Category Archives: work

Summer 2016 Hackathon Report

Summer at Delphix is a time for many fun activities including the annual Delphix Summer Hackathon. Originally started in 2015, it has become one of the events that both employees and summer interns look forward to the most. This years hackathon included a wide variety of projects including a Raspberry Pi coffee pot tracker and a game to entertain users who hit unexpected 404 error pages. The judges spent a long time deliberating and chose the following winners:

Best Product Hack: Andrew Nguyen for Conditional Table Partitioning for a Masking Job
The current process of creating multiple masking jobs that each differently partition a single database table is incredibly tedious and error-prone.… Read the rest

Spring 2016 EKO Hackathon report

Building on the success of the Fall 2015 EKO Hackathon, I was privileged to help organize the Spring 2016 EKO Hackathon. This time we kept the same event structure for the hackathon but conducted the bulk of the hacking and the presentations at the offsite EKO location. We did have some of the inevitable wifi challenges that offsite events bring but in the end it was a successful event with a lot of great work being done by the hackers. As with the last hackathon we made it a point to invite folks from outside engineering and had healthy representation from groups like support, services, education and BTC in the final list of 44 hacks.… Read the rest

Delphix Fall EKO Hackathon 2015

The hackathon is a cherished tradition at Delphix Engineering Kickoff and our recently concluded Fall EKO was no exception. Based on feedback from previous EKOs, we moved away from our traditional a noon to noon hackathon schedule and instead gave a folks a full day to hack with no events scheduled during the time. Additionally we encouraged people from outside engineering to both pitch ideas and participate in the event which led to some great hacks around sales, HR and recruiting.

The hackathon presentations were held the next afternoon and was judges by a cross functional panel of execs. As always the creativity on display was amazing and this is just a partial list of the 35 hacks that were presented:

  • Revamping the Delphix Technology Scholarship program
  • Data Mining Delphix with Splunk
  • HR Tracking Dashboard
  • Conference room tracking via Raspberry Pi
  • OpenZFS Build Server

The judges felt that this was the closest hackathon they have seen and had a tough time deciding on the winners:

Best in Show: Brett Lazarus and Eyal Kaspi took our existing monitoring and reporting tool, Mission Control, and made it possible to hook it up to Tableau.… Read the rest

Delphix Hackathon June 2015

For the past few years the Delphix Engineering team has been holding hackathons where all the engineers get together and build fun and interesting projects. They are held during our biannual Engineering Kickoffs and have the additional advantage of having the engineering team co-located in the same office. Our last hackathon was such a rousing success that we decided to try out our first distributed hackathon and additionally we went beyond just the engineering team and opened it up to the entire company.

The event was held two weeks ago and featured a glorious 24 hours of hacking where people from around the company collaborated to build a huge variety of things ranging from internal tools to customer facing products.… Read the rest

The ultimate mobile search experience (a.k.a Foodfinder lives)

The folks at Yahoo oneSearch just announced the new oneSearch Shortcut application with a new auto-locate feature that determines the users location using cell-tower positioning and wi-fi triangulation. This combines with the existing voice search and oneSearch clusters to create what is in my opinion the best mobile search experience in the business (especially on Nokia S60 devices). Read on for a quick description of the user experience:

oneSearch Shortcut
The Shortcut application starts off by showing you a small text entry field on the idle-screen of you mobile phone. The text field has a small note telling you to hold down the “Call” button and speak.… Read the rest

Vannevar Bush Best Paper Award

Vannevar Bush Best Paper Award JCDL 2007
Our paper titled “World Explorer: Visualizing Aggregate Data from Unstructured Text in Geo-Referenced Collections” just won the Vannevar Bush Best Paper Award at JDCL 2007. A big thanks to my co-authors Shane Ahern, Mor Naaman and Jeannie Yang for all their help in both building the system and writing the paper – it was a great joint effort. You can read the paper, see the demo or look at my slides below.

Judith Bush has a report about my presentation as well.… Read the rest

Trip tracker

UPDATE: Since Yahoo! has shut down may of the services that Trip Tracker relied upon I have replaced the live links with some real example images that I captured over the years.


Trip tracker is a quick hack that I created using the FireEagle location platform from Yahoo! Research Berkeley and is designed to convery a quick summary or what I’m doing during my summer holiday. The first part is a badge image (above) that shows you some quick summary about my current location. It shows you the following things

Location: A map tile of my location which zooms appropriately based on the accuracy of the available location.… Read the rest

Media from the Green Hell

The following is a post I wrote for the YRB blog. My readers get the bonus YouTube footage directly embedded on the page ­čÖé

A few weeks ago when the research community was looking at CHI, Formula 1 racing fans were looking at Germany to watch a very different event. Nick Heidfeld was driving a F1 car around the famed N├â┬╝rburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany. “The Green Hell” as it is popularly known is one of the toughest race tracks on the planet and last hosted an F1 race back in 1976 when Niki Lauda’ near fatal crash put an end to F1 at the track.… Read the rest