By Prachi Mishra, Marketing Manager
For any technology start-up, engineers are at the heart of the product. Without a solid engineering team, it’s quite difficult to build and maintain a solid, stable product that truly adds value, and possibly even disrupts an industry.
Today, we start a two-part series with Paul Bergeron, the Director of Engineering at Triggit. Paul’s main responsibilities include maintaining and improving our existing platform, building out a scalable architecture for future product growth, and leading novice developers in designing impactful, scalable solutions. Today, he talks us through his typical day in his life as our software engineer at an ad tech start-up that never really sleeps.
Have a question you’d like to ask Paul? Feel free to comment on the article or tweet to our handle, @triggit, and we’ll have him answer it in Part II of our interview with him!
Prachi Mishra: Thanks so much for sitting down with me today! Mind walking me through a typical day for you at Triggit?
Paul Bergeron: Sure, my pleasure. I generally get into office around 9:30 and head straight to the kitchen for breakfast and the lifeblood of any engineer, coffee. I then turn my computer on and check for anything that may have happened overnight. Given our system, a lot of automated fail overs kick on, that can’t be kicked on more than once, so we basically afford ourselves the ability to respond to critical situations during the day while we’re working.
The next item on the agenda is a daily sync-up with our product guy, Mike Winters, to make sure we’re aligned with product direction. Especially when you’re building out a product, keeping the focus on the right direction is key. I try to make sure we’re doing the things that need to be done, while also making sure that those things we’re doing are the right things, aligned with the company’s larger goals.
My conversations with Mike are also to see what’s working, what isn’t; it’s like a mini version of our weekly product planning meeting. These meetings help with the heavy touch projects that need to happen throughout the week.
Then, I generally get on a hiring call. We are really focused on growing the team right now given the number of projects on the horizon.
PM: What projects are you working on right now?
PB: It’s always a variety of things, generally including critical fixes, non-critical fixes, data fixes, and new work.
Currently I’m working on improvements to our client side reporting, supporting David Leung with RedShift queries and related projects to test that.
I’m also building an image previewer. At present, a lot of our clients don’t have images in the same format. Each image might not be the correct size or format for FBX, so we have to resize and configure images.
A typical day tends to include various fixes for whatever pops up. I’m currently doing a data repair for a query that was building an aggregate table for internal debugging that had an issue, so we’re rebuilding that.
PM: Sounds like you get a huge variety in your projects – that probably helps keep things interesting. So now, on to lunch?
PB: Yes, at lunch I try to sit with a non-Engineer at least once a week. I make a point to try to be a part of the team holistically. We recently added an Accounts-Eng lunch once a week, so we can have even more frequent communication with our Accounts team, and I attend those as well.
After lunch, it’s normal for the Eng team to go grab a coffee most days. Our two spots are Cumaica & Gas Lamp Cafe, the latter which has Blue Bottle’s New Orleans’ style ice coffee – primo!
PM: Blue Bottle’s New Orlean’s style ice coffee is hard to beat. So once you’re all fueled, what does the second half of your day like?
PB: That’s when I get most of my coding work done. I do the bulk of my “new work,” most of which I described earlier along with other enhancements, sometimes even brand new products. While I get a lot done in the morning, the afternoons are usually when I get back to working on what I want to get done.
I also use the afternoons for stand-ups with my teammates; it’s good to check in with everyone, see what’s going on with their projects and make sure we’re working cohesively as a team. That about wraps up my day!
PM: Sounds like no two days are quite like another, in the best way possible. Thank you, Paul, for sitting down with me today! Looking forward to our Q&A soon!
PB: Thanks, Prachi. It was my pleasure.
Be sure to check in for Part 2: Q&A session with Paul.