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What Programming Language Should I Use to Build a Startup?

Often entrepreneurs ask me 'What technology should I build my startup on?' There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It's a decision every company makes for itself, depending on what it's trying to build and the skills of its cofounders. Nonetheless, there are a few rules that one should adhere to. We discuss them in this blog post.

Incident Response Policy

What happens in your company when a production incident occurs? Usually in a typical startup, you will see engineers running around frantically trying to resolve the problem. However, as soon as the incident is resolved, they forget about it and go back to their usual business. A good incident response policy can help bring order into chaos. We provide a sample template in this blog post.

Why Software Deadlines Never Make Sense

We discuss why software deadlines usually don't make sense.

Analyzing Front-End Performance With Just a Browser

We discuss a number of freely available online tools which can be used to analyze bottlenecks in your website.

Why Smaller Businesses Can't Ignore Security and How They Can Achieve It On a Budget

In this article, we show that security is both important and achievable for smaller companies without breaking a bank.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mechanical Turk


Many of us have used the Amazon Turk to solve problems. Here is an interesting story from ChessLab.com about the real original mechanical turk automaton:



The second game returned would be: 'Bonaparte, Napoleon -- Automaton, The Turk, 0-1, 1809'.  Automaton, The Turk was the first chess playing machine.  Of course, it was operated by a little man hidden in a machine. The Turk was  very famous, touring through the whole Europe for decades.  Apparently, there were multiple hidden Turk operators -- the whole succession of strong chess players, who bought and sold the machine to each other.  Allegedly, in the course of one of the games between Bonaparte and The Turk, Bonaparte had started making illegal chess moves.  In a mechanical sort of gesture, The Turk's hand had corrected the emperor's moves twice.   As soon as Bonaparte had moved the same piece to the same illegal position for the third time, The Turk machine allegedly sent the chess pieces flying off the board...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why Work at Cinchcast and BlogTalkRadio


By Rob Blackin (VP of Engineering) and Dr. Aleksandr Yampolskiy (CTO)

We’re a growing team of innovators in design, product, technology and business. We’re passionate about what we are building, and we’re excited about what’s to come. We help companies better connect and communicate with the people that are most important to their business online every day. We’ve cultivated a dynamic and entrepreneurial culture for our employees that you can help shape.

Our Culture

Our work hours are flexible. We love what we do, but we also value our free time (and sleep). We offer competitive benefits and compensation + stock options. We work hard but we also like to have fun around here – our pantry’s loaded, our couches are lounge-worthy and we’re bringing back bocce ball in a big way. We’re based in New York City, but we have members of our team working from all over the world.

Toys

When a team works hard, you need a way to blow off some stream. Programmers especially need to sometimes walk away from the screen and clear their heads in order to find the solution to a tricky problem or just to celebrate getting that complex algorithm to work perfectly. It’s sort of the equivalent of a football player dancing in the end zone. Out team has developed a Foosball ranking system that we use for bragging rights. Nerf darts and Nerf Footballs are often seen flying through the air. Bocce ball and Xbox 360 sit waiting for those who want to partake and, of course, plenty of red bull.

Work with best and the brightest

We have some of the best developers you can find anywhere. We have people who routinely present at meetups, are active in the development community and are always keeping up with the latest technology. Many of our developers were CTOs and heads of development organizations in other companies before coming here. Everyone has great experience and ideas. Our white board architecture discussions by the couch are tremendously fun and intellectually stimulating. We use all the hottest technologies: .NET, NodeJS, IronRuby, MongoDB, REDIS, HTML5, and Objective-C for Iphone development. Check out our Tech bloghttp://tech.cinchcast.com to see what we work on.

Work in a high volume environment where scalability and high availability is critical

Our Blogtalkradio.com website gets millions of visitors per day. We are building an infrastructure to enable us to scale another 10x via a new service oriented architecture including a data caching layer, notification queuing and front end donut caching. Our Cinchcast business handles conference calls with more than 1000 participants. There are very few other companies in the world that can handle that volume. Recently, we were featured in VentureBeat for the work we did to scale conference calls: http://venturebeat.com/2012/11/29/cinchcast-uses-the-cloud-to-scale-up-its-self-serve-conference-calls/

Our product makes a difference in people’s lives

Our BlogTalkRadio website gives a voice to people who have something to say.“BlogTalkRadio has turned my ordinary life into something pretty amazing. I couldn’t be living my dream if it wasn’t for BlogTalkRadio.” Amy McCrackenWe get emails from listeners telling how terrific out product is. We have gotten thank you emails from people with lots of interesting use cases. • Interview with their father about his experience living through the holocaust shortly before he passed away • Recording their children’s first words • People connecting on common subjects sub as home schooling and ADHD, etc. • We even received an email from a blind woman loving the ability to listen to so many talk shows.

Come Join Us!

Our product is Software as a Service with a telephony twist. What we do each day matters to the bottom line of the company. Millions of people will be affected by the code that you write and architecture that you design. Every day we are building and reevaluating and going after markets in an agile way. We are passionate about hiring great people. If you are a great developer or an IT professional, contact us. Have more questions? Email me at alexyampolskiy@blogtalkradio.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Unexpected uses of Blogtalkradio

We've been digging through some of the emails over the past few years, and uncovered emails from BlogTalkRadio listeners who thank us for our product.

 There are a lot of interesting usecases:

• Interview with their father about his experience living through the holocaust shortly before he passed away
• Recording their children’s first words
• People connecting on common subjects sub as home schooling and ADHD, etc.
• We even received an email from a blind woman loving the ability to listen to so many talk shows.

 For an engineer, it's great when the work you do, matters and makes a difference in the lives of your
 customers.