Life at Yahoo

This is what it's like to work at Yahoo.
20 posts for Engineering
LSPE

LSPE India Celebrates First Successful Year!

Posted: 1st of August, 2013

In 2012, a group of Yahoo engineers in Bangalore created a meetup to share ideas, collaborate on solving problems, and learn from each other’s experiences. Throughout the year, this core team created a platform that not only brought their community together in one place, but also cemented Yahoo!’s thought leadership in the large-scale systems engineering community. Read on to learn more about Large-Scale Production Engineering India (LSPE-IN) and how the team is working to build our brand. 


LSPE-IN started out as an informal forum to deepen technical conversations around scale in India. How would you describe it today?

LSPE-IN is a community of engineers who solve problems regarding large-scale Internet applications, and provide a platform where they can share their experiences. Providing such a platform also helps industry professionals share their experiences. New engineers in the field can go beyond just troubleshooting problems to actually solving intrinsic architectural issues.

A lot of startups and even new teams in existing companies in the field make the same architectural mistakes in the early phases of their product. Consequently, they learn the right approach to solving problems the hard way. We hope that a forum like LSPE- IN will raise community awareness, so that service can improve throughout the company and in the Internet space.

The meetup has resulted in repeat sign-ups. In fact, one of the recent events you hosted saw participation from across 32 different external organizations in Bangalore. Why has the meetup struck a chord with the community?

Quite a few participants we have spoken to mentioned that they gain new perspectives at each meetup. There are a wide variety of Internet services out there and subsequently a wide variety of problems to solve. Engineers working in a particular domain are naturally curious about how others solve challenges that arise in their respective domains. A lot of times, the solutions found by different teams can provide others with ideas to solve their own challenges. We think this curiosity brings engineers together in meetups like this.

Are there any specific successes you would like to share?

The case studies that we have been providing in the last two sessions have been a surprise hit. Most conferences are one-sided, with participants only listening and not participating. For the case studies, we asked all the participants to sit in informal teams and provide solutions based on group consensus. This brought engineers from different companies together to solve problems. It broke down intercompany barriers and encouraged engineers to truly work together as a community. Less-experienced engineers benefited from the perspective that more seasoned engineers bring to the table, making these sessions very unique.

Can you give us a sneak peek on the plans for next year and what the community will focus on?

Going forward, we might look into making some of our domains more focused, and incorporate "tracks" in the agenda. For example, we might have a database track for engineers focused on database scalability, or a security track which handles issues in large-scale systems.

Some of us are also interested in contributing to the challenges our government institutions face in order to improve the quality of public service. We had a talk in our last session by a representative from the Cloud Computing Innovation Council, which brings the tech industry, academia and government together. This got a great response, with several participants sending offline inquiries to the speaker about how they can help. We might have more talks along those lines.

Can you share some insight on how LSPE-IN helped build the Yahoo brand in India?

LSPE-IN has helped cement Yahoo!’s thought leadership in the large-scale systems engineering community in Bangalore. Over half of the talks at these meetups have been given by Yahoo engineers, and participants have appreciated the insights they got out of these meets.

Before such a platform existed, appreciation for Yahoo was mostly given at an informal level or through the media. By connecting the external community directly with engineers at Yahoo at these events, folks are realizing the unique challenges that Yahoo faces because of the scale it operates on. This helps them acknowledge our leadership in the field.

Feel free to join our group at http://www.meetup.com/lspe-in/ 

Check out photos from the event here and below:



Big Thinkers 2013

2013 Big Thinkers India Series: Yahoo! Labs' thought leadership in research and science

Posted: 7th of June, 2013


Ronny Lempel
Chief Data Scientist, Yahoo! Labs, Israel, drew an extremely engaged audience from across industry and academia at his recent Big Thinkers session in Bangalore. Ronny’s talk kicked off the Yahoo Big Thinkers India Series for 2013, a well-regarded lecture series by Yahoo Labs on cutting edge areas in science, technology and the Internet. Ronny’s topic was Recommendation Challenges in Web Media Settings. He spoke about how recommendation technology is at the core of the effort to personalize media consumption on the Web, be it news stories or streaming music. Outlining research challenges and trends in the art of recommendation technology, Ronny said, “The key problem researchers are looking at involve the ability to suggest sequences, frame the user’s context, find people with similar interests and, finally, recommend to people things their friends have experienced.” 


With Yahoo!’s focus on building highly personalized experiences that connect people to what matters most to them, technologies like recommender systems are central to personalizing user experience.
 Ronny’s visit to India served to highlight Yahoo!’s thought leadership in research and science, and how it links to our business, in this case personalization and ad targeting.


The talk 
brought together over 130 researchers and practitioners around the emerging topics of recommender systems from leading tech companies like GE, Bosch, Siemens and Flipkart, along with several start-ups. “This kind of participation stimulates an exchange of ideas among the top minds in industry and academia and promotes a culture of open collaboration,” said Dr. Sridhar Mitta, an industry veteran and founder of NextWealth, who attended the talk. 




During his visit, Ronny also visited IIT-Bombay, a top tech college in India, where he guided several students on their research topics around recommendation technology.


His interactions through his India visit were characterized by deep technical discussions in research areas like Recommendation Technology, evolution of big data and the challenges of maintaining a balance between personalization and contextualization of the Internet. On his role as Chief Data Scientist, Yahoo Labs, Ronny Lempel explained, “It is about looking at the areas where Yahoo Labs interacts with our product groups to develop Yahoo products. A lot of it has to do with personalization and ad targeting, which has a big reliance on recommendation technology. Machine learning, natural language processing and search technologies are all aspects that are important as to me as Chief Data Scientist. Beyond that, I also interact with our systems teams to define what the next generation of big data computational systems might look like or what is missing in our current generation of systems.”


Ahead of his Big Thinkers session, Ronny interacted with the media and was featured in-depth in some 
of India’s leading mainstream and financial dailies. You can see a snapshot of the coverage below:

Personalization and ad targeting rely on recommendation – The Financial Express 
Big data is not a new thing: Ronny Lempel – Mint
Yahoo! bets big on personal recommendations – Deccan Chronicle

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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.


Yahoo! Sponsors The AMPLab, Donates Servers To Help University Research

Posted: 7th of June, 2013

“Yahoo! is taking incredibly relevant research and implementing it at a scale you have never seen before”, said Ram Sriharsha, a Principal Software Engineer at Yahoo while speaking at the Y! Star event in the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences’ AMPLab (Algorithms, Machine Learning and People Lab).


Ram, addressed a room of more than 25, post-graduate Computer Science students, and spoke about the exciting problem solving he gets to do at Yahoo!, while working on improving products that are part of millions of users daily habits.Yahoo!’s current focus on Cloud Computing, Machine learning and Crowdsourcing, tie very closely to the founding principles of the AMPLab at UC Berkeley, which makes them a fantastic partner.


Students at the talk by Ram Sriharsha


The event on the Berkeley campus was to celebrate this great partnership between Yahoo and the AMPLab, which is focused on addressing new challenges and opportunities in Big Data analytics. In an initiative called Y!STAR (Yahoo! Servers To Academic Researchers) Yahoo is refurbishing and donating decommissioned servers to university researchers. So far, 2,400 servers, with a total estimated value over $980,000 have been distributed across to 36 campuses – 30 in the U.S., five in Europe, and one in India.

After the event, students had the opportunity to discuss internships, new grad and postdoctoral opportunities with Ram and other Yahoos at the event.


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

30552027

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.

Yahoo! Axis

Introducing Yahoo! Axis: A Faster, Better Way to Find and Explore

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
by Regan Clark

We’re excited to launch a whole new way to search and browse the Web across any device—Yahoo! Axis. It’s an innovative new mobile browser and desktop plug-in that gives people visual search results (as they type), ultimately providing a more direct path to whatever they’re looking for online. Think of it as a personal companion for your daily explorations of the Web.

You can download Axis as a standalone mobile browser for your Apple iOS devices here, and for major, HTML5 enabled desktop browsers, you can download the desktop plug-in here. Check out our video that walks you through how Axis saves you time whether on the desktop, mobile or tablet device.

Yahoo! Axis comes equipped with handy features that unify searching and browsing.  For example, our one-step search lets you preview and interact with visual search results without ever leaving the page you’re on. It’s the end of the back button! And our instant answers show the information you want as you type common searches like finding movie times, sports scores, stock prices and more.

Axis also includes a personalized home page that contains your most recently visited sites, bookmarks and articles you plan to read later. This personalized home page stays with you across your desktop, iPad and iPhone, keeping what’s important to you in one easy, centralized spot. No matter what device you started on, you can easily pick up where you left off when you switch devices.

Axis even has a few bonus features for iPhone and iPad users, like simple swiping to quickly get from one search result to the next, a bar that combines the search box and address bars into one, and sharing so you can easily post any page you’re viewing to Twitter or Pinterest.

We can’t wait for you to play around with this latest example of Yahoo!’s search innovation and tell us what you think.  To learn more, please visit axis.yahoo.com, our Search blog or Mobile blog.

EDITOR'S NOTE: this article originally appeared on Yodel Anecdotal.
Yahoo Mail New Languages

Yahoo! Mail – Coming to a Language Near You

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
Hello, world! We’d like to give a big welcome to our new Yahoo Mail markets and languages around the world.
Yes, that’s right – today we’re announcing the international expansion of Yahoo Mail to 27 new markets and 22 new languages. 700 million of you have already come to know and love Yahoo!, Yahoo Mail and all of the different experiences we have to offer, but we have been focused on extending Yahoo to even more of you worldwide.
With today’s news, Yahoo Mail is now in more than 70 markets and 46 languages worldwide. Moreover, by adding these languages and markets today, we’re now able to reach a potential 226 million new people across every single continent.  Or to put it another way, with a push of a button (or two) approximately 90% of the world’s Internet population can now use Yahoo Mail in their native language.
Some of the new languages and markets coming on board:
  • Ten new languages in Asia, including eight new languages in India alone.
  • Twelve new languages in Europe, including Serbian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Croatian.
  • Several new markets around the globe, including South Africa, Belgium, Austria and Portugal.
Since launching Yahoo Mail earlier this year in May, we’ve been continuously focused on delivering a faster, safer and easier online communications experience, expanding into markets like Arabic with our Maktoob launch, and now we’re delighted to offer it to all these new countries. Check it out, have fun, and let us know what you think!

James Carroll, SVP Global Products Development
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Yahoo! Launches Livestand!

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
Livestand is now available! A personalized living magazine, Livestand weaves together content from leading third-party publishers and Yahoo!'s global media network to create a visually stunning and deeply personalized digital experience tailored to each people's interests and passions.

Visit Livestand on Facebook! 
Hear from one of the Livestand Engineers
Like most engineers, Daivak Shah likes building things from the ground up. So naturally, when presented with the opportunity to help create Livestand for Yahoo!, Daivak jumped at the chance. The Senior Engineering Manager for Livestand describes the initiative a “content eco-system,” weaving together the vast amount of content that Yahoo has at its disposal into a rich, custom-tailored experience for consumers, advertisers and publishers. Being able to take an active role in building this game-changing user experience has kept Daivak invested in Yahoo “I feel passionate about what I’m building and I’m enjoying what I’m working on.”
Pragjyoti Nair

Pragjyoti: The World of Platforms

Posted: 12th of October, 2011
Director, Program management & Business Operations, Cloud Platforms Group 

 I run the program management and business operations for the Cloud Platform Group (CPG) at Bangalore. At CPG, we deliver the powerful infrastructure and platforms that help developers innovate and add new features rapidly and efficiently.
Leading a team of program managers, I track strategic initiatives in this Group by monitoring progress towards meeting goals and achieving benchmarks, analyzing data, ensuring follow-through on the part of key players, and sustaining momentum needed to drive these initiatives. We take accountability for planning, structuring, leading and executing the largest projects or programmes, which are often of great complexity and high risk.

Sounds complex, well that’s what the world of Platforms is all about. But actually, that’s not all – we do have our “fun” moments too.

I remember an instance, when the team pulled a fast one on our boss (who had been newly promoted) to come to a nearby restaurant - on the pretext of conducting an interview. An unsuspecting boss was shocked to see a table full of his team members waiting eagerly for him to sponsor a lunch treat! Since then he has been very cautious about our interview invites especially when it is at some fancy restaurant!

I have been with Yahoo for about 3 and half years and it has been one great ride! One of the most compelling reasons to work at Yahoo is the culture of the organization - we live life with an exclamation mark!  In the unpredictable internet world, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the demanding and dynamic nature of the work. What I love about Yahoo is that here everyone gets the opportunity to make a difference.  You are a part of a diverse and inclusive work culture, and surrounded by some of the most brilliant, innovative and creative minds in the business. We exemplify work-hard-and-play-hard.  It is exciting, energetic, passionate and fun! Truly, a great place to be.
Jijin Gopal

Jijin: Never Fail to Make an Attempt

Posted: 12th of October, 2011

Project Manager, Yahoo Small Business

In my role at Yahoo Small Business, I am responsible for managing the process and product updates - coordinating product releases and ensuring a smooth ramp-up so that our end-users are not affected.

We are part of the customer advocacy group which handles Yahoo Small Business products such as e-commerce, hosting and domains; and are responsible for critical users and revenue generating customers and a potential failure in this group could have drastic impact. And that’s what makes my role interesting and challenging every day.

I complete 4 years with Yahoo in 2011. My journey has been a rather life-changing experience – with every job, one faces ups and downs, but the important thing I have learned at Yahoo is to never give up. Here, we simply learn from our mistakes and move on in pursuit of our goals.

In all these years, there have been some awesome moments – the beer fests, the regular foosball matches, and the annual bashes. The one that stands out is when I got a chance to speak with my hero, David Beckham – Yahoo!’s global ambassador!  I am still thrilled about it!

At Yahoo I found the opportunity I was looking for – from being just another techie to someone who stands out. I got the platform to enhance my tech as well as creative skills, and of course I got to master foosball.

So here I am, standing tall in my belief: “An attempt is never a failure, so never fail to make an attempt.”
Hemant Sambrani

Hemanth: Think, Work, and See it Through

Posted: 12th of October, 2011

I am a Product Manager with the Yahoo Cloud Platform Group.
 
I drive the product definition of Comments, Conversations and Message Boards on User Generated Content Cloud, or what we call as UGC Cloud.

The UGC Cloud group provides a performant, scalable platform and widget solutions for Yahoo properties to enrich their content pages with User Generated Content constructs.

Sounds quite complex, doesn’t it? Well what we work on provides users with mechanisms to express themselves and engage in personally meaningful conversations with the rich community on Yahoo verticals.

We believe that creating an awesome digital experience is about engaging and delighting the user in ways which bring personal meaning to their experience and discoveries on the web.

For me, it is always an exhilarating experience to define a product and see it through as it comes alive. And this does involve a lot of work around benchmarking competitive products, carrying out some market and products research, talking to loads of people and teams, and finding  opportunities to improve the product or patent ideas. Sometimes, it is a ton of work, and quite layered as well.  What helps me craft a solution, I guess, is my belief that if we keep chipping at it long enough, we will find a way to deal with it.

I am a man of few words. So I describe my past 5 years with Yahoo with only one word – Fun! Exciting, cool work culture which feeds on passion, innovation and creativity. Absolutely flexible and open about things that matter! I have also found it very helpful the way Yahoo has connected me to several workshops, conferences and events which help me understand the ecosystem around us and then contribute to it.

And of course the best part is that the culture completely vibes with what I believe: Think, Work and See it through.  

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.

Nidhi Gupta

Nidhi : My Work-life Balance at Yahoo!

Posted: 7th of June, 2013

Product Manager, Cloud Platforms Group  

I manage some exciting products at the Cloud Platforms Group (CPG), based at Bangalore.

My work revolves around the knowledge and personalistion space – I need to make sure that the products I manage create impact as a platform and power differentiated end-user experiences.

The cloud platform group is charted to create a global, scalable platform built on science that enables rapid innovation and delivery of personalized, monetizable experiences across devices. Some of the technologies that I work on are around detecting trends algorithmically and showing relevant trends based on user interest, geography, demography etc. I also work on personalization technologies that are helping in showing the right content to the right user at the right time. I find it exciting that so much of my work finally impacts user engagement and delight!

Yahoo! is one of the rare organizations that support women in different phases of their lives. I was hired and came on-board while I was expecting my baby. And I was very pleasantly surprised that my professional capabilities were weighed over my personal situation and I received complete support during the whole course of my pregnancy. I could actually continue to work without having to take a break in my career, and it feels just awesome to have been with an organization which truly believes in diversity and supports folks through different stages of their lives.

Today, my son who is a year and half plays around in the day care facility in the office, and all I need to do is catch a glimpse of him is pop down a couple of floors.

I have always believed that Life is about the choices one makes, and I am glad I chose Yahoo!.

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