What It’s Like to Work on Imgur’s Platform Team
Recently I was asked to give some insight to potential Imgur employees into what my role is and what sort of projects I’ve been working on. Aside from Sarah, most of us here try to stay out of the limelight, so it’s good to occasionally get a glimpse into what we do.
Q:What do you do at Imgur?
I’m a full stack software engineer. In other words, a developer who enjoys tackling tasks at any level of the technical stack. That means I work on everything from keeping MariaDB running efficiently to hacking on the user interface of the uploading experience.
I like the challenge of keeping up with the entire stack because it keeps me sharp on a bunch of new technologies, and I get some flexibility to move around when I get tired of working too closely in one area.
Q: What did you do prior to joining Imgur, and how did you end up bleeding Green?
I’ve always been driven by a bit of an entrepreneurial vision — I started learning to code when I was about 14 because I wanted to sell modified Xboxes on my own site and needed to learn how to create one that would let me accept orders.
Throughout college, I tried my hand at launching a few startups creating things from social networks to Raspberry Pi-based hardware, though nothing caught on. Afterward, I had some fun spending a couple years in Denver as a front-end developer, but learned that I really enjoy working on things at scale with the ability to impact millions of people.
When I was casually browsing Imgur one day, I noticed they were hiring. It seemed like a perfect fit because I loved the product, and the story of how it started from a single Reddit thread but evolved into it’s own sustainable community really inspired the entrepreneur in me.
To me, it’s the fact that we are a small team of around 5 people supporting the infrastructure for millions of daily users. That sort of scale is still mind-boggling to me at times.
Q: As a Platform Engineer at Imgur, can you tell us about a project you’ve worked that has really challenged you?
Recently, we launched a product codenamed Beowulf. It initially started as a small project to refresh some of the most outdated parts of the site, like upgrading from a Flash uploader to HTML5, which was about time!
Ultimately it really grew in scope as we put out an early beta version and got some user feedback. We have very passionate and technical users who give some truly amazing ideas, so designing the tools that make their lives better is both extremely challenging but extremely rewarding.