Welcome to our blog series In the Greenlight, where you can get an inside glimpse into the Koupon team! We’ve never been much to brag, but we think our team is pretty incredible and they deserve their time in the spotlight. This week we sat down with Roberto Badillo, our Director of Infrastructure Engineer & Operations.
Meet Roberto! He hails from Matamoros, Tamaulipas , Mexico, but he’s been in Texas for over four years now. In addition to being the Director of the Operations team, Roberto has found the time to complete a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence and he’s now working on his second degree in Self-Driving Car Engineering! Needless to say, we feel pretty lucky to have him on the Koupon team.
Director of Infrastructure Engineer and Operations isn’t a job title people hear every day. Can you explain what you do on a day-to-day basis?
My team and I are responsible for the design, implementation and management of the infrastructure that Koupon Media uses to deliver its service. On a daily basis, that means we monitor each of our applications for errors, network usage, data backups, etc. We’re also responsible for testing the capacity of our existing system while proposing new changes to the architecture for future growth. There’s never a dull moment for the Operations team!
What’s unique about your role when compared to similar roles in the industry?
My role at Koupon Media is truly unique in the sense of freedom and support I'm given. I have always felt free to propose new ideas and solutions and I’m always given the support I need to accomplish each and every project that comes my way.
You’re working on your second Master’s degree in engineering, so you clearly have a passion for what you do. What drew you to the world of computer engineering?
Like you said, I am SO passionate about what I do. I have always been drawn to the world of technology because of its impact on people’s lives. My passion for technology prompted me to study Computer Engineering in college and that opened the door for so many opportunities. Working at Koupon, my love for computer engineering continues to grow because I get to witness firsthand how our technology is shaping the industry and I feel so fortunate to be a part of that on a daily basis.
During your time at Koupon you’ve managed an incredibly successful Operations team. Do you have any advice on managing a team?
I believe the key to managing a successful team is creating an environment of trust and collaboration. Not only does your team need to feel comfortable enough to propose ideas, they also need to know that those ideas are being heard and considered.
I’ve also found delegation to be crucial. As a manager, there’s not enough time in the day to accomplish everything on your own. You have to be willing to divide tasks among your team and make sure that the tasks have measurable end goals.
Combine delegation with a collaborative environment and your team will be transformed!
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your job? How do you work to overcome these challenges?
Planning ahead is always a challenge for the Operations team, but it’s crucial for our success. Working on the technology side of a company means constant surprises and you always have to be ready to face these challenges. Technology is constantly evolving and changing, so your coding and configuration needs to change at the same pace so chaos doesn’t ensue.
To prevent this from happening, my team is always planning ahead to have strategies in place.
You’ve been with Koupon for four years now, but this is the first startup you’ve been a part of. What surprised you most about the startup life?
When I first started, I was amazed (and a little nervous) about the speed of how quickly things moved. Like I said earlier, there is never a dull moment at Koupon, but luckily I have an amazing team that provides constant support to keep up with the fast-paced startup life.
On a non-work related note, what has been the biggest difference between life in Mexico and life in Texas?
Surprisingly, my life in Texas is pretty similar to life in Mexico. Though I do miss the food in Mexico, Dallas has such a large Latino population and that has made me feel right at home in Texas. But when I do want to go home to Mexico, I'm only a plane ride away.
Check back next month for another glimpse into the Koupon team!