This is an archived version of the original newsletter, sent via email.
Traditional databases have difficulty scaling to the petabyte level. Conversely,highly scalable technologies like Hadoop are not interactive enough.
Platfora is building technology to layer on top of Hadoop, providing the first interactive BI product built on massively scalable technology.
Today’s interview is with Michael Tildahl, the lead frontend developer for Platfora
Located in San Mateo, CA, Platfora is growing fast and trying to fill a lot of positions:
- Software Developer Athlete
- Senior Java Backend Engineer
- Senior UI/Visual Designer
- Distributed Systems Engineer
- Senior User Experience Designer
- Senior Frontend Engineer
Also check out Platfora’s Jobs page, some good information and photos of the company/people there.
What are some of the most interesting problems you’ve worked on at the company?
I’ve only been a there a couple weeks, but it’s been interesting deciding what frontend tools we’re going to use.
What frontend tools are you looking at?
We ended up choosing mootools and have been pretty happy with it so far. We also looked at jquery and Closure.
We didn’t choose jquery because it seems more focused on DOM manipulation and we wanted something that had a bigger scope. Closure fits that criteria, but we felt it doesn’t have a very active community around it while mootools seems to have one.
Can you tell me a bit about the frontend interface that you are building?
In combination with our unique backend we’re creating a UI that allows the user greater flexibility in exploring their data then before while also not making it a complicated process. We’re not ready to talk about the details yet, but will be in the not to distant future.
Why did you decide to join Platfora?
I think the company is well positioned in a hot growing market. They have great VCs backing them and also am impressed with the quality of people working there.
Being new to Platfora, you have fresh knowledge of the hiring process. What convinced you to join up with Platfora?
I liked that it was pretty straight forward without a lot of hoops to jump though, and everyone was nice to deal with.
I was convinced to join because the work sounded interesting with some challenging things to build. Also the company is in a space that’s growing fast and has the potencial to be very successful.
Do you think new hires necessarily need experience in “big data”, or just enthusiasm to learn?
Definitely don’t need experience in big data, but if not an interest to learn is important.
What are your workdays like so far?
The average day so far might have a meeting to talk about product features or a whiteboard session talking about tech architecture or do an interview.
But mostly there isn’t a lot of overhead and lots of time to get things done.
What is the work environment like?
It’s an open floor plan with a great view of San Mateo.
What time do people typically arrive and leave work? Are there remote employees on your team?
It varies a lot, but people get in around ten plus or minus an hour and leave around six also plus or minus and hour or so. We don’t currently have any remote employees.
Do coworkers socialize outside of work?
Yes some do. The company has lunch brought in one day, bagels on Monday mornings. Dinner Tuesdays before the hack-a-thon and drinks and ping pong end of day Friday.
If I have an idea, what is the process for getting it implemented?
There is no process, just talk to people about it and if it’s a good idea they will listen.