They seem to have better practices than most businesses.
Also, btw, they have gay porn on youporn, so they're equal opportunity, they're not just exploiting women.
Anyway, not sure if this is OT or not, so I'll stop here. :-)
Catalyst is so great. With Catalyst 5.8 I get Moosey controllers, which means my Perl 5 doesn't have to suck anymore because I can use Moose objects. Someone finally took a look at the framework developments in Ruby and Python and brought sanity to web development in Perl.
If it weren't for Catalyst, I'd have bailed from Perl a long time ago. It lets you build web apps that don't suck. Catalyst is 'unopinionated', it just gives you a minimal framework for building MVC web apps, with plugins to accomplish common tasks. Catalyst doesn't care what view or model you use. It is totally view/model agnostic. There are several good options for ORMs to databases, but its trivial to write a model wrapper around whatever you want. I wrote one for SimpleDB very easily.
While there are better options for doing Simple CRUD, Catalyst is quite good at building more complex web apps, and it lets me leverage the CPAN, the world's largest module repository, to get things done faster.
I love Catalyst. I won't bother trying to convince anyone that its the BEST web app framework, but I will say that its good enough to make Perl an option for new projects again.
However, as ScottWhigham mentioned (and IMHO of course) there's something desperate about working on porn, and it's not something most businesses want to see in a portfolio. EVER. Therefore, you're just collecting a paycheck UNLESS you're committing to porn industry as a career (more power to you, no judgement here). Furthermore, I think my greater concern is not knowing where some of the porn originates from in regard to under age victims, etc... and that just bothers the heck out of me.
I personally think it's one of the most difficult types of sites to tackle as a developer, and takes a great deal of experience and responsibility.
It's not the greatest industry to work in, and can be a little sweatshoppy, but it's a decent stepping stone for bigger and better things.
My background is in design, which in this regard is a little different than what goes on behind the scenes to deliver [insert ambiguous video content here]. Porn is graphic, and masking around man's lower thunder is not something most people want to do unless they have to. That was the point of my desperation comment from a straight-male's perspective.
I head up the development group for one of the larger set of adult sites on the web and my LinkedIn profile shows explicitly who my employer is. Before I forgot to turn off "Looking for new opportunities" I was contacted by a couple of top 20 traffic sites and one very large consumer device company about management opportunities there. They cited specific details in my current position as to why they were contacting me.
As some others have said in their posts before we deal with extremely high traffic, low latency sites, we tend to have a lot of integration behind the scenes, we work with extensive traffic affiliation programs and we know exactly how much our downtime costs. We also probably pay more attention to web analytics than most shops do as well.
It tends to be a bit more chaotic that most of my other jobs but I figure it's preparing me quite well for the future and my next employer will reap the benefits of this experience.
Granted I also wouldn't want to work for a company that would be biased against a designer who did adult work, so for me personally, it makes sense. If you have hesitations, I would fully recommend passing on working in adult.
I would say this is quite good to have in ANY portofolio. And, if somebody disregards anybody with this experience only because it was a pr0n site... well, worse for them.
but. "desperate?" no, i don't agree with that. saying that working for a porn company is an act of desperation is part of a self-perpetuating cycle that keeps porn ghetto-ized.
Interesting tid-bit I learned from friends that have worked in the industry: supposedly most industry execs are in fact women running the show.
> ...hundreds of millions of pageviews per day.
So, is YouPorn the largest site run by Catalyst, Rails, or Django?
Society has a nasty habit of grossly overreacting to things that are "in bad taste" by calling names and condemning them, as long as it's politically correct and trendy to do so.
Porn at least doesn't claim to be something it's not.
Would you really think less of someone who took a technical web job with youporn, when there are sites like eharmony out there? i.e. how many people go to youporn and say "what a horrible site, experience, and waste of money" compared to Eharmony?
...they're also competing with a nearly infinite supply of free, amateur videos from countless user-generated sites
Consumption of porn is recession proof. The business of professional porn generation is not. Like other produced content, it is suffering from democratized tools of generation and dissemination.
I suspect that you'll see a gradual drop-off in the number of adult tube sites because there are only so many affiliate programs around and if the conversion rates continue to drop, especially for mainstrain porn they just won't have enough money to pay their server and bandwidth costs and still make enough money to survive.
Some of them have hybrid business models, some just host blatant pirated content, some are trying to do things right...it's a real mix out there.
I used to regularly speak with some people at a financial company that processes most of the payments from porn sites to their affiliates. After Neteller (the massive processor of financial transactions to/from gambling sites) withdrew from the US market due to the UIGEA, the company I knew took a good chunk of their business and was probably the industry's largest third party payment processor, easily handling 10-20% of all transactions. But when the lawsuits started flying at other gaming companies, they dropped that line of business instantly because they didn't want to lose their US porn affiliate processing business. It was considerably larger.
Much of the reason is that porn sites have high retention, high prices ($35-$40/mo is not uncommon) and pay their affiliates ridiculous rev share like 80% for the large ones. So an affiliate who refers a successful customer could easily make $20-$30/mo for a year or two off him. That's just a tremendous amount of cash.
Until I was told that, I believed gambling would rule the internet.
I used to send some traffic to a Bingo website, and I think you got £25 per signup, but then 50% of all future losses for the lifetime of that player. After only a couple of months that revenue share (%loss) was making up hundreds of £/month for doing nothing. I'm sure it's pretty similar for paid porn sites.
They'd have to be doing something seriously wrong to be losing money in that sector.
Interestingly though gambling sites still only pay, at best, about half the rev share I've heard porn sites pay their top affiliates. I was one of a few poker sites' largest (generating them hundreds of thousands in rev monthly) and got somewhere between 35 and 40 percent typically. From what I heard from my friends in the financial industry, in porn you can get 85% if you're large enough.
It's baffling to me that a company that serves up web video can make serious profits even while giving 85% of their revenue away.
Now my revenues and margins are considerably smaller than they were back then. I could maybe, with full time effort over a long period, have rebuilt, but I didn't bother because of the general instability of the industry. I'll pass the opportunity to get on a soap box about our government's stupidity here, but suffice it to say the Bush DoJ (and maybe Obama's too, not sure yet) made the business seem a less worthwhile investment than something not in such a legal minefield.
I do bet YouPorn has trouble converting ads though since they give everything away and have huge foreign traffic (80+ percent is foreign). And as an Alexa top #100 site the expense does have to be massive.
There was a great article about YouPorn a while back that talked some numbers:
They tried to sell to Vivid, but Vivid balked because of legalities (hard to comply with the law with user generated porn). Back then they were doing $120k a month in advertising.
What are they going to do to pass the time!?
millions of page views, tons of data and metrics to track... damn, it has more interesting problems than most startups.
now let's say i try that same experiment with porn. i have a specific type of thing in mind, type the necessary search terms, and quickly find myself drowning in unsavory-looking link farms, deceptive advertising, phishing and spyware attempts, and skeevy-looking pages that make me never want to contemplate sex again for the rest of my life.
this is why i say that porn is "ghetto." i'm sure there are hard-working companies in the industry. but if this is the state of the art, those reputable purveyors are quickly going to get pulled down to everybody else's level.
if people could work in porn without besmirching their reputations forever, THEN the industry could start cleaning up its act.