Digg VP of Engineering fired after version 4 troubles

With the launch of Digg 4, many users were not thrilled to say the least with the changes and bugs that arose after the upgrade. Digg users went as far as sabotaging the front page having all of the links redirect to Digg's rival, Reddit. Due to the intensity of the problems, Digg has decided to fire the VP of Engineering, John Quinn, who called for many of the changes that have now lead to unintended results.

Before Digg 4, the social news site used a MySQL database to manage the mass of data that Digg would receive. Now Digg uses the distributed database Cassandra which is suppose to be faster and scale better, however it was not tested thoroughly before launch, according to TechCrunch

John Quinn pushed for the switch over to Cassandra at Digg, offering it as a solution to the previous setup which was having trouble coping with all of the traffic the site encountered. Due to the switch, everyone at Digg is simply trying to focus on keeping the site up and functional, and there is no clear cut solution to fix the current issues.

As of now it is not clear who will step up, or come in to replace VP of Engineering position at Digg. Facebook and Twitter both use Cassandra for portions of their social networking sites, although neither has employed it on the large scale level that Digg did. 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Firefox 4 Beta 5 Lands

Next Story

Orange and T-Mobile UK to share services

47 Comments

View more comments

Digg v3 had its flaws, yes, but it was far and away superior to this new digg. I don't give two shoots about friends on digg, I go there for user-submitted news and comments. Digg is trying to be some weird perversion of Twitter mixed with a whole lot of other stuff that just doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. Looks like I'll be jumping on that Reddit train.

Proven
Cassandra is in use at Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Rackspace, Cloudkick, Cisco, SimpleGeo, Ooyala, OpenX, and more companies that have large, active data sets.

The Cassandra web page seems to have updated a little too early.

It's just awful now, the posts are totally messed up and the comment count is barely in the double digits nowadays.

Shows how quickly a website can die >.<

No matter what the backend was, whoever authorized the new architecture's release before it had been properly tested should be fired. It's that simple.

If management forced the release over the objections of the software engineers, then management should be sacked, not the engineers.

BTW, I have heard rumors that most, if not all, of these major bugs existed in the beta and were clearly not addressed. Can any Digg beta testers confirm? I can't from firsthand knowledge.

That's nice - publicly announced that you FIRED this poor sod, rather than keeping it quiet and helping his chances of finding other employment...

I stopped going to digg last year, when it became clear that they block any anti Obama content, and green light anything against Palin or any conservative. Couple that with the kiddie troll elements, and it just wasn't worth it. I went to other sites for tech news.

You sound like you described Alan Grayson's sheeple cronies.

Seriously, the left-leaning bent of Digg was becoming very apparent. I already wasn't looking at the site very much anymore (I sometimes went for a laugh), and with the buggy new interface I decided it was time to go.

Haven't checked out Reddit yet. May look.

Damn, Rose sounded all cool about it on Diggnation, but he's clearly ****ed. Or less likely, this was just part of a broader reorg.

Revision3 (the company that runs Digg) didn't announce anything, this is TechCrunch reporting that their sources say he was fired. If he didn't do his job and pushed it even though it clearly wasn't ready (everyone says the beta site was just as bad) then he deserves to get canned. If he told management about the problems but they pushed it anyways then management is to blame and he's a scapegoat. Either way we'll probably never know what happened.

The whole v4 design is terrible aside from the engineering problems and it was the design that caused the revolt. However, I think that the major flaw with the design (RSS flooding the front page) was a result of the engineering. I doubt that they ever intended for the front page to be de-democratized and there was a clear problem with the promotion algorithm not putting stories on the front page even though they had thousands of diggs vs the RSS feed stories always hitting the front page with only ~10 diggs. I believe wholeheartedly that they never intended for v4 to be this bad and will fix it, but I'm worried that too much damage was done and they may not recover.

Revision3 doesn't run Digg. They may share a building, have one or 2 of the same co-founders, and they may share board members, however Rev3 does not run Digg. They are 2 seperate companies that have a business relationship with each other (e.g. The Digg Reel & Diggnation pulls its videos/stories from Digg, Digg Dialog is produced and distributed by Rev3)

Not a huge fan of the new version either. I could care less about the social networking bits (I'm anything but social), and the way it picked front-page items felt biased, to say the least. Hopefully they'll listen to their users.

Would it be considered bad form to Digg this article?

Xilo said,
You mean, you couldn't care less.

You're probably right, English isn't my first language. I couldn't care less about grammar police who feel the need to point out every little typo either. If I really cared, I'd hit up a spellchecker.

Jen Smith said,

You're probably right, English isn't my first language. I couldn't care less about grammar police who feel the need to point out every little typo either. If I really cared, I'd hit up a spellchecker.


Spellchecker doesn't check grammar. You know, just so you'd know.

reidtheweed01 said,
A good company would have let him "resign".
No.. Those that mess up on a scale such as this should be fired.. You resign when it's a simple oversight, you get fired when you make bad calls.

People who aren't liking the publisher sellout on Digg4 may like quippd, another social news site with more concessions to *users*.

Stories are wiki editable, so corrections can be made, and any one content producer won't dominate pages.

Check it out: http://quippd.com/

Commenting is disabled on this article.