WhitePages TechTalk

“Scalability Sucks” by Dr. Steve Hanks, Principle Data Scientist, WhitePages.com


Date and time: Tuesday, February 4 at 5:45PM
Location: Hugh Dempster Pavilion Room 110


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for a big data company that is also a top-40 website? Now is your chance to find out!

Please join WhitePages as they visit the UBC campus for a tech talk focusing on Big Data Challenges at WhitePages.

Come hear more about how they use a variety of technologies to solve big problems using big data in a real-world setting.

The world of Scalability is glamorous and magical: we get to use cool technologies with sexy names, and magical things happen, we have a tough problem and we throw a Scalability Technology at it, and results flow quickly and easily…..or so it seems from the outside and/or in the classroom.Our experience (WhitePages Data Group) has been a quite different. We have significant,challenging problems of scale, both in the size of our data artifacts, and in the number of updates we have to process to keep it accurate and up to date. But our day-to-day lives aremuch more mundane than the glamorous world where Hadoop meets NoSql meets Scala,and results flow smoothly, and bigger problems are solved by bolting on a node or two. While we are heavy users of Hadoop, are typically running EC2 instances in the hundreds,and are exploring three of four alternatives to Postgres, we have found no “silver bullet”technology, cutting-edge or otherwise. Rather, for us, scaling problems tend to be insidious and move around a lot, and we feel like firefighters (or worse, like mole-whackers) at least as often as we feel like Data Scientists. I will provide some case studies, examples, andrants, most of which don’t involve Hadoop or other magic bullets.

Students can RSVP and guarantee their spot in the sessions by going to CareersOnline (http://students.ubc.ca/career) and clicking Events > Information Sessions.

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