How Engineers Thrive at Feed Media Group

In a volatile job market such as the one we’re experiencing today, it is essential to lead with intentionality during your job search. I find that we can all learn this useful technique from engineering candidates, the majority of whom are prioritizing the following three components in their job search:

  1. Tech stack 
  2. Product/Mission 
  3. Salary 

Luckily, at Feed Media Group, we not only offer a modern tech stack, a differentiated product and competitive pay; but are also proud of building an environment where our engineers can thrive alongside a mission-driven team. But don’t take it from me, get an inside scoop and learn more about us from one of our Senior Full Stack Engineers on the team. 

Hugh Guiney, is a designer–developer with a passion for creating thoughtful digital products. After functioning as a lone-wolf consultant for 15+ years, he joined our pack a year ago. He has helped realize the visions of many businesses, consulting with everything from startups to household names. Much like the rest of the team, Hugh’s talents go beyond his work experience. Off-the-clock he directs indie movies, plays fighting games, and vlogs on YouTube

Why did you choose to join FMG?

I’d been working as a consultant for a long time and was looking for a change. No two projects were ever alike, so in that sense it was exciting. But sometimes it was too exciting, y’know? Like, “will I find my next client before my bills are due” exciting. And once I had the client, it’d be “how do I politely ask to be paid on time” exciting. Just a lot of administrative overhead. I wanted to focus my efforts on what I enjoy most: building products people love.

That’s what led me to FMG’s Senior Frontend post on Stack Overflow Jobs (RIP), where a key phrase in the job description stood out to me:

You have experience keeping the code behind a large, complex, interface both orderly and manageable. You probably have an eslintrc.js file that you keep handy for new projects.

As a matter of fact, I did have my own ESLint config for new projects! This let me know that FMG was serious about code maintainability, which was refreshing. I’ve seen that fall by the wayside in too many engineering teams.

What has been the most exciting project that you’ve worked on at FMG?

The MVP for the “Ops Portal”, an internal tool that allows our CX and curation teams to do their jobs more efficiently. I had the opportunity to create the entire frontend infrastructure from scratch. This allowed me to focus not just on the UX, but the DX (Developer Experience) as well. As a result, this project has everything: ESLint, Webpack, GraphQL, Docker, hook-based React, unit tests that run as soon as you open a PR…

I’d say the star of our new stack is TypeScript, which allows us to catch bugs before they ship, and stay on top of rapid codebase changes. Thanks to my colleague Mark Slade, who led the charge in adding that. I like that our team isn’t afraid of jumping into unfamiliar technologies. We also have a genuine appreciation for documentation, which is a true rarity.

What do you enjoy about working on our products?

The modern tech stack is a huge plus. The rate of change in the tech industry is so high that it can be easy to fall behind. So when a company commits to being on the cutting-edge instead of staying in a zone of comfort, that’s music to my ears. Now you’ve got an opportunity to continue learning instead of getting stuck in the past.

Another thing that’s specific to FMG’s product offering is the fact that we’re a platform business. Developers use our SDKs to build novel media experiences in everything from fitness to e-commerce. And with Web3 and Metaverse on the rise, the sky is truly the limit. With this extensibility, we get to think not just about music delivery but also contextualization. How do we encode byzantine streaming rights that vary by country? How do we best compose API metadata to maximize utility? These are the kind of in-the-weeds details that I find exciting to work on.

How would you describe our engineering team?

Everyone is super nice and collaborative. You won’t find big egos here. If you’re stuck on something, the relevant expert is always willing to hop on Zoom and work through it together. Even our CTO, Eric Lambrecht, is down on the front lines with us, shipping features, troubleshooting errors, and giving code reviews. At a company no longer in its infancy that’s pretty incredible.

We’re also not afraid of speaking up and talking about ways to improve as a team. That kind of transparency and openness makes each one of us better programmers. I’ve been doing this for a decade and a half, which brings with it strong opinions on How Things Should Be Done™. Yet my coworkers are bringing out new development practices in me. Take TypeScript: before FMG I used to think it was overkill, and now I can’t live without it!

We recently had an Engineering offsite in Austin, Texas, which was a blast. Beyond the feasts of barbecue and bouts of mini-golf, it was also great just bouncing ideas off each other in-person. There’s something special about meeting face-to-face that’s really conducive to collaboration. I appreciate that even as a fully remote company, our leadership team makes an effort to strike a balance between online and IRL—we meet up twice a year or more. Next stop: Santa Cruz!

Why Feed Media Group?

As I’ve hopefully illustrated, there’s a lot to like here. But if I had to pick one thing, I’d say it’s the company culture. Kindness is one of our company values, and it’s not lip service—I see it reflected in our hiring. Take Joe Garcia, an Austin local who went out of his way to drive a bunch of us to and from hotels, motivated by nothing more than sheer hospitality. Thanks Joe!

This is a commitment that is top-down. CEO Jeff Yasuda is fond of saying, “The people who you work with are the people you spend most of your lives with. Sometimes people see their coworkers even more than their own family! So it’s important that you hire people that you actually enjoy being around.” I couldn’t agree more!

Lastly, it wouldn’t be an FMG blog without talking about music and I was curious to know what music engineers like to code to. So we built three new stations for you to code to:

Read more about the collaboration between our Engineering and Curation team here.

Now that we’ve given you the scoop on FMG, we hope you’ll consider joining our team! We are offering a unique opportunity to join an awesome engineering team and get in early at a quickly growing company in a hot market. Check out our open roles. Don’t see any openings that suit your interests and/or skills? No worries, our team is growing quickly! Please consider filling out an engineering interest application.

Feed Media Group is for businesses that need licensed popular music to create the most engaging customer experiences. Unlike navigating complex, time-consuming negotiations with music labels and publishers, Feed Media Group’s proprietary streaming platform and SDKs deliver pre-cleared music—compiled by the industry’s best curators—complete with user analytics, payments to rightsholders, and legal indemnification for our customers. powers music for the world’s leading brands including American Eagle Outfitters, Mayo Clinic, Mirror, Nautilus, and Tonal; and up-and-coming startups use Adaptr to create unique music-based experiences. Our music partners include Warner, BMG, and Merlin.