Behind the Scenes: Touring EngineerJobs’ Backend

April 1, 2014

EngineerJobs LogoAs an EJ writer and technology enthusiast, I am often asked about our web backend. Readers want to know who hosts us, what server hardware we use, and whether they can unplug that long, orange extension cord that snakes through the cat door.

Don’t unplug the cable.

The Finest Backend Solutions Money Didn’t Buy

I’m proud to say that EngineerJobs.com self-hosts. We looked into Amazon EC2, and while their uptime statistics and performance metrics look good, they asked us for money. Fortunately, many of us are handy and some of us are engineers, so we were able to quickly implement a solid web-hosting platform to bring the best of the engineering world to you.

I’ve included a simple diagram to help the less technically-inclined to follow along. Really, it’s quite simple:

EngineerJobs Backend System

Click to Enlarge


Our system begins with Bob’s laptop, which might be overheating. Bob’s laptop, like the rest of our servers, is plugged into a power strip, which in turn is plugged into that outlet over there. It’s on a switch, so we’d appreciate it if you didn’t touch it.


IBM 1311 (Dormant Phase)

Our database resides on a massive cluster of vintage IBM 1311 disk packs. To combat data center boredom, our server operators have cunningly removed the concrete weights in the bottom of the disks. This allows them to walk across the data center whenever there is heavy seeking or random I/O processes occurring. The massive disk array (over 100mb!) is connected via natural gutta percha insulated cable to a server … somewhere. Though EJ sysadmins have tried to trace the cable to the server end, we have not to date been successful. Nevertheless we are (usually) able to ssh into it.

In close proximity to the disk array is our production server. Here we test buggy new code, watch cat videos, and warm our coffee. If there are any spare CPU cycles left over, we also host the site on it. Purchased secondhand from a California pistachio farmer in 1979, our Vax 11/780 is a shuddering model of efficiency and cutting edge technology. It is capable of an astounding 500,000 instructions per second, provided nobody has switched off the outlet that it’s plugged into.

Our content management system, equally sophisticated, was developed entirely in-house using the Cobol On Cogs IDE. Each of our talented writers has been gifted with a VT 220 terminal and a 150bps acoustic coupler modem that allow for quick connection (unless the phone line is busy) to our data center.


“JAN”, Our VAX 11/780

Of course, this glittering technological empire would be all for naught without one critical component that sits at the hub of our Bayonne, NJ warehouse. That component is the Digital Vector Encabulator. Some of you may be familiar with the large and clumsy turboencabulators of the 70s, or Rockwell Automation’s fine retroencabulator, which entirely failed to take the first half of the 1980s by storm.

The secret is the Digital Vector Encabulator, or DVE.

For a number of years now here at EJ, work has been proceeding in order to bring perfection to the crudely conceived idea of a integrated circuit that would not only run on inverse reactive current of the type used in unilateral phase detractors, but would also be compatible with automatically synchronizing cardinal grammeters. Such an instrument is the Digital Vector Encabulator.

The only new principle involved is that instead of voltages fanning out across the CPU by the relative states of silicon transistor gates, it is switched by modial interaction of magneto-reluctance and capacitive diractance.

The Digital Vector Encabulator is superscalar, making use of three independent Encabulation Logic Units connected to an 8 kiloword First-In Still Here (FISH) buffer. Two transcendental spline depelexers share spline duty, with one spline deplexer being capable of inducing modal logic. Nofer trunnions are fully supported and, if we may be so bold, execute in quite a novel way.

Block Diagram of the EJ Digital Vector Encabulator

Block Diagram of the EJ Digital Vector Encabulator (Click to Enlarge)

Side-Fumbling Reduction in DV Encabulators

Building on the work of Hank Green, Bud Haggart, and the legendary John Hellins Quick, the Digital Vector Encabulator is fully compatible with all s-inusoidal deplenerators, moxie interrupters, and anhydrous nangling pins. Built on a 20nm Incompatible Metal Oxide Semiconductor process (IMOS) the Digital Vector Encabulator provides unasked-for performance with a fully annealed metapolar refractive pilfrometer on-die. Up to 3 encabulations per-cycle are supported via a high bandwidth reciprocation dingle cache. An n-1 set associative cache is included for preframulating positive integers.

A high noise DRAM buffer is included, but optimum performance will only be obtained with an 8x1gb array of Signetics 25120 fully-encoded random access write-only memory. An imaginary control bus provides a low-jitter clock pulse to drive the random de-order buffer.

The Digital Vector Encabulator’s cooling requirements are straightforward. A simple 650 gallon/minute pump circulating liquid ammonia across the Digital Vector Encabulator’s dorsal plenum is sufficient. JF Stackhouse, et al, have had remarkable results immersing the 68-pin package in a pool of pure mercury held at 20 degrees Kelvin. In this way, side-fumbling was greatly minimized.

Have an encabulator of your own? Is side-fumbling plaguing your metapolar refractive pilfrometer? Know what happened to Gus? (Seriously, he owes me five dollars!) Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments.