Last thursday, I attended my first Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner, a networking event for women in tech. I have heard great things about Girl Geek Dinner, so I was super excited to check it out. This time, it was hosted at Netflix’s new HQ in Los Gatos. When I arrived, I checked in via a tablet and the app immediately printed out a name tag sticker. I forgot to ask them what software they were using to do this, but it was a very easy and pleasant experience.
There were appetizers, drinks, and girl geeks all around me. Then panel of speaks began at 7PM, and the big theme of the night was globalization–on January 6th Netflix launched in 130 countries + 17 languages over night. I really enjoyed listening and learning about how they achieved doing this and the goals they set for themselves.
I learned how they maintain quality when users are streaming. Have you ever noticed at the beginning of a stream, the may seem a little pixelated, but later it becomes clearer and better? Or how somewhere in the middle of your show it is pixelated for a moment, then clears up again? Maria Kazandjieva, senior engineer, explains Adaptive Streaming, where based on your network connection, you will load a certain amount of data (video) to watch. She also explains how streaming is like a leaky bucket, where we will need some water in the bucket at all times for uninterrupted video playback. The water going inside the bucket is video loaded, while the output is water coming out the bottom as we consume or watch the video.
I really appreciated Netflix in designing for various countries and languages. Because they understood their audiences, they are able to deliver their service in a way where everyone can enjoy. They were aware of cultural nuances, word play, and languages.
Over all, it was a wonderful educational experience. Kudos to the Netflix team for going global and thanks for sharing with us your journey!