Roacher of the Week: Amruta Ranade, Sr. Technical Writer at Cockroach Labs


(upbeat music) – Hi, I’m Amruta, I’m a
writer on the education team, and my recent favorite
project is the video that I made for Flex Friday. And the video is about
establishing balance and I talk about the importance
of establishing balance and giving yourself permission to do that. But it’s not always easy in the tech world because you have so many other things that are demanding your attention. So I hope that video helps
and inspires other people to also give themselves permission to establish balance in their life.

Roacher of the Week: Bilal Akhtar, Software Engineer at Cockroach Labs

Roacher of the Week: Bilal Akhtar, Software Engineer at Cockroach Labs


(soft music) – Hey, I’m Bilal. I work on the storage team. I’m based out of here in Toronto, so I’m one of the few remote engineers. And I work on the storage
team, like I said, and one of the things that
I’ve worked on recently that I’ve really enjoyed was
implementing this new layer on top of a new storage engine, the MVCC layer on top of Pebble. So we already, what MVCC stands for is
multiversion concurrency control. Which is one of the
features in CockroachDB at the very bottom, at the storage layer. So what that lets you do is
it handles all sorts of like conflicts between different writes happening at the same time, and it just happens behind the scenes so you don’t need to
worry too much about it as a SQL level end-user. But for porting this layer – which we currently use with
the RocksDB – over to Pebble, lets us eventually move to Pebble as our storage engine down the line. And if you’re familiar
with Cockroach’s internals you probably know it uses
RocksDB under the hood, that might change down the line, and when it does, this work will be used on every Cockroach cluster
for every single thing you do. So, it could be amazing, or it could just not be used we’ll see. (soft music) Bye Dan. – [Cameraman] Bye, Bilal. (upbeat music)

Roacher of the Week: Rafi Shamim, Software Engineer at Cockroach Labs

Roacher of the Week: Rafi Shamim, Software Engineer at Cockroach Labs


– I’m Rafi Shamim. I’m on the App Dev Team
here at Cockroach Labs. So what I’ve been working on recently that’s been pretty cool
is getting our database to work with the Java programming language and different tools that are used with it. So we were just working
on one called Hibernate and it allows application developers to write Java code without
having to write SQL and have their application work
with our database seamlessly just like it could work
with any other database. So it’s been cool to do that because it’s an open-source project and a lot of people rely on it and it’ll be very useful for
Java developers everywhere.

The Special Infected – Database: Episode 4

The Special Infected – Database: Episode 4


Hi, and welcome to Episode 4 of ValveTime Database. In this episode, we’ll be returning to the Left 4 Dead
series to take a look at the Special Infected. We previously discussed the series’ infamous
Green Flu during Episode 2 of Database, so be sure to go check that out first if you haven’t already, as it covers a lot of groundwork and should
get you pretty set up for this episode. While the Special Infected all play unique
roles on the zombie battlefields, the origins of these unique mutations are relatively unknown, so we’re going to try and examine the creatures as best we can using some of the most popular theories and a
variety of symbolism found within the games. In total, eight powerful infected types are
shown to exist in the Left 4 Dead series – six special infected: the Boomer, Smoker,
Hunter, Jockey, Charger, and Spitter; and two “boss” infected: the Tank and Witch. One particular theory we’ve recently
been considering is the possibility that the eight special infected may represent the seven deadly sins as based on the list created by Pope Gregory I in AD 590, with supporting evidence coming from Peter Binsfeld’s pairing of each of the sins with a greater demon created in 1589. When asked to comment on this theory,
Left 4 Dead’s lead writer Chet Faliszek responded, “Come on now, we can’t ruin the fun and comment!”, so take this theory with a grain of salt. As we talk about each of the infected, we’re going to be revisiting this theme throughout the episode. The special infected each have their own
trademark mutations and appearances, all caused by the Green Flu. The mutations’ effects on the Boomer
give it its oversized appearance, as evidenced by the grossly swollen
belly buttons and improperly fitting outfit seen on all variations of both the male and female Boomers. This may be caused by the virus hijacking
or dissolving the body’s digestive tract in an effort to produce and contain bile. After exploding, the Boomer’s remains appear hollow, suggesting that most of the Boomer’s
body and organs have been digested or repurposed to contain and produce bile. In a regularly functioning body, bile is used to aid in the breakdown
of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. The repurposing of the digestive tract
may cause starvation and malnutrition, resulting in rapid swelling from a condition known as Kwashiorkor. As an overweight mass of bile, the Boomer
may be representing “Gula,” or Gluttony. Given that Boomer bile attracts zombie hordes,
its vomit attack supports this idea. Beelzebub, the demon representing gluttony,
is also often referred to as Lord of the Flies, while having control over lesser demons
much in the same way the Boomer is the only special infected type to have indirect
control over the common infected horde. The Hunter’s mutations, on the other hand,
appear to be directly related to improved fitness, potentially related to elevated levels of lactic acid
present in a host’s bloodstream and muscles, helping to improve their strength and stamina after mutation. The Hunter may represent Superbia, or Pride and Hubris. This may also related to the demon Lucifer, the fallen angel. The Hunter, possibly a fallen survivor,
had belief in their ability to survive, as shown by the duct tape keeping the loose
sleeves tight against the Hunter’s limbs, limiting the possibility of being bitten. Before falling victim to the Green Flu, it’s possible
Hunters overestimated their own immunity, which wasn’t nearly as divine as their pride had them believe, ultimately leading to their downfall. As for the Smoker, there are a number of
theories on how this particular infected received its signature tongue, if it is a tongue at all. One theory suggests that the smoker’s
tongue is actually its intestinal tract, expelled from the body at high speeds
by inflating it with the smoke. Another theory suggests that the infection has
developed fungal-like properties within the Smoker similarly to how some real-world fungi
develop tentacle like-structures. Yet another theory suggests that the
tumorous growths on the Smoker’s face are actually muscular structures used
to propel and retract the tongue. Whatever the origin of the Smoker’s tongue, the mutation appears to be more continuous
than that of some other special infected. In Left 4 Dead 1, the Smoker features
only minor tumorous growths and a single, long tongue hanging from his mouth. In Left 4 Dead 2, however, which is set two weeks later, the Smoker features much larger facial
tumors and multiple additional tongues protruding from the Smoker’s back, head, and throat. These exaggerated mutations,
along with some slouching animations, help players quickly distinguish the
Smoker from the common infected, a visual technique Valve used to help players
identify characters by distinctive silhouettes alone, a lesson learned during the development of Team Fortress 2 which has since been applied to Left 4 Dead and Dota 2. Avaritia, or Greed and Avarice,
may be represented by the Smoker. The Smoker’s main role involves
attempting to isolate sole survivors, sometimes in ways that make it difficult or impossible for the other infected to assist with the kill. In Dictionnaire Infernal,
avarice is shown as the demon Mammon, who represents wealth in the bible. It is mentioned that Mammon taught men
to wrest away the Earth’s riches, much in the same way the Smoker
wrests away one survivor from the group. He is depicted as a man tightly gripping a sack
of money, hoarding it away from others, much in the same way the Smoker’s tongue grips a survivor. The Jockey and its under-developed legs and
hunched appearance may suggest that they are suffering from some kind of
spinal disease, growth defect, or similar disability before or after becoming infected. Luxuria, Lechery, or Lust may be represented by the Jockey as they attempt to isolate survivors
from a group for their own benefit by quite literally riding them through crowds. [Ellis from L4D2]
Is this thing humping me?! [James]
In Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal,
Asmodeus, the prince of lechery, is depicted as having chicken legs, and can be seen riding a tiger. This gave rise to his title “the devil on two sticks,”
something later translated to “the lame devil.” Spitters, similarly to Boomers, may be the result of the virus hijacking the body’s natural digestive functions,
in this case to produce stomach acid. This may be caused by an illness such as a bacterial
ulcer being present before infection with Green Flu. Burn wounds and signs of serious erosion can be seen
around the Spitter’s mouth and on her chest, suggesting that while her body is overproducing stomach acids, it is not entirely immune to their effect. The Spitter’s signature unhinged jaw appears
to be a direct result of exposure to the acid, as the gums, tongue, skin, and even part of the jawbone appear to have melted away sometime after infection. This may also be the reason the Spitter walks so erratically, as her internal cavities and muscles may
be degrading due to exposure to the acid. The spitter may represent Invidia, or Envy,
which is often represented by The Leviathan. Over time, The Leviathan, originally a depiction
of Satan, began to represent the Hellmouth, the literal mouth of hell, or “the throat of the dragon,” which fits right in as a description of the Spitter. Tanks are characterized by their extreme
aggression and large muscular frame, a mutation that could be caused by a condition
known as myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, which causes the body to produce very little myostatin, the hormone responsible for inhibiting muscle growth. These mutations and the increased
aggression are theorized to be related to the use of steroids, human growth hormones,
or creatine supplements in the bloodstream of the infected person. If a tank goes too long without hitting a survivor,
it will die quickly, seemingly out of frustration. While important for gameplay purposes, this may indicate that the tank suffers from an extreme chemical
dependency on adrenaline and catecholamine, the hormones associated with anger and aggression. However, this theory may be disproven
by the existence of the captured tank featured in “The Docks” chapter of the “The Sacrifice.” While the fresh blood on this Tank’s hands and arms could indicate that it recently killed someone or something to satisfy its frustration, it seems more likely that the Tank is bleeding
after having broken the restraints on its wrists. It’s worth noting that the Tank encountered in “The Docks” also features a Marine Corps symbol tattooed on its chest. This may further support the idea that the
Green Flu was engineered to be weaponized, as shown by a “Live Specimens” sign
sprayed onto the side of the train carriage. The Charger’s mutations, like the Tank’s, are thought to be the result of adrenaline or
steroids present in the victim’s bloodstream. However, the disproportional muscle development may be caused by steroids or drugs applied locally. The prevalence of adrenaline shots found
in Left 4 Dead 2 may be evidence of this, as CEDA may have been using adrenaline shots as
a way to treat or slow infection which backfired, accidentally creating the Charger. This may explain why the Charger is
not found in the first Left 4 Dead, since adrenaline shots were not yet available and were likely still being manufactured or distributed by CEDA. Ira, or Wrath, may be represented by both the Tank and Charger. As discussed, the Tank features a rage meter which
builds up when they have successful attacks, which on depletion, kills the Tank. They must be in a constant state of
heightened aggression in order to survive. Since Chargers are speculated to be
related to the Tanks’ mutations, affected by steroid/adrenalin shots given by CEDA, they would fall under the same classification. The Witch is unique, as she appears to
maintain some of her mental faculties more so than the other infected. Her extremely depressive state allows her to ignore survivors unless she is directly disturbed by violence,
loud noises, physical contact, or harsh lighting. She may represent Acedia, or Sloth and Discouragement. Acedia is associated with a lack of care or concern
with one’s position or condition in the world, leading to the inability to perform one’s duties in life. This depressive state can be brought on
by a biological state called Torpor, a physically inactive state observed in animals usually caused by a reduced body
temperature and metabolic rate, potentially explaining the Witch’s extremely pale skin. Torpor is often used to help animals survive
during periods of colder temperatures, as it allows them to save the energy that would normally be used to maintain a high body temperature. If the Tank expires quickly due to the overactive adrenal glands, then the relatively docile Witch, who can be
entirely bypassed if she remains unprovoked, may have a much longer lifespan,
allowing for the sickness to spread, even after all of the other infected specimens have died. Acedia is represented by the demon Belphegor, who is sometimes cited as trying to disprove
that marriage results in happiness, which may explain the significance of the Witch Bride. Regardless of their biological and cultural foundations, the special infected clearly illustrate Valve’s ability to reveal lore through gameplay and in-game imagery in very subtle ways. With last year’s leak from Valve’s project tracker JIRA hinting at Left 4 Dead 3’s development
and the recent reveal of Source 2, it will be interesting to see how the series
potentially mutates in the near future. And that brings us to the end of another
episode of ValveTime Database. Be sure to share suggestions for future
episodes in the comments below, to subscribe to our YouTube channel,
and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with all the latest
Valve news and developments. Thanks for watching and bye for now.