This “Meet the Trulian” features Trulia’s Engineering Lead for Registration, Markis Taylor. Markis joined Trulia more than two years ago and found his passion for programming at the ripe age of 12. Read on to learn more about Markis.
What’s your role at Trulia?
I’m an Engineering Lead, but if I could choose a title it would be God’s Gift to Programming. Just kidding! In all reality, it is my team that is so great. I lead some of the greatest engineers who work on registration at Trulia. It’s our job to register our users and save their properties, to help ensure they have an optimal experience. When trying to find a good place to work, people are everything. Tech changes, but good people attract good people, and I’m blessed to have the team I do.
What inspired you to get into your role?
I always wanted to be a developer. Being a developer is all about taking very complex problems and solving them in small chunks until you eventually have a full working solution. I also love building things, so learning to take crazy complex problems, break them down into small feasible chunks and buildout a solution is perfect for me. And, being able to take a step back to see what I built is a ton of fun.
What was your dream job growing up and why?
As far back as I can remember I have wanted to get into software development. I got my first taste of software development at the age of 12 when my dad brought home an IBM PC and he had the manual to QBASIC. Once I got my name to fade in and out, I was hooked. A few years later, I got my first job, which was an internship at a packaging company that desperately needed help upgrading their systems for Y2K. I loved it so much – I actually had fun at work – and that’s what I’ve wanted to do ever since.
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?
Vint Cerf. As an engineer, I have been bitten by both paralysis by analysis and overly simple solutions. And so, when I find a solution that so perfectly balances between simple, versatile, and performant, I am amazed. I would ask, in the early days of ARPANet, how he decided on 256^4 set of addresses. I’d also ask if he foresaw it growing beyond that, or if his parameters were already scoped and it was the logical conclusion.
What’s the one gadget or personal tech item you cannot live without and why?
While not the answer you might have expected (and going off of the last question), a piece of modern tech I am absolutely amazed by is the Zipper. It is so magnificently simple, versatile, and performant. It wasn’t invented until the 20th century. Imagine, for almost 2,000 years, your clasping options were limited to buttons, belts, and ties!
If you could master one talent or skill that you don’t have now what would it be and why?
I think it would be fun to develop my woodworking skills. Developing things virtually is cool, but I could really see myself enjoying the work of building something tangible. And, I don’t mean building something from Ikea, I mean building from scratch something of real quality and design; something you would see in a Crate&Barrel catalog.
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Has and always will be, chronokinesis, like Hiro Nakamura in Heroes. There are very few problems that I can think of that couldn’t be fixed with more time.
If you could time travel, would you go into the future or past and why?
I would love to go into the past. Ignorance really is bliss. I think I would love to go back to a simpler time.