Senior executive position in charge of overall product strategy and execution for a technology company.
Ability to formulate product vision and technology philosophy. Demonstrated ability to get technical teams to perform at high productivity levels. Track record of instilling discipline and infusing business understanding into the technology team. Worked with cutting-edge technology and developed products for small and large companies. Experience in the entire software cycle from requirements through planning, design, development, maintenance, services and support. Strong technical writing and interpersonal skills.
Deep understanding of display, video, mobile, social and TV advertising business as well as operation of advertising platform.
Experience designing multiple search engines, with innovative features and functions along with high performance.
Appreciation of challenges in distributed, heterogenous computing and data access, with experience building practical solutions.
The Videology Group Inc. is a VC-funded company located in Baltimore, MD. The company delivers ads on multiple screens and devices and in multiple formats using one ad decisioning engine.
As Chief Architect and SVP of Engineering, I am responsible for overall product development and strategy for display and video over TV, PC and mobile channels. My responsibilities include product management, platform architecture, software development methodology and technology evangelism. The company owns and operates several systems that comprise one platform for ad serving.
My teams consist of about 35 people, some full-time employees, some outsourced in 3 countries. In addition, I influence the entire Product and Engineering division, which is about 140-person strong. These teams build and maintain our platforms.
A significant portion of my responsibilities includes setting the tempo and philosophy of our development. Key concepts such as Kanban development, release-ready master branches, continuous deployment, metrics-that-matter, global prioritisation, extensive automation and consistent communication were developed by me and adopted by the entire division. The division's per capita productivity has grown by several multiples during my tenure.
LucidMedia Inc. was a VC-funded company located in Reston, VA. The company operated in the online advertising space by providing data services and running online campaigns for Fortune 500 customers.
The company achieved unprecedented efficiency in executing ad campaigns primarily because of its flagship technology, ClickSense. Under my leadership, ClickSense evolved from a contextualisation engine to a full-featured ad server and Demand-Side Platform. One of the key functions of this platform was high performance as measured by low latency, high throughput and near-zero downtime.
As the CTO, I was responsible for overall technology direction, including strategy. My responsibilities included product management, partner relationships, technology evangelism and intellectual property management.
As the VP of Engineering, I was involved daily in the design of the product. My team was also responsible for the deployment and operation of the product, the knowledge base used by the product as well as system infrastructure. I was able to achieve these multiple functions with a small team by emphasising automation of tasks as much as possible, and anticipating use cases as early as possible.
i411 Inc. was a self-funded, profitable company located in Herndon, VA. The company designed and deployed Internet Yellow Pages capabilities for its customers. The key benfits of the i411 approach were low cost and very high performance.
As a director in a small company, I played a very hands-on role in the design and development of i411 products and strategies. I researched software components that could cooperate or compete with the company's product. I also participated in grant proposal authorship. I worked closely with the product management team to achieve my goals.
I was responsible for the ground-up design of v5.0 of DiscoveryEngine, the company flagship product. This product was the best-of-breed in the faceted, fielded, fulltext search engine space, and was deployed to power a number of customer sites.
Avaki Inc. was a VC-funded company located in Burlington, MA. The company developed grids which have corporate application in EAI/EII/ETL/BI environments. Grids, today better known as clouds, provide secure, wide-area access to databases, files and computing resources.
As part of the Engineering team, I led the design and development of APIs based on EJB and web services. I also led the design of next-generation data views for complex data transformations, flows and large database result-set transformation. I also developed a status service and other tools to monitor run-time performance and behaviour. I worked in teams as well as independently.
The development environment was Java/J2EE on Unix/Windows platforms. I ported the platform to HP-UX and Itanium. I also implemented a web services interface to the product using Apache Axis. These web services had to be accessible from a variety of clients, including Axis-based Java clients, SOAP::Lite-based Perl clients, .NET-based VB clients (including clients that were Excel spreadsheets). I educated the entire company on these technologies.
Earlier, as part of the Services group, I consulted with several Fortune 100 clients for both compute-grid and data-grid services. I provided technical input to statements of work (SOWs), deployed evaluation and production grids, and provided post-deployment support. I represented the company in technical product evaluations at customer sites, tested and wrote utilities, conducted technical presentations and participated in design discussions with the Engineering team.
During my tenure, our group had an extraordinarily high success rate with deployments, as judged by criteria agreed upon by the customer and Avaki. Post-engagement feedback from customers frequently mentioned my technical competence, my professionalism and my quickness and thoroughness of response often "beyond the call of duty".
EarthMusic Network was a Hindi film music site located at www.earthmusic.net. The web site provided a unique search engine indispensable to fans of Hindi music. Hindi songs use a Devnagari script which is often transliterated into the Roman script for searching and viewing. The transliteration is not canonical — different people transliterate differently. Moreover, information available on Hindi songs is often scant.
As technical lead, I designed and developed a fuzzy search engine, called Mantra, for this site. Mantra is a language-independent search engine that can search based on misspellings and mistransliterations. Mantra was incorporated into the general search capability on the site which permitted searching based on singer, film name, year, etc. The web site received 10,000+ hits a day (~ one per 8 seconds), and was one of the most popular web sites for searching for Hindi music.
The development environment was Perl and PHP CGI. Advanced information retrieval techniques developed in-house were used in the Mantra search engine. A key feature of the EarthMusic Network environment was innovation — constantly providing better search techniques and result presentation that stayed a step ahead of rival sites.
The department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia is located in Charlottesville, VA. In the mid-90s, the highly-ranked Computer Science dept. developed a pioneering technology called metasystems (later called grids, now called clouds) under the direction of Prof. Andrew Grimshaw.
As part of this research team, called Legion, I led the design of schedulers and scheduling tools for running large jobs on distributed and fault-prone resources. I tested and wrote utilities for running MPI jobs, developed tools for running jobs on various queuing systems, and wrote command-line tools. I also wrote the first web browser for grids, built over Legion. I wrote one of the first graphical viewers for parameter-space studies. I also conducted what was then the largest run of an application on grids; an important proof-of-concept activity for the community that also yielded valuable results to the scientists involved. My duties also involved interacting with users, determining requirements and driving the design of grids based on their feedback.
Legion was a research environment, but attuned to the needs of several users and collaborators spread across the globe. The development environment was C++, with some Perl/ksh scripting. My focus was on developing quality software in an academic environment and aggressively publishing the results of using this software.
Larsen & Toubro is the largest engineering company in India. Their Information Systems Division is one of the leaders in software development in India.
I was part of a team in this division that wrote and tested C++ classes for a CAD package developed by a prominent French client, Matra. I also wrote Xlib routines for displaying the elements in the package. I developed tools for managing classes and automatically generating test cases.
The development environment was SunOS/Solaris, with some exposure to Motif and Xlib. Development code was C++. In addition to my responsibilities, I developed several scripts to help manage the team's productivity.
The topic of my dissertation was "Consistence Maintenance in Concurrent Representations". When independently-constructed models of a certain phenomenon cooperate, their representation of entity states can diverge very quickly, causing the cooperative effort to become useless or even outright wrong. My thesis presented a framework wherein entity states in each model can be made to share information with other models thus ensuring that all of them have a consistent state of the world. I identified the challenges in maintaining this consistency when different types of interactions can change the state within any model.
My Master's research was a prelude that led to my dissertation work. During my Master's I identified the key problem of inconsistent states within multiple models. The publication of my initial work led to a Best Paper Award. Along with an early successful attempt at the Ph.D. qualifiers, this work encouraged me to pursue doctoral studies.
My work was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Defence. I co-authored several of the grants that made funding my own work possible. During my studies, I also took on research and teaching assistantships and mentoring activities. I actively published papers in my research area.
I graduated with distinction in my Bachelor's degree, placing 8th in the University of Bombay. My project partners and I successfully completed two final year projects, one on building a neural network to recognise handwritten numerals, and the other to provide a graphical user interface for TeX. I actively promoted extra-curricular involvement in Computer Science, then a relatively new discipline, at my college. To that end, I co-established a chapter of CSI, an educational organisation, at my college, and was the founder and editor of the newsletter "*.*".
Anand Natrajan — anand@anandnatrajan•com — (434) 825-0903