Best Job Ever - Foursquare
Foursquare is revolutionizing the mobile socializing scene and we’re meeting up with a couple folks from the team who make it all happen. Anoop, one of Foursquares Software Engineers and his boss Harry discuss where this new technology is taking them, and how they’re taking over the world one check in at a time.
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Dice: I'm here with the big ample offices of Foursquare to talk to Software Engineer Anoop Ranganath and Lead Server Engineer Harry Heymann about what makes working here the best job ever. I'm here with Harry Heymann, Harry what you do here at Foursquare?
Harry Heymann: So, I am the lead server engineer. So, I have a team of eight people including myself and I basically make sure that everyone on my team has clear goals and its working in a good direction and sort of lead the engineering division for the service side of Foursquare.
Dice: Gotcha and for anybody who is not familiar with Foursquare can you tell us a little bit about what it is?
Harry Heymann: Yeah, so Foursquare is a tool basically for making cities easier to use. It helps you keep in touch with your friends better and know when they are out and about doing interesting things and it helps you find out new and interesting things that you could do in your city. And then if you gotten to do them Foursquare actually rewards you for going to do that by getting batches and points and little toys like that or also with real rewards like a free coffee or you get to skip the line in a busy restaurant.
Dice: So how do then you fit into the day-to-day operations here?
Harry Heymann: So Anoop is actually a little bit of a bridge between the client team and the server team. My general theory for hiring engineers is we get smart people that have done good things from the past, we have new good things for you too, whether it's a different language or different technologies or different problems that doesn't really matter, people that are good engineers can be good engineers on anything.
Dice: I'm joined now by Anoop Ranganath who is a software engineer here at Foursquare, thanks for being with us today.
Anoop Ranganath: No problem.
Dice: It's a very unique product so I would imagine that there are some unique day-to-day things that you do as a software engineer for Foursquare. Can you tell us a little bit about your day-to-day?
Anoop Ranganath: I work on the iPhone app and I help maintain the API for the client developers. So we have kind of our client team and our server team and then our server team, we've been growing really quickly and then we're spending a lot of time, you know handling that growth and then our client team is all about new devices you know pack as much functionality in there as we can.
Dice: And what kind of technologies do you guys used to develop Foursquare?
Anoop Ranganath: Its Scala the programming language using the lift web framework and our backend storage is Host-press and we are slowly moving that over to MongoDB.
Dice: So when somebody sees a job that requires just like a lot of different specific technologies do you feel like you have to have a full understanding among those or can you jump in?
Anoop Ranganath: I think you can always jump in, you know if you've been programming for a while then you kind of like, realize their patterns I mean when you are especially when you are talking about web technology that's like in the end they all do the same thing you know. Web browser sends a request and they setup a response and its just what happens in between that's different so its usually not that difficult to like ramp up on new web technology special.
Dice: And you, in your job history you worked at companies of different sizes what's the difference in working like a very large company like a Google?
Harry Heymann: Yeah, so I mean I worked to Google, I worked at Microsoft and it's really tremendously different. You know the individual responsibility that you have in a company of this small is much, much, much greater. You know in Google I could be the best employee ever, the worst employee ever and its only going to have so much aback from a 10,000 person company, at Foursquare with only 20 people you know I have a huge impact on the company.
Dice: And what kind of new stuff are you working on in the future?
Harry Heymann: Well there is all kinds of stuff, working on tools to make brands we have to leverage Foursquare better, we are going to work on some tools to help people plan for the future will able to suggest, like hey a bunch of your friends have been to this bar and you haven't been yet, may be you would like it too, really all kinds of interesting stuff, it's going to come down to pipe in the next six months or so.
Dice: You guys have a really robust public API, what are some of the cool things that you are seeing come out of that?
Harry Heymann: Yeah, so our API that's available to the public is the exact same API that's used up by our in house clients and people are building games on top of our API, people are building data visualization tools on top of the API, people are building clients for mobile devices that are the most popular. You know people are coming up with stuff everyday that we just never would have thought of internally because we have this API that is you know very powerful.
Dice: Speaking all this growth and like all the cool stuff you guys have going on, what is the best thing about working here, what makes it the best job ever?
Anoop Ranganath: I mean we are working on Foursquare you know it's just a such a exciting product and this place is so exciting and you know the enthusiasm that our users have its just great. So and I love the guys I work with and I love you know working on the product.
Dice: Awesome, well Anoop thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it.
Harry Heymann: Thank you.
Dice: Who wouldn't want to work there right, but it takes more than technical skill and experience to work in a place like Foursquare you are going to need creativity and the ability to think outside the box. You think you have what it takes then head to our sponsor dice.com where they have 1000s of available software engineering positions, check it out, you might just find your best job ever.
Best Job Ever - Foursquare
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