Early YouTube not so good

Early YouTube  not so good

July 11, 2008

When we recently heard about the history of YouTube’s growth strategy from CEO Chad Hurley’s point of view,
he described it as “hanging onto a rocket.” But an engineer’s take is
always going to be a bit less rose-colored and a bit more about the
terrifying situations you brained your way out of. So we were
particularly interested to tune in to a talk at YouTube’s developer conference Thursday by Cuong Do, an early software engineer who’s now manager of the site’s Core Product Engineering group.


Do’s talk was titled “Behind the Scenes: A Look Into YouTube’s
Infrastructure,” and he didn’t disappoint, with harrowing tales of
outages; gory details about the specific languages, architectures, and
tools YouTube uses; and a flow-chart level view on the way the site
handles uploads and video delivery while undergoing the massive usage
it sees on a daily basis.

“One of the key phrases we had in the early days was ‘These are good
problems to have,’” Do said. “And after a while we’re like, ‘I’m going
to kill the next person who says that.’”


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