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February 10th, 2017 • By Nellie Sisti
We're excited to introduce Andrew Ledvina as the newest member of the Rollbar team and Lead SDK Engineer. The timing couldn't have been more perfect for Andrew to start during our quarterly all-hands last week! He was able to have 1:1 meetings with the team, meet our remote team members in person, join for company outings and happy hours, and get an overall feel for the team!
As our Lead SDK Engineer, Andrew brings years of experience and extensive knowledge in many fields to the team. With his undergraduate studies completed at CU Boulder, Andrew holds a BS in Applied Mathematics with a Finance Emphasis, a BA in Economics and a BA in Chemistry. After graduation, Andrew then went on to receive an MA and PhD in the Department of Operations Research & Financial Engineering at Princeton University.
Prior to Rollbar, Andrew was the Director of Engineering at Flexport and the company's first engineering hire. Andrew has also spent time working at companies like Gigster, Facebook, and even helped a friend with his health insurance startup Alan, based in Paris, France.
I was able to ask Andrew a few questions and let him share his thoughts on Rollbar.
Q&A with Andrew Ledvina:
What excited you about Rollbar or attracted you to the company?
As a software engineer, I understand that errors are unavoidable when building systems in an effort to get features out to users as quickly as possible. There will always be bugs. Good tooling is therefore essential to having a product that is both high quality and able to move forward at a reasonable velocity. I see Rollbar as an essential part of every company's toolbox whether they currently know that or not. As someone who writes code for a living, it excites me to help others who write code to be more efficient. Rollbar is a utility in the best sense of that word.
What are you looking forward to working on (technically)?
My role is spread across all of the different SDKs that Rollbar both currently has and soon will offer. I am excited about writing code in a large variety of different languages and paradigms, from imperative Python to functional Clojure and everything in between. There are both architectural challenges that span all of the SDKs as well as technical challenges in each particular language and framework that we want to support. I am looking forward mostly to working on the cross cutting problem of how best to interact with Rollbar from your code independent of what language or framework you choose to use.
How would you describe the culture?
The culture at Rollbar I would describe first and foremost as engineering driven. I was surprised during the interview process as well as after I started by the technical depth at every level and position that I have dealt with. In hindsight this fact is obvious considering the product, but nonetheless the quality bar is quite high. An important feature of building any good product is being able to empathize with the end user. At Rollbar, we are the same as our customers, we use our own product to monitor our own systems. That idea of building something you would want to use is a core part of the culture and permeates the discussions around features and the quality of the product.
What's your vision for the SDKs at Rollbar? What would you hope to achieve in the next 6 months?
Our SDKs are the main bridge between our client's code and our service, and as such are vitally important. My main goals for the next 6 months revolve around bringing consistency and feature parity to all of the notifiers we support. This means unifying the API used to interact with Rollbar from configuration through to sending errors. Along with this, I would like to get to a state where we have extremely high quality code that is thoroughly tested. Anytime you include a third party library in your code you are trusting someone else to have put in the effort to produce as error free code as possible. We want people to use our SDKs because they are rock solid and easy to use. I think that is true in some languages but not in others.
Being a bit of a language nerd, I am also excited to go more in depth in some languages and frameworks that I have only used tangentially. Languages like Go and Elixir are up and coming for a reason, and I would love to see official Rollbar support for them sooner rather than later.
Fun fact about yourself that you're willing to share?
My favorite animal is the Rock Hyrax, colloquially known as a dassie, which I discovered during a month spent in South Africa. The closest living relative to the hyrax is the elephant, which is quite surprising considering dassies are only about 20 inches long and weigh around 8 pounds. I spend my free time reading, running, and jumping out of airplanes.
As culture and core values are extremely important at Rollbar, Andrew's vision and personal perspective align with the company's mission to provide the best error monitoring solution for developers. Andrew's unique blend of engineering and data science, along with his interest in SDKs, make him a rare addition to the already diverse team.
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