Friday, June 14, 2024

Meet the Staff: Alex Golec, Engineering Supervisor



After over a decade within the promoting trade, Alex Golec joins Patreon as an Engineering Supervisor in our Creator Development group. He beforehand spent 4 years at Reddit, the place he led the Advertisements ML and Optimization groups. And earlier than that, he spent six years at Google as a software program engineer. Hold studying to learn how Alex turned a Patronaut, his favourite a part of his job, and the way he places creators first.

Creator turned Patronaut

In the course of the pandemic, Alex wrote an open supply library to assist these trying to commerce on TDAmeritrade. He created a Patreon account to offer help for his neighborhood. “I knew that individuals have been going to need technical assist, however earlier than I knew it, I had a full-on funding neighborhood on Discord,” Alex says. “I didn’t anticipate something and I used to be amazed that the neighborhood I had based was keen to pay me actual cash and help my work. It’s been extremely gratifying and has allowed me to keep up the library and neighborhood.”

From there, Alex needed to be taught what it’s wish to work at Patreon. The extra he spoke to the crew, the extra he realized he needed to become involved. “Patreon has tens of 1000’s of hours of patron-only work that actually doesn’t exist anyplace outdoors of Patreon,” Alex explains. “As soon as I discovered that, I noticed Patreon was way more than a funds processor.”

Creator tradition

Alex says the function and crew listed below are totally different from his earlier engineering experiences. “At Patreon, we are attempting new issues. We’ve got a creator inhabitants and a member inhabitants that we’re nonetheless studying about, all whereas concurrently constructing merchandise for them each. And the way we function displays that. We’ve got a number of test-and-learn experiments. As somebody who enjoys discovery within the scientific course of, it’s been an actual deal with.”

Since creators use Patreon to construct and develop their companies, Alex explains that it’s extremely necessary to earn their belief. “We’ve got to deal with them with the utmost respect as a result of we offer them with a system that enables them to help themselves and their households.”

On the subject of promoting platforms, it may be tough to offer creators the eye they deserve since you’re coping with a three-legged stool — your customers are one leg, your advertisers are one other, and the corporate is the third. “Customers are inclined to really feel the adverts expertise is a distraction from the content material. Creators are sometimes ambivalent about adverts as a result of they don’t management what adverts are proven or the impression they’ve on their communities. And as a platform, you wish to enhance your enterprise outcomes. Balancing these three issues will be difficult,” Alex says.

In the meantime at Patreon, Alex says, “our work instantly helps creators construct profitable companies, and if somebody turns into a member, their expertise is enabled by our work. In consequence, creators can belief Patreon in a method that they won’t essentially be capable of belief an enormous platform,” he says. While you’re on different platforms, and also you’re serving an algorithm, your success depends upon that algorithm. While you’re on Patreon, you’re instantly serving your followers, and your success is a results of the well being of your neighborhood.”

Wanting forward

As Alex dives deeper into his function, he acknowledges that his crew has a number of foundational work to do collectively. “From constructing serving stacks for advertising pages, to constructing experimentation and measurement layers, to constructing enterprise intelligence layers to grasp what’s occurring within the broader creator financial system, there’s a problem to make a distinction and ship outcomes.”

Fortunately, Alex’s expertise as a creator has taught him the right way to hearken to the folks round him, and he faucets into that talent to verify his crew can leverage their craft, scrappiness, and talent to pivot. “My job is to concentrate to the issues that individuals round me are saying. I take that and rework it into visions for what’s attainable, the right way to encourage and excite folks, and naturally, the right way to ship outcomes.”

Certainly one of his favourite elements about his job is the best way everybody works collectively. “There’s a beautiful directness to our collaboration. I’m studying much more as a result of I’m uncovered to the work of people that I beforehand solely noticed distantly at different firms. I get to work instantly with groups like Gross sales, Advertising and marketing, Design, and Information Science. The instruments and processes we’ve put in place to assist each other is the key sauce that makes us profitable.”

Past the work

Alex is an skilled musician and a much less skilled golfer. He’s been taking part in guitar since he was a child, and nowadays, you would possibly simply catch him in Central Park performing jazz together with his accomplice. As for golf, he not too long ago moved to Westchester, dwelling of (what he considers) the perfect golf programs in New York State.

As a musician, Alex clearly admires a lot of different artists. However his favourite Patreon creator doesn’t have something to do with music in any respect. It’s a chemistry video creator known as Explosions and Fireplace. “For some motive, chemistry by no means actually grabbed me whereas I used to be at school, however watching this nearly makes me wish to purchase some glassware. Nearly.”

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