There are so many films that explore a protagonist interacting with his or her younger self. To say that meeting the Arbor team was essentially Back to the Future would be mildly disingenuous, but it certainly came to mind as LiveRamp met Arbor’s engineering team. Arbor is only a little over 2 years old, and we got to see where they made the same and different choices in developing their systems, whether they were informed by new technology, changes in market demand, or differing philosophies.
Each difference in the two teams represents a learning opportunity. Though the Arbor and LiveRamp have similar features, they are fundamentally different. LiveRamp’s system was built to handle scale and thus focuses on intelligently batching work, while Arbor’s system focuses on a real-time approach. Leveraging our scalability with Arbor’s real-time approach will increase our versatility and improve both of our product offerings.
We spent much of the weeks presenting tech talks to share knowledge, systems, and technologies across the engineering teams. Arbor is a Go shop (LR uses Java), so it was a treat to engage in a (civil) conversation around the tradeoffs on the languages. LR presented on Pregel, Map-Side Join, and HANK. Arbor went through Gazette, their cross-device graph, and their containerized deploy process. We also discussed Arbor’s use of Google Cloud Services versus LR leveraging AWS.
Outside of sharing technologies, it’s an opportunity to review and improve our development process. Meeting Arbor, a smaller engineering team, is a great reminder of how nimble we can be as a team.
Despite all the differences, what is more astonishing is how similar Arbor and LiveRamp in many ways. We immediately bonded over the things we love most (and cringe most at) in our respective systems. We also integrated over drinks and gaming.
LiveRamp engineering is the most motivated and invigorating team of which I’ve ever had the honor of being a part. So when I say that Arbor has only supercharged these qualities illustrates how excited I and the rest of the team are about working with Arbor.