Before assuming his current role as Managing Vice President of Digital Innovation, Retail and Direct Bank at Capital One, Oron Gill Haus made several stops at other financial companies. He worked as the Director of Development Engineering at online payment firm Bill Me Later and then stayed on as the Senior Director of Payments & Credit Product Development after Bill Me Later was acquired by eBay. After that, he served as the CTO and Senior Vice President of Technology at RideCharge, the online ride payment service now known as Curb. After a stop at AOL, where he was the Vice President and CTO, Paid Services, he joined Capital One in April of this year.
We talked with Gill about his background and what he’ll be discussing in his talk at FutureStack15. Gill plans to address some of the persistent myths about the differences between startups and large companies like his. FutureStack15 will be held in San Francisco, November 11-13, 2015.
New Relic: Why were you interested in speaking at FutureStack15?
Gill Haus: I am an engineer at heart, and I’ve spent a good deal of my career developing software hands on. The biggest challenges I faced were understanding what was going wrong and understanding it quickly. Monitoring and logging was always helpful but lacking. Getting real-time data about how an application was performing changed the game and changed how I (and my teams) developed and supported software. That ability truly helped me and my teams, and I’m passionate about paying it forward.
New Relic: What are the topics you’re planning to address in your talk at FS15? Why did you choose them?
Gill: I’ll be talking about accountability and the fact that startups and large companies are the same when it comes to innovation and speed to market. People tend to think there is a difference between these types of companies. There isn’t. Both want to solve their customers’ problems better than their competitors, and getting bogged down in trying to understand why things aren’t working hurts the ability of every company in doing so.
New Relic: How do you see the “future stack” architecture underpinning modern software and delivery of digital customer experiences evolving? What do you think are the most important issues we face in that evolution?
Gill: Tools continue to evolve, making the development of software easier. This is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s faster to get products and services to market. On the other, it’s easier to build solutions that are poorly architected and difficult to scale.
I see tools continuing to assist engineers in pointing out issues with their solutions earlier in the process and providing quicker feedback when things go awry. Now, as these tools get more powerful, we create new platforms on which to innovate. So, even as what we used to do gets easier, we’re now asked to do things that are more difficult and that were unattainable in the past. The “leveling treadmill” phenomenon in MMORPGs comes to mind—parts of the game where players continue doing exactly the same thing just to get to the next level. Similarly with software development, what was once hard to do is now easy to do, but you don’t have less to do.
New Relic: What are your personal goals for the future? Are there things you want to monitor that you aren’t monitoring yet?
Gill: I would like every system my team touches to be monitored. We should be able to drill down into every part and find portions that aren’t working. We should also be able to use this monitoring to let us proactively improve systems before customers are impacted and also prevent the common wild goose hunts that ensue when teams don’t know how to pinpoint issues.
New Relic: What are you most looking forward to at FutureStack15?
Gill: To meet other like-minded technologists, to share some of my stories and inspire people, and to learn what has worked (and not worked) with APM and related technologies at other companies.
Don’t miss Gill Haus and the rest of our stellar lineup of speakers at FutureStack15 at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, taking place November 11 through 13. Register by November 5 and save $600!
Note: Event dates, speakers, and schedules are subject to change without notice.