open source

Tech Talk: A PatientsLikeMe Year in Review (Part IV – Tech)

The PatientsLikeMe engineering team is excited to highlight some of the work that went on behind the scenes in 2010 to make this site what it is today.  We tend to write more specifically about our work on a separate blog (, so feel free to follow our work there as well. In addition to building the new site features you see (discussed in other blog posts), our team of engineers work tirelessly to continuously improve the site for you.  Here are some highlights of the work they’ve done in 2010: The Team Early in 2010, Co-Founder Jeff Cole moved over to our data operations team where he now leads the way in analyzing the data you share.  In leading the engineering team this year, I’m thrilled to report that we accomplished one of our top goals – to grow the team without detracting from the culture that makes us great.  With 13 team members and growing, we closed out 2010 with a larger team than we had in 2009 and have maintained the high caliber of engineers by refining our hiring process during the year (see the PatientsLikeMe Tech blog for more details).  We pride ourselves on hiring the …

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We Share Too! Contributing Open Source Code

“Open source software” is created and improved collaboratively, over the web, by the people who need it, even if they work for different companies in different industries on different continents. Similar to our Openness Philosophy, the premise behind open source software is that none of us is as smart as all of us. Software developers that share code help accelerate technical progress, just as we invite patients to share their health information to accelerate research. (Warning: Technical jargon ahead!) Here at PatientsLikeMe, almost every software component behind the website is open source. The operating system and web server, database engine, the Ruby on Rails web development framework — if it weren’t for the time and passion that many people have dedicated to these and many other open source projects, PatientsLikeMe might not exist. It’s time to give some back! We’ve begun to contribute some improvements and innovations we’ve made to the open source community. We recently needed to enhance the open source Ruby gem (a kind of software library) to support some recent changes made by Campaign Monitor, the email service we use to send our monthly newsletters and other large email campaigns. Our contribution has been noted on Campaign …

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