NTENT Employee Spotlight March 2019: Get to Know Some of Our Team

From Telcos to cable operators, retailers, advertisers and more, NTENT strives to provide its partners with an exceptional conversational AI and search experience. We owe our success to the hard work and efforts from our team of NTENTionalists who work tirelessly each day to make our goals a reality. This month, we’re introducing you to four team members from our Carlsbad, California office who work in the areas of Quality Assurance, Marketing, Engineering and IT.

Cristina Martin: Quality Assurance (QA) Manager

“NTENT is constantly evolving to implement and invent new technologies that reflect the latest trends in AI and other areas that follow different market customer needs.”

As Quality Assurance manager for NTENT, Cristina sits at the crossroads where the engineering, product management, marketing, and sales teams’ functions intersect. She manages the QA team and processes, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and works with other teams, improving processes across the board to minimize risk, increase productivity and ensure all products meet high-quality standards, delivered on time.

Q: NTENT is a technology company focused on Search and conversational AI. What do you enjoy most about working for a company specializing in these areas?

A: NTENT is constantly evolving to implement and invent new technologies that reflect the latest trends in AI and other areas that follow different market customer needs. It provides an environment to constantly learn, be creative, participate and collaborate. Every day is an opportunity to work on fun, exciting challenges while learning and growing. It’s an honor and very positive experience to work with everyone at NTENT. We’re very fortunate to have an amazing team of dedicated colleagues.

Q: With respect to your specific role in the company, what do you consider your greatest achievement during your time at NTENT, either on your own or within your team?

A: My greatest achievements have been successfully implementing QA solutions to create solid QA processes that contribute to the overall improvement of cross-platform team integration and collaboration resulting in high-quality software products delivered in a timely fashion.

The credit of my success at NTENT as QA Manager goes to everyone in the company. We have an amazing team of talented individuals who are passionate and committed to the delivery of high-quality software products. We all agree; There are no shortcuts to quality.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your career and in what ways?

A: Both my parents were hard-working “doers.” As a kid, I got to see the unexpected challenges of running a business and their strategic approach to creative problem solving on the road to success. My father was an electronics engineer with a curious mind who encouraged me to learn anything and everything; to figure things out and pay attention to detail when working on the small tasks he would give me. He also taught me the importance of enjoying a good sense of humor, especially during challenging times. From my mother, I learned to get things done efficiently and to work and communicate well with others.

Throughout my career, I’ve been very fortunate to work with very talented engineers and management teams that inspired me to learn and grow. I’m also inspired and motivated by Richard Branson, who has spoken of applying the same skills he uses when playing tennis to his work — swift decision making, taking it point-by-point, and fast preparation for the next round. Playing tennis has helped me develop the ability to quickly evaluate a situation and assess the risk with confidence to make decisions.

Jason Johnson: Director of IT Operations

“What I enjoy most about working for NTENT is the chance to work hands-on with bleeding edge technologies at every layer of the stack.”

As Director of IT Operations, Jason facilitates the Dev-Ops and Infrastructure teams and enjoys getting his hands dirty whenever possible.

Q: NTENT is a technology company focused on Search and conversational AI. What do you enjoy most about working for a company specializing in these areas?

A: What I enjoy most about working for NTENT is the chance to work hands-on with bleeding edge technologies at every layer of the stack. Conversational AI is a rapidly emerging technology, and the support systems behind running our conversational AI and search solutions at production scale have to be just as cutting edge.

Q: With respect to your specific role in the company, what do you consider your greatest achievement during your time at NTENT, either on your own or within your team?

A: Our team here at NTENT has done so many amazing things over the past few years it is difficult to pick just one. From building a brand new physical datacenter here in the U.S. and then expanding our presence into the Eurozone with our international datacenter, to extending the whole stack into the cloud with our hybrid cloud model, there is much to look back on with pride. Our current initiative to containerize all our micro-services on a unified Kubernetes platform is sure to be our greatest success yet.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your career and in what ways?

A: Early in my career, a man I worked with named Tony showed me how I could expand my hard-coded scripts into something infinitely more useful. Later on, I got to work with two gentlemen: One introduced me to a whole new way of thinking about design and the second mentored me on my “soft skills.” I am forever grateful to David and Tyson. Today the team here at NTENT inspires me; I have never worked with a smarter or harder working group of technology professionals in my life.

Shalini Kedlaya: Senior Machine Learning Engineer

“Search and voice assistants are an integral part of people’s everyday lives and it’s exciting to be part of a team that builds such products.”

As a Senior Machine Learning Engineer for NTENT, Shalini has worked on machine learning projects to identify trending news terms and detect adult intent in user queries. She is currently working on Natural Language Understanding of NTENT’s Voice Assistant.

Q: NTENT is a technology company focused on Search and conversational AI. What do you enjoy most about working for a company specializing in these areas?

A: Search and voice assistants are an integral part of people’s everyday lives and it’s exciting to be part of a team that builds such products. I enjoy all the thought that goes into the little details that help deliver the most relevant content to our users.

Q: With respect to your specific role in the company, what do you consider your greatest achievement during your time at NTENT, either on your own or within your team?

A: Our machine learning team responsible for Natural Language Understanding of the voice assistant has been able to develop a workflow which enables us to easily add and test new domains. Models to extract entities from queries and detect query intent can be taught by non-machine learning experts and this has helped us quickly scale the capability of our voice assistant.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your career and in what ways?

A: All my life my mother and my grandparents encouraged me to follow my own path and gave me the confidence to achieve anything that I set my mind to. My former manager, Sathish Kumar Ganeshan, inspired me in how he was able to establish a great work culture in his team. Every day, my current teammates at NTENT continue to inspire me with all the great work we are able to do together.

Greg Gossler: Director of Marketing

“One thing I have always enjoyed about NTENT is our ability to respond quickly to changing markets and our technical teams’ ability to deliver cutting edge solutions to meet those needs.”

As Director of Marketing, Greg works closely with the sales team, product managers and interfaces with engineers to position our products for success. He identifies NTENT’s technical strengths and how our solutions can fill any gaps in the market.

Q: NTENT is a technology company focused on Search and conversational AI. What do you enjoy most about working for a company specializing in these areas?

A: NTENT has a storied history in search, semantic technology, natural language processing, machine learning, and data monetization; working with leading companies across the globe in varied industries. Recently we have taken an evolutionary (and obvious) step into the voice and conversational AI marketplace. One thing I have always enjoyed about NTENT is our ability to respond quickly to changing markets and our technical teams’ ability to deliver cutting edge solutions to meet those needs. From a marketing perspective, this keeps us on our toes as we analyze markets and develop the go-to-market strategy.

Q: With respect to your specific role in the company, what do you consider your greatest achievement during your time at NTENT, either on your own or within your team?

A: There have been a lot of wins for the NTENT marketing team throughout the years. One of the more recent achievements was a complete repositioning of our offering across all our marketing channels, including the website, within a very tight deadline. Our team was able to deliver in record time, without sacrificing our standards.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your career and in what ways?

A: The first person that comes to mind is Larry Hampton. He owned a company that I worked at for four years as I put myself through college. He believed in self-accountability and inspiring others to achieve their best. One lesson he taught me (and hundreds of others) was to throw away your “maybes.” He was coming at this from a sales perspective, but this philosophy can be applied to many aspects of a person’s life. We went on to become partners after I graduated and grew the business into a sizable company.