Live My Life: Tech at Work4

February 20, 2014 5:47 pm Published by Joy Galia Meyouhas

You can never truly  know what it means to work at a startup company until you’ve had the opportunity to experience it firsthand. Since joining Work4, I’ve been able to benefit from a variety of perks: catered lunches, free snacks, flexible hours, etc. But aside from the perks, I’ve been able to grow and learn about an industry which I previously had no knowledge. Last Thursday, I was given the chance to “Live the Life” of some of my coworkers.

My choice? The Tech team. The brainiacs. The men and women behind the madness. The opportunity to learn how our developers work their magic to produce and maintain our products was the best headache I’ve ever had!

Live My Life: Tech at Work4

I first met with Olivier, our master of technology (i.e. CTO). He broke down the different groups that make up the tech team and explained each of their responsibilities. Not only was I completely unaware of how many different teams our technology department comprised, but I also hadn’t realized that the majority of our engineers are actually in Paris. Olivier showed me how each team keeps each other in check through a series of systems and processes on a master site called Jira. And, damn, are they tech-savvy!

Next I met with Sophie, who was able to explain (in layman’s terms) what code was and how she was using it to develop our ad targeting efforts. Facebook had just sent her new documentation, as well as adjustments that could be made in order to enhance where and whom we were targeting.   

Coding to the right of Sophie was my next instructor: Jean. Jean is a part of our Development and Opertations team. The Dev Ops team members are the guys behind the scenes. The best way to describe this team is they’re each equipped with a cloak of invisibility, and if any part of them shows, something’s going wrong.

First, Jean drew me a schema of the databases that they use and explained the importance of each for different functions. (Computers sure do have a lot of conversations.) Then, Jean directed my attention to a massive T.V. screen that featured about fifteen different graphs (see above image). Each graph represented a system and displayed different inflections. A bug can be found when there is a higher peak over a certain amount of time. The higher the peak, the more concern.  

Following my chat with Jean, I went to find Sergio, our Imports and Exports expert who is visiting from Paris. Sergio also drew me a lovely picture as he began to describe teeny tiny search engines called “spiders.” Each spider is coded differently in order to know what to look for and how to read it. Our Imports and Exports team uses them to gather information from our clients’ job listings and career sites in order to build their Facebook Career Pages! Who would’ve thought that “spiders” were such a necessary entity?  

To finish off my day, I finally got to code! (Yippee!) Olivier showed me this handy-dandy site called codecademy.com where I learned basic coding language. My final task of the day was to build a plugin for our blog.

Overall, this experience was both eye-opening and extremely rewarding. To get the chance to step out of my comfort zone (Marketing) and into something that was completely mystifying and previously unimaginable was just plain awesome. I am so grateful that the Tech team took time out of their hectic schedules to explain their world to me. Who knows—you may have a future tech-whiz on your hands!

Joy

This post was written by Joy Galia Meyouhas