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Senior Perl Hacker Needed at Yahoo!

09 August 2006 » In Work » Comments Off on Senior Perl Hacker Needed at Yahoo!

The Developer Tools group at Yahoo! has an opening for a Senior Perl Hacker. Here is the job description:

Are you a motivated Perl hacker?
… a self starter needing little supervisions?
… interested in developer support tools?
Then the platform engineering team is looking for you!

Come join us and build the next generation of host configuration,
package management, and release engineering tools used by Yahoo!
developers worldwide. Ideal candidates should be able to develop
working relationships with members of the various engineering teams at

Basic Qualifications:
* Perl and Unix is required.

Preferred Qualifications:
* A BS/MS in Computer Science or equivalent and 4+ years experience
* Experience with SQL, PHP, Subversion, CVS,
* Perforce, and Makefiles a plus.

Note that this is an on-site full-time position. I used to be in Developer Tools myself and I can attest that they are great bunch of people to work with. If you feel you qualify and are interested in applying, send me your resume and I will forward it to the hiring manager.

Sara joins Yahoo!

10 July 2006 » In PHP, Work » Comments Off on Sara joins Yahoo!

This may be known to some of you already, but Sara Golemon, author of runkit, classkit, ssh2, and other PECL packages as well as a regular contributor to PHP core, has started at Yahoo! today. She’ll be working in the Search & Marketplace Group and will be a valuable addition to the team. Welcome, Sara!

A Day in the Life of Schmichael

21 April 2006 » In Funny, Work » 1 Comment

Let it be known that Yahoo! engineers are not without a sense of whimsy. Michael Radwin, who is the main engineering manager for my group, has been on paternal leave for the past 3 months. Evidently, his direct reports got somewhat lonely without the attention of the fearless leader and his friendly smile..

How to Sell a Bulldozer

28 September 2005 » In Funny, Work » 7 Comments

Yahoo! has an internal mailing list that started off as a way for employees to buy from and sell things to fellow coworkers. However, over the years it has evolved into a much more diverse tool used for recommendations, rides, advice, offers of services, and general venting and ranting. People even try to sell their houses on it.

Being in a mischievous mood on a slow Friday, I decided to see exactly what one could get away with:

Subject: SALE: Caterpillar 814F Wheeldozer

One Caterpillar 814F Wheel Dozer for sale. Only used once. Picked it up new on eBay, but doctor says I shouldn’t operate heavy machinery. This dozer will be perfect for you all your earth moving needs.

* Redo your backyard in no time, or annex the neighbor’s.
* Build a sledding hill.
* Turn it into an armored fortress. Because you know the end of days is coming, and there is nothing like an armor-plated dozer to help you through the crunch.
* Use it as a prop for your political campaign photos.

Benefits & features:
* Ginormous Engine
* Straight Blade
* Air Suspension Contour Seat – comfy!
* Fast Fuel Fill Adapter (up to 100 gallons per minute)
* Built-in storage space for cups, lunch box, insulated bottle and personal items

Disclaimer: might not fit into a full-size parking spot on Yahoo! campus.

Asking $22K OBO. Will throw in a hood ornament.

My goal was to make it just plausible enough for people to wonder whether I had a real bulldozer or was simply looking for laughs. Apparently, I made it too authentic, because in about 15 minutes I got a reply from someone (let’s call them Bob):

Bob: Is this serious? If you really have this thing let me know.
Andrei: (speechless)

By this time other replies were rolling in: commenting on the hilarity and absurdity of the ad, offering submarines and space stations for sale in paltry imitation, and complaining about list pollution (losers). I noticed that Bob posted his own ad for a tricked-out RV, which coincidentally was priced at $22,000 as well.

Andrei: I’ll swap you for the RV.

And soon:

Bob: Would be happy to… Amazingly, I really have use for a bulldozer. I also really have said RV.
Andrei: (deciding not to ask questions, but to gently let Bob know that the ad is fake)

Just to mess with their minds a little more, that afternoon I sent another email to the list:

Sold – thanks, this list is really useful.

One of the replies:

U really had a bulldozer for sale? I thought it was a Fri joke. And you really sold it too??!! This list rocks!



12 August 2005 » In PHP, Work » 3 Comments

The project that we have been working on for the past 4 months is finally seeing the light of day: yesterday I merged the Unicode support into the public PHP tree. I was going to say that my part of the hard work is done, but I guess I still have to edu-ma-cate developers about Unicode and other finer things in life. 🙂

Shaky ground

22 December 2003 » In Bay Area, Work » 4 Comments

Last Friday I got moved into a new cube. I have one all to myself, finally! This morning while setting up the cube I felt the building shake gently – and being used to that from my days at FAST, where the trucks passing on route 128 regularly affected the foundational equanimity of the building – did not pay much attention to it. But, turns out it was a fairly significant earthquake in central California, near San Simeon, about 6.4 in magnitude. Wow, my first quake since moving here.


03 November 2003 » In Work » 5 Comments

Last week I made an urgent visit to LA in order to secure a British visa for my upcoming business trip. I drove down (don’t ask) on Thursday night, got the visa on Friday, and spent some time at the Santa Monica Yahoo! LAUNCH office where Michael Radwin also works. I must say that I liked the layout and atmosphere there much better than at the Sunnyvale one, which tends to be more corporate and sterile. LAUNCH office has a feeling of dot-com era emphasized by funky cubicles, exposed brick walls, and nooks and crannies full of old promotional materials.

But the coolest thing about my visit was getting a tour of the recording studio and the media library. Ian Dittbrenner, the senior audio producer, grabbed Michael and me while we were walking around and launched into a very entertaining description of what the studio is for. All kinds of music stars come down to the office to record interviews, performances, and these get broadcast on LAUNCH. This explains the presence of the blue screen on the stage.. The walls of the studio hallway and the recording room are covered with guitars donated by the stars and signed by them, including Led Zeppelin, Jewel, 50 Cents, Poison, and many others. If I came a day earlier, I could have seen Ludacris taping a show, apparently. Some Yahoo! execs were in last week and watched Blink 182 pull the pants off each other. Hmm, I should visit LA office more often.

Normally, the media library is off limits, but somehow we were able to sneak in. This is where all the tapes and recordings that LAUNCH made are stored, in a climate controlled environment. But that’s not all. There are also over 1 million CDs kept in huge, rail-mounted racks. I really wanted to get my fingers into that collection, but there is some sort of silly rule about not letting employees check out CDs. Oh well, there’s always the Internet.

First post!

20 August 2003 » In Tech, Work » 3 Comments

Apparently Google has recently added a couple of features to its search box. Namely, calculator and units conversion. When I noticed that I thought, “Damn, where did I see that before? That’s right, on” As far as I know, back in April or May, when I added these features to AlltheWeb, it was the first search engine to have those. Of course Google picked up the idea and made some things better, but for what it’s worth, we were first. 🙂

Back on track

10 August 2003 » In Bay Area, Travel, Work » 3 Comments

Only a short 6 weeks later.. Time flew by. I ended my relationship with Overture Services on July 3, saw fabulous Boston fireworks on July 4, and went to Bay Area with firm intentions of finding an apartment in the city. I must have walked a dozen miles around there, and I did find a couple of places in Marina and Telegraph Hill that matched my requiremenst and price range, but.. After thinking about how far I’d have to commute and discussing it with friends, I realized that I’d rather not spend 2-3 hours of my life each day on the train or in the car. Hence, I changed the search area to Mountain View and Palo Alto. There were lots of suitable apartments, they were cheaper, had better amenities, so the selection was a bit more than I could handle in my one remaining day. I had to fly back and depart on my vacation trip to Europe.

The trip lasted from 11th to 27th, and I had an unbelievably great time. Much more info and many pictures will be coming up shortly. One thing though.. Whilst on the trip, I went to check my email for the first time in a week or so. My inbox had a few messages with subject lines such as “Sweet irony” and “You could have just waited”, and I gathered without even reading them that Yahoo! bought Overture. So funny.

I have started in my position as a Technical Yahoo at Yahoo! on August 4 and spent a productive week setting up my machine and being introduced to the development practices. I did find an apartment in Mountain View that should be good for the next year or so. Mountain View is definitely not San Francisco, but it does have a livelish downtown, is close to work and other areas, such as Palo Alto downtown. If you are in the area, drop me an email and tell me about good places to visit for food and drink around here.

Resume update

16 April 2003 » In Me, Work » Comments Off on Resume update

I wasn’t entirely happy with the way my current resume was organized, so I decided to rewrite it. The results can be seen here. Yes, this does mean that you can send me job offers or point me to companies that are looking for someone like me. Preferably in the Boston area, but elsewhere will be fine too.

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