alex engineering

Alex from our Engineering: We’re building the Formula 1 of Influencer Marketing

On the surface, Matchmade is all about Influencer Marketing, campaigns, and measurement, but behind the scenes, powering all that is an impressive amount of technology. In this blog series, we peek behind the scenes and interview the fantastic folks from our engineering team. Hope you enjoy! Got some questions you’d like to ask? Drop us a line at hello@matchmade.tv

To kick things off, we sat down with Alex, one of our full-stack (from React client to Terraform config) developers who has been on board since the beginning. Without further ado…

 

What are you currently working on?

A new set of tools for people who manage the business-side of things for the influencers. It’s kinda taking what we already have for the individual influencers, and making everything work smoothly for 100X volume, both performance, and workflow wise.

 

“I can ship a new feature in the morning, after lunch have comments from real users, and deploy tweaks already in the afternoon”

 

This has been fun, as I’m not just coding up features, but figuring out customer problems and then solving those. Of course, I’m not doing all that alone. We’ve formed a separate task force consisting of myself, a designer and folks from the business team providing customer insights and expertise. We’re working on this as a team, so I’m not doing just engineering but also talking with customers and deciding what we should be building.

Oh and speaking of customers, one of the perks of building products for dedicated power users is that they are more than happy to provide constant feedback. I can ship a new feature in the morning, after lunch have comments from real users, and deploy tweaks already in the afternoon. Talk about a fast feedback loop!

 

What’s the coolest thing you’ve built at Matchmade?

Hmm, so much to choose from! That would probably be the “modify offer” view for our campaign negotiation tool. At first, it doesn’t sound fascinating and essentially, like many software problems, boils down to being a glorified form. But, it ties together a lot of moving parts, so there’s a lot of interactivity between the different toggles and knobs. And it probably has more buttons than a Formula 1 wheel! It’s also a business-critical component where our customers negotiate and close deals with big budgets, so it was satisfying to finally ship it.

One aspect I enjoyed in this project was the fact that we ended up rewriting the view and its components a couple of times. It’s hard to get the design right from the get-go, so having the time to iterate, experiment and (if needed) refactor old code means that problems don’t pile up.

 

You’ve been at Matchmade since the early days, any cool war stories?

Not sure if I have anything coding-related, but one cool thing about startups is that you get exposed to a wide variety of issues, not just the technical stuff. Back in the early days, in our first “basement” office, we were battling with the landlord over the heating system, as they claimed it was at maximum, while inside it was barely 19 degrees Celsius [literally, a cool war story!]. After a while, they accidentally (or “accidentally”?) found a way to fix the problem by turning the heating up a notch, resulting in a nice and warm 30 degrees in our office!

Eventually, the issue was solved, and luckily we don’t battle with such problems anymore. Since then we’ve moved into a proper and much cooler (in all meanings of the word) office. But, the hands-on culture is still alive.

 

Why Matchmade?

Is “the people and interesting tech” too cliche?

No, but seriously, I think it’s cool how we have smart people and from such diverse backgrounds. If you want to know something, whether it’s the best place to grab beers in San Francisco, tips for Postgres performance tuning or life of a professional e-sports player, there’s an expert in the house.

I also enjoy how tech-wise we’re able to experiment and be on the bleeding edge, if it makes sense. I used to work in the healthcare sector where (justifiably) the tech choices were very conservative. Of course, we don’t spend all of our time just chasing the new shiny objects, but it’s great to have the freedom and autonomy to choose freely if needed.

 

Favorite blog post, technical or not?

That would probably be Wait but why’s “Why procrastinators procrastinate“. Introspection is essential, and I think this post provides an interesting point that can be applied to both everyday life and also how engineering teams work.

 

How about the favorite YouTube channel?

Heh, of course! Outside of work, I play in a band, and I follow a bunch of music-related channels. Paul Davis’ guitar channel is awesome, and then there’s this dude, Wintergatan, who builds his own musical machines.

Speaking of the band, we’re launching our new album on Spotify in a few weeks, can we add a link there? My bandmates will appreciate the free advertising [Sure thing: here’s the link to Spotify, or the same in YouTube, enjoy!]

 

Any other questions you think would be interesting for this blog?

You didn’t ask about my stance on the vim / emacs debate, but I guess it makes sense, as vim is such a clear winner. Now that I think of it, I don’t know that anyone at Matchmade would use emacs, but would love to welcome such colleagues, too.

 


 

Alex actually is on the lookout for new colleagues. If you, or someone you know, enjoy tackling a variety of technical challenges and working closely with customers, we should talk. Our tech stack includes e.g. TypeScript, Python, Node.js and PostgreSQL, but we also don’t really care if you have experience in these particular technologies or not, as good engineers can pick up things quickly, and also teach us something new. Check out our open positions or pop us an email to careers@matchmade.tv