Interesting Data Gigs # 5: Software Engineer, Data at Temporal Technologies
Why must follow Aishwarya Srinivasan (Data Scientist for Google Cloud AI Services) and Allie K. Miller (Global Head of Machine Learning BD, Startups and Venture Capital at AWS)
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Hi Data Geeks.
Another Thursday, another long night with good coffee and good content to write and talk about.
Today, I will be talking about an early-stage company, but with a world-class engineering team; working on an amazing product with a very interesting business model. And the keyword here is WORKFLOWS.
And you should be wondering WTH is Temporal right and which problems they are solving today?
I encourage you to read the docs here.
But to actually understand better, one of the best explanations I’ve found about what problem is solving Temporal is this one provided by Bryan Offutt (Partner at Index Ventures) when he wrote this after they led the investment in the Series B of $103 Million:
As an example, imagine you are a fintech service, and you are trying to deal with new user sign-ups. At a high level, this is pretty a straightforward process/workflow:
User signs up and enters their credit card
You create a new account for the user
You post a small, random transaction to their bank account
You prompt the user to login into their bank and enter the amount posted
If successful, you mark the account as verified
You remove the credit from the account
You send the user an email verification welcoming them to your service
In plain English, this process is easy for anyone to understand.
But if you think about things a bit deeper, there is an enormous amount of room for error.
For example. what happens if there is a failure during step 2 and the account never gets created? Does the user have to re-enter their credit card to try again?
Do you end up with a half-created account in your database?
Does the user get notified that something happened, or do they just sit waiting and wonder why the transaction never showed up?
What if the user walks away from their computer during step 4? Does the process terminate? How long should it wait? Should the credit be left in their account indefinitely? Where is that amount stored if you need to roll it back?As complex as this is to think through, it’s even more difficult to implement. Coding aside, just imagine you had to do this manually with pen and paper and think about the amount of information you’d have to write down and keep track of: the credit card number, the account id, the user id, the transaction amount, whether the amount was verified, if the credit had been removed already or not. The management of this state is complex, convoluted, and painful. The question is, does it have to be?
If you are a visual learner, you can watch this video from Drew Hoskins about how Stripe is using Temporal’s technologies:
I completely agree with Brian on this: everything is a workflow these days, and the founders of the company have worked on this problem for a long time in companies like Uber, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.
So, they are the perfect duo to do this.
When they announced the Series B investment, Maxim wrote an open letter to the world, and one of the favorite parts of it was this part:
Why is the interesting thing here?
The co-founders of the company, Maxim Fateev, and Samar Abbas started the foundation of the product inside Uber (which I respect a lot regarding anything related to Software Engineering at scale). This means that with the scale of Uber, they actually tested the approach here
They have amassed an incredible team that includes industry veterans like Charles Zedlewski (Chief Product Officer) and Paul Nordstrom (), who are very respected in their circles (and for very good reasons). So, when you see people of that caliber joining a team, you should know they are building something unique at Temporal.
Why you should join Temporal
It’s very simple: This role again is about impact.
This is a very small but very capable engineering team. So, you will be challenged here to do the best work of your life as a Software Engineer, and if you were looking for “the perfect room“ when you could be the dumbest guy, this is it.
They are amazing engineers, but at the same time, they are very humble and eager to work with awesome people like you.
Let’s dissect the job here and discuss some ideas on how to approach this job application (THE REAL MEAT)
If you read again very carefully the job position, you will find some clues about what’s matters at Temporal:
Some key things mentioned there:
You can work anywhere inside the U.S
Open Source’s experience is important but not a requirement. But if you have worked with Open Source coding before, it’s a big plus here
They have fostered a very tight community of developers and users, so my first recommendation is to join right now to their meetups and watch some videos on the Temporal’s YouTube channel
You will use Golang, Kafka, Apache Spark, Flink, Elasticsearch, and SQL on a daily basis
Hands-on experience with major cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure
Docker and Kubernetes are fundamental pieces of the infrastructure at Temporal, so make sure you refresh your knowledge on this if you don’t use it on a daily basis
They love Hashicorp’s tech as well, so be prepared to use Terraform, Consul and many other projects from the company heavily
So, refresh your knowledge about distributed systems, system design, and more broad topics like first-principles thinking.
Good luck with your job application.
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The content of both of them on LinkedIn related to A.I and Data Science is top-notch. That’s the main reason why you must follow them there.
Believe me: you will learn a ton from this.
How electricityMap uses machine learning to enable grid decarbonation, by Pierre Segonne, Data Scientist for electricityMap
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