If you are in the tech industry, you surely have heard the term big data. But why is it that we are talking about it so much, when data (and large amounts of it) have been around for a while (i.e. more than 5 years)? We had big data systems that dealt with weather prediction, storing medical records, google searchs, inventory systems, etc.
Big Data has indeed been around, but now it is not restricted to the likes of IBM and Google, it has become cost effective for ‘anyone’ to do.
Joel Spolsky is a respected software developer turned business owner runs Fog Creek software – a software development shop where his goal is to:
“Build the kind of software company where we would want to work, one in which programmers and software developers are the stars and everything else serves only to make them productive and happy. The theory, which has proven itself over and over again, is that this kind of thinking would allow us to attract the super-talented software developers who would do great things and make us successful”
I read an interview with Larry Page (CEO of Google) on Wired on how he leads his “Medium Sized Business” (He actually called Google a medium sized business – which I thought was a bit wacky)
He says that he encourages his team to think of products that produce 10X results. Instead of focusing on just incremental improvements or catch up with competitors – create amazing new things. He refers to gmail, which when launched had 100 times more storage than anything out there. He also mentions the self driving car and the wearable glasses.
Tumblr (a tool where you can easily create your own blog, and share other posts from other tumblr blogs) got over 15 Billion page views a month in Feb of 2011. Those are REALLY large numbers and require some creative ways to scale the technology. Each company’s scaling requirements are unique (i.e. what worked for twitter won’t work for Tumblr) because the subtleties in usage patterns matter a lot at scale.
The good news is that these companies that do tackle these challenges share their knowledge and often open source their solutions.
Here is a great blog post on the technical tools that tumblr used to help scale their technology
When viafoura’s code base was very small and had one developer, source control was not needed. We started feeling the pain at two developers. We implemented GIT at the start and changed the way we used it as we grew. It went from one branch to many, to a systemized version named system. Here is the two schemas we follow – hope this helps your growth…
It’s a good question. Finding the first developer is a very important step in growing your business. This person will likely turn out to be the CTO because you have built a good rapport with them. This person will be the reason why other developers come (or dont come!) to your company. Since developers want to work with other smart developers.
I will highlight some things that go through developers heads so you can be aware of it and address it when you approach them. Then I will suggest some steps on how to find them. For ease of writing, I am going to refer to the business person as Bill and the elusive programmer as Peter.
Amazon is an interesting company for many reasons. From a technology perspective, they are very forward thinking. From Amazon.com bookstore, to the kindle book reader to the amazon cloud (for the non-techies, this is a place for developers to build their applications on and share with the world)
Werner Vogels (CTO of Amazon) gives a 30 min talk on Amazons growth story and how they organize their teams and think of various problems.
I found this very relevant to me and the stage of my company where I am building out my team and making various decisions on the technologies that we use.