By Lukas Biewald, November 13, 2015

Why did Google open-source their core machine learning algorithms?

Earlier this week, Google open-sourced TensorFlow. According to Matt Cutts, who has run Google’s spam algorithms for years, TensorFlow is essentially Google’s “secret-sauce.” That said, Google clearly believes machine learning is incredibly important and is willing to invest billions in R&am [...]


By Chris Van Pelt, September 10, 2015

The ever-evolving CrowdFlower tech stack

It was 2008. I was a bright-eyed 26-year-old that was thrilled to leave a stable paycheck for a life of entrepreneurial uncertainty. I had a blank canvas in front of me and a few massive decisions about how to build the CrowdFlower tech stack. Oh, but how little did I understand the impact those ini [...]


By Jeff Auston, March 9, 2015

What Really Drives Execution, Anyway?

All businesses celebrate great execution, that moment where you finally hit the goal you’ve been building toward for months or even, sometimes, years. It’s a tremendous feeling when you come together with your team and everyone hits a goal that felt, at one time, distant and nebulous. It deserve [...]


By Jeff Auston, February 11, 2015

The Value of One-on-Ones

Time flies by so fast. I’ve been working at the art of two parallel concepts for some time now— managing people in the workplace and raising kids. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to positively influence both groups of people, and one of my greatest joys these days is the feeling of deep connectio [...]


By Matthew Gordon, November 21, 2014

Better Predictive Models Using Human Intelligence

It is often cited that 90% of the world’s information was created within the last two years. The increasing pace of creation of this “big data” has led to a huge amount of hype and organizations are scrambling to store and analyze their rapidly expanding treasure troves of data. Companies like [...]


By Jordan Brown, October 2, 2014

Burning Money is Never Good: Putting Out Fires with Librato’s API

I started working as a full-stack engineer on CrowdFlower’s platform team in April of 2013. Since joining, it’s been an awesome ride with challenges ranging from building a real-time job monitoring dashboard to revamping our entire billing system. Welcome aboard. Now get to it! Right out of [...]


By Rebecca Sheldon, September 10, 2014

Computer Camp to CrowdFlower: Making the Transition to Engineering

I remember nearly not going to the Meetup; it was a cold January evening in a city I didn’t know, on a street with meters that wouldn’t take money, next to two less-than-legal-looking sidewalk transactions. All signs pointed to "I'd Turn Back If I Were You.” But I didn’t. I had spent m [...]


By Brendan O'Connor, August 7, 2008

Wisdom of small crowds, part 3: another worker visualization

This is a follow-up to the previous post on individual workloads and rates. Here are the submission times and durations for every worker on the same graph. Each worker is one horizontal line. An assignment is started at a dot, and its duration is for the line segment extending to the right. The [...]


By Brendan O'Connor, August 5, 2008

Wisdom of small crowds, part 2: individual workloads and rates

[ Update: see also another visualization of this. ] AMT's great new interface makes it easy to download completion times for individual worker assignments. Therefore, it's easy to visualize :) For a recent small job we did (250 HIT's, 5 workers per HIT), here's a graph of completion times per worke [...]


By Lukas Biewald, July 20, 2008

Amazon’s S3 Web Service: Our #1 cause of failure

FaceStat uses Amazon's S3 service to store and serve most images. Today they went down for 7 hours. During this time, FaceStat was completely broken -- users couldn't upload or view images, which is the point of the site. They first mention "elevated error rates" at 9:05am; but our own logs indicat [...]