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May 18th 2016

A Look Into Open Source @ AOL


AOL is very active in the open source community across our enterprise-grade ad stack, our brand sites and content management tools (supporting brands like The Huffington Post), and our video services and membership business.

This year at OSCON we have a great session with AOLer John McClean covering a number of recent projects.

Think Java is dying? It's still a workhorse platform and while we are all over some of the newest languages (I'll talk about that later as it relates to our Scala efforts in video), we continue to leverage the ubiquity and portability of Java in a number of areas. John will walk in detail through a new microservices plugin system for Spring and a useful Java 8 library, among other projects.

An area John will touch on but not go deep is IT Security. We are big believers in open source in the security space and expect all new hires to be up on the latest tools. For example, we look for knowledge of ZAP or Metasploit as evidence that an appsec candidate is a "real" hands-on security professional. We are not looking for security folks who just push buttons on expensive enterprise tools. Deep open source knowledge is part of our interview process. By the way ZAP is written in Java!

One of our biggest open source contributions in the security area is Moloch - a scalable packet capture tool. It enables storing and indexing all of your network traffic for fast access and has been a bedrock tool for us, and many others via Github.

Returning to Scala, our go90 video team and the Verizon IPTV team have done extensive work using Scala. Several members of those teams are Scala core language and library contributors and conference speakers. Projects like SacalZ and Lift have significant contributions from the team. AOL and Verizon are building mobile video and the next generation of IPTV platforms on a Scala base, betting on its flexibility and performance. Some of the core libraries are open sourced.

Here's the description for John's talk. If you're at OSCON, please come and check it out:

AOL's return to open source: An overview of Java 8 library cyclops-react
Wednesday, 05/18/2016
4:20pm–5:00pm
Meeting Room 14

AOLer John McClean will speak about open source @AOL with an overview of Java 8 library cyclops-react. He will demonstrate cyclops-react and how it can integrate with other new technologies in the Java 8 eco-system such as Pivotal Reactor, Functional Java and Javaslang.

John will also reference a number of other projects in his talk, including Moloch, cyclops, Microserver, and Adapt Strap.

May 15th 2016

Time to Make a Difference with Australian Non-profit Startups



Making a difference is in our DNA. Nearly every day, we unleash initiatives focused on making the world a better place.

As part of our commitment to giving back, we're proud to announce the launch of our new Australian startup support program #DeskAid. We want to use our talents to make a real difference by helping those who can make the world a better place.

#DeskAid is specifically designed to deliver exactly what early stage non-profit companies in Australia need: access to a community of experienced and well-connected professionals, opportunities to brainstorm and plan with a variety of mentors; and a fun and dynamic office space in Sydney with plenty of perks.

If you want to work in one of the most inspiring office spaces in Sydney, we're giving up to three enthusiastic entrepreneurs in the non-profit sector the opportunity to work alongside our team for six months or more.

There are plenty of other perks, including:

  • Three dedicated desks in AOL's Sydney CBD office with water views.
  • Brainpower from 25 ad tech experts – each will provide one hour a month in the form of ad support, website troubleshooting, insights into what other brands are doing with their marketing or leveraging partnerships to assist.
  • High speed wi-fi and printing supplies.
  • Meeting rooms.
  • Bi-weekly boot camp exercise program run by a team member.
  • Showers and change rooms.
  • Use of ping pong table.
  • Access to bicycles for inner city commuting.
  • Access to a weekly Pilates teacher.

If you're interested, we'd love to hear from you before midnight on 15 July 2016. Learn how to apply.

#DeskAid – a program by Citizen AOL
#AOLGivesBack

May 10th 2016

AOL Appoints Head of Americas and New Canadian Managing Director

As AOL continues to grow globally, the business has announced two new executive appointments in the Americas. AOL opened its first LatAm office in Sao Paulo in October 2015 and this week it will officially launch the AOL proposition in Brazil. In growing the organization and by carving out regional leadership in both Brazil and Canada, AOL continues to expand and invest in its talent globally.

Joe Strolz, who formerly led AOL Canada and was the Partner Integration lead for Microsoft Advertising, has been appointed as Head of Americas for AOL. In his new role, Joe will continue to oversee the strategy for the Americas region outside of the US with a focus on building AOL's footprint in Latin America. Joe will report to Graham Moysey, Head of International, AOL. In addition, Brad Cressman will take on the role of Managing Director of AOL Canada, stepping up from his previous role as Head of Business Operations.

Graham Moysey, Head of International, AOL said: "AOL has been laser focused on growing its presence globally and in the last year we have seen our global footprint grow substantially through organic growth, acquisition and partnerships. Canada has been a strong catalyst for our international growth, and with Brazil officially launching this week, we are doubling down on the opportunity in the Americas. Under Joe and Brad's leadership AOL will be focused on accelerating our market presence in the Americas through our global portfolio of brands, and our advertising and publisher platforms."

Since joining AOL in 2013, Joe has been an incredibly strong leader, driving the growth of the Canadian business in video, programmatic, and original content, as well as leading the successful integration of Microsoft's advertising business globally across the US, Canada, UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Japan. Under Joe's leadership, AOL Canada ranked on the list of Canada's 100 best workplaces and was also named one of North America's 50 most engaged workplaces.

Brad Cressman will be tasked with defining the local strategy for AOL in Canada based on the company's global objectives and will continue to run operations of all aspects of the Canadian business. In over five years at AOL, Brad has played a key role in the launch of HuffPost Canada, the evolution of AOL's content and brands platforms including, AOL's foray into original video content, and most recently leading the day-to-day business as Head of Business Operations.

May 9th 2016

#MeaningfulMonday Monster Help Day Volunteer Lead Spotlight: Adam Lauer-Brown

Last week we shared our first in a series of blog posts this month we're calling #MeaningfulMondays. Each week we are spotlighting a Monster Help Day site lead. Monster Help Day is AOL's company-wide day of service, when we get out of the office and give back to our local communities.

Why do we keep talking about Monster Help Day? Because it's huge, and awesome. Last year, 3,000 employees in 27 cities volunteered 11,000 hours of their time to support 63 non-profit organizations, and this year, we're going even bigger with 150 projects in 47 cities! These projects cover a range of needs, from teaching kids to code, to helping victims of domestic violence with confidence building and career readiness, there are hundreds of projects employees choose to participate in based on their skills and interests. AOLers worldwide unleash their talents to do something meaningful. See, watch, and read more at http://monsterhelp.aol.com.

Site leads are AOLers who go above and beyond committing their time to not only making Monster Help Day a success, but also to giving back to their communities on their own time. This week we're spending time with Adam Lauer-Brown, Principal Marketing Manager, AOL Core, Volunteer Lead for Washington DC's Only Make Believe project.



Q: Hey Adam! Can you tell us more about your Monster Help Day project?
This year I chose Only Make Believe, an organization that creates and performs interactive theater for children in hospitals and care facilities. For Monster Help Day, we are transforming one of our DC conference rooms into a workshop to make costumes for the shows.

Q: What is your favorite part of Monster Help Day?
My favorite part is interacting with people. I'm a people person so I like being in contact with the community. I was at an agency prior to joining AOL, there wasn't a real focus on giving back, so I love that we do this at AOL. It shows the type of culture we have here.

Q: Why is participating in Monster Help Day so important to you?
I think we tend to get so caught up in our daily lives, that our time is consumed. We forget about giving back and the impact we can make. I would encourage everyone to participate in their communities.

AOL Monster Help Day is May 13th this year, and you can see all the great work employees are doing on that day by following AOL CSR on Twitter and the hashtag #AOLGivesBack.

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