When it comes to picking a company to work for, a software engineer in Silicon Valley is like a kid in a candy store – there are simply too many choices. When I was contacted by Quantcast’s SVP of Publisher, Sam Barnett, I had been a Data Engineer at Facebook for two and a half years. I spent a large majority of my time building tools for internal data consumption and was comfortable. But due to the fine division of labor in large companies, engineers tend to do similar work for extended periods, without much growth in skillset. So I was open to looking at new opportunities.
People looking for job opportunities often think in terms of small versus large companies, but I had my eye on an organization that provided me with the benefits of both – a mid-sized company. Working for a company that hasn’t gotten so large that you have to jump through heaps of red tape to get something done or a company so small that you’re not sure if you’ll still have a job at the end of the quarter, is the perfect, win-win solution. Plus, more often than not, a mid-sized company hasn’t completely matured, so employees still have room to grow and can truly leave their mark.
I was casually interviewing with small and mid-sized companies and was specifically looking for organizations that were financially secure, had a social culture, and worked with cutting-edge technologies. Quantcast stood out as a viable option among a plethora of mid-sized candidates.
My first impression of Quantcast was its clean, spacious, and cool office. Armed with the knowledge of how expensive office space is in San Francisco, the bright and sophisticated space gave me a lot of confidence in the company’s financial situation. In Quantcast’s case, it had its last round of funding in 2011 – a positive sign that the business is good and the company has enough funds.
I was also drawn to the technologies used by Engineering. The team was using technologies like – AWS tools (Kinesis, Redis, Dynamo, and EC2), Jenkins, Docker, Salt, Terraform, Scala, and Golang. These are all highly marketable skills that I knew could benefit me in the long run.
Before joining Quantcast, I also attended a Friday Beer Cart event where I got the chance to experience the company’s funs culture first-hand. While having good food and drinks, I met many interesting people including several former employees. After talking to them, it was clear that Quantcast remained their top choice as a place to socialize and hang out with friends.
I am happy to say that I joined Quantcast as a Senior Software Engineer 10 months ago and have been learning new skills ever since – it’s like drinking from a firehose! Engineers here become well-rounded because we all work on projects end to end. These skills are essential for any engineer who wants to work on a side project or decide to start a company of their own.
I look forward to continuing to pick up new skills and having more bandwidth to think about the company’s big picture and how my engineering work fits into it. Quantcast is an exciting and dynamic business and in the end, I couldn’t be happier about my move.