This past summer, we had the chance to interview Cuebiq’s Head of Engineering, Marco Funaro. Having been with Cuebiq since its early days, Marco has extensive experience in software development and oversees the team in Milan. Read on to learn about the day-to-day of a software engineer, how to balance time management with attention to detail, and what Marco’s favorite product is.
Can you describe the path that led you to work at Cuebiq?
I got a PhD in software engineering, which was a three-year program. After that I began working for a major airline booking company, where I acquired experience on how to build things for an enterprise. Then, I worked one year at a startup and eventually moved to Beintoo, and then Cuebiq. I’ve been here since November, 2015, and have helped build almost every product we have; I’ve seen all the development cycles. Now, I take care of all the activities in our product roadmap. It’s been an exciting journey, and I’m looking forward to seeing Cuebiq continue to grow.
What does a software engineer typically do on a day-to-day basis?
The philosophical answer is that we get problems, slice and dice them until we get to their smallest unit, and then solve them. We use computers and code to do that. In reality, this involves a lot of frustration, and a lot of coffee! We need to understand what needs to be done, challenge the product people, and then build the software. But building software is not like building a bridge — you don’t have to get the plan correct at the very beginning. We do something different from that; we iterate and talk with people to get feedback. If the product is not performing at its best, we regroup based on feedback and keep building.
Software development requires intense attention to detail as well as strong time management. How do you balance these?
In my role as Head of Engineering, unfortunately, I don’t do a lot of the hands-on work anymore. I am the tech lead, so I guide the team in understanding problems and in finding the right tools to solve them, such as various algorithms, methodologies, or existing products. Thus, the team is empowered to search for suitable solutions and determine whether they work for all the stakeholders. I help the people building things by providing context and guidance so they can find the right balance between what is perfect in a technical sense and what is actually good for the business. The latter is of crucial importance as engineers love thoroughly investigating and exploring problems, but that is not always ideal for the business.
What’s your favorite product?
I’ve worked on all the products, but the one I’ve invested the most time in is Attribution. Our Attribution solution enables clients to measure and optimize cross-channel campaigns, based on real-time, real-world footfall analysis. I’ve worked with the Attribution product from its infancy, so seeing how it’s grown over time has been especially meaningful for me.
If you’d like to work at Cuebiq, be sure to check out our current job openings in both Milan and New York.