Speaker’s Corner: Featuring Tejas Chopra, Senior Software Engineer at Netflix

Netflix is a globally recognized streaming platform – tell us more about the culture…

Netflix is a data-driven company. Our culture highlights the importance of a data-informed approach to problem solving, freedom and responsibility, and context over control. These allow us to hire engineers that focus on delighting our customers and that is how we focus on creating features that can win us moments of truth.

What are the challenges within the communication service industry today?

In the pandemic, we have an increasingly distributed world. We need tools and technology that can scale and be performant, as well as secure. Cloud helps solve some problems, but many organizations grapple with hybrid architectures and vendor lock-in. Treading these disparate sets of problems are some of the challenges that confront the communications services industry today.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way you go about business? What trends do you see for the future…

Yes, from an infrastructure standpoint, Covid-19 implies building always available services that can work in different environments for distributed consumers. I see the need for having a decentralized cloud for the future, where we can increasingly use technologies such as blockchain to deliver the secure, immutable source of truth which is not controlled by a single enterprise.

What software solutions has Netflix had adopted to stand out in a market saturated with OTT streaming platforms?

Netflix has invested in building software that can delight customers. Netflix moved from the DVD business to streaming and pioneered the idea of the data-driven choice of movies provided to customers. We moved from data centers to cloud-only, and then from third-party CDNs to our ingrown and open-sourced Netflix Open Connect. Now, we’re pioneering the development of Studio in the cloud which helps us bring the benefits of Cloud and distributed computing to traditional studio workflows.

What is your biggest objective as a speaker?

As a speaker, I aim to provide my listeners with technology stories that help them understand the context and the choices. I have worked in startups and large enterprises and some aspects of these stories have stayed true through these different organizations. I like to educate them from my own experiences and help them apply some of my learnings.

Could you share with us the points of discussion (the input that you provided) during the panel(s) at API World?

At the API world, I was speaking on how I developed microservices to serve more than a billion people. I dived into how empathizing with the customers helps a developer architect relevant solutions. I also focused on how cloud-native microservices can be built on AWS.

As a leader, what are the factors both professional and personal that drive you? What keeps you going?

I believe in striving for kindness in my professional and personal life. I believe the world needs kinder leaders that display empathy and love. I like data to inform my decisions and when not available, I believe in going with my gut, while having the nimbleness and receptiveness to learn and change course. It gives me great pleasure to see people grow and achieve their Ikigai and I strive to help them in their endeavors.

In your opinion, do digital events give you a similar level of feedback/result vis-à-vis the live versions? What would you say were the biggest pros and cons of both formats? Which do you prefer? 

I think digital events potentially have a wider reach where people that cannot travel due to their circumstances can still avail of the knowledge imparted in these sessions. An in-person session has a different vibe and you can feel the energy of the room and that can seed some amazing connections and discussions as well. My ideal space would be a hybrid where we get to experience people connection and allow for more folks to take advantage of these sessions.

What is your take on in-person events? Do you prefer in-person events as compared to hybrid or virtual? How soon do you think in-person events would return? 

I prefer hybrid events as it provides an opportunity for in-person interactions and for remote people to join in the conversation.

In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges to returning to ‘In-Person’ events? How could we mitigate risks?

The biggest risk has to be the Covid pandemic, and the need to be vaccinated. We still do not fully understand the virus so there is a need to be vigilant. Needing vaccination proofs do help here.
I think the other is to hold an event at the appropriate location and time and not dilute the content. That has always been a tricky proposition with in-person events. Allowing a community-driven selection process may help here.

Eventible has recently launched a B2B Interactive in Person Event Tracker – the tracker shows you in-person events going live in various parts of the world. Do you think this is useful?

I do believe this would be a game-changer. I have often felt the need to use such a platform to inform me of different events around the world. This will help us learn about the pace of development and the learnings from all around the world and help us collectively grow.

Eventible.com is a review platform catering to B2B events. Given how review-driven our lives have become today, do you think reviews will bring in a level of transparency to the events industry? Would you rely on event reviews from other speakers if you had to make a speaking decision?  
I would definitely like to see this data to make that decision, and I think this is a great idea. I have in the past participated in conferences where the theme was not clear and the audience was very disengaged. This will help me as a speaker use my time at events that can better serve my audience.

Finally, do you have a favorite mocktail or drink? We’d be delighted to know.
I love chai. I make it every day in the morning, and again in the evening. It reminds me of home and of simpler times.

To view API World on Eventible, click here. To write a review, click here.

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