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Category Archives: Technical

Abstract

Conferences on Distributed Systems and Operating Systems get increasingly competitive by the year. In an attempt to provide scalable, reliable solutions in the Internet era, often one is forced to test solutions at volumes that are experienced only by a small fraction of the systems architects community. The Googles, Twitters and the Facebooks of our era have defined the way we think about Distributed Systems. The systems that back these organisations not only serve millions of users but have also been successful at academic conferences. Year after year, papers from Industry ’research labs’ redefine problems, and at times even reinvent solutions.

In this essay, I wish to perform a retrospective analysis on a few papers from the industry that have been impactful enough to invent their own class of problems in the systems community. Read More »

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been on the lookout for an internship/full time position. I am taking a break from my PhD and have been looking out for a job. My effort into preparation went primarily into being able to demonstrate my ability as someone who could understand and build systems that scale. I dont mean applications. I mean systems. I am yet to really accept an offer and work at any of these places. So, at this point I have little to show that these jobs really were as systemsy as they claimed to be. Nevertheless, I have not found much content on the Internet that says much about how one can develop a good understanding of building computer systems. One would think that this is a must-have skill in the era of the Internet and Big Data.

Here are some pointers that have helped me find these jobs. Read More »

There is a lot said in the Internet about how Content Delivery Networks speed-up the delivery of static content to a website. Sure — there is a lot of sense in saying that servers that are in physical proximity to the end point (typically a browser) are capable of delivering content with lesser latency than those that are on another continent. There were some important questions that I did not ask myself when I used Akamai’s CDN (due credit to them for nicely abstracting these details away!). Off late I have been reading about Coral, a more open CDN in an academic sense. Read More »

I recently read V.S.Ramachandran’s Phantoms in the Brain. It is quite brilliant. I would really recommend it to anyone who prides himself of being a rationalist. Read More »

Vinkesh and I made a presentation at xonf Bangalore on building jabber chat bots in cases where web application seem like a redundant solution. Read More »

I am currently working on a project in ThoughtWorks that required a lot of operations work to be done. Translating that to English, we wrote a lot of code that needed to be shared by an online application and a set of background jobs. Not to mentions that a large part of these operations were speaking to REST APIs. Not rocket science right? So  Here is what we did. Read More »

Part1 continued…..
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Recently, I decided to take quick read of the Russ Olsen’s Design Patterns in Ruby just in case the book had interesting ways of solving common problems. The book tends to digress into type safety (the lack of it) and other gizmoz that Rubyists defend and evangelize. Hence, I decided to write this article that will simply show you the code for the most important patterns. I have just covered the most elegant way these can be used. For what its worth, this is really the only reason you would want to read this book.

Having said that, I assume that you can take a judgement on when these patterns are to be used. That will truly determine whether/if it solves a problem for you. This post is just about doing it the Ruby way. Read More »

With libraries like Robotium, it has become a lot easier to unit-test Android applications. Here is a talk given by Thiyagu, Krishnaswamy Subramanian, Soundararajan and Ashwin Raghav at xconf bangalore.

We focused on some fundamental tools and some factors that can help you understand what factors to consider while building apps on the Android stack for enterprises. It feels a little outdated now with Robotium coming in. However, it covers a lot of important fundamentals. Read More »

Recently, at xconf, I had the chance to present some work that Dr.Jane and I had done in college. Its really a simple, application oriented research paper. I had a chance to present this paper at MOMM in Kuala Lumpur previously. This is more of a repeat performance. One for the books… Read More »