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Liz Fong-Jones
Works at Google
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lives in Brooklyn, NY
14,312 followers|895,027 views
Have her in circles
14,312 people
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Site Reliability Engineer
  • Google
    Senior Site Reliability Engineer, 2014 - present
    As of June 2015, I manage the Bigtable Site Reliability Engineering team in New York City.
  • Google
    Senior Software Engineer (part-time), 2012 - 2013
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    TA (6.035/Sp2012, 6.172/Fa2012), LA (6.042/Sp2012), UROP (Su2012), 2012 - 2012
  • Google
    Senior Site Reliability Engineer, 2011 - 2012
  • Google
    Site Reliability Engineer, 2008 - 2011
  • Three Rings Design
    Technical Operations Manager, 2005 - 2007
  • College Preparatory Mathematics
    Systems Administrator, 2003 - 2005
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Brooklyn, NY
Somerville, MA - Oakland, CA - Pasadena, CA - Santa Clara, CA
and her trusty daemon Misty
I make your intertubes work (or more specifically, bits and pieces of Google). Also a feminist, trans rights advocate, disability rights ally, social justice activist, and occasionally a sex-positive blogger and poster of vegan food porn. Veteran of the #nymwars.

Obligatory disclaimer: opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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My GPG key fingerprint is 0xFBDDD2A4 and my Google Profile can be found at:
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  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Course 6-3, 2012 - 2013
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Special Student (Course 6), 2010 - 2011
  • California Institute of Technology
    Bio/CS, 2005 - 2008
Basic Information
Other names
Elizabeth Fong, Zhen Fong, Lizthegrey, Liz Fong-Jones


Liz Fong-Jones

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Closing a door on the Linux kernel community:
This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for a year now. It has never been the right time to post this. I have always been worried about the backlash. I've skirted around talking about this issue publicly for some time, but not acknowledging the elephant in the room has eaten away at me a ...
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Lauren Weinstein's profile photoHugo van der Merwe's profile photoKee Hinckley's profile photoEddie Kay's profile photo
Even when people are not being outright abusive, dealing with the upstream Linux kernel community is often an exercise in extreme frustration, playing games like "you shouldn't submit code unless your design is reviewed first" at the same time as "don't bother us until you have running code", the ever popular "how many different people can say 'no' to your patch for arbitrary reasons", the entertaining "guess who actually has the ability to accept a patch anyway", and my favorite "your changes are terrible so we reimplemented them ourselves, introducing a bunch of random bugs and incompatibilities".
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Liz Fong-Jones

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That was something new - I saw a bus shelter advertisement imploring parents to accept their trans children. Feeling more and more hopeful about the world (which is probably good, because the trans survey put me into a funk about how shitty my childhood was, and how much even shittier my life could be if I weren't so damn lucky.
Danielle White's profile photoThomas Tuttle's profile photoBob Calder's profile photo
+Thomas Tuttle
Take a look at the website and talk to Bonnie to see if what they do matches your giving plans. Tell Bonnie I told you about them please.
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Liz Fong-Jones

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Surprising discovery of the day: I can (awkwardly) just pick up and carry the dog crate/wagon assembly up/down stairs with Misty trailing behind me, without having to make multiple trips or solicit help from strangers. This definitely dramatically increases the number of subway stations we can use - as long as there are no stairs without elevators past fare control.

And it's been now 2.5 months since Misty's last seizure, and she's walking much better on the reduced dosage of the original medication now that we've added a second medication. Today we go for tests to verify the second medication is working correctly -- assuming that it's correct, we may have a long term stable regimen.
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Liz Fong-Jones

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Everything at Google is a scale that I'd never imagined before I worked here.
Google published a paper today about the evolution of our networking infrastructure over the past decade. I've gotten to be quite intimate with these systems, thanks to spending much of that time working on our search and storage infrastructure, and the differences are profound, to say the least.

The article quotes +Amin Vahdat as describing what life was like in the earlier era: "there were painful tradeoffs with careful data locality and placement of servers connected to the same top of rack switch versus correlated failures caused by a single switch failure." I cannot begin to describe the pain in the ass that this was: our high-capacity search stack (the part I was responsible for) was by far the most aggressive user of the network, and each cluster's deployment had to be carefully planned on a per-rack basis, to manage our use of bandwidth within and across racks, and to optimize for survivability in case a single rack switch failed.

To give you a sense of the PITA: (this will make sense only to computer scientists) I wrote our standard implementation of simulated annealing... because I needed it for the software that would figure out which tasks to put on which machines.

And even with those amazing systems, we could knock clusters over in a moment. To do a full restart of a search cluster (reading the index from in-datacenter storage from scratch) in less than 48 hours required shutting down all other jobs in the datacenter, because it would use up all of the internal bandwidth. 

If you ever wondered why search over giant corpora is a hard business...

Cross-datacenter networking remains a hard problem, even with these advances, because while long-haul bandwidth has grown tremendously over the years, storage capacity has grown even faster. This is why a good mental analogue for the design of planet-scale storage systems is freight logistics: even with 747's crossing the globe, warehouses are still much bigger. 

I obviously can't tell all the stories, but these papers are a remarkable chance to see what the cutting edge of networking infrastructure actually looks like. Those who are interested in such matters, enjoy!
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Kee Hinckley's profile photoKartik Cating-Subramanian's profile photoAmanda Walker's profile photo
One of Google's greatest strengths is that as an organization they don't suffer from the sunk cost fallacy.  Someone works out a better way to do something, or Moore's Law enables better hardware?  Great, build new stuff, and rotate out the old stuff as fast as you can make the new stuff!  I've never worked at any other company that managed to keep up that kind of attitude after they grew past a hundred or so people.
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Liz Fong-Jones

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This is where I was for the past week.

I'm two rows back from the first O in #ilooklikeanengineer .
Back at you @googledocs - this is from this year's Women in 24x7 (#SRE, NetOps, DCOps + HWOps) summit in Dublin. Michelle Duffy. 23h23 hours ago. Michelle Duffy @wandermom. @dbetser @geogrins For your re-tweeting pleasure :). Google Docs · 22h22 hours ago. Google Docs @googledocs ...
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Liz Fong-Jones

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Shit. Shit shit shit shit :( :(
Home page of The Apache Software Foundation
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Liz Fong-Jones

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Right now it's possible to have anonymous political speech, if you're wealthy enough to abuse the loophole. Not okay.
Contribution laundering & Ravel/Weintraub PFRs to go up tomorrow

The first is a fairly narrow proposal we made specifically to address the C4/C6->SuperPAC contribution laundering loophole. It's made narrowly to not require disclosure of funds used for issue advocacy, nor small donors, while still ensuring disclosure of significant sources of money that ultimately gets used to influence an election.

The second is a verbatim resubmission of the Ravel/Weintraub PFR, to encourage broader public discussion and proposals and moot the procedural concerns with Commissioners petitioning their own agency.

Public and private feedback welcome on both. See the pages for instructions on how to file public comments.
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Liz Fong-Jones

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In fucking unsurprising and terrifying news, trans people are being detained by the TSA for their genitals still :(
When the police officer asked me what sex I was I told him I wasn't to respond. He said this was not a game. Are trans civil rights? 36 29. Shadi Petosky. 7m7 minutes ago. Shadi Petosky @shadipetosky. I'm not going to lie. I zero percent want to be googled as the transsexual who's junk got ...
Kee Hinckley's profile photoAron Bluecroix's profile photoValdis Klētnieks's profile photoCraig Trader's profile photo
Thank you +Sai, I appreciate the link.
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Liz Fong-Jones

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On one hand, it's super great to live in a decade in which trans women are shown in a positive light on advertising on the subway.

On the other hand, it's kind of sad that being an out trans woman is still a 'courageous' thing.
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It's a flavour of the month thing atm.  At least it is positive.
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Liz Fong-Jones

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I have been on a mean code-writing streak the past several days. And these don't even include the few tool-assisted refactors/cleanups I did (which are another ~3k lines).

DELTA=19 (19 added, 0 deleted, 0 changed)
DELTA=386 (187 added, 125 deleted, 74 changed)
DELTA=313 (85 added, 187 deleted, 41 changed)
DELTA=292 (245 added, 26 deleted, 21 changed)
DELTA=829 (819 added, 4 deleted, 6 changed)
DELTA=79 (12 added, 27 deleted, 40 changed)
DELTA=48 (7 added, 32 deleted, 9 changed)
DELTA=133 (83 added, 21 deleted, 29 changed)

That's upwards of 2k lines touched by hand in 3 days, and is the most code I've gotten to sit down and write in a stretch in a good long while. Yay motivation to get shit done.
Jakub Turski's profile photoAdam Liss's profile photo
I wonder if there's a correlation between number of lines touched and number of interns whose feedback is due.
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Liz Fong-Jones

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Amazon sounds like a terrifying place to work that I'd never ever want to be.
The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.
hdp's profile photoColin Mackay's profile photoOliver Fisher's profile photoJean Whitmore's profile photo
The shock aspect of this story is that they treat their white-collar workers the same way they're already known to treat their blue-collar workers.
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Liz Fong-Jones

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John “Catnip” Williams's profile photoLisa Hirsch's profile photoBen Blouin's profile photoEugene Alexeev's profile photo
Gah, that's inaccessible, because it's an image.

Run = you die. Walter Scott
Stay & get arrested = you die. Freddie Gray
Lay down while handcuffed = you die. Eric Harris, Oscar Grant
Fight back = you die. Trayvon Martin
Mind your business = you die. John Crawford
Put your hands up = you die. Mike Brown
Proclaim your innocence = you die. Eric Garner
Getting married = you die. Sean Bell
Pants sagging = you die. Ervin Edwards
Beg for your life = you die. Thaddeus McCarroll, Cedric Bartee
Just alive at 12 = you die. Tamir Rice
Be outside = you die. Rekia Boyd
Be at home chilling = you die. Kathryn Johnston
Run into your home = you die. Ramarley Graham
Injured asking for help = you die. Johnathan Ferrell
Be in stairwell = you die. Akai Gurley
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