machine Learning service. As I wrote last week machine learning is becoming an increasingly important tool to build advanced data driven applications.

State Management and Scheduling with the Amazon EC2 Container Service

All Things Distributed

Last November, I had the pleasure of announcing the preview of Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS) at re:Invent. At the time, I wrote about how containerization makes it easier for customers to decompose their applications into smaller building blocks resulting in increased agility and speed of feature releases. I also talked about some of the challenges our customers were facing as they tried to scale container-based applications including challenges around cluster management.

The Startup Experience at AWS re:Invent

All Things Distributed

AWS re:Invent is just over one week away—as I prepare to head to Vegas, I’m pumped up about the chance to interact with AWS-powered startups from around the world. One of my favorite parts of the week is being able to host three startup-focused sessions Thursday afternoon: The Startup Scene in 2016: a Visionary Panel [Thursday, 2:45PM].

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The AWS Pop-up Lofts are opening in London and Berlin

All Things Distributed

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been working closely with the startup community in London, and Europe, since we launched back in 2006. We have grown substantially in that time and today more than two thirds of the UK’s startups with valuations of over a billion dollars , including Skyscanner, JustEat, Powa, Fanduel and Shazam, are all leveraging our platform to deliver innovative services to customers around the world.

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Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - RAID: High-Performance, Reliable Secondary Storage

All Things Distributed

Disk arrays, which organize multiple, independent disks into a large, high-performance logical disk, were a natural solution to dealing with constraints on performance and reliability of single disk drives. The term "RAID" was invented by David Patterson, Garth A. Gibson, and Randy Katz at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987.

Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Exploring Complex Networks

All Things Distributed

After a year of absence I am bringing back the Back to Basic Weekend Reading Series. We''ll continue to look at the fundamental works of Computer Science and Engineering, and other interesting technical works. We will start this year with a topic that spans many sciences: that of complex networks. It is relevant to everything from biology, life sciences, social sciences to computer engineering.

Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Data Compression

All Things Distributed

Data compression today is still as important as it was in the early days of computing. Although in those days all computer and storage resources were very limited, the objects in use were much smaller than today. We have seen a shift from generic compression to compression for specific file types, especially those in images, audio and video.

Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - The Working Set Model for Program Behavior

All Things Distributed

This weekend we go back in time all the way to the beginning of operating systems research. In the first SOSP conference in 1967 there were several papers that laid the foundation for the development of structured operating systems. There was the of course the lauded paper on the THE operating system by Dijkstra but for this weekend I picked the paper on memory locality by Peter Denning as this work laid the groundwork for the development of virtual memory systems.

The AWS Pop-up Loft opens in New York City

All Things Distributed

Over a year ago the AWS team opened a "pop-up loft" in San Francisco at 925 Market Street. The goal of opening the loft was to give developers an opportunity to get in-person support and education on AWS, to network, get some work done, or just hang out with peers. It became a great success; every time when I visit the loft there is a great buzz with people getting advice from our solution architects, getting training or attending talks and demos.

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Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Experience with Grapevine: The Growth of a Distributed System

All Things Distributed

Grapevine was one of the first systems designed to be fully distributed. It was built at the famous Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) Computer Science Laboratory as an exercise in discovering what is needed as the fundamental building blocks of a distributed system; messaging, naming, discovery, location, routing, authentication, encryption, replication, etc.

Join me at the AWS Summit in Paris, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Amsterdam or New York

All Things Distributed

An important way of engaging with AWS customers is through the AWS Global Summit Series. All AWS Summits feature a keynote address highlighting the latest announcements from AWS and customer testimonials, technical sessions led by AWS engineers, and hands-on technical training. You will learn best practices for deploying applications on AWS, optimizing performance, monitoring cloud resources, managing security, cutting costs, and more.

AWS Certification for DevOps Engineers

All Things Distributed

One of our guiding principles at AWS is to listen closely to our customers and the feedback that I am getting about our training and certification program is very positive. Many architects and engineers know the Cloud is the future of development and IT and the are gearing up to be as succesful as possible in this new normal. This is why I’m excited to announce the availability of a new Professional level certification from AWS that has been high on the list of our customers.

European Union Data Protection Authorities Approve Amazon Web Services’ Data Processing Agreement

All Things Distributed

Brussels – March 31, 2015 – Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced that the group of European Union (EU) data protection authorities known as the Article 29 Working Party has approved the AWS Data Processing Agreement (DPA), assuring customers that it meets the high standards of EU data protection laws.

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Agile Software Development

Professor Beekums

It’d be hard to be a software developer these days without hearing about “being agile” Agile is a popular software development process. It is intentionally loosely defined, though that naturally leads to many many different opinions about what it is. The spectrum varies from those who think there are some rules that absolutely must be followed in order to be considered agile to those who use it to justify a lack of process

Progressive Web Apps: Escaping Tabs Without Losing Our Soul

Alex Russell

It happens on the web from time to time that powerful technologies come to exist without the benefit of marketing departments or slick packaging. They linger and grow at the peripheries, becoming old-hat to a tiny group while remaining nearly invisible to everyone else. Until someone names them. This may be the inevitable consequence of a standards-based process and unsynchronized browser releases.

Taking Let's Encrypt for a Spin

Tim Kadlec

A lot of folks have been very vocally pushing for “HTTPS Everywhere”, and for good reason. The fact that the lack of HTTPS makes you miss out on shiny new things like HTTP/2 and Service Workers adds even more incentive for those a little less inspired by the security arguments. Unfortunately, moving to HTTPS can be kind of painful as you can see from Jeremy Keith’s excellent post detailing exactly how he got onto HTTPS.

Additional C/C++ Tooling

Nick Desaulniers

21st Century C by Ben Klemens. was a great read. It had a section with an intro to autotools, git, and gdb. There are a few other useful tools that came to mind that I’ve used when working with C and C++ codebases. These tools are a great way to start contributing to Open Source. C & C++ codebases; running these tools on the code or adding them to the codebases. A lot of these favor command line, open source utilities. See how many you are familiar with! Build Tools. CMake.

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AMP and Incentives

Tim Kadlec

Incentives are fascinating. Dangle the right carrot in front of people and you can subtly influence their behavior. But it has to be the right carrot. It has to matter to the people you’re trying to influence. Just as importantly, it has to influence the correct changes. A few years ago there was a story of incentives gone wrong that was making the rounds. The story was about a fast food chain that determined customer service was an important metric that they needed to track in some way.

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Service-Oriented Architecture: Scaling the Uber Engineering Codebase As We Grow

Uber Engineering

Like many startups, Uber began its journey with a monolithic architecture, built for a single offering in a single city. At the time, all of Uber was our UberBLACK option and our “world” was San Francisco. Having one codebase seemed … The post Service-Oriented Architecture: Scaling the Uber Engineering Codebase As We Grow appeared first on Uber Engineering Blog. Architecture Infra Lady Eng

5 Things Your Boss Needs to Know About Your Website


You may think the answers are obvious, and the most obvious questions include: How many people are hitting our website? How many site visitors are converting? Is the blog drawing traffic? Which pages are receiving the most traffic? These are not necessarily the most important metrics about your website, and all of these questions can… The post 5 Things Your Boss Needs to Know About Your Website appeared first on Dotcom-Monitor Web Performance Blog.

User Timing and Custom Metrics

Speed Curve

If you want to improve performance, you must start by measuring performance. But what should you measure? Across the performance industry, the metric that's used the most is "page load time" (i.e, "window.onload" or "document complete"). Page load time was pretty good at approximating the user experience in the days of Web 1.0 when pages were simpler and each user action loaded a new web page (multi-page websites). In the days of Web 2.0

Understanding Proxy Browsers: Architecture

Tim Kadlec

I did a bunch of research on proxy-browsers for a few projects I worked on. Rather than sitting on it all, I figured I’d write a series of posts sharing what I learned in case it’s helpful to anyone else. This first post looks at the general architecture of proxy browsers with a performance focus. In the original story of the Wizard of Oz, the Emerald City isn’t actually green nor made entirely of emeralds. All of that came later.

Interpreter, Compiler, JIT

Nick Desaulniers

Interpreters and compilers are interesting programs, themselves used to run or translate other programs, respectively. Those other programs that might be interpreted might be languages like JavaScript, Ruby, Python, PHP, and Perl. The other programs that might be compiled are C, C++, and to some extent Java and C#.

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Posts from Dr. Dobb’s Journal

Allen Holub

I wrote for DDJ (may it rest in peace) for many many years. Towards the end, I wrote a blog on agile-related topics. I haven’t gotten around to moving the actual articles over here, but here are links to them in the DDJ archives: Agile Certifications Are Actively Destructive Endless Flexibility, The Enemy of Agile The Anti… Agility


Holiday Web Reading

Tim Kadlec

I enjoy reading and one of the rules of all well-behaved reading enthusiasts—much like vegans, cross fitters and people who eat gluten free—is to never stop telling everyone we know (and even some people we don’t know) about it. I hadn’t read very many industry books this year, but the second half of the year was absolutely bursting with great options and I couldn’t resist. Here are a list of the ones that I’ve found time to read and highly recommend.

Mark+Steve, Performance+Design

Speed Curve

I'm excited to announce that I've joined SpeedCurve! When SpeedCurve was just a twinkle in Mark's eye, he contacted me about the concept and I encouraged him that a commercial version of WebPageTest was needed. When I saw the early versions of SpeedCurve, I was blown away. Mark presents traditional performance data in a way that is more compelling, revealing his strong design background. Mark has pioneered this new territory where performance and design overlap. It's exciting to say "overlap".

Tungsten in the news

Wayfair Tech

There's a great interview with our own Matt DeGennaro by Paul Krill of Infoworld that came out a few days ago. The topic is Tungsten.js, our awesome framework that 'lights up' the DOM with fast, virtual-DOM-based updates, React-style, and can be integrated with Backbone.js and pretty much whatever other framework. Read more. Open Source Web Performance mustache php tungsten.js

Rendering Mustache templates with PHP

Wayfair Tech

For the past couple years, Wayfair's front-end stack has relied heavily on Mustache templates. They've let our growing front-end team focus on the front-end. They allow us to share more code between server and client as we push towards a Tungsten-powered future. Anyone who's seen a Mustache template knows that. Read more. Open Source Web Performance mustache php php extensions

Thriving in Unpredictability

Tim Kadlec

Getting a website successfully delivered to a visitor depends on a series of actions. My server must spit something out. That something must be passed over some network. That something must then be consumed by another something: some client (often a browser) on some device. Finally, the visitor views that something in whatever context they happen to be in. There are a lot of unpredictable layers here. I have no control over the network.