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November 7, 2018

Engineering Spotlight: Promoboxx

Promoboxx is the only retail marketing platform powered by brands. Founded in 2010, the company is transforming the way retailers and brands market together at a local level.

We connected with Promoboxx’s VP of Engineering Mark DiAntonio about the company’s engineering team and how they are helping brands with their marketing efforts. DiAntonio also touched upon the company’s Hack Day initiative and what it means for the engineering team's culture.

Interested in working at Promoboxx? Click here for the job openings at this Boston tech company.


Quick Hit Details

  • Year Founded:  2010

  • Number of employees: 65

  • Industry: Retail Marketing


Can you share a summary on what Promoboxx does?

Promoboxx is the only retail marketing platform, powered by brands, that connects and aligns national manufacturing brands with independent, specialty retailers to increase local awareness and sales at every storefront. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Promoboxx partners with over 70 leading brands (including Mohawk Flooring, GE Appliances, New Balance, and The North Face) and over 25,000 retail storefronts to transform the way retailers and brands market together at a local level.

Mark DiAntonio
Mark DiAntonio, VP of Engineering at Promoboxx

What are some of the different technologies that the engineering team gets to work with and at what scale?

Promoboxx has its roots in Ruby and Javascript which continues to influence life today. On the client side, we’re using more React and we’ve done some projects in Vue to explore that framework more. Server side, we’re working on a new microservice infrastructure that takes advantages of the latest in Rails 5, so we can allow our Ruby experts to work with the latest enhancements around Rails API in the framework. We’re beginning to introduce more Go and Python into our code base, so we have the microservice infrastructure in place there, as well as in our data pipeline and tools development. We’re heavily invested in Amazon Web Services and are looking at ways to continue to use more of the options available. We’re moving our traditional cloud infrastructure towards containerization.

What are some of the interesting projects that the engineering team is tackling?

Our goal is always to get more value to our customers faster, but with confidence.  Promoboxx was already ahead of the curve in service-oriented architecture, so we’re continuing to build off of that strength by investing in areas of the tech stack that empower team growth, can scale to an order of magnitude greater capacity, and will improve developer efficiency. We’re looking at uplifting client applications from older Angular code base to React or Vue.

Does your engineering team have a chance to work on projects outside of their day-to-day responsibilities?  For example - skunk work projects, open source projects?

Yes! Promoboxx is very proud of our annual Hack Day initiative. Promoboxx’s Hack Day is a company-wide event where employees from different teams work together to present development ideas that they believe would improve our product and service. We encourage cross-team collaboration and are always looking for ways to get our employees to look at the big picture and be leaders.

I believe in open source projects, and we leverage the open source software, so it’s great to give back as well. We’ve recently hired some individuals with a solid history there, and we will continue to contribute to that arena.  

What is the culture like at Promoboxx for the engineering team?

We believe in team driven Full-Cycle Development. I see this as the latest stage in the evolution driven from a decade of the DevOps mindset. While this doesn’t mean that we expect every Engineer to be full-stack, we do encourage each squad to be able to come together to design, develop, test, and operate their product.  We are trying to cultivate a culture focused on inclusion and trust which in turn empowers us each to have an impact.

What can a potential employee expect during the interview process?

We want to get some of the traditional recruiting pain points out of the way early, so we’ll have an exploratory call early to see if our expectations for the position and the candidate’s line up.  After that, we want to focus on aptitude and team fit. Candidates should expect to be challenged by coding and whiteboard design exercises. We don’t believe in trick questions, but instead focus on pragmatic problem solving and real-world, day-to-day scenarios.  

Are you involved in any local tech organizations or Meetups?

We are proud Techstars alumni. There are a bunch of Boston startup and focused entrepreneurial groups that we participate in. Individuals on the team contribute to Meetups according to interest, but we’re not currently sponsoring them.


Rapid Fire Q&A

What’s on tap?  

Love for our Brands and Retailers.

Star Wars or Star Trek?  

Star Wars

iPhone or Android?  

Apple

Coffee - hot or iced?  

In New England, it depends on the season. Hot right now.

Favorite employee perk?  

Working on a distributed team!

What TV show describes the engineering team’s culture?

Modern Family

What music is playing in your office?

It’s always changing. Folks jump in and change the Sonos playlists all the time.


Team Profiles

Romi McCullough, Promoboxx

Romi McCullough

Joe Leonard, Promoboxx

Joe Leonard


Samantha Costanzo Carleton is a Contributor to VentureFizz. You can follow her on Twitter @smcstnz.
 
Images courtesy of Cindy Klein Roche

 

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