So, we’ve introduced you to the Groups Product Team , the team that kicks off the product development cycle. We’ve also introduced you to the Groups Design Team , the team that takes the features and enhancements the Groups Product Team specs out and brings them come to life visually. Now I’d like to introduce you to the third and largest team that makes up the Yahoo! Groups Team: The Groups Engineering Team.
(Pictured above are the Software and QA Engineers)
(Pictured above are the Operations Engineers)
The Groups Engineering Team writes, maintains, and operates the software that makes up the Groups Product, including both the website and mail systems.
What does a day in the life of the team look like?
Like most kinds of engineering, software engineering follows a cyclical process. The cycle begins with a design for something that needs to be built. After that comes the implementation or coding phase. Then, comes the testing phase. Once testing is completed, the code is released into production. Since no code is perfect, the team spends the final phase of the cycle fixing bugs.
How many Yahoos work on the Groups Engineering Team?
The Groups Engineering Team is composed of several smaller teams, each working on a different phase of this cycle on their own distinct projects. With more that 30 engineers, the Groups Engineering Team has grown substantially over the past several months to help take Groups to the next level. Many of these engineers have been working on Groups for less than six months, so there’s new blood and a lot of excitement on the team.
Are there different types of engineers?
Working on one of the world’s biggest Web properties requires many skills. Yahoo! Groups is built on a diverse set of technologies and, therefore, requires a diverse team of engineers. From a functional perspective, there are three kinds of engineers on the team: Software, QA, and Operations.
You can think of software engineers as the “coders," QA engineers as “testers.” and operations engineers as “mechanics.” Pooling its resources and collective knowledge, the team keeps the Groups product running optimally.
How does the Groups Engineering Team divide its time between new features and current issues?
The Groups Engineering Team is always working on new features and current issues in parallel. The balance between adding new features and fixing features that already exist is currently about 50-50. Groups Labs is an example of new feature that we’ll soon be launching . Improving the ability of search engines to crawl public groups is an example of an existing feature that’s needed fixing for a long time. Over time, we hope to change this ratio to 70-30 so that we’re spending more time adding new features than fixing old ones.
Yahoo! Groups is a global product, and the Groups Engineering Team is a global team. Members are fluent in eight languages, including English, French, Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, Korean, Tagalog, and Japanese.
To give you a sense for the amount of Groups data they work with, think about the process of ripping one song a minute. It would take 50 years to burn a disk with all the Groups data, including files, photos, links, and archived messages—that is, if there were a disk big enough to hold it all!
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know the various teams that make up the Yahoo! Groups Team. We’re all are extremely passionate about delivering a reliable and effective product so all of you can create online communities that let you connect and interact with people who share your interests and ideas!
Groups Community Manager