This Meet the Trulian features Gaetan Deputier, an engineering lead at Trulia. Originally from France, Gaetan joined Trulia a little more than two years ago to work on the communications team, which is the team responsible for email communication. Read on to learn more about Gaetan and how he got started in his role.
What’s your role at Trulia?
I am the engineering lead for Trulia’s communications team, which is the team responsible for delivering daily emails and notifications to our consumers. Our main goal is to reengage our consumers through various channels by delivering them a mix of fresh listings, personalized content and local information. Recently, I have been involved in designing and implementing our new cloud-based communication infrastructure, and my goal for 2017 is to make the infrastructure fully responsible for any communication delivered by Trulia.
What inspired you to get into your role?
Math has always come naturally to me, and computer science was a good way for me to apply my math skills. I fell in love with computer science back in 1998, when one of my cousins showed me a program he wrote with BASIC. I was instantly hooked. Since pursuing engineering, there are two things that I particularly enjoy: building and teaching. Building because nothing beats the satisfaction of creating something useful that others can use, and teaching because I enjoy sharing knowledge – I taught students in France for a couple of years, it was so rewarding.
In terms of how I got to Trulia, I moved to the Bay Area from France four years ago because I wanted to see how different work-life is for software engineers in the U.S., and I can say I have not been disappointed. I appreciate that engineers in the U.S. can innovate and have an impact on the business. I like that our leaders are approachable and that they recognize you. The communications team at Trulia is building some amazing products with direct impact to our consumers and I enjoy helping them every day.
What was your dream job growing up and why?
I don’t know that I had a dream job per se, but space exploration has always been interesting to me. Thinking about all the unknown, and all the places we have yet to explore, often kept me awake when I was a kid. I am thrilled and amazed by the private companies recently taking up the challenge of space travel, like SpaceX and Blue Origin. It will be interesting to see what they accomplish.
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?
Not technically a tech luminary, but I’d love to ask Neil Armstrong what he felt when he landed on the moon. It was, and still is, one of the biggest space achievements of all time. I wonder – was it fear, curiosity, excitement?
What’s the one gadget or personal tech item you cannot live without and why?
Besides my phone and personal computer, I’d say my noise canceling headphones. I recently bought them and they’re one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. They really help me focus at work when I need calm and quietness, and now that I’m used to them, I cannot work without them. They’re also amazing on airplanes; they shut out most of the engine noises. I’d recommend them to anyone.
What was the last movie you saw or book you read and what –if anything – would you change about the ending?
I recently watched “Arrival” by Denis Villeneuve, which was an amazing movie. I would not change the ending at all (and can’t mention anything about it without spoiling it!). It is a sci-fi movie about communications between different life forms with good acting, and a great story line with a nice twist.
What’s your proudest accomplishment and why?
Launching Trulia’s new communications platform. The project started as a side project for our team but ended up becoming a priority project. I’m proud of the team that worked to launch this – I felt like I was watching a startup bring its first product to light.
If you could master one talent or skill that you don’t have now what would it be and why?
I would like to speak more languages fluently, especially since I’m here in the Bay Area where there are so many different cultures. Being able to speak other languages helps you build better connections with your friends and coworkers by helping you better understand their culture.
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Teleportation. I would love to travel anywhere instantaneously. No more commute. Weekends all around the world. Living on the other side of the planet while still being able to come to the office in SF. Can’t wait for this to happen.
If you could time travel, would you go into the future or past and why?
I would definitely go into the future, a couple of centuries from now. I would like to know where humanity will be in terms of progress, society and space exploration.