A new role at Yahoo!

I guess the headline tips my hand. I’m taking on a new role at Yahoo: running the Advanced Products group, a position just vacated by Scott Gatz. Scott has built a great team and I have big shoes to fill, but the groundwork that Scott and his team have laid only increases my excitement about taking on the new challenge.

Obviously, that means that I’m moving on from the Yahoo! Developer Network (aka YDN) team. I’m really proud of the work the YDN team has done over the past 18 months and I’m honored that we were able to help surface and represent the incredible work of so many teams inside Yahoo! Working closely with product teams all over Yahoo, we rolled out APIs that opened up large chunks of Yahoo’s infrastructure: Yahoo! Mail, Browser-based Authentication and Yahoo! Answers, just to name a few. Aside from the APIs, the YUI team continued their impressive work, incredibly useful performance tools like YSlow were released, and Yahoo’s work with Hadoop emerged. We pulled off a couple of Open Hack Days that were simply mind-blowing (Beck playing on the grass outside our fitness center in Sunnyvale?! Rain indoors in London?!). Through it all, I was constantly humbled by the talent and capability of the individuals and teams within the company. Best of all, I was inspired by lots of developers with big dreams and ideas. If I take just a small fraction of that inspiration with me into the new role, I will be truly blessed.

The YDN experience was over-the-top fun by any reasonable standard. I met Beck, played an impromptu game of Faceball on stage at London Hack Day (and lost), and interviewed the kind citizens of Dublin on the streets during Mashup Camp. While there are literally hundreds of people who deserve thanks around Yahoo, I want to thank the core YDN team for making it such a great experience: Matt McAlister, Jeremy Zawodny, Dan Theurer, Micah Laaker, JR Conlin, Kent Brewster, Ricky Montalvo, and Jason Levitt. (And I demand a sushi lunch!)

I’m really happy about where YDN is headed and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the things in the pipeline emerge. Chris Yeh (cyeh -at- yahoo-inc.com) is taking over YDN from here, and I’ll be helping the team any way I can as part of the extended Yahoo! team. Good luck to Chris, and stay tuned for some interesting things coming from my new sphere at Yahoo!

What is a mashup? Fun on the streets of Dublin (video)

I went to Dublin recently to give a talk at Mashup Camp and had an incredible time on my first visit there. The talk (slides here) got good reviews and I really enjoyed spending time with the Irish developer community. David Berlind puts it nicely when he wrote: “There in Ireland, the same patriotic glue that binds the locals together can also be found binding the local developers together for a family-like comaradarie — one into which technologists from Europe, the US and anywhere else are very warmly welcomed — one that I’m not sure I’ve observed elsewhere.”

The warmth and good humor of the people I met in Dublin (along with the puzzled looks at Irish immigration when I said I was in Dublin for “Mashup Camp”) inspired a simple idea for a video: what would random people on the streets of Dublin say if we asked them “what is a mashup?” Tom Hughes-Croucher and I shot the video you see below (if you can’t see the video in your feedreader, click here). It’s silly and has essentially zero tech content, but it provides a clear reminder to us techies that whether you’re in Dublin, London, San Francisco, or anyplace else, the average person on the street is puzzled by our strange language.

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/fop/embedflv/swf/fop_wrapper.swf?sv=0&id=5247652&autoStart=0&infoEnable=1&shareEnable=1&prepanelEnable=1&carouselEnable=0&postpanelEnable=1

A shout-out to Yahoo! Developer Network video editor/producer Ricky Montalvo for the most memorable slow-mo sequence in the burgeoning developer relations video genre, and thanks to John Musser at ProgrammableWeb for linking to the video.