Engineering a Best-in-class Programmatic Platform with Manhar Sapariya
This week, we talked with Manhar to unveil a bit more about what happens behind the scenes in Engineering and find out what keeps this Engineering lead busy.
How did you get into Engineering? Tell us how it all started for you.
Creating something new and solving a challenging problem always excites me and gives me a thrill.
Since my engineering days, I have always been fascinated by programming. I started building new tools and managing complex projects on my first job. And during my free time, I used to build small tools/software to make other teams' life easier. I ended up being recognized with a rising star award for this.
What about your role at RevX?
It has been a phenomenal experience at RevX, starting as a software developer to leading the engineering team.
As a Director of Engineering, I oversee the engineering team and ensure that they meet goals and objectives. I align proper training, projects, or courses to fulfill their learning goals. I also collaborate with the product team, operation team, and other cross-functional teams to determine the market potential for new products and enhance existing product features in our programmatic platform.
What does your day as an Engineer in AdTech look like?
I am dealing with TBs of data, handling 1 million QPS, showing thousands of ads in a second, RnDing on various data-structure and algorithms to build efficient solutions, troubleshooting with a team on various issues, managing the complex infra on cloud, and many more such thrilling activities.
In the AdTech domain, you need to analyze lots of data and patterns and do multiple A/B Testing before/after developing a new product/feature. These are the common words that we hear multiple times during a day -> Performance, latency, QPS. 😀
What are some of the projects you're proud of developing here at RevX?
There are quite a few. We developed a Custom Load Balancer using Nginx. We were using ELB to distribute the load of our bidder. It costs thousands of dollars as we are handling around 1 million QPS. We decided to build a custom load balancer that also provides those fancy graphs for monitoring. Once the custom load balancer was productized, fine-tuning it with this huge load was challenging and time-consuming. Once we migrated it, we ultimately saved on infra cost.
There was also our Throttling/Rate-limiting feature. We listen to ~100 billion bids per day. Out of these, only 20%-30% bids are relevant to us. We started brainstorming on how to stop those non-relevant bids from going to our bidder for processing. We benchmarked third-party rate-limiting tools, but rejected all of them because either the cost was quite high or it could not handle the QPS we are dealing with.
We then decided to take up the project to build our custom rate-limiting (throttling) module, which throttles the request with a minimum overhead of latency in microseconds. We also integrated a data science model to throttle it more efficiently without compromising bid rates and impression rates.
Another exciting project was the CPM bargainer which bargains for the best bid price to participate in the auction. It helps prevent overbidding on various inventory hence saving media costs for our clients. We leveraged our data science capabilities to build models that analyze past data and patterns. It decides the best bid price cap that should be honored to the corresponding bid.
What is the biggest challenge you're facing right now?
We continue working on solving the attribution problem in a device-id less world and building a sophisticated solution to optimize the campaign with zero efforts from the operation team.
How has RevX helped you grow as a professional?
In AdTech, we always need to brainstorm new technologies and tools that provide very low latency and high throughput solutions. As I mentioned before, I started as a software engineer and am leading the engineering team.
During this seven-year journey, I have worked with very talented minds under powerful leadership. I got a chance to learn and enhance my skills during each phase of this journey.
What do you like the most about your team?
My team is my strength. I often need to discuss a challenge with my team. They give me various solutions, and we brainstorm on it together.
Each team member knows their responsibilities and always appreciates new ideas and innovation so it's easy to do great work with them.
What's your biggest learning from working from home?
Working at home gives more flexibility and, in fact, more productivity. It provides flexibility to do RnD whenever your mind is fresh and take a break/nap whenever you feel stressed. But at the same time, it requires more effort when it comes to defining the boundaries between personal and professional life. Though you are not meeting personally with your colleagues or friends, you need to make sure that you connect with them often for your own well-being.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an engineer who is interested in joining RevX?
Find out what type of work gets you fired up every day.
🔹 If you are excited to learn and contribute to building low latency & high throughput applications,
🔹 If you are interested in playing with TBs of data for analytics and reporting,
🔹 If you are thrilled to work with/in the data science team to solve real and challenging problems,
RevX is the place for you!
What is one thing you could not live without?
Family. My family is my backbone.
P.S. - Interested in joining a growing AdTech team? We're hiring!
Our Behind the Scenes @ RevX series showcases our expert team members who work to serve our clients and to develop our state-of-the-art programmatic platform. Get to know the faces behind our brand and the different projects they bring to life.