Ezi Boteach VP of R&D at Playbuzz
Ezi Boteach is the VP R&D at Playbuzz, a digital authoring platform that empowers publishers, marketers and brands to create engaging, interactive content. In his role, Ezi oversees the development team, the production site, IT and support.
Playbuzz has grown rapidly since its emergence back in December of 2013. At the current day, Playbuzz is has an impressive portfolio of partners including HBO, American Express, The Huffington Post, Unilever, Ford and Cosmopolitan amongst others. With over 100k creators in their community, publishing content in more than 40 languages across the world, Playbuzz’s growth shows no signs of relenting.
DiscoverSDK is excited to launch the first of many future interviews with leading developers around the world! Each interview will focus on questions that relate to the developmental aspect of Start-ups and established ventures. Let’s jump to our first question:
- Ezi, as the VP of R&D What type of qualities do you look for when you're recruiting new developers to your team?
In order to better understand the logic behind our recruiting process, one must first familiarize themselves with the Playbuzz spirit, which is all about quick responsiveness and creative thinking. We expect our employees - developers or otherwise - to embody that spirit and to not only think outside the box, but take their ideas to the next level by executing creative solutions to fit the market’s ever-changing needs.
We learned that not everyone is cut out for the pace and approach we demand, and so we focus on that more than anything else. We are always looking for entrepreneurial spirits who truly care about their work and take pride in it, are street-smart and have a can-do attitude. We hire people who focus on the product as a whole, and not just the code. That is, of course, in addition to being brilliant programmers.
- With regards to development, how do you measure success at Playbuzz?
Though we appreciate and encourage free-form creativity, we set very clear and structured KPIs for success. First, we strive for constant growth in terms of pageviews, customer engagement and satisfaction, and the number of partners we collaborate with. Second, and more specific to the R&D team, we focus on code quality, on-time delivery, system uptime and last but certainly not least, our employees’ happiness.
- What disciplines would you suggest a new developer focus on when starting down the path of programming?
There are so many possible directions for programmers who are just starting out, and it’s easy to get a bit flustered. Some of the more important questions that programmers should be asking themselves have less to do with coding, and more to do with the type of organization they wish to be a part of and the sort of work that will allow them to turn their passion into their daily job.
Ask yourself: Are you a technology geek? Do you care most about the user experience, the product? Are you happiest when working in a startup or corporate environment? Your workplace satisfaction is comprised of many different aspects, so try not to get carried away with what others have to say and really think of what fits your personality.
- How does Playbuzz’s current stage of program development compare with the stage it was at when you first opened Playbuzz? Has it stayed around the same architecture, or have you completely rebuilt it since becoming a giant?
I would say that the company’s DNA has not changed. We still move fast, work as a team and aim to get things done. As far as the architecture and technology goes, we are transitioning from a MSFT shop, and are currently in the process of building a distributed architecture based on micro-services using Node.JS and Angular.
- Were there major programmatic changes needed once you initially brought your product to the market?
We were lucky enough to have a live product up and running and at a large scale from very early on, and thus, the product is constantly being refined based on audience feedback and our roadmap. Once again, the biggest change is transitioning to distributed micro-services based architecture.
- What development tool / SDK / Library would you recommend using?
Any recommendations in this area very much depend on the organization's specific technology and needs. Generally speaking, I would recommend that large scale technologies are built using as much caching as possible. We use Redis heavily, with two CDN providers for static and dynamic content, which allow us to keep our operations running smoothly at a relatively low cost. This is probably our biggest technological advantage, as it enables us to collaborate with large publishers without having to worry about the cost.
Ezi thank you very much for taking your time and talking with us!
Stay tuned for upcoming interviews by DiscoverSDK and in the meantime feel free to check out our website at www.discoversdk.com