Getting the lowdown on Research and Development from Sasha Popov

Employee Spotlight is a series meant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our omnichannel personalization platform. This month meet Sasha, Director of R&D.

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Employee Spotlight: Sasha Popov
From developers and engineers to marketers, those dedicated to customer success, sales leaders, HR representatives and beyond, our Employee Spotlight blog series surfaces stories of the amazing individuals behind our AI-powered Personalization Anywhere™ platform. Every month, we get to the heart of our team so you can get to know us a little bit better and find out what makes us tick.

This month, meet Sasha Popov. Sasha’s been with us for almost three and a half years now and is based out of our office in Israel. She started as a Software Developer and has since moved on to bigger things. Let’s learn more about her…

What’s your role at Dynamic Yield?

I’m now Director of the Research and Development (R&D) Data Group. The Data Group is composed of three teams of developers who are tasked with processing, storing, and analyzing all of the user activity that gets captured by Dynamic Yield platform from our customers’ websites.

That’s a LOT of data.

Among other cool features, the Data Group is responsible for Dynamic Yield’s Trigger Engine, which analyzes on-site user activity in real time and responds accordingly with personalized messaging.  

In addition to developing Dynamic Yield’s Bayesian Statistics engine, we are also in charge of Predictive Targeting a solution that uncovers personalization opportunities in traditional A/B testing scenarios. 

At the core of what we do, is the ability to evaluate all the data we collect and answer important questions like:

  • How many users from New York browsed red dresses in the past week?
  • Who are the users who are most likely to purchase expensive products?
  • Which brand does this user like the most?

My work as the group leader is very interesting while also challenging. I get to participate in all the projects being developed within the group as well as experience working with many of the smartest people in the business. Not to mention, I can play with the most cutting-edge big data tech and some of the most sophisticated algorithms.

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What’s your background? What was your path to software development?

Following in my mother’s footsteps, I started coding when I was 14, for a summer job. Back then, it was all about information systems, which was very boring compared to what we do at Dynamic Yield. Then, I went on to study Computer Science at Tel Aviv University, after which I landed jobs at BluePhoenix Solutions, Dell EMC, and CTERA.

I actually heard about Dynamic Yield from a friend who had been working there for about six months at the time. He told me all about how it was a fast-growing and young startup, how amazing the technology was, and that the founders and his co-workers were super cool. So, I had to see it for myself.

What about the Dynamic Yield product makes working with its data so unique?

The sheer amount of the data we have — it’s a huge technological challenge!

But seriously, the fact that we can see each individual user’s path… their interests, tastes, and dilemmas emerging from the data in order to create a personalized (i.e better) experience for them is truly mind-blowing.

Aside from eating data for breakfast, tell us what else fuels you?

I love animals and have three cats:

  • Mickey
  • Shemesh, which means sun in Hebrew
  • Fennec, because he looks like a Fennec Fox

All of them were born as strays and adopted when kittens, so they all have quite a temper and do a lot of fighting. But, I adore them.

Aside from my cats, I workout five times a week, mostly doing functional training. My ideal workout is one that forces you to give it everything you’ve got. I’ve been working out for years but still can’t even do one proper pull-up. I hope to nail that goal soon.

I also love traveling and scuba diving. The Blue Hole in Belize and the Maldives were the most exciting dive sites I’ve been to yet. And the Philippines, Australia, and Galapagos are at the top of my wishlist for places to go.

If you had all the data in the world, what would you do with it?

It sounds corny, but if I could, I would use it to build models that can prevent or help cure various health issues and diseases. Or maybe, to help people find the most suitable life partners — hello, Black Mirror! 

If you want to learn more about Sasha or ask her any questions about the innovative R&D team here at Dynamic Yield, connect with her on LinkedIn!