Jan 9th 2014
Oct 8th 2013
Growing numbers of women are choosing careers in technology, science, math and related areas, but these fields are still heavily populated by men. And while AOL's technology division includes accomplished women at many levels – including a female Chief Architect, relatively rare in the industry – the Company aims to attract even more women and is working to do so. In this special series, get to know AOL's own tech trailblazers, what they're working on and what they've learned along the way. Today, we chat with HuffPost developer Piya Ghosh.
What's your role at AOL?
I'm a software engineer with the Huffington Post Tech team. I develop and maintain front-end components of our very high traffic and ever-growing website. I also work on building new tools, platforms and tech solutions using the latest technologies to optimize the site, reduce page load time and overall make HuffPost more and more awesome every day.
What technical skills do you bring to the table?
One of the cool things about working here is that you learn new things every day -- new languages, new tools and new ways to make the web more appealing. I've recently started coding in Scala and learning about functional programming for one of my new projects, and I'm loving every bit of it.
What was your path to your current position?
After earning my bachelor's degree in software engineering, I started my career with AOL Member Services at our Bangalore office before moving to a team where I was responsible for supporting publishing tools. Later, I worked on different and exciting projects, such as multi-authentication testing, implementation of a web analytics tool, page optimization and the redesign and building of several AOL Lifestyle sites.
I moved on to work as one of the main developers for Stylelist.com, beginning with migrating the site from one platform to another and then redesigning it. I also worked on another redesign of the site to accommodate our Devil premium format ads. I became a part of the Huffington Post tech team in 2011. I'm also one of AOL's cultural ambassadors and proud to be a part of that team.
AOL has played a big role in making me who I am today, and I'm grateful for that. I've worked with the most amazing people in an all-inclusive and fun environment. The managers I've worked with have given me freedom and encouragement, which has made me a more responsible person and willing to take risks. They've also helped me gain confidence to become a lead on different projects. I could keep talking about the awesomeness I experience every day, but I'll conclude by saying that AOL is an inseparable part of me, and that makes me happy and proud.
What or who motivated you to go into technology?
After high school I spent about a year trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. During this period I took a computer class and started learning C. The day I saw one of my first program's logic work beautifully, I knew what I wanted to study and went to college to study software engineering. I was also influenced and encouraged by my dad who's an engineer himself.
What's one lesson you've learned that you think other women could benefit from?
I think half the battle is won when you overcome preconceived notions about becoming a woman engineer, and you have complete self-confidence. One thing I've learned is that you need to be visible, proactive and take the lead when required. Also, being a geek is awesome!
For updates and the latest news from AOL, follow@AOLPRon Twitter.
Oct 3rd 2013
Whether you're interested in videos, trending stories or general lifestyle info, the app allows users to prioritize what they view in a "news stream" format, while learning preferences over time to reflect individualized programming based on personal interests.
If you'd like to share a story, you can quickly push out via email, Facebook and Twitter. Afraid that there's a ton of great material but not enough time to digest it all? No problem; you can also save your favorite stories and videos to access later.
Sit back, relax, and visit iTunes or Google Play to start perusing - and stay up-to-date with everything that matters to you!
For updates and the latest news from AOL, follow@AOLPRon Twitter.
Sep 23rd 2013
The movement is about simplifying digital advertising at scale – this is our mission at AOL Networks. It's about using technology, data and automation to free up marketers and agencies to do breakthrough creative work. It's about tearing down the inefficiencies that today prevent our industry from competing in earnest for TV budgets. It's about automating what can and should be automated. And it's about defining a new way of buying in the digital space.
For traditionalists, it's easy to claim that 'programmatic' and 'upfront' don't go together; to label 'programmatic' and 'premium' as opposites. This is an empty claim - an attempt to pigeonhole automation as remnant bidding. Many benefit from keeping the industry confused because it fuels feature-based vs. solution-based businesses. But the truth is that programmatic is only synonymous with automation. That it has nothing to do with inventory quality. The fact is that the agencies, brands and publishers that leverage automated programmatic technologies take back huge budget percentages currently lost to 'features'. They lock in better brand results and they create business efficiencies that ultimately drive competitive advantages.
As an industry, we can and should make this easier than we do. As evidenced by the number of marketing executives attending the Programmatic Upfront, buyers want to double down on digital. And they want us to make it much easier and simpler than it is to do so.
With a complete, premium cross-screen and format tech platform that we are investing more and more in each day (i.e. recent acquisition of Adap.tv), AOL is doing its part to draw a line in the sand. We are asking the industry to join us. Tonight, we will demonstrate that the market is ready for change; clients will show that creativity can be the star that rises out of automation.
Check out the AOL Networks programmatic platform video below:
Sep 6th 2013
On the heels of our recent partnership with video enrichment platform Carambola, we're proud to announce that we've teamed up with minteye to create a powerful new ad unit based on the technology that powers minteye's Pre-Roll SKIP ad product.
We're even prouder to share that we're the first to adopt their technology.
With the unit, we're able to reduce click-aways and ensure that users stay engaged. By offering users the choice to skip the ad, it gives them control over their ad experience – via minteye's slide-bar technology – creating a game-like interaction.
So, how does it work?
While the user slides the bar to skip the pre-roll, an ad visual that's been broken down into tiles appears over the pre-roll. As the user continues to slide the bar, the tiles become a normal image, which is resized to fit the frame. Once the user has normalized the image, the "skip" button becomes active and the user can proceed directly to the content. This also drives higher awareness for advertisers than if the user had watched the entire pre-roll.
We think it's a win-win for everyone: Consumers get to the content they want faster, and advertisers get guaranteed engagement while supporting a better user experience.
Try the unit out for yourself here.