Life at Yahoo

This is what it's like to work at Yahoo.
20 posts for Working at Yahoo!
sandy gould

Know Your Superpower? 5 Steps To Reaching Your Creative Destiny

Posted: 9th of October, 2013
Our own Sandy Gould, SVP of Talent Acquisition and Development, talks with Fast Company about the five simple steps that help clear a path for career growth. Read the full article here:

There will always be mystery in the future, but knowing your talent will help you make it through. And thrive.

When I was 12 years old, I saw Star Wars in the theater at least six times. When I got home from the sixth screening, I ran straight to my mother and said, “Mom, Luke Skywalker knows his destiny and I know mine. My destiny is to help people achieve their creative destiny.” I’ve been lucky to be able to do so ever since. At Yahoo, I spend my days building and empowering our transformative talent, and hopefully I can help you grow your career too.

I think one of the most daunting and compelling things about life is the mystery of the unknown. It’s hard to see the plan for growth when you’re so focused on the day-to-day. The future becomes a far off idea that you can’t quite imagine, let alone figure out how to build.

When I'm speaking with Yahoo employees, I advise them on five simple steps that help clear a path for career growth. These tips help you focus on the big picture, which helps the business succeed, and ultimately helps you succeed. As a self-proclaimed comic book junkie, I’ve appropriately dubbed them . . .

THE SUPERPOWER STEPS TO CAREER GROWTH

1. Know your superpowers.

What are you good at? Chances are you have felt an interest in your superpower all your life. Think about what you love and what you excel at. Think back to your childhood, passions, hobbies, and interests. When you feel “in your zone” and time passes quickly, what are you doing? Capitalize on that. And as Batman taught us, anyone can be a hero--no matter how “super” your powers are.

2. Know who you’re working for and who you want to work for.

Gain an understanding for how the decision makers on your team think. What are they looking for? Why did they hire you? What skills do you need to impress them to get to the next level?

3. Understand their needs and the company’s needs (this is key!).
Depending on the level of transparency in your company, this can be really easy or really difficult, but it is crucial. In order to excel, you must learn the goals of the company, your department and your manager. You can then shape your individual goals around them (and use your superpowers to achieve them).

4. Deliver.
Deliver on the business goals you’ve outlined. By your review, you will have succeeded in meeting the high-level business needs of the company.

5. Take risks to stretch, grow, and learn.

This is just physics. You must be operating above your level in order to be considered for the next one. So don’t be afraid to take on a challenge.

There will always be mystery in the future, and as you work on your career superpowers--both identifying and learning how to use them--you can never know definitively where they will lead you. And you don’t need to. Einstein said that 52% of all great creativity is accidental, so be ready to grab opportunity and own your career development.

Whether your career is just beginning or you’re well into your journey, I hope these tips will help you take ownership, grow, and ultimately lead you to reaching your creative destiny--whatever that may be.

Remember, Bruce Wayne as Batman can't fly, he doesn't transform himself when he's angry. He just fights bad guys. And does a really good job.

--Sandy Gould is the senior vice president of global talent acquisition and development at Yahoo. Previously, he lead recruitment for the Disney/ABC Television Group, where he was responsible for talent acquisition and talent development initiatives.
youtube video

The Mobile and Emerging Products Team at Yahoo!

Posted: 7th of June, 2013

“After a year of promises and hints, Yahoo is finally giving consumers a glimpse of its future: beautiful apps, modern design, and full participation in the future of mobile computers.” - Jolie O’Dell, VentureBeat

At Yahoo!, our Mobile and Emerging Products team is at the forefront of innovation and is constantly working on fantastic apps for our millions of users to enjoy every day.  


Adam Cahan, SVP of Mobile and Emerging Products, says,  "Our opportunity at Yahoo is to boldly envision tomorrow, and then we will bring that into reality today.”  Our mobile team is taking bold steps into the future, leaving their mark on the tech landscape. Hear directly from the team in this video!

Check out some of the apps our mobile team has recently launched:

Interested in joining a team that creates amazing experiences for our users? Click here.


Master Inventors at Yahoo!

Posted: 7th of June, 2013

At Yahoo!, Master Inventor Awards are given to recognize and reward some of the company’s top innovators. The criteria are not just about the number of patents, but also the inventor's contribution to innovation and their capacity and experience in mentorship. We had a chance to interview some of them on their great work and suggestions to junior inventors.


Why is Yahoo a good place for developers and inventors?
Peter Mika: Yahoo! is a great place for inventors of all kinds. Yahoo! Labs in particular is unique in the industry in that it's renown both for scientific excellence externally and for having a huge impact on Yahoo!'s businesses.

Tarun Bhatia: It’s a great place for developers and engineers. There’s much room for creative solutions. We have many interesting problems with the potential of meaningful impact, large amounts of data, adequate resources, and a unique and fun culture. I love how many disciplines we embrace to solve our business challenges – economics, social sciences, artificial intelligence, distributed computing, etc. Each day is like being back in school, only better.

What are you working on now?
Tarun Bhatia: Right now, I’m trying to see if we can real-time assess how we affect a user with each interaction in a session. This has significant marketplace implications. Imagine how effectively we could delight our users and advertisers if every serve-time decision is consciously informed by this assessment.

What advice do you have for more junior inventors?
Ron Jacoby: Find something you are passionate about.  Work to really understand the current state of technology and business of that market. Find the opportunities that exist. Develop your ideas and plan. And never take No as a final answer; use it as feedback to further develop your ideas and pitch.

Tarun Bhatia: Best advice I received was - write it down. Apart from that, encourage yourself to cover a problem outside your area of focus with a fresh perspective. Think of where else your solutions may apply. Do this often.

Ricardo Baeza -Yates:
Do not plan your life. Just do your best and unthinkable opportunities will cross your life path.

Yoelle Maarek
: Think simple, think user. Don't think like an engineer or scientist – think about your mom, your kids, would they understand the value of your invention, would they want to use it.

Yahoo! brings Agency Hack to India

Posted: 16th of January, 2013


After the Yahoo WPP and Publicis Hack days in New York, which drew top developers, marketers and designers from the digital advertising and consumer media industry, Yahoo recently brought Agency Hack to India. Held in Gurgaon, an influential tech and media hub, this was our first-ever hackathon in the region open exclusively to advertising agencies.

Some of the country’s biggest ad agencies like Ogilvy, Webchutney and Digitas were there. What made the format interesting was the participation not just from developers, but also designers, user-experience specialists, digital strategists, media planners and copy writers.

Participating teams could choose to either build a campaign-based solution or a product-based one using technologies from Yahoo and other players. Teams came up with smart digital hacks and other ideas to solve real-life problems in a frenzied 24 hours. Working prototypes ranged from mobile apps, to companion apps in a living room experience, to social apps for voting and blood donation. (See the complete list here.)

Since this was a creative bunch, the event had its share of whacky ideas. The winner, “Y! Loo.” was a hardware hack that leverages Yahoo Messenger and enables users to remotely check the availability of their office loos (or conference rooms) and physically knock on the door if engaged! Webchutney took home the Gold for this notification system which they described as an “interactive restroom service.” :)

Digitas walked away with the Silver for their Twitter-based hack “Twinority Report”, a Tweet investigator that anticipates criminal intentions ranging from drug abuse to suicide to serious national threats, by analyzing keyword patterns. (This could also be of use to marketers to gauge or assess a new market / trend).

Sapient Nitro took home the Bronze for their movie viewing companion experience platform “Lens”. This digital advertisement publishing platform enables digital production houses to create ads in the movie timeline in rich visualization formats. Ads created on Lens can be published to companion apps of the production houses on platforms like iOS, Windows and Android.

The judging panel comprised technology, media and marketing experts
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The event was jointly organized by YDN, India Marketing, Communications and the Events team. Our YDN tech crew was also there to support the hackers. When participant Rohit Chaudhary’s fellow teammates could not make it to the event, the YDN crew guided this Strategy Planner from Reprise Media to build his hack – an app for blood donation which helps you find blood donors in your locality. 

Agency Hack was held as a precursor to the prestigious Yahoo Big Idea Chair Awards 2012, which celebrates India’s most cutting-edge work in digital advertising. This year, the event drew a record 383 entries. “In the past, we have recognized innovation and excellence in digital advertising through the Big Idea Chair Awards. This year, with Agency Hack, we have gone a step further by encouraging innovation and giving agencies a playground to hack their ideas. Given the response, we would be looking to make this an annual event that builds on our commitment to digital,” says Nitin.

There was keen media interest, given the format of the event, with journalists stopping by to meet the teams. One of the first pieces of coverage appeared in the Hindustan Times, which is among the largest circulated English dailies in India. The paper’s tech commentator, N. Madhavan, hung out with the teams and shared the experience in his column. Read it online.

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Yahoo! Year End Party

Purple Party People!

Posted: 21st of December, 2012

Yahoo!’s Year End Bash in Bangalore included a carnival, an exclusive concert and of course, a crowd that rocked!


“The best part of the evening was when my daughter got KK’s autograph, smiled, and told me, “Daddy, I love you for joining Yahoo!” :) That was a personal highlight for Y! Senior Product Manager Yogesh Rao, one of many Yahoos who partied at Yahoo India R&D’s year-end bash in Bangalore. Annual parties are a tradition at Yahoo!. But this year was extra special, because Yahoos were joined by their families and friends.


Right up, the kids found something they couldn’t get enough of – a carnival enclosure. This came replete with stilt-walkers and every possible game under the sun. Parents had a tough time separating their children from their favorite stalls. That is, till the kids discovered an on-the-spot dance workshop. :) They had plenty of sustenance though, to keep their energy levels up. The Taj West End team was on hand to whip up a wide spread through the party.


Former Zoom anchor and TV host Neha Sareen was the MC for the evening, which had a line up of superb performances. A dance act by Yogi’s Angels was backed by some very talented in-house performances, as Yahoo!’s employees took the stage. There was much cheering through the choreographed dance sequences, mad ads, and near-professional singing, as Yahoos rooted for their versatile teammates.


A big highlight of the evening was the concert by Bollywood singer KK, who flew down to perform exclusively at the party. He rocked the venue with a concert that had Yahoos screaming for more. (Think Yaaron, Bas Ek Pal, Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai live, with KK just a few feet away…!) 


In spite of the gloomy weather forecast, the rain stayed away. No grey skies, but there was plenty of purple, Yahoo!’s signature color, to add a splash of color to this party.

Big fight for Yahoo!’s Big Idea Chair

Posted: 17th of December, 2012

Awards which honor digital excellence drew a record number of entries in India, with Ogilvy taking home the coveted chair.

The fight for the Yahoo Big Idea Chair just grew BIGGER in India. This year, there were an unprecedented 376 entries from 72 agencies for 128 brands. This is more than double the number of entries we received in 2010, when the Awards first came to India.

The Yahoo Big Idea Chair has become the industry benchmark for digital excellence in the country. It honors outstanding work from the online creative and media community, celebrating innovation, and excellence. The overwhelming interest from marketers this year was evidence that winning a Big Idea Chair trophy is both an honor for a brand, and a reiteration of their commitment to Digital.

A panel of 16 jury members, comprising industry experts from marketing, brand and advertising, selected three outstanding campaigns in each of these categories: Best Use of Display Advertising, Best Online Video Advertising, Best Use of Social Media, Best Use of Technology, Best Use of Mobile Advertising, Best Use of Search and Digital 360. This was apart from the flagship, sought-after Big Idea Chair Award.

The event finale in Mumbai on November 9 saw a great turn out of over 325 guests, from Agency heads, to industry leaders and the brightest talent in advertising, who are collectively raising the bar on Digital.

19 winners took home a Big Idea Chair Trophy on the day. But only one agency could win the Purple Chair, and that honor went to Ogilvy for the Cadburys Date Fillum Campaign. Incidentally, this is the agency’s second consecutive win at the Yahoo Big Idea Chair Awards. Abhijit Avasthi, National Creative Director, Ogilvy India, said, “Winning the Yahoo Big Idea Chair is indeed special, as it awards excellence in an emerging and important medium. Ogilvy has dominated TV and print advertising, so it is great to see we have tremendous talent in digital as well. Our win today is a sure eye-opener for folks who had thought of Ogilvy as only a TV-ad agency.”

Click to see the complete list of winners and the ‘big’ digital ideas that worked for them.

Share Shift on Digital: From Presence to Excellence was the hotly discussed topic at a panel discussion at the finale. The panelists tackled some tough questions that hound stakeholders today. Investment, resources, skills? Are we doing enough to endorse digital, and leverage the real possibilities it offers? Why is it that digital though the cheaper of the lot, is always up against a higher expectation of RoI? Does digital ever get a strong buy-in from senior management? Interestingly, the discussion revealed that several major brands today in this part of the world, do aim for deeper integration of digital in their overall marketing plans. Moderated by Suresh Venkat, Technology Editor, CNBC TV18, the panelists included CR Mallikarjundas, CEO, Starcom Mediavest; Valerie Rozycki Wagoner, Founder and CEO Zipdial; C Abhiroop, Head of Media Services, Unilever South Asia; and from Yahoo!, Nitin Mathur, Senior Director Marketing for India and South East Asia..

With so many creative minds in the room, there was an incredible energy at the Yahoo Big Idea Chair finale, both on stage and off it. The Yahoo Homepage photo booth, where folks could pose with props, was much visited. There was also the Big Idea Wall of Fame, and the Digital Gallery, where the audience could check out the best digital work.

The continued success of this event has come from the team effort by the India Marketing and Comms team and the Sales and Strategy team.

See event photos on Flickr

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Hackswept! Inside Open Hack India 2012

Posted: 13th of September, 2012

Our fifth Open Hack in India held in Bangalore on August 11-12, was Yahoo!’s biggest Open Hack ever. Check out the cool hackers, and the amazing energy which sets this event apart!

With huge participation from across the country, Open Hack India 2012 saw over 700 hackers getting together to build on their ideas across three main categories: Multi-device Experiences, Digital Media and Advertising, and Digital Communications. In the spirit of Open Hack, there was also a catch-all category called Surprise Us.

24 hours, 7,600 cups of tea and coffee later, it came down to five hacks, which wowed the judging panel. A simple and intuitive tool edged out 157 others hacks to win the grand prize. Amod Kumar Pandey and Nikhil Baliga, who have been part of past Open Hacks, struck gold this time with Brock. This tool allows even non-developers to build very useful mini-apps for their Android devices, with just a few clicks. Brock is built on top of on{x} and completely insulates the end-user from the code, by generating it. You can try out Brock here.

Other winning hacks included:

Pictrendz: Lets users understand ongoing trends with a single look at image clusters, instead of word clouds.
Beam OS: Helps users to manage, organize and browse all their files spread across multiple cloud services, from a single user-friendly desktop-like environment.
BookMafia: A mobile app that enables easy circulation of books among geographically close users.
Vibration Reduction for Improved Readability: A group of ex-Yahoos built this browser-based hack to counter physical vibrations on mobile devices, to improve ease of reading while in a vehicle.

Read the detailed post on the winning hacks, along with other updates from the event, on the YDN blog. See these and other submitted hacks on the Hack Tracker.

This year’s Hackers’ Choice Award went to 'I’m bored'. Designed for when you’re on the go, the app picks up your location and maps events and activities around you. It restricts the radius, and also gives you the time the activity is going to begin. It was built by the team “Null Pointers” in answer to the question, “What do you do if you’re 27, single and have so much free time that you flop down and say, “I’m bored!?”

The place was crackling with energy and music, as music station Radio Indigo (91.9 fm) broadcast live from the venue through the 24-hour hackathon. Several folks went on air to play their song and talk about the event. Many developers present, like Madhurima Malla, have attended back-to-back Open Hacks. “It’s great to see the range of ideas. The demos are amazing, and I look forward to finding out what my fellow hackers have ‘imagined’ and built each year. That always brings me back.”

See photos.

Marissa Mayer

Yahoo! Appoints Marissa Mayer Chief Executive Officer

Posted: 16th of August, 2012

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced that it has appointed Marissa Mayer as President and Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors effective July 17, 2012. The appointment of Ms. Mayer, a leading consumer internet executive, signals a renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue for one of the world's largest consumer internet brands, whose leading properties include Yahoo Finance, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo Mobile, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo Search.

 

Mayer said, "I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the internet's premier destinations for more than 700 million users. I look forward to working with the Company's dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world."

 

Most recently, Mayer was responsible for Local, Maps, and Location Services for Google, the company's suite of local and geographical products including Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile. Mayer joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employee and led efforts for many of Google's most recognizable products, including the development of its flagship search product and iconic homepage for over 10 years. Mayer managed some of Google's most successful innovations, launching more than 100 features and products including image, book and product search, toolbar, iGoogle, Google News, and Gmail — creating much of the "look and feel" of the Google user experience.

 

Yahoo! Co-Founder David Filo said, "Marissa is a well-known, visionary leader in user experience and product design and one of Silicon Valley's most exciting strategists in technology development. I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo's product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors."

 

"The Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Marissa's unparalleled track record in technology, design, and product execution makes her the right leader for Yahoo! at this time of enormous opportunity," said Fred Amoroso, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

 

Mayer received her B.S. in Symbolic Systems and her M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, specializing in artificial intelligence for both degrees. She is credited as an inventor on several patents in artificial intelligence and interface design.

 

"Yahoo!'s products will continue to enhance our partnerships with advertisers, technology and media companies, while inspiring and delighting our users. There is a lot to do and I can't wait to get started," Mayer said.

 

About Yahoo!

 

Yahoo! is a technology-powered media company, creating deeply personal digital experiences that keep more than half a billion people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the globe. Yahoo!'s unique combination of Science + Art + Scale connects advertisers to the consumers who build their businesses. Yahoo is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.net) or the company's blog, Yodel Anecdotal (yodel.yahoo.com).

 

Marissa Mayer Biographical Information

 

Marissa Mayer was most recently Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services at Google where she oversaw product management, engineering, design and strategy for the company's suite of local and geographical products, including Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile. She also curated the Google Doodle program, celebrating special events on Google's homepage around the world.

 

During her 13 years at Google, Marissa held numerous positions, including engineer, designer, product manager, and executive, and launched more than 100 well-known features and products. She played an instrumental role in Google search, leading the product management effort for more than 10 years, a period during which Google Search grew from a few hundred thousand to well over a billion searches per day. Marissa led the development of some of Google's most successful services including image, book and product search, toolbar, and iGoogle, and defined such pivotal products as Google News and Gmail. She is listed as an inventor on several patents in artificial intelligence and interface design.

 

Joining as the company's first female engineer in 1999, Marissa played an important role in developing Google's culture. Her contributions included overseeing the look-and-feel of the company's iconic homepage and founding the Associate Product Manager program, which has hired over 300 of the company's future leaders and is considered the industry's ideal standard in transforming new computer science graduates into executive leaders.

 

Prior to joining Google, Marissa worked at the UBS research lab in Zurich, Switzerland and at SRI International in Menlo Park, California. She graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and a M.S. in Computer Science. For both degrees, she specialized in artificial intelligence. While at Stanford, she taught computer programming to more than 3000 students and received the Centennial Teaching and Forsythe Awards for her contributions to undergraduate education. In 2008, the Illinois Institute of Technology awarded her an honorary doctorate of engineering.

 

She has been honored with the Matrix Award by the New York Women in Communications, as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and as "Woman of the Year" by Glamour magazine. For four years running, Fortune has named her one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, including when at age 33 she was the youngest woman ever included on the list.

 

Marissa serves on the board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. She is also on the board of various non-profits, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet, and the New York City Ballet.

 

Yahoo! is the trademark and/or registered trademark of Yahoo Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

 

 

 

 

Yahoo!

Dana Lengkeek, 415-994-4008

danal@yahoo-inc.com

 

 

 

Source: Yahoo!
http://pressroom.yahoo.net/pr/ycorp/236553.aspx

 

 

 


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Experience WOW with Yahoo!

Experience WOW with Yahoo!

Posted: 2nd of April, 2012

Why do Yahoos love coming to work? What makes their world rock and their hearts bleed purple? Hear out Yahoos as they tell you their stories of working and growing with this organization.

Yahoo! ranked No. 2 at Bloomberg UTV Dream Employer of the Year Award

Posted: 28th of February, 2012
Yahoo! is where you can impact millions of users on the Internet, and have a blast while you’re at it. These credentials have now given us another reason to yodel.

Yahoo! was ranked no.2 at the recent the Bloomberg UTV Dream Employer of the Year Award in India, coming in just behind Hindustan Unilever. Rounding off the top 5 are YES Bank, India's fastest-growing private bank, Ernst & Young and Standard Chartered Bank. Companies belonging to Indian heavyweights like Reliance and Mahindra & Mahindra, have also featured in the top 15.

Competition was tough for this award, powered by Bloomberg UTV, the business channel, with companies across sectors and industries in India participating. But what clinched it for us was the unique Yahoo story, which combines planet-scale opportunities with the coolest Internet technologies, a WOW work culture, flexibility, and of course, the world-class Yahoo team in India.

The awards were announced “live” at an event in Mumbai, India, on February 17.

Aparna Ballakur, VP – HR, Yahoo in India represented Yahoo and showcased our compelling proposition as an employer at the event. “Very few companies in India offer both the opportunity and ability for their teams to make a global impact, on the scale that we do. This unparalleled exposure makes Yahoo in India a dream company for anyone who’s passionate about inventing the Internet of the future,” says Aparna.

Some tough jury questions followed, ranging from what Yahoo is doing to be a more generationally-diverse employer, to how we measure productivity in an environment that encourages freedom and flexibility. At the end, what floored the jury and proved to be the key differentiator, was our killer combination of Work-Opportunity-Workplace. We don’t call it WOW for nothing!
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Yahoo! Independence 2011

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
Imagine an event centered around people with disabilities that has absolutely nothing to do with charity! Imagine that same event being completely fun, engaging, enlightening (And did we mention fun?). Such was Independence 2011 (http://y.ahoo.it/independence), an event created specifically for the Yahoo community (including family members and friends). Independence 2011 had one primary goal: to open your eyes to the reality of disability...which is likely different from the stereotypes many of us carry around.

For more disability related content: Visit the Yahoo Accessibility Blog: http://accessibility.yahoo.comLike Yahoo Accessibility on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YahooAccessibilityFollow Yahoo Accessibility on Twitter: http://twitter.com/YahooAccess

In My Own Words - "Amazingly Ordinary" - What does that mean?

Posted: 24th of October, 2011
What does "amazingly ordinary" mean? Yahoo Alan Brightman explains the idea behind Independence-2011.

In this article, we meet Alan Brightman. As a leader in the Global Accessibility Team, Alan opens our eyes to what a Yahoo user with disabilities may feel, and how we can all learn about the humanity of accessibility during Yahoo!'s Independence-2011.

Be honest. If you were able to picture our hundreds of millions of users, how often do you think that picture would include individuals with disabilities?
Never? Yes, that’s pretty much the average. And understandably so. After all, most of us have almost no direct experience with disabled people so if we ever do think about kids or adults with disabilities, we usually think about them as being somehow “special” - as being very different from who we usually think of as Yahoo users.

Just Plain Ordinary

Many years ago, a friend of mine told me from his wheelchair that the toughest thing about being disabled is, “I’m never perceived as just plain ordinary. I’m either noticed too much or noticed not at all.” That’s a strange place to be, not being able to simply blend in—to be invisible—whenever you want.

And that is how the idea for Yahoo!’s Independence-2011 came about.

The Humanity of Accessibility

More than a thousand Yahoos have toured our Accessibility Labs in Sunnyvale and Bangalore and, as a result, have learned a lot about the technology of accessibility. What we haven’t been able to teach well enough, though, is the humanity of accessibility or what I think of as the ordinariness of disability. So we’re bringing that amazing ordinariness to the Yahoo campus. We’re giving Yahoos the opportunity to better understand the disabled experience in a comfortable, engaging, and non-threatening setting.

Independence-2011 Activities

There will be a lot going on during Independence-2011. A nationally known chef, who happens to be blind, will display his culinary talents in an activity called “Cooking Without Looking.” An organization known as the AbleGamers Foundation will show how kids and adults with profound disabilities use various assistive technologies to play the same video games on the same consoles as everyone else. The National Center for Accessible Media will be on hand demonstrating a variety of technologies, including one that they invented, which enables people who are deaf to watch captioned versions of first-run movies while sitting right next to someone—in a mainstream movie theater—who isn’t seeing any captions at all.

Other activities and demos will be arrayed across the Yahoo campus, including what many Yahoos see as a rare opportunity to show off their basketball prowess. They’ll be playing in wheelchairs on our courts against a professional wheelchair basketball team from Berkeley.

Las Vegas odds have yet to be posted for the wheelchair basketball competitions, but I think it’s safe to say that the guys in the purple shirts will be humbled. And trounced.

Alan Brightman
VP, Global Accessibility Team

Southern California Hack Day 2011

Posted: 16th of September, 2011


Originally posted on the WIT blog.  By Karen Bruner.

Yahoo! has been hosting company-wide Hackdays two or three times a year now for several years, and while Yahoos in the Southern California offices were welcome to work on hacks, they didn't have the support of an organized local event. That changed for Summer Hackday 2011. The SoCal chapter of Yahoo!'s Women in Tech group, with funding from the Yahoo Developer Network, put together a great environment for local hackers to collaborate and concentrate on their hacks.

Prospective hackers listen to pitches over pizza

A week before Hackday, potential hackers came together to pitch ideas and find interested hackers. Hacking wasn't limited to engineers who fit the traditional definition of computer hacking. The Southern California offices have a large proportion of people in the advertising and business side, but they still have many of the necessary hacking skills: ideas, aesthetic input, and enthusiasm.

By the time Hackday rolled around, 19 hackers worked on several local projects that had come together. Hacks ran the gamut from ideas that could someday appear on the front pages of Yahoo!'s sites to internal tools that would make the behind-the-scenes run better. While most hackers were local to the Burbank office, Yahoos from the Santa Monica office also came to join the hacks. WIT volunteers kept them energized with drinks, munchies, and pizza.


SoCal Summer 2011 Hackers

For another first, the teams in Burbank got to present their hacks in the Friday afternoon demos via teleconferencing with Hackday HQ in Sunnyvale. Several dozen people, hackers and supporters alike, crowded in a boardroom over pizza and beer to watch the local demos. The enthusiasm and excitement from everybody was tremendous. Second-time Burbank hacker Srikanth Bangalore said this was a big improvement over his first Hackday, when he worked from his desk and had to record his demo so it could be replayed in the Sunnyvale demo session. Doing the demo live and having an energetic audience made for a very different experience.


A first: Burbank Hackday demos teleconfereced live with Sunnyvale 

Mariena Quintanilla's hack was related to her day-to-day work, a monitoring tool she had been needing for awhile but hadn't had time to work on. Hackday gave her the perfect chance. She found another would-be hacker to help out, and her tool will have an immediate impact.

With one successful Southern California Hackday under WIT's belt, the plan is to make this a regular event, allowing local Yahoos to tap their hacking talent more easily, which can only benefit Yahoo as a whole.

Accessibility in India!

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
There are 60 million people with disabilities in the U.S. There are more than 10 times that number around the globe. Yahoo!’s Accessibility team wants to make sure that every one of these individuals is able to use Yahoo as their web site of choice. That will only be possible, of course, if every corner of our network is fully accessible.

While we still have work to do toward that end, we did reach a significant milestone when Yahoo India launched an Accessibility Lab in Bangalore. It is modeled after our Sunnyvale lab, which has demonstrated a variety of assistive technologies to hundreds of Yahoos since it launched in 2008.

Our Accessibility Labs are important tools for engineers who can’t imagine life with a disability. The reality is that not everyone can use a mouse, type on a keyboard, or see the computer screen. We simulate that experience so our developers can learn how to think about users with disabilities during their product development process. We have screen readers to help them understand the experience of a blind user, single switches and onscreen keyboards for physically disabled users, communication devices for kids with speech impairments, etc. More and more Yahoo products are being designed and developed in our Bangalore office, so it became clear that we needed to enhance our ability to train engineers and designers there.

Also, as a global company, we are keenly aware that commercial screen readers are generally out of reach for most blind people living in developing countries. So we’ve sponsored the non-profit NV Access Foundation, which is working on a free, open-source screen reader. Our support will help them improve web features for NVDA for Windows, making it easier for visually-impaired users around the world to browse the Web – especially when they encounter Web 2.0 technologies. And by making NVDA’s screen reader a better product, we’re also helping all the web developers who use it as their testing tool.

Everybody wins.

Victor Tsaran
Sr. Accessibility Program Manager
External Source

Meet our Giant Talking Mailbox!

Posted: 7th of September, 2011
Sometimes being friendly pays off! Watch what happens when a purple, talking mailbox shows up on a street corner. The Yahoo Mailbox surprised New Yorkers on a sunny afternoon in Brooklyn and Manhattan and made a bunch of new friends along the way. Thanks to all my NY friends, it was great talking to you and can’t wait to meet the locals in Chicago. Follow me to find out where I’m off to this summer at facebook.com/yahoomail.