How the people of programmatic describe their jobs at parties

July 13, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By TradeDesk

Once upon a time, it was impolite to ask someone new what they did for a living. In 2016 it’s one of the first questions you’re asked—right between “What’s your name?” and “Are you on Snapchat?” It’s a question more easily answered for some than others. Say you work in advertising and people picture Mad Men. But if you work in advertising technology, you may have a lot of explaining to do before the second drink.

Ad tech is growing fast, and creating distinct, multifaceted and highly coveted job descriptions. But just how do these jobs vary from data analysis to product design, engineering to sales? We caught up with three team members at The Trade Desk who explained what they do and how they convey the details of their role at a cocktail party.

Jeremy Buch, senior software development engineer

How would you tell a non-industry friend what you do?

I tell them that we provide the functionality that lets advertisers know where to reach the people that they’re advertising to.  We can figure out if someone is near a Target, or in a coffee shop, or whether they are interested in basketball, or have a certain median income range.

What’s on your to-do list?

We start the day with our morning scrum. Then I usually contact our partners to do some testing and ask questions and log into our data centers in Tokyo, Toronto, or Singapore. I check in with the guys who work on our databases in Australia, work with our team in California to resolve any issues, then it’s all programming, testing, debugging and production. We gather logs, look at how products perform and send test data. Then somewhere between 3:30 and 5 pm someone will send out the message saying “I’m ready for a beer.”

What’s the most important thing you do every day?

Honestly it’s the social things we do. We’ll often head out for lunch as a group, or share a bottle of wine. We sometimes have these giant Nerf battles. I think [the fun stuff] is really important.

What’s the most exciting challenge you’ve solved recently?

One of the guys on the integrations team was getting this multi-gig text file from a data partner who was pushing us data. Then, he had to go through and basically use a text editor to clean up the data. It was taking them days to get that stuff done.

I was excited by this. I thought, “Okay, spend a little bit of time after work building a tool.” I think it took an hour and a half, and it completes the work that previously took days in about seven seconds. That’s what I love the best.

What keeps you motivated?

I really enjoy knowing that I have the opportunity to use my skills or talents to make life easier for someone else and to do what I can to help them. I’d say that’s one of the big wins.

Ephraim Albaro, data specialist

How would you explain what you do at …read more

Source:: Digiday