Success Engineers play a critical role at Segment. They are our front line, answering customer questions as quickly and thoroughly as possible. The team is so important that Peter, our CEO and the original Success Engineer, does a monthly rotation in Success to stay connected to customer questions and problems.
On a typical day, our success engineers field questions from, “How do I install Segment on a single-page app?” to, “What is the best email solution for my business?” They need to know a TON about how Segment works, our integration partners, and how to track down code across our thousands of repos.
You could say we hire some “nontraditional” folks for the Success team. Some used to be teachers. Others started in finance or ad tech. Many went through developer boot camps to sharpen their technical skills. One thing they all have in common? A thirst for learning and a desire to put customers first.
Because our Success Engineers learn so much about our product and customers, they are well poised to take on other challenges at Segment, and bring the voice of the customer along with them. This post will give you an inside look at some of our awesome teammates who started in Success and now apply their experience in roles that vary from systems engineering to growth marketing.
Meet Steven, Chris, Andy and Will!
From left to right: Steven Miller, Will Johnson, Andy Jiang and Chris Sperandio. Unnamed gnome also integral to our success.
Meet Steven Miller, Frontend Engineer
Multi-talented, Steven studied both Chinese and Finance in college. When he moved from Miami to San Francisco, he signed up for General Assembly to learn to code.
He joined our team in September 2014 and immediately began working harder than anyone I know to improve his engineering skills. He volunteered to work on extra projects for the growth team, wrote his own open source libraries like Daydream, and built Sherlock — a tool that scrapes your website for existing integrations, so customers didn’t have to do a bunch of annoying copy-pasting.
After several months working with customers as a Success Engineer and taking every opportunity to level up his coding skills, Steven joined our Product Engineering team. If you’ve logged into Segment recently, you may have noticed a bunch of changes to our UI that make it easier to find your projects and understand how integrations work. Steven built many of those systems and works closely with our design team to improve the experience inside the Segment app.
“Starting in success engineering gave me a unique perspective that the average engineer doesn’t share — a sense of responsibility for the success of customers on our platform,” said Steven. “Engineering teams can sometimes get a bit distanced from the actual people using their code, but helping customers on a daily basis showed me how they currently interact with our product and what they hope to do in the future. My background in Success helps me advocate for features that will make the most impact for customers.”
Meet Chris Sperandio, Product Manager
Chris originally stumbled across Segment while aimlessly browsing Github repos. Later, when he saw the brand new “Success Engineer” position open up, he knew it was his chance to get in.
Chris sent in an impressive 3-page cover (love?) letter, so we brought him in from Bawston to meet the team. He started working for Segment the day after his interview (our fastest turnaround on record) and helped to start the Success Engineering “guild.” He took over technical support from our CEO Peter who was still running point back in August 2014.
After spending many months helping customers instrument Segment correctly, debugging integration issues, and sharing customer feedback with the team, Chris moved into Product Management. Chris is now responsible for making sure our integrations are up to date and helping new partners get started on the platform. He spearheaded our mobile platform launch and is currently working hard building a brand new product. (Stay tuned!)
“Hearing so many requests from our customers on a daily basis drove me into Product Management,” said Chris. “I wanted to make their requests happen, and getting directly involved in choosing what features we build and how we build them seemed like the best approach for me. Nearly all of what we’re building now came from conversations with our customers in support. We can’t wait to be able to share it with them!”
Meet Andy Jiang, Growth Marketer
A tinkerer at heart, Andy has a diverse professional background. He started in finance and banking, then went into startup sales at Twilio, and eventually landed at Segment as a success engineer, drawn by the newness of the technology. Andy has always had an interest in building communities which led him to join our marketing team after his time as a Success Engineer.
Andy is the reason you might find so many emojis in our Twitter feed or notice a delightful quote when you receive a response from our success team.
Andy spends his days searching for awesome stories to tell and figuring out how to get them in front of the right people. He wrote one of our best performing posts, “How Segment Models Growth for Two Sided Marketplaces” and launched Analytics Academy. Because he brings a technical background to the team, Andy also helps our CTO Calvin power through his posts and sets up the tracking systems for the marketing team.
“Every time I write something new, I think about my conversations with our customers when I was in Success Engineering,” said Andy. “This helps me gut check that I’m picking topics our customers actually care about and gives me specific people in mind to write articles for — Is this for power users? Beginners? — Picturing these customers helps me create more focused, and therefore helpful, content.”
Meet Will Johnson, Systems Engineer
Before Segment, Will worked in finance and advertising as an analyst. He attended a coding bootcamp to expand his skillset from Excel to include web development and presenting stories visually with data. As an analyst, he experienced the frustrations of having unreliable or siloed data sets, so Segment really struck a cord with him.
Will started off as our first Implementation Engineer, working closely with our enterprise customers to get them set up. He’s tackled everything from how DraftKings should handle tracking across hundreds of pages and campaigns with the fewest possible events, to how Atlassian can track users across all of their different products.
After working with our customers on best practices for analytics, he wanted to help us reach the same level of sophistication internally. Now, Will is a systems engineer. He makes sure our tracking, tooling, and metrics are accurate and easily accessible. From writing ETL pipelines to analyzing pricing structures and teaching the rest of us SQL, Will touches a bunch of different data projects. You could say he is the ultimate dogfooder of our product. 🐶
“I love using my experience from working with customers to inform the development of our own internal systems,” Will said. “Whether I’m working on a new SQL query, ETL process or workflow automation, I’m always focused on helping us understand and serve our customers better.”
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a few of our teammates here at Segment. We always want to be helpful, and having Success Engineers join new teams is just one way we make sure we keep our customers top of mind.
“A big part of our culture is sharing information across teams and giving teammates the opportunity to work on new projects,” said Adriana Roche, who heads up our people operations. “Success Engineers play a critical role keeping customers happy and funneling their feedback throughout the entire organization.”
If you’re curious about a career at Segment, check out our open positions! We’re looking for more driven, collaborative people to join the team.