The Gilt technology organization. We make gilt.com work.

Best of 2014: Gilt Tech Culture and Evangelism

At many companies, “technology evangelism” is about promoting products. At Gilt, “technology evangelism” is about promoting the people behind our products. The goal: to help our technologists to grow professionally while telling the stories behind our work, projects and discoveries.

#gilttech’s innovations and expertise earned us the attention of industry leaders and media outlets worldwide many times in 2014. And with our continuing efforts to innovate even better and faster in 2015, we expect the upcoming year to be even more fun and exciting.

On with the show…

We Made the News

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The Gilt Tech team got lots of attention this year from a variety of major news outlets:

We Got Around

January

February:

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

  • NYCEDC Tech Talent Draft: Senior Program Manager Fidan Kasra on this careers panel at CUNY
  • Tech@NYU: Senior UX Designer David Park and Senior Interactive Designer Christopher Barr on “Mobile Design at Gilt”; I spoke on a diversity in tech panel
  • Typesafe (Webinar): Senior Software Engineer Michael Reed on “Akka at Gilt
  • Hack Princeton: Principal Data Engineer Michael Hansen mentored at this hackathon
  • Studio at Cornell Tech: Lead Software Engineer Gregory Mazurek and Software Engineer Kyle Dorman talked about tech careers
  • Agile Development and Better Software/East conference: Flemivato on “The Agile PMO”

December

Dublin Gets an(other) Awesome Space

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Over the summer our Dublin team moved into a new office in Dublin 4 that features roomy conference areas, a colorful commons area and a modern kitchen. While we miss our old view of the Liffey, we’ve welcomed the opportunity to host meetups and free courses–as well as paper airplane contests, movie nights, and Gregorweensin our own home.

Martin Odersky Visits Gilt

Friends and followers of Gilt Tech know that we’re a proud Scala shop, so having the actual creator of the Scala programming language visit our NYC office was pretty awesome. In May, Dr. Martin Odersky gave two talks in one day at Gilt: An afternoon Q&A session with our engineering team, and an evening presentation for the tech community. In addition to being a brilliant computer scientist, Dr. Odersky is incredibly humble and generous with his time.

We Broke Bread (or Pizza) With Some Other Amazing People

In addition to Dr. Odersky, other tech leaders who shared their knowledge and a meal with our team in 2014 included:

We Taught You Things

Our free tech courses initiative continues to grow and grow. The courses we offered this year:

NYC:

Dublin:

And thanks to Uncubed, we’re now getting to teach you online. Through Uncubed Edge, a new online platform, Lead Software Engineer Gregory Mazurek and Principal Data Scientist Igor Elbert have created one-hour courses on responsive and adaptive design at Gilt (that’s Greg) and saving time with MetaSQL (that’s Igor).

We Had Cool Interns

University of Waterloo student Chris Poenaru took advantage of his school’s co-op program to spend his summer with our engineering team, while University of Delaware senior Samantha Sabo spent hers with our Program Management Organization. Samantha wrote a blog post about her experience at Gilt:

I sat in on sprint planning meetings and retrospectives, joined the team for social events, company softball games and team lunches, and observed how the program managers do their jobs. Every day I learned something new or developed a new skill.

Lucky for us, Samantha was able to come back to Gilt for a few wintry weeks and intern some more–she’ll be with us through the end of January 2015. If you’d like to be a Gilt software engineering intern in summer 2015, go here to apply.

The Plasma Prix

Our tech teams in NYC and Dublin spent much of February learning how to drive PlasmaCars: small plastic cars usually steered by children, but hearty enough to accommodate a (svelte) 6’8” Gilt technologist. When we all got together for our Architecture Summit in NYC, we held the Plasma Prix: a race pitting the top ten-fastest PlasmaCar racers against each other in a bid for fame, glory, and trophies. Relive the magic by watching our movie about it.

We Had Non-Vehicular Fun, Too

Game night!

Fancy Cheese Fridays (and Cheese-mageddons)!

OKTA-bierfest!

Gregorween!

Gregorbier!

Encrypting!

NYCity-wide trivia victories!

Zumo robot-making with the kids from Bronx Academy of Software Engineering!

HipFoosball!

White after Labor Day!

Paper airplane contests!

Wine, cheese, and filmmakers!

Mini-offsites!

Bagel brunching!

Horse adoption!

These are just some of the fun things we were all about in 2014.

The Gilt Design Team Joins Tech

Making sure that we’re as bold and innovative as possible about driving user engagement is one of our goals. With this in mind, we decided this summer to more tightly align our Web Design and User Experience teams–allowing for closer collaboration between UX, design, product, and front-end developers. With this unification we’ve generated greater momentum around strategic initiatives and evolving the customer experience.

Gilt 340 Gilt Groupe 282 Gilt Tech 287 gilttech 332 DockerCon 3 Atlassian Summit 4 Interop 4 Design Driven NYC 4 Typesafe 22 PlasmaCar 4 Plasma Prix 4 culture 35 evangelism 4 Martin Odersky 6 Scala 79 NYC 79 free tech courses 22 free tech classes 29 free tech classes at Gilt 4 UX 18 user experience 23 Kyle Dorman 6 Fidan Kasra 3 Tech Talent Draft 4 Gregory Mazurek 18 Akka 20 Play Framework 16 Dublin Scala Users Group 10 bestof2014 4