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Life in Adtech: How Infrastructure Engineering Creates a Seamless Platform Experience

In our blog series “Life in Adtech” we’re showcasing the different ways in which StackAdapters are driving innovation in adtech, and creating a progressive tech culture. From using modeling and data to create advanced algorithms to building stylish and robust user interfaces, everyone at StackAdapt is contributing to evolving the StackAdapt platform and providing the best product and service to our clients.

This month features David Krutsko, an Infrastructure Engineer at StackAdapt. In this post, we will get an inside look at his journey into adtech, the role of infrastructure engineers at StackAdapt, and why tech is so pivotal to advertising. 

How did your journey into engineering begin?

It all started in 10th grade, when I took my first computer science course and became interested in writing software. I would sit from dusk until dawn working on software, just for fun! In university, my passion for writing software paid off. I became a teaching assistant for a couple different computer science courses. I led tutorials and answered questions that the classes had. Helping students learn was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

After leaving university I continued learning on my own. I often found myself working to solve problems I had personally encountered. This gave me the ability to work with a diverse set of technologies and expand on the knowledge I had already developed. I have stuck to engineering all these years because there is truly no greater feeling than the exhilaration of finding the perfect solution to a problem, and the journey that led to that solution.

What is the main focus of your role as an infrastructure engineer?

Infrastructure engineering is a cornerstone of the StackAdapt platform. It ties everything together from the front-end user experience of the platform to the back-end process of ad delivery, and makes sure that everything connects and works together. My main focus is to make sure the uptime and reliability of our platform is always performing well for our clients. This means writing software that builds and maintains our massive cluster of servers, as well as making sure our services are all secure and stable.

Infrastructure engineers work with all members of the engineering team to deliver tweaks that increase the overall performance of the StackAdapt platform. Once an application is written, we help scale it out to ensure it’s available to as many people as possible. Our goal always is to provide support for the engineering team and connect all the pieces so that StackAdapt clients get to use a seamless and concise platform.

Can you describe what type of development you do and why it’s critical to StackAdapt?

I’ve had the pleasure of working at StackAdapt for over six years! Over the course of my time here, I’ve worked on many different projects across the company. I started in front-end, working on the platform’s homepage, and slowly progressed towards full-stack and infrastructure. 

In my experience, your responsibilities don’t change all that much as you progress into full-stack. It’s more so that your responsibilities expand. Transitioning in this way has been great because I’ve been able to leverage my experience to improve communication across the entire engineering team.

One of my shifting responsibilities is to write software that runs at the server level. Imagine all the setup that’s required to get our applications to run in production—this is where I come in. I help figure out all the dependencies for our applications and ensure that they get deployed safely and securely. 

Why is tech so pivotal to the adtech industry? 

Using technology in adtech means that we can provide the best value for our clients. If we can help clients deliver more creative, engaging, and relevant advertisements, then everybody wins. By providing better targeted ads, better placement of ads, and faster performance, we’re able to give our clients a great user experience. 

The role engineering plays is very much behind-the-scenes. Everything from ad bidding to ad serving, it happens because of the pivotal role engineering plays in making everything work. Even something as simple as a campaign editor can take years of research and development to optimize, but it’s totally worth the time and effort because it provides incredible value to our users.

How does collaboration factor into your role and who do you work most with?

I work with almost all teams at StackAdapt, from engineering to marketing. This is because the infrastructure team deploys a lot of internal services which helps everyone do their jobs more efficiently. Everything from VPN server management to internal application access, I help get it set up and teach people how to use it. This has opened up a lot of opportunities to connect with different teams and understand what they do. The StackAdapt platform is truly a collaborative effort!

What do you find unique about being an engineer at StackAdapt?

If you have the right set of skills, there are no limits to what you can accomplish here at StackAdapt. You are truly free to pursue new ideas, to open your mind to new possibilities and new ways of seeing things. In my experience, I’ve gotten to work on three major projects which helped shape the company, projects which started because we were allowed to take risks that ended up paying off.

Another unique aspect of engineering at StackAdapt is the ability to try out the latest tools to squeeze the last bit of performance for a given budget. We don’t just use the same industry-standard tools and architectures that everyone else uses, we instead try to come up with unique solutions which perform better and end up costing significantly less to operate. All to make StackAdapt as competitive as it can be.

Interested in joining StackAdapt? See our open roles and apply, here.

In each new addition, we will be highlighting our teams and team members in our “Life In Adtech” series—stay tuned for more!

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