You may encounter the Sales team, work directly with Onboarding and Sales, but behind our products is the team who builds it. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. If we’ve launched a new offering, it’s because our Engineering team has worked endlessly to see it come to life. If you’re a Sortable publisher and had any issues with your site or reporting, our Engineering team is in the background fixing it.
I’m very happy to introduce you to Daniel Rodríguez, Engineering Manager at Sortable. Daniel has been with Sortable for several years now starting as your average software developer and now, has grown into a managerial position.
Let’s meet Daniel!
What do you do at Sortable?
I’m an Engineering Manager at Sortable so my role is divided between management and technical. For the management side of my role, it’s my job to ensure that the team is on track with our work, all team members are happy, and to assist with anything blocking the teams progress whether that’s internal (ex. waiting on another team for feedback) or external (ex. waiting for a demand partner). I also take the lead in coordinating with our Product team to ensure that my team is aligned with the roadmap, and a check to ensure that the features we’re delivering have value to our publishers.
From the technical side, I help define the direction of our product; working closely with our Product team. I’ve been at Sortable for over 4 years now which has allowed me to understand the industry, what our customers need, and a better insight into the roadmap.
Favourite part of the Engineering team?
I think my favourite part of the Engineering team is that there’s always something to do because we’re a startup and relatively small. There are so many directions we could be moving in or even where the company can go. When I take a look at other companies or even spoken with friends about their roles, it’s very structured so that you have dedicated teams for almost every facet of the business. That isn’t the case at Sortable – we do everything in Engineering (front-end and back-end, database and data warehousing). We don’t have separate teams for those, so it’s great to be able to touch all the pieces and really develop well-rounded skills and a faster pace.
What’s the biggest thing you enjoy about working with your team?
The biggest thing I enjoy is that everyone has a different persona and we compliment each other. When we start having a discussion, sometimes they get too technical or sometimes it’s the opposite. The discussions also range from industry-related topics to everyday things like earthquakes or baseball. So it’s great to be surrounded by people who you can have different conversations with.
Another thing I really enjoy about the team is that we’re all willing to help each other. If I’m stuck on something, a piece of code, for example, I can easily go to someone else on the team and there will always be someone willing to help.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day usually starts off by looking at emails and calendar in the morning – just asking myself “what’s going on for today?” Some days I have sync up meetings with the Engineering management team to get an idea of what other teams are working on and to keep them updated on what’s happening with my team. After my management meeting, I like to communicate the high-level visions of Sortable down to my team. It’s a great way for me to keep my team excited about what we’re working on and more importantly, why we’re working it. Throughout the week, I also mix in 1:1s with different members of the team to get a pulse check on how they’re doing or if there’s something bothering them. When I’m not in meetings, I’m usually helping my team carry out key tasks.
What’s your favourite part about working at Sortable?
My favourite part about working at Sortable would have to be the speed. It’s a fast-paced environment. It doesn’t take us an extended period of time to do something. Once we agree on something, we move really quickly – that’s our way of working. It’s part of our nature and our systems to act on them quickly and safely. It’s not a matter of moving fast and being reckless, but preventing errors and recovering quickly from errors.
What do you think sets Sortable apart from the rest in terms of product?
I think what sets Sortable apart from the rest is that our analytics platform is fairly unique compared to what’s available. When you look at what partners offer, some data points aren’t visible in their UI or their UI is very basic in terms of available metrics and dimensions. Our analytics allows our publishers to be able to ask, “why did it drop” or “why did that happen?” They can easily log in and be able to see what they need and the same data our team has access to.
What trend or industry change are you looking forward to the most that is going to impact our product?
The industry change I’m looking forward to the most is definitely a cookieless world especially since we see browsers heading that way. It’s going to be a gamechanger for sure! We’re trying to adapt ourselves to be prepared and working on, for example, contextual ads.
What do you like most about Ad Tech? What do you like least?
What I like most about Ad Tech is the amount of data we deal with on the Engineering team. It’s something to see! We’re talking about 7 billion data points that come into our data lake – that’s crazy! That’s one of the exciting things I like and being part of building that is just amazing.
What I like least about Ad Tech is that because it’s a new industry, regulations are being written in the present. It’s like fixing a car while it’s already running. It’s frustrating to see regulators agree on something and then they change their mind. It keeps us on our toes! This motivates us to be prepared and ready to tackle industry changes as quickly as possible.
What advice would you give someone going into Ad Tech or starting at Sortable?
The advice I would give someone going into Ad Tech is trying to just understand Ad Tech as a whole. For me, I was focusing on the technical side of Ad Tech and not from the bigger picture. If I knew what Ad Tech was from the beginning it would’ve been way easier to understand how the tech works. If you’re starting at Sortable, I highly recommend taking a look at our Knowledge Base about Ad Tech and Sortable.
As someone who has been at Sortable for some time, what have you enjoyed about seeing Sortable grow?
As I mentioned, I’ve been at Sortable for over 4 years now and it’s been great seeing how publishers are using our product in ways I didn’t intend them to do. When you build something, you expect them to use it a specific way and then you see them using it in a different and clever way. I enjoy seeing our product being used in different ways and when we see that, then we can start working on improving those features and sometimes, they actually become game-changers or the feature that we thought wouldn’t be so popular.
Looking for a role in Software Development? Our Engineering team is currently hiring. Check out our open roles at www.sortable.com/careers.