Year In Review: Engineering & Operations

December 21, 2015

2015 has been another amazing year for LinkedIn and our Engineering & Operations team. We’ve delivered on incredible product launches and technology achievements and added many new, talented individuals to our team. Our goal is to make LinkedIn one of the best places to be an engineer in our industry and thanks to all your hard work we’re closer than ever to getting there.

The really exciting thing about working alongside a bunch of incredibly talented engineers, web developers, operations experts, and program managers–aside from our collective ability to geek out on everything from kigurumi to quantum computing–is being able to tackle the incredibly complex tech initiatives that will allow us to fulfill our mission and increasingly realize our vision of connecting talent with opportunity on a global scale. As this team has done consistently since I’ve been here, you all delivered some amazing and highly impactful stuff this year.

  • Year In Review: Engineering & Operations

From Voyager to 3x3 to Pemberly to Site Speed to Art Deco to Nuage to Galene’s full rollout, to infrastructure improvements in Kafka that allow us to handle 1.3 trillion messages per day and Espresso to serve 2.2 million rows per second, to an expanded global network and POP infrastructure that handles hundreds of thousands queries per second, to products like Elevate and Lookup, to a safer site through countless security efforts and a more available site through tools like RAIN, Nurse and increasingly better tested, more reliable, more fault tolerant software, to Tracking 2.0, and the full REST.LI-fication of our internal services, to the launch of a new Groups app, and improvements to Pulse, the Job Seeker App, and Slideshare, to Digits, WWE, Flock, and Air Traffic Control, to vastly improved Feed relevance and improvements to Sponsored Updates, to major progress on our data-center buildouts, to a brand new data-center architecture, and to significant progress from LinkedIn Recruiter to Subs to our Content Publishing platform, (and countless other work), this Engineering & Operations team has all accomplished amazing things this year, and I’m very grateful for all the hard work and contributions to LinkedIn’s success.

In addition to all of the product and technology that we’ve delivered this year, I’m also really proud of and grateful for the work this team has done to make LinkedIn a great place to be an employee. We’ve become more collaborative and good enough at undertaking large, cross-functional efforts that it is now a serious competitive advantage. Many members of this team have also been collectively leaning out into the industry, helping to lead the overall technology sector and software engineering profession through talks at conferences and meetups, through published papers, and through open source software contributions. Our Women in Tech (WIT) initiatives, led by Erica Lockheimer, have also made a big impact in 2015. This fall we sent a 100+ person contingent of you to the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) which over the past few years has become the preeminent destination to gather and celebrate the accomplishments of women in tech, and to share best practices, thoughts, and strategies for getting more women into tech and helping them to have awesome careers.

Looking forward to 2016, there’s a lot to be excited about. In general we’ve been able to execute well and get closer to our mission and vision every year, generating increasing levels of impact on the world and value for our members as we go. We will have a better, more powerful infrastructure to bring to bear building product next year that will allow us to scale things that need to be scaled, move breathtakingly fast on things which need speed, and strike whatever balance we need in between for the requirements of each individual product. Because of our infrastructure investments, each of you will be able to have greater individual impact, reacting to feedback more quickly, and getting your best ideas to members with less friction. 2015 was a year where we established some pretty serious product foundations, particularly in Voyager, and 2016 will be a year where we leverage those foundations to build more and more value for members. 2016 will also be a year that requires tremendous focus and discipline. Even though we have more capability than ever to build things, we must be ruthless about ensuring that our investments and your efforts go into things that maximize member value.

In 2016 we will focus a significant amount of time and energy on Craftsmanship. In essence craftsmanship is understanding and employing the best practices of your craft, with relentless attention paid to detail and high standards of quality, to build things that delight and endure. Things built with high degrees of craftsmanship not only inspire folks who use them, but serve as examples and inspiration for other craftspeople, thus creating a virtuous cycle. A great place to start looking for inspiration about craftsmanship is the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. This is an amazing film about Jiro Ono, widely regarded as the greatest sushi chef in the world, who at 90 years of age still goes to work daily to work hard at improving his craft.

I want to thank every member of the global Engineering & Operations team for their hard work, determination, and everything they do to help LinkedIn be successful. I am honored to work with such a talented team of folks and am very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together. And as I am at the end of every year, I’m more excited than ever to see what we are able to accomplish next.