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Behind every Adobe product is a team of masterminds that makes everything possible.
At Adobe, engineering is an exciting role. It means being part of a global company and creating solutions that millions recognize and use. It means researching and brainstorming and experimenting with future technologies. We spoke with four engineers about why they love Adobe—and why they think other engineers out there will, too.
Dmitry T., New York
Head of Engineering, Behance
Five years ago, Dmitry T. joined a little team of 10 people at a startup called Behance, an online platform for creative professionals to share their work. He didn’t know that just a couple of years later, that little startup would find itself part of a global corporation after it was acquired by Adobe. But the bigger surprise was that Adobe didn’t come in and change everything.
“I came to Behance because it was a small company and had a startup culture,” Dmitry says. “After we were acquired, everything largely remained the same—but better. Adobe allowed us to remain true to what we were and to grow our team, and that was huge. I’d never be able to get that kind of autonomy anywhere else.”
When Dmitry began, he had a hand in everything technical. Today’s he still does a bit of development work to keep his skills fresh, but as the head of engineering, he handles all the hiring and manages a team of 11. Part of his mission is to find the most talented, innovative people and help them understand why working at Behance and being part of Adobe is such a great way to spend your career.
“You get the benefits of a small startup—people working in a room, creating something together—along with the benefits of a publicly traded company and everything that comes with that,” Dmitry says. “Not only that, but you can work on an app and millions of people will download it and you’ll see the results of your work very quickly. That’s huge.”
Since the acquisition, Behance has grown immensely and sped up its development cycle to a pace most companies can only wish for. They went from deploying once a week—already far faster than most development teams out there—to deploying as many as 20 times a day. That kind of agility keeps the site relevant and responsive to users’ needs—and is pretty surprising for a company that recently had a very different approach to software delivery.
“Just a few years ago, this company’s product was CDs shipped in a box, and the fact that we’re now operating at this speed is major,” Dmitry says. “We’ve now begun to push that philosophy and methodology throughout Adobe.”
Dmitry says his love for his job isn’t unique; the entire Behance team seems to realize they’re part of a good thing.
“Everyone is so engaged and happy here, and they really enjoy coming to work every day,” he says. “Just yesterday we had a pizza and arcade event in Brooklyn, and about 90 percent of the office came. To spend all day here and then voluntarily spend three more hours together? You don’t find that everywhere.”
Niyati C., Bangalore
Computer Scientist, Adobe Research Labs
When Niyati C. finished her PhD in machine learning at the University of Maryland, she was hoping to return to her native India. But first, she had to find a job that would keep her inspired. She interviewed at a couple of major tech companies, and then she got a call from Adobe. After she interviewed, she knew that working on Adobe’s digital marketing solutions was the perfect fit.
“There seemed to be more freedom at Adobe,” Niyati says. “At a lot of research labs, product teams drive the research. But at Adobe, the research is not only product-oriented but also forward looking.”
She moved to Bangalore and spent her first couple of years working on algorithms that “listen” on social media. For example, as tweets come in, companies need to monitor how customer emotions change over time so they can identify supporters and detractors and target them with the right messages.
Niyati says a few other companies have massive amounts of data to work with, but only Adobe has the variety of customer data to work with: social data, video analytics data, and more. And when you have not only the amount of data but also the variety, you get more interesting problems to solve.
“The pace in a corporate research lab is very, very fast compared to academia, and it requires you to be more applied in your research,” Niyati says. “It’s fun to see that real-world impact. Yes, it takes effort to get your work into the product, but when it’s out there, it’s rewarding. People are actually using it.”
Ken A., Lehi
Principal Architect for Operations, Digital Marketing
When Adobe acquired Omniture in 2009, Ken A. was already having fun working on digital marketing solutions. But suddenly, he found himself working for one of the world’s best known and most innovative tech companies—and that’s when things got really exciting.
“I work with some of the smartest people in Utah, and the size and scope of the environment we work in is massive,” Ken says. “So many servers, so much data—and I love data. There are very few places I could go and continue to have my hands on so much technology in such a large environment.”
Ken works with product teams in digital marketing to evaluate best practices, drive new standards, and improve the wellbeing of Adobe applications. It’s a diverse role: One day he might be debugging code, and the next day he might work on future strategy. No matter what the future holds, Ken says, Adobe is the place he’ll stay. After all, data and analytics are hot and will only get hotter.
“The world will continue to demand deeper insight into more data faster than ever before, so I don’t think I’ll ever be bored here,” Ken says. “That’s why I don’t see myself moving my career to another company. There are too many challenges here to keep me occupied and too many great people to work with.”
Bryant S., San Francisco
Video Web Applications Engineer
During Bryant S.’s last year of college at Rutgers University, he got an email from someone at Behance, Adobe’s online platform for creative professionals and students to showcase their work. Adobe was looking for an engineer with experience coding PHP, and that description fit Bryant. So he spent a summer working in the New York office on an internal app that helps manage developers’ build cycle. After his work impressed the company, he got an offer to come aboard full-time.
Today, he’s with the media expansion group in San Jose, which works to grow the company’s media reach.
“Most users of our flagship creative apps are used by working professionals. But the problem is getting people to that point. If students or aspiring professionals use the applications, it’s usually through their school,” Bryant says. “But young people are interested in Adobe software, so Adobe is working to make apps that are affordable so everyone, including students, can benefit from them—the same way we did with Creative Cloud.”
In his time at Adobe, Bryant has helped build a video player. Now, he’s starting work on an Android version of an upcoming iPhone app.
Bryant says he loves the Adobe culture and appreciates the way the company values his personal growth as much as his professional growth.
“When I was talking to my manager about the importance of work/life balance, he said, ‘It’s important to do your best work, but not if its at the cost of your well being,’” Bryant says. “Here at Adobe, they want you to invest time in yourself personally, too, because that helps you do quality work. You definitely don’t see that at every company.”
Bryant’s best endorsement?
“I recommended a friend to Behance, and she started a new job there this morning.”
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