Friday, April 22, 2005

Cool Google Talk

I'm a little slow, but I finally got around to watch Jeff Dean's presentation at Washington University on Google's architecture and culture. It's a great one hour talk. It made me go out and immediately download the paper on their "MapReduce" framework. One of the things that stood out for me is the "20%" rule. Basically, Google engineers spend 20% of their time on anything that tickles their fancy and most of their innovations have come from this time. Imagine that, give developers a little free time to innovate (or just think about a different problem) can be just the creative juice to make you a market leader. I've always believed that developers should have time to pursue their passions no matter what they are. We need time to play so to speak. Google not only embraces it, but encourages it. How lucky their engineers are. He continues by statting the "MapReduce" framework came from this same rule. What started out as a simple experiment has turned into a major piece of Google's processing infrastructure. I love the simplicity of it. They took an idea from functional programming and allowed their developers to take advantage of parallel computing. The video is also interesting to see what technological feats that they had to overcome to provide fast searches. All I can say is, "WOW!"

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