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Scaling Anything

Tonight I attended a presentation at Google that given by Jason Hoffman (the CTO at Joyent) about Ruby, and scaling web architecture. Although none of the actual information was new to me it did remind me of the basic points to scaling a web application. Here they are.

  • Scalability is language, performance, and throughput independent.
  • Test each piece of your architecture and find out what the maximums of each service are.
  • Find the real bottlenecks and remove them efficiently. (Use DTrace) An example was how Apache’s proxy module will limit the number of requests per second to 140 per Apache instance, and by using virtualization you could have eight instances running Apache on the same server with the capacity of 1120 rps.

Overall it was worth while especially when you factor in the snacks and dinner that Google provided.

Scale away!



A friend of mine invited me to go to the Crunchies last Friday. It was a lot of fun to be apart of the show and more than anything it was good to see winners of categories that I have never even heard of. Overall it was very inspiring. I will go next time if I get the chance.


Startup School

Today it was my pleasure to attend Startup School at Stanford. it was educational to learn from some great presenters. I can’t help but get excited about what I am going to do for my next gig.

Here are a few things that I took away from the experience:

  • When starting a company make sure that you don’t neglect founders agreements, stock options, and other legal and business matters. – Mark Macenka’s Presentation
  • The internet and small startups open up markets that have never existed before and that there is “Millions of markets of dozens, and not just a dozen markets of millions.” – Chris Anderson’s Presentation
  • There are not many good excuses to prevent techies from starting their own startups. – Paul Graham’s Presentation
  • The economy is doing great and the only thing we should be worried about is a slowdown in innovation and productivity, thus the need for startups has never been greater and more welcome. – Michael Mandel’s Presentation
  • Don’t neglect product management and be sure to act quickly on data from users experience. Don’t make things too easy as users have a perception that things that are too easy must not have value. – Max Levchin’s Presentation
  • Culture is very important in a startup; hire the right people; be sure to structure your company so that decisions can be made quickly. – Ali Partovi and Hadi Partovi’s Joint Presentation
  • Always move forward in an iterative fashion and create a culture where everyone is technical, he said “marketing should be able to ssh into the server and change the text.” Hire people because they are smart not just because they are experienced or knowledgeable. Release often, take risks, if you screw up thats ok because you will learn from it. Features don’t have to be perfect but the app must be good enough to do what it does best. – Mark Zuckerberg’s Presentation

It was a day well spent, or should I say invested? 🙂