We build JavaScript applications


Yesterday we attended the geekSessions at City Club in downtown San Francisco. This event is pretty new and we were happy that we still got tickets (all of the 150 tickets were sold out on Monday). geekSessions will be held every month and they started it in June 2007.So, we were at the second geekSessions event and this months topic was Web Infrastructure: Surviving The “Hockey Stick”.geekSessions The event began at 6:00 pm and after some networking around 6:30 pm the panel started. The speakers were Sandy Jen - founder of Meebo, Nick Heyman from VideoEgg, Ron Gorodetzky from Digg and Jonathan Abrams - the founder of Friendster and Socializr. They were talking about their experience how keeping a web infrastructure alive and thriving when demand goes through the roof.Here are some pieces of advice from the panelists:
  • build your web application and look how people adopt it
  • listen to your customers
  • keep it simple and stupid (i.e. always choose the easiest solution)
  • track your costs (especially expenses for servers can be huge, when your user base of your web app starts to grow rapidly)
  • if you are not the best person for the job, find the right person for that job
  • if (server or scaling) problems appear, find out why it happens
  • light-weight non-sticky sessions can help
  • cache as much as you can (memcached was mentioned by almost all panelists)
  • decouple slow processes from the web app
  • segment your database (vs. replication and load balancing)
  • scale up not out
  • avoid queries in loops (no brainer)
  • MySQL replication is not good for scaling
They all agreed that you can not predict everything. But if problems appear, deal with it, try to find out why it happened and don’t be afraid to ask for help.After the panel there were two drawings. One company drawed 8 skateboards and another one an Apple iPhone. We weren’t lucky that day :(After that the social networking part started (free beer thanks to Arcscale). We’ve got in touch with a couple of interesting people. I had nice chats with Daniel from bitpusher, Tristan from Bebo, Mark from techcrunch and Chris & Scott from Havadot. We also heard about new projects in social video sharing and an interesting dating project.We want to the afterparty in a club nearby, but couldn’t stick around for too long. All in all it was a great evening and a great opportunity to get in touch with the web scene in the Bay Area - looking forward to the next geekSession.