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Meet the Trulian: Deep Varma

A Series to Connect You to the Trulians Behind the Magic

Today’s “Meet the Trulian” features Vice President of Data Engineering, Deep Varma. Deep manages dozens of data engineers and is focused on mining and leveraging data to give Trulia users an easy and enjoyable experience. Read on to learn more about Deep and what inspires him.

What’s your role at Trulia?
Data is a core part of Trulia, and my role as the VP of Data Engineering is to build and manage a team of data engineers who have the skills to take raw data and manifest it into consumable content that the average person can understand. We’re all focused on the goal of delivering an amazing experience to our users.

What inspired you to get into your role?
Data, scale and working with talented engineers are three things that really inspire me, and Trulia has all three – we collect terabytes of data every day, host millions of consumer interactions and have amazing engineers solving scale. It was a perfect fit for me. Plus, I’ve been through the home buying process more than once and have always felt technology – especially sites like Trulia – can be a major catalyst for change in what is typically a very stressful process. And, as I like to say, it’s better to be a part of the change than to sit on the sidelines and watch it.

What was your dream job growing up and why?
I grew up in India, where you were told you needed to either be a doctor or an engineer, but I dreamt of becoming pilot. As I got older though, I lost my pilot passion and started becoming more attracted to technology, problem solving, mathematics, and physics. What irony that I ended up becoming an engineer!

If you could have drinks with one tech luminary – dead or alive – whom would it be and why? And, what would your first question be?
Steve Jobs. He’s always inspired me because of his perseverance, commitment, and passion to making things simpler and easier. I actually had an opportunity to meet him in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2005 when he gave the Stanford commencement speech that he quoted “The Whole Earth Catalog” and said, “Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.” That really inspired me, so that’s the first thing I’d ask him – how did he stay hungry and foolish.

What’s the one gadget or personal tech item you cannot live without and why?
Undoubtedly, it’s my Mac laptop. I have the DNA of an engineer and love learning new technologies that are fast and reliable, and that can scale and achieve concurrency, and I use my Mac to stay up to speed and keep myself on my toes on all this tech. (My wife is aware of my Mac obsession, but she hates hearing about it, so let’s hope she’s not reading about it here!)

What was the last movie you saw or book you read and what – if anything – would you change about the ending?
Most people know the story of the young girl in Afghanistan who stood up for female education in 2012, Malala Yousafzai; I’ve always wanted to meet her, but since it hasn’t happened, I decided to read her book, “I Am Malala.” It wasn’t the most recent book I read, but it ended up inspiring me to start investing in female education in developing countries. It’s hard to say what I’d change about the book itself, but I do hope we don’t make more sacrifices like the one Malala did.

What’s your proudest accomplishment and why?
Tough one to answer, but there are two major things that I’m most proud of: The first is marrying my wife. We are great partners and friends, too. We complement each other nicely and have built an amazing family. The second is the five years I spent in my Silicon Valley startup journey, where I learned a lot and made good friends both personally and professionally whom I can lean on anytime.

If you could time travel, would you go into the future or past and why?
I’d like to go into the future for two reasons: One, I want to see where IoT takes us. Currently it’s dysfunctional and vertical based, so I’d like to see how it’s going to be once “connected, yet simple.” And two, I want to see how Virtual Reality will become reality. VR will integrate into many facets of our life, from entertainment and education to work and exploration, and I really can’t wait to see how it plays out.