Netflix Engineer Sujana Sooreddy Talks Sustainability, Mentorship, and Girls in Streaming Media

At Streaming Media NYC 2024, Tim Siglin, Founding Govt Director, Assist Me Stream Analysis Basis, and Contributing Editor, Streaming Media, interviews Sujana Sooreddy, Senior Software program Engineer, Netflix. She discusses the challenges of encoding and transcoding content material for various codecs and gadgets, and he or she highlights the significance of utilizing information analytics to grasp compute utilization and viewability of a specific stream. She additionally talks concerning the growing variety of girls within the area and the worth of mentorship throughout the neighborhood.

Siglin mentions that he and Sooreddy are about to be on a Streaming Media NYC panel that he’s moderating (“Computing Whereas Cooling”). The panel will concentrate on tips on how to make media’s tech stack extra value—and energy-efficient and implement sound and sustainable finest practices all through the media provide chain. He then asks Sooreddy to debate her function at Netflix.

“I am a part of the media infrastructure and platform group,” Sooreddy says. “So what we provide is the workflow orchestration engines and the serverless features and insights into how a lot compute or how briskly we’re delivering. We work totally on the encoding half, principally acquisition and the encoding, not totally on the supply aspect impact.”

Making technical choices from a sustainability standpoint

Siglin says, “One of many issues we talked about in a pre-call was having to make these choices from a sustainability standpoint, what number of compute hours it will take to encode or transcode one thing to a brand new format versus the variety of potential eyeballs. Simply clarify what that steadiness is that if someone does not perceive compute hours.”

Sooreddy says that contemplating the large quantity of content material on the Netflix platform, together with the necessity to encode each previous and new content material for viewability on each system, it is very important use information analytics to grasp the compute and viewability utilization of a specific stream. “Have a look at what your long-tail content material is,” she says. “Use predictive evaluation to determine what must be encoded, how briskly it must be finished, and what must be the compute that could possibly be reserved for a spot the place nothing is working. It does not must be finished now and right this moment.”

Siglin asks, “Do the analytics additionally consider what gadgets individuals could be consuming that specific content material on?”

“Numerous elements come into the image,” Sooreddy says. “The gadgets which were consuming, the areas the place it’s being consumed, and lots of different issues. Particularly if you’re doing supply, the place ought to it even sit? Proper. So all of those [factors] can be thought-about.”

The rising profile of girls in streaming media

Siglin notes that 5 – 6 years in the past, there was a big lack of girls in upper-level positions within the business and a dearth of mentorship. “Have we made progress within the business over the past 5 – 6 years?” he asks Sooreddy.

“I undoubtedly would say sure,” Sooreddy says. “Not simply in mentorship, but additionally within the variety of girls who’re a part of the streaming media as of late is significantly larger than earlier than. By way of mentorship, I feel Girls in Streaming Media helps me get to know individuals. So, these communities assist us discover mentors the place we will lean into somebody from a profession progress perspective and somebody from a know-how perspective. Anne Aaron, our Senior Director at Netflix, was my mentor for a while, and he or she nonetheless is. I got here to Girls in Streaming Media by way of her. In order that form of neighborhood helps us lean in, perceive, and develop collectively.”

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