Meet Marcin: The Coding Tiger
Hello, I’m Marcin; I have been working for Erasys for the last four and a half years. Erasys GmbH, based in Berlin, handles software development and technical maintenance for the PLANETROMEO online community. I moved to Berlin from Warsaw, as it’s the place to be. Officially, I’m a software developer, but this won’t really tell you a lot about my job. Most of the Erasys employees are referred to as software developers. It’s probably better if I just explain my position to you instead.
The role of software developer, in Erasys, has evolved over the last 4 years. Back in 2012, we had this philosophy that every developer did everything from the very bottom to the very top. At that time, I worked with different features sometimes building them from scratch like the payment process.
Then we started specializing, we started hiring dedicated frontend developers and moving our backend developers really into the backend. About 2 years ago we started with our data-mining project. It’s been gaining traction very slowly and we’ve arrived at a point where we can actually use our data effectively.
Now, I’m generally the data guy. I deal with our two most data related projects within the company, business intelligence and the backend of fraud prevention. I’m the guy you come to see if you want to know how many blue-eyed Swedes over 185cm with a cock size of XL have used our android app in the last three months. We call it data mining. All of this data helps the user when it comes to a detailed user search. So you too can locate that tall, hung Swede, if that’s what you’re into.
We use the information in many different ways. In my particular field of work, it can go from very silly to very serious. Someone from social media can come to me, directly or indirectly, looking for information about the members in Italy or India, etc. It’s usually fun or playful stuff like I need to how many of our users are hairy, sporty, or anything else. I can retrieve this info for them.
The facts and figures can also be used as a basis for our development and for measuring the success of our features. Sometimes, data can be used when making difficult decisions. For example, The Vatican City was a very interesting case. We used to list it as a different country. That comes with a huge amount of overheads. The country needs its own localization setting, it needs to be detectable and have its own flag. We considered subsuming The Vatican City into Italy because it’s quite a complicated case. If you stand in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral you don’t really get a Vatican location. You’ll be using Italian networks and they will give you an Italian IP, so you end up in Rome anyway. We discovered only residents could use The Vatican City as a location. We asked ourselves the question; how many users will be affected if we remove the location altogether? We discovered we had 12 users there. This helped us greatly in deciding to combine the two countries.
That’s just a small example of how data mining can be useful. For me, every single thing is about data. In order to grow and improve, we need to know how many people are using PLANETROMEO, and how they use it. We also need to monitor the performance of features to ensure they are working properly and are of value to our members.
Data mining is about looking for and identifying patterns. These patterns help us to gain insights into how we are performing as a company and how our members are engaging with us. My job helps us to grow with our users. If we see a familiar weekly pattern of members logging in and out, we know things are going well. If we notice a change in this pattern, we can take a close look and try to find out what caused the change. It’s really that simple.