Meet Chango: Spotlight on Tim Spurway from our development team
This month we are featuring Tim Spurway from the development team in Toronto. Previous employees featured include Mazdak Rezvani, Makiko Cronin, Martha Twidale, Ben Plomion, Julian Mossanen, Jon Mayo and Frank Matticola.
What is your role at Chango?
I was the first employee at Chango. Chris and I wrote some of the very early versions of our software at a café on Front Street here in Toronto. It’s incredible to see how much we’ve grown in a few short years.
I am a software engineer. I helped design and have committed code to almost every Chango sub-system. As the team has grown, my role has become more specialized. I am currently in charge of our Large Data infrastructure, which is a big cluster of machines running software to make sense of the massive amount of data we have to deal with (around 15 billion discrete data points daily). I wrote a rule based Map/Reduce framework (we call it Inferno), to help with this task. Earlier this year, we released Inferno as an open source project (http://inferno.readthedocs.org)
Why would you say Chango is different than other retargeting companies?
Chango is a software company, so we are going to tackle problems a lot differently than, say, an agency that is trying to piece together their own RTB system. We realized early on that we could achieve a competitive advantage by building custom sub-systems, rather than choosing off-the-shelf RTB components. It was more work, but gives our customers a huge advantage in visibility into all the phases of their campaigns. Because we control all of the points of interaction (data collection, bidding, ad serving, and conversion processing), we can cross-reference this data, often in real-time, to provide superior performance.
What keeps you awake at night?
I worry about scaling almost as much as I worry about complexity. It doesn’t help that these forces typically have a proportional relationship. The engineering team has been asked over and over to solve borderline impossible problems. We have consistently responded with elegant solutions that continue to scale to whatever gets thrown at them.
Why is Chango such an awesome place to work?
There are a lot of reasons to love working at Chango from the great office space to the satisfaction of working on very interesting engineering problems, but the people who work here are really what make Chango awesome. We have somehow hired the smartest, most interesting, and fun bunch of people in the industry.
What is your favorite question on Quora?
Here’s an hour of fun on Quora: http://www.quora.com/The-Big-Lebowski-1998-movie/best_questions