Andrew Ho at Work

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When I work, it is usually in front of a computer, or discussing with others what will happen within a large system of computers. Most of my career, I've been designing and building backend infrastructure systems: stuff behind a network interface, data stores, processing farms, that kind of thing. I spend my days worrying about scalability, concurrency, resilience, and data consistency.

My original programming speciality was scalable, rapid, robust Perl programming, and, these days, Ruby programming. I also write a fair bit of C and shell scripts for system stuff, and encounter and occasionally dabble in Java systems. I know a lot about operations work: safe production deployments, diagnosing and recovering from outages, and DevOps stuff—I've built several host configuration management systems.

Read about why you should hire me, or read my résumé (available in many different formats) to find out more about me.


Right now, I work for Groupon, a large, multi-national e-commerce company that created the "deal a day" business model, still the first and best local business pay-for-performance marketing system I know of. At Groupon, I'm a developer and architect who has designed and built much of our internal e-commerce platform.

Tellme and Microsoft

Before Groupon, I was a senior staff engineer working for Tellme Networks, Inc., later acquired by Microsoft. I joined Tellme in early 2000 doing Scheme programming 1-800-555-TELL service, and, since then, my role was doing general software infrastructure development.

After Tellme got acquired by Microsoft, I stayed a few years and worked on integrating Microsoft data feeds into Tellme's local business search product (did I tell you about that one time I had to parse a lot of huge XML files?), and designed a streaming voice recognition web service.

Here are some old photos from Tellme's old office in Mountain View. It's a Google office now.

My side of the Tellme office   The other side of the Tellme office

The Tellme was an early open plan advocate—no offices, no cubicles, just an open space. This was the engineering side of the office.

This was the other side of the Tellme office, the side nearest to the entrance. That's Joe Ardent's home-built recumbant bicycle is in the foreground.

And Before...

When I first came out into the Bay Area, I was working for the consulting firm Taos, the Sys Admin Company. They are a consultant rental house with a fairly respectable track record, working out of Santa Clara with extensions in San Francisco and Boston.

The first and last company I worked for under Taos was Talarian Corporation, a medium-sized middleware company in Los Altos, just miles away from my home. Talarian was a great place to work because the people were so great—and I still have friends there. In July 2000, they went public, but that turned out to be a bad time to do it, and the market thrashed them. In Q1 2002, Talarian was bought by Tibco. Chomp! Sigh.

Yoevita, Carrie, Andrew, and Ray

This is a pretty bad picture of us, but here are Yoevita, Carrie, myself, and Ray (looking exceptionally slackerish, even for him, in this picture), at Talarian's big sales meeting in Palo Alto last year.

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