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March 2013


mrjob Sprint at Pycon 2013!

Sudarshan G., Yelp's current leading engineer behind mrjob, writes this week about an exciting opportunity to contribute to one of our most popular open source libraries: mrjob.

We are happy to announce that we are running a mrjob sprint at Pycon 2013. mrjob is an open source Python framework for running Python scripts to process large amounts of data either on your own Hadoop cluster or in AWS using EMR. The mrjob sprint is targeted at both developers who are familiar with mrjob as well as new users who want to come up to speed on it. The sprints are being held on March 18th and March 19th between 10 am and 6 pm at:

Hyatt Regency Santa Clara
5101 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, California USA 95054

Most of the maintainers of mrjob will be available on both the days to help get new users and developers up to speed. The sprint is free to attend and there is no requirement in terms of registering for Pycon to be able to attend this sprint. We strongly encourage users with all levels of expertise with mrjob to register on the PyCon website and attend this sprint! An initial lists of tickets to be tackled at the sprint are tracked on Github.

The mrjob project has been developed at Yelp for over 3 years now. mrjob was built to provide a way for Yelp engineers to run log processing jobs on the hadoop cluster at Yelp while retaining all the benefits of working in Python and reusing the Yelp code base. Yelp released mrjob as an open source project in Oct 2010. The open source release came with support for Amazon's EMR framework. Yelp has since retired its local hadoop cluster and now uses mrjob exclusively with EMR to power all the large data processing batches. Over 200 batches at Yelp are powered by mrjob.

mrjob is under active development and is at version 0.3.5 right now. In the last 2 years mrjob has been rapidly improved with features like support for reusing job flows appearing in 0.2.7 and spot instances appearing in 0.3.2. We are about to release mrjob 0.4 which will support jobs written in different languages such as Ruby and Javascript as well as a bunch of other cool features.

Sign up and we'll see you there!


March Events at Yelp

Yelp’s weekly “Learning Group” is one of our favorite engineering events. People come for the free food but stay for the hour-long presentation, usually given by a fellow engineer. Past topics, both technical and non-technical, have included everything from cinematography to typography to steganography, and the presentations are lovingly put together. 

Since we've found these presentations fascinating we've decided to share them! This first one is a Learning Group about learning Chinese, by Mark W. He's spent several years learning to speak Chinese, and in this presentation he introduces the Chinese language along with some tools and techniques for mastering a new skill.


(Learning Chinese by Mark Wilson- Slides)

In addition to hosting our own events or meetups, we like to travel to stay connected with the tech community outside of San Francisco. Last weekend, we attended a Hacker Fair in the South Bay hosted by Hacker Dojo. A few of our representatives were able to attend and met several individuals who shared with us their current projects and inventions. The best part? Attendees of the fair rode down to the South Bay and back via party bus, courtesy of one of Hacker Dojo’s sponsors! Work hard, play harder. 

This upcoming weekend, we’re sending Grace, one of our recruiters, to the Tech Career Expo in Austin, Texas. Lucky girl! The Tech Career Expo is hosted during the same weekend as SXSW but is open to all individuals interested in learning more about the tech industry. Come by our booth and grab some food, drinks and great giveaways! Our booth will be located on the corner of 5th Street and Trinity Street, 1 block away from the Austin Convention Center

Back at home, we have another great Designers + Geeks event to look forward to. This month, things are getting steamy with Ethan Imboden, the founder of Jimmyjane, a leader in the pleasure product industry. Ethan will be joining us on March 14 to reveal how he went about redesigning and imagining this taboo industry. Ethan has over 10 years of brand and product innovation experience and wants to let you in on his secrets.

Upcoming March events: