Streetside Production at Bing Maps
Joining Bing Maps was the first time I had worked in the tech industry. I had a background in communications and a minor in sustainability, and a natural aptitude for technology but no hard background. Over the course of three months, I transformed from a basic quality operator to the Streetside Production Lead and spent two years as an integral part of the growth of Streetside products and team.
- From team member to team lead in 3 months
- Built a "image jumping" feature that saved $312,000/yr in production costs
- Managing a team of 5 - 25 people
- Close collaboration with engineers
Over the course of two years, the Streetside initiative started with five developers, and five production staff. I was one of the initial five production staff. My role was simply to quality check the internal tools and imagery being collected by the 15 cars on the road. After 3 months of doing this (rather dull) job, I started going to the devs and asking questions about the usability of the tool and why they created it the way they did and began suggesting features that would make my life much easier... my curiosity, my ability to understand the complexity of the tools and need to improve the tool was how I caught the attention of the Lead Streetside developer and was promoted to the head of the team. After a 3 hour crash course on our collection, ingesting, and processing pipelines and how to monitor, and debug I was told I would be updating the entire Bing management team (including C- level execs) on the progress and issues of Streetside the next morning and every day from then on. To say my growth was fast - paced, is an understatement :)
As Streetside started to grow, so did my team, and my position. From five people to 25, my production staff and product management was growing fast. From 15 cars on the road to 150 cars by the end of the two year project, we were collecting millions of data points and processing ~250,000km of data a day for the live site. Of course, as the collection picked up so did my teams workload and we were started to be the bottleneck. Instead of increasing the team size, I spent time interviewing my team on the pains of the tools they were using and found that they felt they were looking at too many images that never had an issue or needed to be deleted. After running through the data and walking through my findings with my development team, I suggested we implement a "image jumping" feature that allowed our ops to jump 250 images at a time and didn't compromise our end product. This feature resulted in the reduction of my production team from 25 to 10 which saved us ~$312,000/yr in operation resources.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. After 2 great years with Microsoft Bing Maps, and the collection of over 100 US cities nationwide, they were acquired by Uber and forced to downsize. I am very proud of my personal and professional growth from my time at Bing Maps and continue to have lasting relationships with my production staff and my development team (many of which still work for Uber).
If you are interested in learning more about my time at Bing, feel free to reach out!
Check out the Bing Maps Blog to read about our progress over the years