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Apple TV+ team boosted by hiring of Netflix platform engineer

Apple is continuing to add more employees to its roster for the Apple TV+ project, with the latest hire Ruslan Meshenberg, an engineer who worked on Netflix's streaming platform.




For quite a few years, Apple has offered consumers ways to watch and listen to content while taking advantage of streaming. While this largely consists of Apple Music, and more recently Apple TV , the need to send content from its servers to user devices is evident in other ways, including movie rentals from the iTunes store and even information for Apple Maps.

According to sources familiar with the person speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has hired Meshenberg into its internet services arm, joining the technical team working on the platform used for streaming Apple TV+ content. Meshenberg is allegedly expected to help Apple get past technical hurdles it is hitting as it builds out the platform.

Meshenberg's work at Netflix involved the expansion of that streaming service's infrastructure, ensuring video content from the service was provided to subscribers despite the massive scaling problem. This was at a time when Netflix was starting to operate in more than 50 countries at the same time, with over one billion hours of programming streamed to users each week.

The engineer's work mainly involved making the service faster for users to access, and more consistent with fewer instances of downtime. Meshenberg's contribution helped give Netflix a reputation of being practically always available at all times, with a very resilient distribution network.

The hiring of Meshenberg is credited to Michael Abbott, a former VP of engineering for Twitter that Apple hired away in 2019. Abbott was reportedly granted more responsibility for Apple's internet operations, which required more experienced engineers to be added to the team.

While the addition of an engineer from Netflix may primarily assist Apple's video streaming efforts, lessons learned in its improvement could easily be repurposed by teams for other online services, to minimize future unavailability issues.