The ever pulsing cyber-brain at Yahoo!

What would technical Yahoos talk about at a conference? Well, we recently held the first Tech Pulse conference in San Jose, an internal event where technologists from all corners of Yahoo! came together to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and learn about new tech research, development, and implementations across the company.

We covered an astonishing range of topics over two days of multiple tracks, including recipes for secret sauce that I can't share, blueprints for internal infrastructure, potentially patentable R&D, and a bunch of exciting stuff that's already available to the world at large.

One of the talks I found really interesting was from the team working on our IPv6 migration. Recently, two studies concluded that the last of the IPv4 IP addresses will be allocated by the end of 2010. Our team pointed out that these studies don't take into account a "run of the bank" scenario. As the current global financial crisis demonstrates, when it gets close to crunch time, people often attempt to hoard when supply dwindles. At Yahoo!, our technologists have been looking at IPv6 for a while, so that we're prepared to scale and meet new demand. Remember, our networking hardware supports billions of page requests from over 500 million users, so supporting IPv6 is a ginormous task. And support doesn't just mean looking at hardware; anyone who serves web pages should check operating systems, code from vendors, as well as any in-house or custom code to make sure everything works well on the IPv6 stack.

There was, of course, a lot of talk about Hadoop. We handle a lot of data at Yahoo!, from our search engine index to the millions of lines of logs from our web servers. In order to process vast volumes of data, grid computing is critical and advances are essential. Tech Pulse featured talks on securing Hadoop grids, best practices for map reduce, and the future of the Grid. Look for much more on Hadoop at Apachecon next month, where we'll be hosting a two-day Hadoop Camp.

The user interface track also got a lot of attention. YUI's Eric Miraglia and Matt Sweeney presented YUI 3.0. You too can take a look at the Yahoo! User Interface Library 3.0 preview release. On the mobile side, the folks from Yahoo! Connected Life showed the latest on Blueprint. You can see what they are up to on the Blueprint Blog.

This is just a sampling from the jam-packed two days of Tech Pulse. I've barely scratched the surface of how overwhelmed I was by amazing technology, but you can get more of a feel for it on my post for Yodel Anecdotal.

Tom Hughes-Croucher
Yahoo! Developer Network