Netflix Early Days with Greg Burrell
Netflix started with a DVD-by-mail product. The software infrastructure and operations practices needed for the DVD business were very different from those needed by a streaming video company.
Since the early days of Netflix, CEO Reed Hastings knew that the company would evolve to becoming a streaming video platform. But he did not know when the technology would be advanced enough to support video streaming, and he did not know how users would consume it.
Greg Burrell has worked at Netflix for 14 years. Greg was one of the first engineers to start working on video streaming, which Netflix first attempted to implement with a set top box that downloaded movies and played them on your television. After evolving this strategy, Netflix arrived at the current model of video streaming through apps on browsers and mobile devices.
As the company pivoted from DVD-by-mail to video streaming, Netflix encountered multiple challenges across engineering, operations, and communications across the company. At the time, there was no “DevOps” movement. There were not established continuous delivery practices. The available cloud technologies were immature and low level.
Greg joins the show to describe the evolutionary arc of Netflix’s engineering process. Greg also presents a model for software development that he describes as “Full Cycle Development”. At Netflix, engineering teams of full cycle developers work without dedicated operations or testing teams. It is a sophisticated approach to engineering management.
I spoke to Greg at the Fullstack Tech Radar Day, a software conference in Tel-Aviv put on by Tikal, an engineering community based out of Israel and San Francisco. This was a great conference, and we’ll be airing some additional content from it in the coming weeks.
- New Software Daily app for iOS. Use the app to access all 1000+ episodes in one place; find all shows related to a particular technology (such as streaming data, cryptocurrencies, Kubernetes, or learning to program); connect with other listeners through the comments section; access our transcripts and our related links; everything in the app is free, though you can also become an ad-free listener and support the show for $10/month or $100/year at softwaredaily.com/subscribe
- We are booking sponsorships, find more details at https://softwareengineeringdaily.com/sponsor/
We are hiring two interns for software engineering and business development! If you are interested in either position, send an email with your resume to email@example.com with “Internship” in the subject line.
Transcript provided by We Edit Podcasts. Software Engineering Daily listeners can go to weeditpodcasts.com/sed to get 20% off the first two months of audio editing and transcription services. Thanks to We Edit Podcasts for partnering with SE Daily. Please click here to view this show’s transcript.