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Senior software engineer: What I do and how much I make

Ram Kandasamy, a senior software engineer at Applovin, builds tools to help teams access and analyze data quickly. He also uses this data for user and fraud analysis. As he gains experience, he's expected to optimize his own product and identify its weaknesses. His favorite day was when he completed his first project.

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  • spunky sam blue style avatar for user CZ
    At he mentions learning about a programming stack. What is a programming stack exactly?
    (3 votes)
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    • hopper jumping style avatar for user Mars Ballantyne
      A programming stack is the set of technologies that are used to build the application. Software development is usually divided into front-end technologies (such as Javascript frameworks) and back-end technologies (the database/server). These two parts of the application need to communicate to each other for the application to work properly. Different technologies work together to serve up the application and ensure that this communication happens smoothly. For example, a MEAN stack stands for MongoDB (the database), Express.js (the server framework), Angular (front-end Javascript), and Node.js (server-side scripting). The way these technologies work together is how websites are built and deployed.
      (7 votes)
  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Addison Ballif
    Is figuring out their programming stack as well as accomplishing the task like you did something that everybody going into this field would have to face?
    (4 votes)
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  • male robot hal style avatar for user hendershotmat
    How long did you have to work?
    (1 vote)
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Video transcript

I'm Ram Kandasamy. I'm 29 years old. I'm a senior software engineer at Applovin and I make 160 thousand dollars a year. Let's say you're playing a game on your phone and then you're interrupted by an ad. That ad is what Applovin does. We serve ads. I work on the platform team. The primary responsibility of the platform team is to build the infrastructure that allows us to serve these ads at scale. Specifically what I do, I have two main responsibilities. The first is to work on the big data cluster. This big data cluster basically stores all of our data. My main responsibility there is to build tools that'll help other teams within the company access the data and run numbers on the data in a very fast and efficient manner. My second responsibility is to also make use of this cluster to do some production use cases on user and fraud analysis. When you're starting out as a software engineer almost everything you do it's, kind of, do this, do that. It's very much like, "Here's a task. "Here's how you should code it. "Go ahead and do it." But, as you spend more years in industry, you're kind of expected almost to think of different ways to optimize your own product. In effect, you're supposed to own a product or own an area of the company. Your primary goal should be to implement what management deems is the goals for the organization. A secondary responsibility for yourself should be to figure out what are the weaknesses of the product? How could I use my engineering knowledge to make those weaknesses better? I would say my favorite day at the office was probably the day that I finished my first project. Coming into Applovin, it's a little bit intimidating because they continue to be a very successful company. When you first start at a company, you're eager to prove yourself and to prove that you belong. The first project I did, they wanted it done very quickly. So, I had to learn all about their programming stack and how they structure their code and everything in addition to actually solving the problem that I was faced with. To be able to figure all of that stuff out within a week, which was their deadline that they had established, it was definitely a relief. I felt great after doing that.