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Meet the Trulian: Tushar Todi

A Series to Connect You to the Trulians Behind the Magic

This Meet the Trulian features Tushar Todi, a senior software engineer at Trulia. Tushar joined Trulia in 2014 to support the communications team, which sits in Trulia’s Data Engineering organization and works on communication between Trulia and its consumers. Read on to learn more about Tushar, his role at Trulia and what drives him.

What’s your role at Trulia
I am a senior engineer for Trulia’s communications team, which is the team responsible for any communication between Trulia and its consumers, be it push notifications or emails. Our goal as a team is to deliver highly personalized content to our consumers at the right times. Believe it or not, behind the various emails we send are some complex data pipelines. My everyday work involves architecting and implementing scalable solutions for a platform that can support these pipelines. Recently, I helped architect and implement our new cloud-based communication infrastructure from the ground up, and we plan to move all our communication traffic to this new platform this year.

What inspired you to get into your role?
Before joining Trulia, I was in analytics for different gaming companies, and my work helped execs make various business decisions. It was great, but I really wanted to work with data that helps improves people’s lives. I found Trulia and was intrigued by the possibilities and the opportunity to actually help people make one of the biggest purchases of their lives, their home. It’s so satisfying.

What was your dream job growing up and why?
I always wanted to become a cricketer. Sachin Tendulkar was like a God to me. But, I eventually realized that only 11 out of a billion people get to represent India in the game, and I knew I was not skilled enough to do that, so… I was focused on academics. Coming from an Indian family, I really only had two choices – become a doctor or an engineer. Since I was more interested in mathematics and physics, I chose engineering.

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?
I can’t choose one, so I’m going with two. I wish I could meet with both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs at the same time. They have completely different personalities, but the world would not be the way it is today without their competitiveness and their PCs. I would ask them both, “If you were to name a trait in the other you admire most, what it would be and why?”

What’s the one gadget or personal tech item you cannot live without and why?
Cliché, but my phone, and not necessarily gadgets or “items” per se, but also Facebook and Hacker News. Interestingly, as soon as I moved to U.S., I started seeing Facebook differently. When I was in India, for me, it was just an addictive app that used up a lot of family time. Now, it’s one of the only mediums I use to stay connected with most of my family and friends. WhatsApp and Facebook – creating a connected world of world citizens. Hacker News, on the other hand, I just love because it keeps me updated on the latest technical developments.

What was the last movie you saw or book you read and what – if anything – would you change about the ending?
Just saw the movie Split. James McAvoy was brilliant in it. In short, three girls are kidnapped by a man with 23 distinct personalities and they must try to escape. I can’t share what I would change, it’d give the goodness of the film away!

What’s your proudest accomplishment and why?
On tech side, I would say being a force in building the new communication platform for Trulia, with an almost brand new team. Generally, a team builds a project, but in a sense, this project built a team, which is going to help us accomplish so much in the future.

If you could master one talent or skill that you don’t have now what would it be and why?
Public speaking. When I watch people delivering their thoughts and ideas in a crisp, clear and confident manner, I am amazed.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Without a doubt, teleportation. I wouldn’t abuse it for my daily commute though. I’d only use it for long travels, specifically to India. The 21-hour flights kill me; it’d be great to bypass them.

If you could time travel, would you go into the future or past and why?
If I could time travel forward, I would go ten years ahead to see if driverless cars become a reality. I feel driverless cars are going to make roads more safer.