Stack Spotlight: Aurélien Gasser
Stack Overflow currently has three offices in New York, London, and Denver. In addition, for many of our teams and job openings, we also offer remote work. As of our last estimation, 20% of our employees work remotely from around the world. One developer who is included in that 20% is Aurélien Gasser, who works remotely from his home in London. Read on to learn what his job entails and the unique way he ended up working here.
Name: Aurélien Gasser
Job Title: Web Developer
How long have you been at Stack Overflow? I joined on September 23th 2013, so that’s almost 2 years.
How did you join Stack Overflow? What made you want to apply?
As a developer, I love Stack Overflow in a lot of ways. But I actually ended up getting this job in a very funny way. I’m originally from France and I was visiting a friend in NYC for 3 weeks. After only 10 days or so, I had decided I wanted to get a job and live here. So I started interviewing for jobs all over the place. I started using a dating website, OkCupid, where I met a girl I quickly became good friends with. She wanted to help me find a job so she accessed the alumni repository of the university she went to, Yale. In this repository, she got several email addresses which she sent my resume to. One of the alumni she emailed was a certain Joel Spolsky (co-founder and CEO of Stack Overflow). Joel threw my CV on the pile, and after that I went through the regular interview process.
What big projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on a project named “match quality”. I like to think we operate like a dating agency: guys are candidates, and girls are employers (or vice-versa, if you prefer). In the “match quality” project, I focus on the candidate side, trying to find the best job for a candidate not only by looking at each case in particular, but rather by identifying patterns that give us a better idea of what makes a job interesting. This way, we can come up with algorithms which suggest relevant jobs to candidates. I think it is very important because it gives us a competitive advantage. And it’s the best place to do it because we know developers more than everyone else. I hope one day, when you go to Stack Overflow Careers, your dream job will be right in the middle of your screen, you’ll just have to grab it.
What is your favorite part about working at Stack Overflow?
Working with smart people, for sure. Facepalming is something that used to be common in my professional life, but not anymore. Well, I facepalm sometimes, but most of the times it’s because of my own derps. Though always arguable, the decisions that are made always make sense. Also, there is always something I can learn from each and every developer (yes, each and every developer). It feels great to be around Stack devs, and I find it is a privilege to be in such an environment. Oh, and all the benefits are pretty cool too. I’m writing this from home, on my MacBook pro, with 2 Thunderbolt screens, on a stand-up desk. And I just had a nap.
Outside of Stack Overflow, what are you working on? What hobbies do you have?
I don’t have a side project at the time, though the last one I worked on was an online multiplayer game. It allowed me to fiddle with node.js, write my own physics engine, implement lag compensation. I learnt a lot about game development and read terrific articles (I recommend the Valve article on lag compensation). I’m always happy to read or talk about tech things; a few weeks ago a guy explained to me how he built his own automatic headlights for his old car.
To be honest, I spend most of my free time playing video games (Dota 2), or hanging outside. I have been living in NYC and London for the past 2 years, so hanging out in bars is a cultural thing, right? 🙂