Friday, March 24, 2023
Chat transcript from SRM 342
Handle Comment
kclune Hi everyone, and welcome.
jmpld40 Hi Edwin
zhaofu(do_ob) Hi AOL stuffs ... I'd like to know which factor AOL do give more importance: degree or experience?
Peterpay hi aol guys
AOL_Duke hello
zhaofu(do_ob) Say one guy has MS and another guy has more experience, which one would AOL give offer ?
Olexiy hello!
AOL_Edwin zhaofu(do_ob): Hi zhaofu, that's a great question. In general, it varies on the level and the kind of work
AOL_David we value both degrees and experience, but we really focus on expertise and contribution
Peterpay which is prefered development tools and programming languages there in AOL?
tyrannus what is AOL's top research interest right now?
AOL_Edwin zhaofu(do_ob): Degrees are certainly important, but there's a lot of difference between what you can learn in school and what you learn in the field.
AOL_Edwin Peterpay: We've got a lot of development in many different languages at AOL
AOL_Edwin Peterpay: We just launched a beta of our product Ficlets (, which was built on Ruby on Rails.
AOL_Edwin Peterpay: Other development takes place using C, C++, C#, Java, you name it. It's really all about using the right tools for the job
n_i_r_a_n_j_a_n Hello Edwin, what kind of work is done at your Bangalore office
AOL_David we also have a lot of J2EE, and Ajax
modenl Does AOL use .net/c# stuff?
AOL_Edwin modenl: We do have some projects using .net and C#
vanessa AOL_Edwin: is there any link to the AOL's career page?
zdravko_b where do you have offfices in Europe?
AOL_Edwin modenl: It's not a huge percentage of our complex yet, but the teams that use it swear by it. Again, as I was saying to Peterpay earlier, it's all about using the right tool for the job
AOL_David you can apply for AOL jobs at
Peterpay where do you have dev centers?
rusolis what do programmers in AOL work on? Is it mostly internet technologies or other fields, like system programming?
vanessa AOL_David: thanks
AOL_David there are a lot of system programmers working in our infrastructure groups
modenl AOL_Edwin: May I apply position mainly using c#/.net?
AOL_Edwin zdravko_b: We've got development offices in Europe in the UK, France, and Germany, and other smaller offices in other countries throughout the EU.
zhaofu(do_ob) And does AOL allow its employee pursuing a MS degree when he is in a full-time role? if so, how AOL gives its employee facilities?
AOL_David we have a lot of AOL employees seeking advanced degrees
AOL_Edwin rusolis: Well, we're mostly an internet company, of course, so that's our bias. But we have, in the past, had to do work at lower levels in order to support the delopyment and development of products at scale.
jayaskren Is the ficlets website down or is just me?
kevintao I have a stupid question: does AOL stand for America On-Line, and if it does, why? AOL is a global company, right?
AOL_Edwin rusolis: Admittedly we have to do less of that now, since there's more people doing high scale, Internet development, and the tools are better than there once were.
tyrannus jayaskren: just you i think
AOL_Edwin kevintao: Actually, AOL changed its name last year to.. just AOL.
kevintao oh haha
AOL_Edwin kevintao: It no longer is an abbrevation for anything.
AOL_David also AOL provides very generous tuition reimbursement for work-related fields
zdravko_b AOL_Edwin: do you offer internships in Europe?
Peterpay AOL_Edwin: how is aol being part in the real world development, i mean ive seen aim and other stuff you but what is the biggest project or technology that your working for?
kevintao thanks edwin :)
AOL_Edwin Ficlets seems to be working for me.
rusolis do you offer jobs related to artificial intelligence?
Peterpay AOL_Edwin: i mean now technology is based in a SOA approach, is aol making something simmilar
AOL_Edwin zdravko_b: I don't have a list of our internship opportunities at the moment, but take a look at the link that David put in earlier for job openings and to apply.
aayush AOL_Edwin: are there internships for undergrad students in your bangalore office
AOL_David we have some AI expertise on our search team
AOL_Edwin Peterpay: If the question is whether or not we are taking a services approach, the answer is absolutely.
AOL_Edwin Peterpay: You can see some of that, even from the outside, with our AIM developer program. I believe Greg Cypes was in a chat room just a little while ago talking about that, where you can take AIM and mash it up with your own apps and services
srele topic here is Development in the real world?
kclune AOL_Edwin: perhaps you can give the folks an idea of some of the things you are working on, so we can try to focus this chat session into the cool things AOL has to offer the TC member base.
AOL_Edwin Peterpay: And we've also recently announced our support for OpenID, a distributed identity management system, so we're definitely looking at a component model for the way that we build and release our applications.
srele ok, one question, is Aspect Oriented Programming used for "real" world applications?
AOL_Edwin Peterpay: has a full list of the services that we offer to developers today.
AOL_David we're currently using aspect oriented programming in developing our billing and customer care applications
Peterpay AOL_Edwin: thanks for the info
srele I see that some changes in way people write programms are coming - Orcas for example will "mainstream" FP (and it exists from 60's)
zdravko_b AOL_Edwin: thanks, another one - I see AOL sponsors SRM, interested in good algorithm coders, but isn't a design/development rating more important when desiding to offer a position to someone?
AOL_Edwin kclune: Well, kclue, that's an interesting question. As a bit of background, I've been with the company for just over 10 years, having started at Netscape working on next gen browser technologies.
AOL_Edwin kclune: Since then, I've worked on everything from AOL's IM and Mail products, to community and communications tools.
AOL_David zdravko_b: we're interested in good problem solvers with backgrounds in algorith or design/ development
AOL_Edwin kclune: Now, I oversee architecture and system design in a group that covers almost all of our web-basd aps.
kclune AOL_Edwin: That's awesome!
kclune AOL_Edwin: What are some of the web-based apps you're working on, and what would you be looking for from a TC member to join your group?
AOL_Edwin And the whole notion of real-world development I was referring to was not only trying to figure out how to take all of the technologies that you guys are talking about and bringing them in, but also making sure that what we build reflects the realities
zdravko_b AOL_David: So, how does it happen, you choose among the people with the best results who agreed to be approached for a position?
AOL_Duke Edwin...What do you see as the realities in the Web 2.0 world
AOL_Edwin of the development world. APIs and mashups are a prime example of that, something that wouldn't have been on the radar 2 or 3 years ago, but is central to what we do today.
vlad_D AOL_Nic: are there any internships at AOL for senior HS?
AOL_David zdravko_b: we evaluate interested parties on rating, skill fit for the role, and place a strong emphasis on soft skills and problem solving
rusolis What does AOL have to offer to coders with an algorithms background? Are any specific positions for which you are seeking people from SRMs?
srele what about OpenLaszlo? do you think it can match Flex2?
AOL_Edwin kclune: Well, looking out of my office here, a couple of the products that are right here on my floor include work on our Pictures product ( and Uncut Video (
AOL_David vlad_D: we occasionally have high school seniors as interns if they have applicable technical skills
AOL_Nic vlad_D: we do have an intership program at AOL
vlad_D AOL_Nic: so where can i find more information on this?
AOL_Edwin kclune: There's a lot of work there in front-end design (e.g., AJAX and DHTMl technologies) as well as with backend work for storage, data and image compression, media transcoding, etc.
AOL_Nic vlad_D: vl
AOL_David vlad_D: all of our internships opps are posted on the link i provided earlier
AOL_Edwin srele: Some of our groups have looked at OpenLaszlo, and it's certainly interesting. Obviously Adobe is making a big push with Flex.
AOL_Nic vlad_D: one of the other AOLers here can provide the details
Peterpay AOL_David: what are u looking for in TC members for webtools development
Peterpay AOL_David: positions
kclune anyone interested in either a full time or internship opportunity with AOL should go here:
AOL_Edwin srele: We generally do trials with the various new technologies to see how they apply; for us, where a lof of the technologies fall down is in performance and scaling.
srele AOL_Edwin: I plan to invest some time in exploring laszlo -> really looks interesting (flex2, but I'm not sure about licenses)
vlad_D AOL_David: can you post the link again beacuase i wasn't in room at that time
kclune vlad_D:
vlad_D kclune: thanks
AOL_Edwin We also do a lot of work (not specifically related to the Flex/Laszlo question) with the Dojo Project
srele AOL_Edwin: unfortunately, laszlo is somewhat slow :/ but, they have some good caching I think ...
AOL_Edwin and we have a number of applications that are deployed using that framework.
AOL_Edwin srele: Yeah, as I said, one of the issues with many of these frameworks is performance - not only for users, which is a big deal for us, but also in terms of how many users you can get on a box.
jayaskren what kind of work do you do in artificial intelligence?
AOL_David Peterpay: we look for good programming/ problem solving, ability to see the overall framework, and to work well in a team environment
AOL_Edwin srele: Not all of our apps are gigantic, of course, but the ones that are, really are. Our webmail application, for example does tens of millions of daily sessions.
AOL_Edwin srele: So even small performance and scaling issues become large ones for us.
srele AOL_Edwin: right, so what do you prefer for large scale RIA ? Ajax?
srele AOL_Edwin: (I mean with no slow frameworks behind)
AOL_Edwin jayaskren: What branch of AI are you thinking of? We do a lot of work in image processing, some work in semantic and content analysis (although that's more IR than AI), but not quite so much in other areas like NLP or "raw" AI
jayaskren msg:AOL_Edwin My backgroud is Computational Linguistics, so I'm interested in NLP, IR Semantics, Content Analysis.
zhaofu(do_ob) Generally, do US companies give a offer in US to who does not reside in US ?
zhaofu(do_ob) an* offer
jayaskren AOL_Edwin: Oops This is my first time using this interface.
AOL_Edwin srele: That depends a bit on the app. As I mentioned, we do a lot with Dojo. Our recent webmail beta ( is a Dojo-based product. Others of our apps use "raw" AJAX or AJAX-like technologies, combined with various front-end tricks to
AOL_Edwin srele: higher perceived performance.
AOL_David zhaofu(do_ob): it's hard to make a generalization, but we would be open to considering people from outside the States
AOL_Edwin srele: At the same time, there's a lot of work on the back end as well.
AOL_Edwin srele: The more connections you have to make, the more state you have to keep, all of that adds up. And, in keeping with the "real world" theme, sometimes you have to do things that are not as elegant in order to eke performance out of it.
zhaofu(do_ob) hmmmm ... I see
srele AOL_Edwin: good, right now I'm studying dojo (on, so I'm a little bit more sure that I'm not wasting my time ;)
AOL_Edwin jayaskren: Jayaskren, David had a link t our jobs earlier, but definitely semantic analysis and content categorization are areas that we do have interest in. As David mentioned, it's ahrd to make generalizations, but do take a look there.
gdiego hey there, where do you have offices?
gdiego apart from USA :D
AOL_Edwin srele: Yes, we like Dojo quite a bit. We've contributed some code and hosting to the project as well, and, since it's open source, we certainly encourage you to go and give them a lok.
AOL_Edwin srele: er, look ;-)
AOL_David gdiego: our int'l offices are in london, paris, germany, and bangalore
srele AOL_Edwin: great ;)
gdiego idnotfound: hey there
AOL_Nic vlad_D: we have Dublin too
gdiego AOL_David: how do I apply for an intern... aswering yes in registration is enough ?
AOL_Edwin Welcome to all of the folks that just joined us.
gdiego AOL_David: :)
coolviki Do you have openings for socket programmers??
vlad_D AOL_Nic: yes, but i cant really find any info in internships
AOL_David gdiego: that's right- simply apply for the jobs and we will consider you
AOL_David gdiego: the link again is
AOL_David vlad_D: try searching on the job title Intern
gdiego and what are AOL requirements?
gdiego yellow in topcoder is fine :) ?
sohelH so for countries in the indian subcontinent, we should apply for bangalore?
coolviki Do you have openings for socket programmers in your banglore centre?
vlad_D AOL_David: for HS senior internship is requiered to be 18?
AOL_David vlad_D: that's correct
AOL_Duke AOL_Edwin: Since we have a lot of new folks, tell us again about "real world" challenges
AOL_Edwin coolviki: As I mentioned, we tend to (have to) do less lower level work these days, since there's more base technology that supports highly scalable applications.
AOL_Edwin coolviki: But the link that David sent out, I believe, includes the application process for jobs worldwide.
AOL_Edwin Thanks for keeping me honest, Duke :-) Sure thing.
zhaofu(do_ob) how does AOL evaluate its candidate? Recently, I did an interview with Google, and I'd like to know if AOL has a similar evaluate process ... thanks
AOL_David sohelH: that's correct- we're consolidating our development in India to Bangalore
AOL_Edwin What I mean when we talk about real world application is the idea that engineering is kind of both art and science.
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): you were in GCJLA?
AOL_Edwin And sometimes you need to know when to bend or break the rules in order to deliver the experience you want.
zhaofu(do_ob) gdiego: yes I did
AOL_David zhaofu(do_ob): we do not have the formal testing requirement as google, just a series of technical and personal interviews
AOL_Edwin that might mean doing something that's a little less elegant in order to get a performance gain.
sohelH AOL_David: I am from Bangladesh, so I should apply for bangalore, right?
AOL_Edwin Or it might mean developing something brand new to address a market opportuinty that's out there.
AOL_David sohelH: sure, or it's also possible to apply for US based roles
gdiego I am from Argentina, you will consider me anyway ?
zhaofu(do_ob) AOL_David: including some puzzle questions?
srele OK I have one original proposal - do you need a philosopher in AOL? I will work for food and water :D :D :D
AOL_Edwin zhaofu(do_ob): Individual interviewers might choose to ask some technical questions, including puzzles, but it's not a standard part of our process.
AOL_David gdiego: sure, we'd consider good coders from anywhere in the world
srele There is nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya' about Web 2.0 !
AOL_David zhaofu(do_ob): not necessarily- puzzles don't always indicate experience with real world issues
AOL_Edwin srele: Well, Srele, in addition to my engineering degree, I also have a degree in Sociology, so it's definitely the case that the humanities can be important.
gdiego how is the interview process
srele AOL_Edwin: I'm impressed! I plan to study Philosophy after I finish CS.
gdiego if I am in a country
gdiego that you dont have offices in
gdiego by phone?
gdiego chat?
AOL_Edwin srele: In addition to technical skills, other things we look for in our candidates are communications skills, ability to work well in teams, and a desire to learn and grow.
AOL_David gdiego: we'd definitely start with phone
srele AOL_Edwin: as Engels would said, with words of Donald Knuth: "premature specialization is the root of all evil" ;)
kclune AOL_Edwin: Are there any specific technical skills you're looking for?
AOL_Edwin srele: On the technical front, we obviously look for strong coders, but just as important are the ability to understand a problem (sometimes asking the right question is more important than coming up with the right answer to the wrong question), debugging
AOL_Edwin srele: and strong design skills - in short, a lot of the things that you're practicing here in the TC challenges.
srele AOL_Edwin: nah, I'm just a small fish for you, but I enjoy the chat (very informative ATM) ;)
AOL_Edwin kclune: We do a lot of work on the web, of course, so we like to see various front end technologies.
n_i_r_a_n_j_a_n Does having a good record in TC give me any added advantage
AOL_Edwin kclune: Knowledge of AJAX, and familiarity with environments like J2EE, or Struts/Springs/Ruby/etc. is definitely aplus.
srele AOL_Edwin: I can't really say that I'm proud with my TC score XD
AOL_Edwin n_i_r_a_n_j_a_n: I think having a good record in TC shows that you have a lot of the skills we look for, though, there's obviusly no magic formula ;-)
sohelH what do you usually test in the interviews?
sohelH :D
coolviki Do you hire system programmers??
AOL_Nic AOL_Edwin: Do you know any of the technologies that the AOL subsiduary uses?
AOL_Edwin sohelH: As David said earlier, we don't generally have any formal testing requirement in our intervies.
AOL_David ohelH: our interviews aren't really tests per se, but we look for good coding skills, problem solving skills and interpersonal skills
AOL_Edwin sohelH: Although some individual interviewers will ask candidates to solve problems.
srele AOL_Edwin: but lets say that you like me (for some weird reason) => but I'm from far away => is it possible to Telecommute?
gdiego are you reading all resumes sent or just the ones that do well in this round :-)?
sohelH if you want to test problem solving skills, then you are in the right place :)
AOL_David coolviki: we are currently hiring systems programmers in for our network tools team
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: Sure thing, Nic, has two components, really. One is strong analytical skills.
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: These include things like algorithmic work, content analysis, etc.
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: that drive the algorithmic engine that powers the placement engine.
AOL_David gdiego: we look at every resume. regardless of score
zhaofu(do_ob) gdiego: did you do interview with google ?
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: Of course we also need people that take those analytical models and translate them to production-quality code.
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): yeah, I was in GCJLA in brazil
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): but they didnt send the feedback yet
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic:, like the rest of AOL, uses a variety of tools; everything from Perl, Python and C, to more recently, C# and .net.
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): so cant tell you how I did lol
zhaofu(do_ob) gdiego: you were tending full-time or inter?
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): intern
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): you?
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): got feedback ?
coolviki What kind of system programmers you are looking for your network tools development??
zhaofu(do_ob) gdiego: I was tending full-time ..
KunalKumar AOL_Edwin: nothing with java?
kclune AOL_Edwin: Since you've been with AOL for so long, I'm sure you had the opportunity to work for other companies, why have you stayed there, and why should TC members seriously consider AOL instead of say, Google, or Yahoo?
zhaofu(do_ob) gdiego: and they told me they will interview with me when I almost terminate my degree (2008)
AOL_David coolviki: our systems programmers have a lot of lattitude to use the best tool for the job
AOL_Edwin KunalKumar: Oh, right, of course. yes, Java as well. How could I forget ;-)
coolviki i mean the technology..??
zhaofu(do_ob) gdiego: did they give you a lot of puzzles ?
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): nah
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): but I really cant tell the questions
AOL_David coolviki: this often includes, perl, shell scripting, php, mysql, ruby on rails, berkelydb, or whatever you feel comfortable with
AOL_Edwin kclune: Ah, that's a great question. You know, one of the things I really enjoy about the work that I do is that it's a great way to bring technology to people.
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): Non Disc. Agreement
gdiego zhaofu(do_ob): hehehe
KunalKumar AOL_Edwin: I have submitted my resume and looking forward to hear from you..
zhaofu(do_ob) gdiego: sure ... I understand :)
AOL_Edwin kclune: Yahoo! and Google have great technical staffs, too, of course, but I think one of the things that's great about AOL is our heritage of bringing technology to people who wouldn't necessarily otherwise get it.
KunalKumar AOL_Edwin: like for example
AOL_Edwin kclune: The opportunity to work on something like AIM, which proceses billions of messages a day, and to know that there are real people and real connections out there is great.
KunalKumar AOL_Edwin: oh.right
AOL_Edwin kclune: Plus, I get a lot of satisfaction out of proving people wrong about their perceptions of AOL :-)
coolviki AIM??
AOL_Edwin kclune: When we announced OpenID support last month, ahead of MS, Yahoo!, and Google, I think it was an example of how we're changing the company and changing how the technical community sees what we're doing.
AOL_David coolviki: aol Instant Messager= AIM
AOL_Duke That's right Edwin. There are so many folks that still associate us with just bing an ISP
AOL_Edwin kclune: We've got a lot of smart people and a lot of great history, and I'm proud to be part of taking that to our new phase.
AOL_Edwin coolviki: Yup, AIM = AOL Instant Messenger. Also the backend engine behind Apple's iChat product.
AOL_Nic AOL_Edwin: can you talk to the innovation that occurred to make openID available?
kclune AOL_Edwin: That's great. Thanks.
AOL_Edwin (that should have been "next phase," not "new phase") :-)
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: Well, a little. And I should say that there are a lot of great folks that made that happen, not me.
coolviki In Win98 AOL is shipped along with it . now it is not so am i right??
kclune AOL_Edwin: once again, since people will be starting to leave to join the SRM, if you are interested in applying to an great career opportunity with AOL, please go here:
kclune AOL_Edwin:
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: but when our engineers first learned about OpenID, they were excited by the possibility of allowing our members to use their identities wherever they went, without having to go through and register and
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: sign up for new identities.
BatusaiX AOL_Edwin: About the Desktop OS did u used GNU/Linux or just Windows ?
gdiego do you help people getting visa for USA ?
srele one more technology question - Postgresql - opinions?
gdiego if given a job?
AOL_David coolviki: that's true, but we're a lot less focused on the AOL Client than on building our web based portals
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: So we set out to work with the people of the OpenId community to launch support as an OpenID referring provider (aka, an identity provider). Our support for consuming OpenID identiies is still in the works.
zzsheng85 is there any internship in the summer?
AOL_David gdiego: we would assist with a visa for our hires
AOL_Edwin AOL_Nic: But basically, it was a bunch of engineers who saw an opportunity and were able to update our backend infrastructure to support it. It all happenned in a few months
AOL_David zzsheng85: we do have a number of summer internship opportunities
AOL_Edwin BatusaiX: We have a lot of people that use Windows, of course, some that use Unix, and I, for example, am talking to you from Mac OS X.
AOL_Edwin BatusaiX: Again, it's all about the right tools for the job.
BatusaiX AOL_Edwin: cool :D
zzsheng85 is there any details about how to apply. Thanks
AOL_Edwin Before we lose any more folks, I would like to say thanks to all of you who've participated, and to the admins and my colleagues as well.
kclune zzsheng85: please go here:
kclune zzsheng85:
AOL_David BatusaiX: our developers can use windows, mac or linux desktops
srele youuuu welcomeeee :)
nitdgp sre summer internships in india also?
AOL_Edwin srele: You know, I don't have a whole lot of experience with postresql, although I know some of our DBAs are looking at it, as they look at a lot of database technologies.
mike thanks to all the AOL reps!
coolviki i am from india and i have never seen anyone including me using AIM..?? why is it so ?? GoogleTalk MSN yahoo are the most comman used here??
jmpld40 AOL_Edwin: Thank you Edwin
gdiego thx
jmpld40 Thanks AOL
coolviki is India not a market for AOL??
AOL_Edwin srele: But as far as DBs are concerned; we've got the full gamut here, depending on the needs of individual products and the team: Sybase, Oracle, MySQL, etc.
AOL_Edwin coolviki: India is a market for us, but the choice of messaging clients is dependent a lot of the time on the one that you started with.
kclune those just joining for the last hurrah, if you are interested in a great career opportunity with AOL, please apply here:
AOL_David coolviki: india is certainly a market for AOL, in fact we're launching an India-specific portal this year
AOL_Nic AOL_Edwin: some of you may be familiar with ICQ, which is an AOL Subsiduary
Drizzlecrj ft
AOL_Edwin coolviki: MSN in particular is very strong in India and some parts of Europe; Yahoo in Japan and Asia; and ICQ in other parts of the wordl.
AOL_Duke If you missed all of Edwin's chat, the full text will be available on the TopCoder site..
AOL_Edwin coolviki: AIM has over a hundred million registered users worldwide, including a whole bunch of iChat ( users, so we certainly have our hands full regardless :-)
AOL_Edwin Great. Transcripts with typos and all :-)
AOL_Edwin Thanks everyone, and good night.
kclune Thanks guys, we really appreciate your help in the chat.
coolviki yes MSN is provides my online status to my friends list in their outlook..
kclune Good luck everyone in the arena.
AOL_David thanks to all of you for joining us!
AOL_Nic Good Luck :-)
Eldred kclune: 30 sec
AOL_Duke we are going to have to get an Edwin encore performance