Beer with an Engineer: Anuj Paliwal

Dec 11 2015

The holiday season is in full swing, festive ads are making the web glisten, creatures may even be stirring—especially here in NYC—and beer is on the menu. I perched myself at the bar next to Software Engineer Anuj Paliwal at the wildly decorated Rolf’s in Gramercy Park to kick off December and reflect on the year. But first, I got to know Anuj…

Anuj helps code the platform where our client’s ads start their production process. Housed within Spongecell’s CORE, the platform is host to the functionality of our intelligent creative. So when you come across a piece of Spongecell creative, visualize Anuj sitting at his desk, water cup and steamed broccoli by his side, coding away. (You guessed it, Anuj is the resident “pungent microwave” coworker.) We won’t hold that against him for too long, but you can decide now if you’d like to read on.

While Anuj may receive some pushback on his lunch preferences, the engineering team’s culture is a big part of why he came to Spongecell. Having heard about the team through a friend, then running into a Spongecell recruiter the very next day, it was an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up. When asked who would sing the engineering team’s theme song (if they had one—and they should), it was a toss-up between Ja Rule and Nelly. So needless to say, this team is not your ordinary engineering team. And with this tight-knit group, Anuj is ready to bring in 2016 with innovation in ad tech. (If you missed the secret project the team is working on in the last Beer with an Engineer post, read all about it here.)

With each new year, it’s nice to reflect on ads of the past that our technology has connected with; as Anuj states, it’s a neat experience knowing your code has helped bring a unique ad experience to millions of individuals on their personal devices. Even though the enigma of the ad tech industry is becoming less of a mystery to outsiders, Anuj has come to terms with the fact that most people won’t understand his daily tasks, no matter how detailed the explanation.

But don’t let that discourage you if you want to break into the industry. Anuj caught the engineering bug while working as an Electronic Health Records admin. He registered in a coding boot-camp to learn how to automate processes in his then-current position. He also could have been a beat-boxing star in an a cappella group. (While awesome at beat-boxing, I’d like to think he made the right choice at Spongecell.) As for Anuj’s prediction of 2016? He is confident Spongecell will continue “dominating the game.”

The Insider Info:
Anuj’s Beer Choice: Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss

  1. What is your favorite ad of all time?
    Budweiser’s “Wassup” commercials

  2. What’s your office nickname?
    Dr. Mango

  3. Favorite computer/video game?
    Tetris and Minesweeper

  4. What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you?
    Fighting off a pack of wild monkeys in India… on a rooftop. (No monkeys were harmed in this encounter.)

  5. Biggie or Tupac? N’Sync or Backstreet boys? Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears?
    Biggie, N’Sync (because of Justin, of course), and Christina

See more from our adventure here.

By Lindsay Williams, Marketing Coordinator