Inside ProDev: Unruly’s Software Engineer Ina Tsetsova on remote working, open source and stuffed toys

Next up in our ‘Inside ProDev’ series we sat down with one of our Software Engineers Ina Tsetsova to find out what a day in the life of an Unruly developer looks like. 

Q: Hi Ina, first of all, could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do here at Unruly?

IT: Hi! I’m Ina Tsetsova and I’m a Software Engineer here at Unruly, currently working in our Shared Infrastructure team. The team started by taking over infrastructure projects that didn’t have an owner, and were getting pretty out-of-date. Now we are steadily improving things, instilling best practices, and spreading infrastructure knowledge!

Q: How did you end up at Unruly?

IT: I went to a couple of XProlo events and was blown away by the energy there. The speakers were engaging and the content was stellar. I quickly became curious about the company and its culture. As luck would have it, I already knew a couple of developers working at Unruly. I grabbed a coffee with each and tried to figure out if the company would be a good fit for me. It was, and here I am!

Q: Tell us about your day-to-day experience in the Unruly Pro Dev team?

IT: It is unique! We do a number of things differently than other organisations. For one, we do trunk-based development, and we deploy multiple times a day. Visitors to the office might see a lot of stuffed toys around, but they aren’t just for decoration. They are all deployment tokens and each has its own meaning. We take XP values and practices to heart, we do test-driven development, and we pair on everything that gets pushed into production.

soft toy in the Unruly office

As developers, we also have more ownership of our stories and practices. We do our own research, we talk to stakeholders, and we propose work for prioritisation. We’re very collaborative. If you choose to pair all day, every day, you probably enjoy working with people a fair bit.

Q: What draws you to the type of work you do?

IT: I care about making things better and having a tangible impact. The team I’m currently in enables me to do just that! We are in the same room as our stakeholders and deeply care about removing blockers for them. We also help to automate away the repeatable and manual tasks that get in the way of delivering business value quicker!

In my team, we’ve split the type of work we do across different strands. Mine is about ‘Reducing Toil’ for the rest of ProDev. That is ‘toil’ in the SRE sense of the word – work that is manual, automatable, of no lasting value, that doesn’t scale.  Everyone in our team owns their strand, and mine really aligns with my values. This really helps me feel productive and happy at work!

Q: What have you learnt during your time at Unruly?

IT: I’ve learned so many things! Some highlights have been learning to work with Linux, understanding site reliability engineering practices and ideas, and getting to grips with the infrastructure.

I’ve also gained a lot of auxiliary skills like improving my presentation and interviewing, communicating with stakeholders, running effective meetings, visualising work progress, researching stories, collaborating, giving feedback – the list goes on!

Q: Tell us about any side projects you’re working on.

IT: I want to contribute more to open source as our team has already released multiple open source projects. One of them is a set of Puppet modules for a base Centos 7 configuration.

It’s made me look into open source outside of Unruly. There are so many interesting projects available, and some of my favourites listed are at opensourcediversity.org. It’s a great place to look for first-timer issues! I’ve just completed my first pull request to one of the projects listed.

Q: It’s the weekend: what are you doing?

IT: I read! I read books about fantasy, magic, environmentalism, self-improvement and tech. I also spend time with my husband outdoors. We go to nature reserves, have picnics in parks, or just sit on the balcony and listen to podcasts together.

Q: What kind of challenges do the developers at Unruly tackle?

IT: Work flexibility is a somewhat of a challenge. Things like remote work and flexible hours are fairly new at Unruly and will take some time before they become frictionless. Part of the challenge is because we pair all the time and we’re all collocated. Therefore a lot of our knowledge is either on white boards or shared in person. It’s something that Unruly has been supportive of experimenting with and it’s definitely becoming easier. As a result it’s perfectly common now for me to do my 20% time from home and dial in if necessary.

Q: Describe the Unruly developer culture in three words:

IT: Thoughtful, curious, and kind.

Q: What music do you listen to whilst working?

IT: We don’t really listen to music at work, because we’re pairing virtually all the time. You’ll almost never see a dev with headphones, unless they’re catching up on their admin work. As for my music, I enjoy songs that fall under acoustic, folk or alternative metal. I have a small but growing collection of songs. I also purchase my music either directly from the musicians or from ethical music sellers where the majority of the revenue goes straight to the artist.

Want to join the Unruly family? You’re in luck, we’re hiring! Check out our job page for the latest roles!

Meet some other members of the ProDev team!

Ronaldo goes for a drive, Apple and U2 launch a marketing stunt and Ikea debuts ‘the Bookbook’. Yep, it’s just another week in AdLand! 

So which ads have caught fire on the web over the last seven days? Here are our five picks.

Enjoy!

(more…)

Suarez being banned for biting another player, hosts Brazil being hammered by Germany 7-1 and former champs Spain falling at the first hurdle – it’s certainly been a World Cup to remember.

But as Germany return home as heroes, it’s worth remembering that the men in shin pads and boots were not the only star players battling it out over the last month. Brands and their agencies have also been in the thick of the action.

(more…)

It’s hard to locate any well-constructed list of top Vines these days without coming across video content created by Zach King.  

The content wizard is certainly enjoying a lot more than just six seconds of fame. Zach, who incorporates magic into a lot of his Vine content, has amassed more than 1.3 million followers on Vine and has even made an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show. So when we had the chance to sit down with him this week to discuss what tips he has for fellow Viners hoping to follow in his footsteps, we grasped at the opportunity.

Whether you’ve never made Vine content before but are thinking about it, a Viner hoping to take your content to the next level or a marketer thinking about distributing short-form content in your next global brand campaign, there’s something here for everyone.

(more…)

Three is the magic number in this month’s Unruly Global Ads Chart. That’s because for the first time in the chart’s long history, three ads launched in the same month also made it onto the top 20 most shared ads of all time.

On any normal month, Evian’s superb ad Baby&Me or Kmart’s mammoth hit Ship My Pants – with 2.3 million and 2 million shares respectively – would have easily grabbed top spot.

But April was anything but normal, with three very different ads from brands with varying social video pedigrees totally dominating.

The number one spot instead went to Dove for its Real Beauty Sketches campaign. Launched on April 14, it attracted 3.1 million shares last month. The three-minute video, created by Ogilvy Mather for the Unilever brand, shows that when it comes to their beauty, women really are their harshest critics.

(more…)

Kissing – it’s just plain gross, right? Well, that’s what I thought until I saw “First Kiss”, which tops this month’s Global Ads Chart round-up.

Splitting a group of (photogenic) strangers off into pairs, the teams were asked to kiss for the first time on camera. At first bemused, then hesitant, the pairs finally accept their fate, eventually succumbing. If this sounds like a more couple-friendly version of Saw, then you’re not far off the money.

The one thing that did not cross my mind, however, while watching Tatia Pilieva’s short film was ‘what a great ad’.

Not because it’s not ‘great’ – the numbers do not lie, after all. Since it was uploaded on March 11, the video has had its own love affair with the internet, the experiment in human tenderness grossing more than 1.44 million shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere during March alone. The perfect kiss, if you will.

(more…)

Partnership helps advertisers keep up with demand to create and distribute content 365 days a year.

March 18, 2014 – Advertisers will now be able to produce, distribute and measure end-to-end social campaigns across the web thanks to a new global partnership between marketing technology platform Unruly and eYeka, the leading crowdsourcing community.

Marketers are struggling to deliver the high volume of branded social content that social channels demand. According to the 2013 Chief Marketer Social Media Survey, 37% of marketers feel that creating social media content is too time-consuming, while 13% don’t know what content to create and 29% feel that there is never enough fresh content.

The new partnership between video specialists Unruly and crowdsourcing platform eYeka will help ROI-driven marketers keep up with the ever-increasing demand to create and distribute content.

·    High quality, scalable and cost-effective content production through crowdsourcing: Traditional content production solutions were designed to produce a great piece of creative work every six months at high cost. Crowdsourcing content with eYeka’s creative community typically delivers 20 pieces of brand-inspired, story-rich, genuine content, with an upper range in the hundreds, at a much more affordable price. This allows a brand to sustain the conversation for the full year, especially to supplement hero campaigns;

·  The ability to predict which content has the most potential to get shared: Unruly ShareRank™ is a proprietary algorithm that allows advertisers to accurately predict the ‘shareability’ of a video, before it’s even launched. This allows advertisers to maximize the impact of their content marketing strategy by calculating the amount of earned media a video is likely to attract across the social web;

·  A comprehensive paid distribution strategy, with real-time tracking: Unruly Activate™ is a cloud-hosted platform for social video distribution and tracking which reaches one billion consumers worldwide and powers your entire campaign. You can also use Unruly Analytics to get instant information on the ROI of your paid and earned media.

François Pétavy, CEO of eYeka, said: “Social content is not advertising. The narrative, format, tone of voice and role of the brand needs to be completely rethought to work in an environment driven by conversations, engagement and the ability to skip your message at will. The freshness and variety of participants involved in crowdsourcing provides many such ‘digital-native’ flavours that can resonate in different local markets and are especially relevant for social activation to keep the brand ‘always-on’.

“This approach makes the economics of social content fly as most costs involved into crowdsourcing are fixed costs.”

Phil Townend, MD for Unruly APAC, said: “Even when brands have awesome content, they can’t afford to post and pray – there’s too much competition for viewer attention, not just from other brands but from friends and family in the newsfeed. This is why a scientific, data-driven approach to content creation and distribution is a must-have for brands who want repeatable, scalable success with social video.

“Together with eYeka, we can help brands create and distribute content throughout the year. From creating sugar cube Vine and Instagram teasers, to producing hero campaigns, we’ll help brands maximise their ROI.”

UNRULY, UNRULY VIRAL VIDEO CHART, UNRULY ACTIVATE, UNRULY SHARERANK, UNRULY ANALYTICS and logos and associated marks are trademarks of Unruly Group. Other marks are owned by their respective owners.

About Unruly

Marketing technology company Unruly is the leading global platform for social video marketing and works with top brands and their agencies to predict the emotional impact of their videos and get them watched, tracked and shared across paid, owned and earned media. We use our proprietary technology to turn target audiences into engaged viewers and engaged viewers into customers and advocates.

Our end-to-end solution cracks the code on social video sharing. Brands can predict shareability with Unruly Labs, activate the Open Web with Unruly Activate and prove social ROI with Unruly Analytics, a cloud-based dashboard providing real-time competitive benchmarks across 6 billion customizable data points.

The Unruly Viral Video Chart has tracked 424 billion video views since 2006. With an engaged audience of over a billion consumers, across the full range of mobile, tablet and second screen devices, Unruly has delivered, tracked and audited 3.85 billion video views across 3,500+ social video campaigns for over 450 brands, including Volkswagen, Dove, Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Warner Bros and adidas.

We’ve worked with 60% of Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands and our mission is to deliver the most awesome social video advertising campaigns on the planet.

Founded in 2006, Unruly has 12 offices and employs over 140 people globally. In 2012, Unruly secured a $25 million Series A investment led by Amadeus, Van den Ende & Deitmers and Business Growth Fund – the largest ever for a private company in the social video space.

The company has won over 18 awards, including ‘Best Content Distribution Service’ at the Braves Awards; ‘Digital Innovator of the Year’ at the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100; ‘International Management Team of the Year’ at the BVCA Awards 2013 and #14 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA. Unruly is also a Tech City Future Fifty company.

So, what does the future hold? 

On a birthday it’s always fun to look back, but when you’re one of the hottest video apps on the planet it’s really all about the future.

The signs certainly look promising. Much to no one’s surprise, Vine was one of the top apps downloaded on smartphones in 2013. In fact, last year saw a host of video-based social media apps scrapping for recognition in a rapidly-growing marketplace, with new players, including ephemeral content apps Snapchat, Keek and MixBit.

With these new video offerings gaining market traction, video sharing on mobile is rocketing. In fact, according to a recent study from Cisco, two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic is expected to come from video by 2017. And mobile video will increase 16-fold between 2012 and 2017.

But how will Vine make the most of this?

(more…)

Disclosure: This release appeared on the IPA website on November 26, 2013

Unruly has taken the top accolade in the IPA’s Online Media Owner autumn 2013 Survey (25th November), with 82.4% of respondents agreeing that their overall experience of dealing with them is good.

Unruly Media are the only company to receive a score of above 80% in the ‘Grand Prix’ category in the Autumn Survey, and have gone up 7.8 percentage points and eight positions since their debut appearance in the spring 2013 survey. Exponential and Inskin Media came in second (79.2%) and third positions (78.9%). In this same category, AOL lead the online pure plays sector with a score of 78.7% and A & NY lead the cross over media sector with a score of 77.9%.

(more…)