Emma Peng | Tecton


Featured Tectonaut:

Emma Peng

Our blog series, Featured Tectonauts, highlights the amazing characters we get to interact with daily here at Tecton. Want to join the team? Check out our open positions here.

What do you do at Tecton? What does your team do?

I’m a Software Engineer on the Platform Engineering team. We make sure that our customers have a robust platform to work with their huge amounts of raw data, and aim to serve fresh features at a high scale with low latency. We are working on a lot of exciting new features to support customer needs. My team is comprised of a bunch of very smart people, and there’s always a lot of fun and laughter in our meetings.

My main focus is online storage. We currently support two online stores, DynamoDB and Redis. The online stores contain the latest feature values for model serving. My work is to ensure data freshness and provide low-latency, reliable and simple lookups. Customers can use different stores for different features based on cost and need.

What did you do before Tecton?

I worked at a start-up called Coolan — which was later acquired by Salesforce — working on an internal platform to monitor and analyze hardware infrastructure. Some of my old coworkers from Coolan are now at Tecton as well!

Before moving to the Bay Area, I grew up in Taiwan and attended UT Austin for graduate school in Computer Science. After graduating I worked at a company that builds healthcare case management systems in Austin, which has since been acquired by Xerox.

What led you toward a startup?

A strong desire for a sense of achievement! At a startup, you have the opportunity to work on really high-impact projects for both customers and the company. You get to contribute to many parts of the product and deliver without a lot of red tape. Startups also tend to focus on new and exciting problems that are usually more interesting and fun than what big companies can offer. I have always found that everyone at a startup genuinely cares about the product and puts a lot of effort toward making the company succeed.

What is something that you found unexpected after joining Tecton?

People here have a lot of different hobbies! In my previous work experience, I didn’t encounter talented engineers with such a wide range of interests and hobbies outside of work. At Tecton, I have met people that are passionate about synchronized skating, sailing, magic tricks, triathlons, book clubs, and car racing, just to name a few! It’s so gratifying to explore different interests with your coworkers. Since joining Tecton, I’ve already had the opportunity to try both sailing and ice skating.

What’s the best swag you’ve ever received?

The Tecton logo crewneck sweater I got in my welcome package is so comfortable. It’s from my favorite brand, Lululemon, and I wear it ALL DAY LONG. I wish I could have more so I could wear the same sweater every day 🙂 Also, I got an autographed, full-sized football at a Dreamforce (Salesforce) workshop which I think qualifies as pretty cool.

What’s the longest train or plane ride you’ve ever been on?

The longest flight I’ve taken is 13 hours back to Taiwan (plus waiting on the plane for an extra hour because of a delay). It’s worth mentioning that flying with a toddler will make it seem like the time has doubled or tripled — especially when your toddler tries to grab everyone around her and runs up and down the aisle while everyone else is sleeping. What a nightmare!

If you had to delete all but 3 apps from your smartphone, which ones would you keep? (Three apps that have changed your life.)

The obvious three apps would be Phone, Contacts, and a web browser, but I guess that answer is too easy. A better answer is Wallet, Camera, and Google Photos!

  • I love that I can put all of my credit cards on my phone and be able to pay for everything with just that one device (I often forget my wallet).
  • I also love taking photos, trying to capture people’s emotions (mostly happiness, excitement, and funny moments).
  • That leads to the last app I would keep, Google Photos. I love that it gives you snapshots and reminders of fun times that happened years ago. I also love that it intelligently picks some photos to show you in fun ways (then and now, collages, etc.).

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