Today’s “Meet the Trulian” features Director of Engineering for Trulia Rentals, Jason Standiford. Jason has been on the team since 2008, working his way from senior technical email manager to lead engineer in just two years. Read on to learn more about Jason.
What’s your role at Trulia?
I’m the Director of Engineering for Trulia Rentals. Most of my time is spent making sure we’re investing in the right technology and tools to grow and scale our platform. I’m also involved in product development, helping to guide teams on adding new feature sets in a seamless way, and making sure our products are integrated end-to-end with data, user interactions, and more.
What inspired you to get into your role?
I have a passion for both people and technology, and this role is the perfect convergence of the two. My favorite part of the job is pressing the team forward to try new things. I find that when people have freedom and the responsibility of ownership, they always achieve more than they ever imagined they could. That fact alone keeps me inspired, and it means we get to build really cool products that add value for consumers.
What was your dream job growing up and why?
After being inspired by the movie Explorers as a young kid, I wanted to be a NASA engineer and build spaceships. There’s so much to explore in the universe and I wanted to see it all, still do.
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?
The man for which a modern car company is named after: Nikola Tesla. He’s one of the smartest, most fascinating technologists of all time. His contributions to humanity are hard to quantify. I would ask him if I could follow him around for the week and simply watch him do his thing.
What’s the one gadget or personal tech item you cannot live without and why?
My record player. I usually spend my Saturday afternoons listening to records with my wife – there’s something amazing about putting on a record and letting the afternoon pass you by. Records give you an especially connected experience to the music, and they force you to listen to the music the way the artist intended you to, which gives you a better appreciation for it all. I’m working on growing my collection now and can’t wait till it’s really built up.
What’s your proudest accomplishment and why?
Graduating college with a computer science degree. I didn’t go straight to college after high school. I actually worked as an apprentice car mechanic for Chevrolet following high school, and realized I wanted to pursue a different path after a few years. So, I quit my job and drove up to Chico State to check out an open enrollment session they had at the time (go Wildcats!). Four-and-a-half years later, I had a degree and my first software engineering job in San Francisco.
If you could master one talent or skill that you don’t have now what would it be and why?
Playing the piano. I have always envisioned myself as an old man playing the piano and signing off-key classics for my grandkids. Specifically, I’d love to sing Otis Redding’s “A Change is Gonna Come” – it’s very soulful!
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
I have been thinking about this question for years, so it’s simple: absolute control over matter with my mind. You could do some really cool stuff if you could control matter.
If you could time travel, would you go into the future or past and why?
Easy, the future, to the year 2364 to be exact. That’s the year the next generation Star Trek Enterprise ship was commissioned, and I’d love to see if we are anywhere near where Star Trek thought we’d be. Plus, we already know what happened in the past. The future is where all the really interesting things are happening, I just hope they still serve PBR.