Eight years ago, Anusree Banerjee made the decision to join the video platform and creators’ community Vimeo. She isn’t shy about the fact this decision was largely a people-motivated one. And that’s exactly why she doesn’t regret it.
“When deciding on what team or company to pick, always choose people over projects,” Banerjee, who joined Vimeo as a data engineer and today is a senior data scientist, said. “Cool projects come and go, but it’s very important to work with people that are supportive and collaborative.”
At Vimeo, Banerjee has found a supportive environment and more, saying she’s built some “very strong friendships at this company — I have had multiple people tell me that they’re surprised at how easy it is to make friends here.” But even if her decision to join was first and foremost a people and culture-motivated one, sacrificing cool projects and meaningful work wasn’t necessary. She’s had the best of both at Vimeo, with a ton of mobility to boot.
“I have been fortunate enough to be able to either change teams or job functions once every two and a half to three years at Vimeo,” she said. “Doing that is very similar to changing jobs except you’re still working with people you know. That definitely keeps things interesting and helps me explore career opportunities I would have normally overlooked.”
Recently, Banerjee shared with us what makes Vimeo’s culture so special and how she’s approached growing her career without changing companies.
How long have you been with Vimeo? What about it made you first want to join?
I’ve been with Vimeo for a little over eight years. Vimeo was put on my radar by a friend who used to make timelapses and was a huge fan of the platform. I liked the company because the people were smart, quirky and original at the same time. I also joined because of Vimeo’s commitment to independent filmmakers and creators.
Tell me about the roles that you’ve held at Vimeo, as well as your current one. What about this role most excites you?
I started as a data engineer building ETL jobs and supporting various functions of the business with their data needs. That sort of evolved into more of what we now call machine learning engineering. I switched teams after that and became a full-time data scientist. I am currently a senior data scientist with the playback engineering team. My job involves providing insight to the engineering, qa and product teams, designing and reporting on a/b tests, data modelling, and helping with detecting things like outliers or strange behavior in the player based on the logs.
What’s something you’re especially good at at work?
I am good at noticing interesting patterns and am generally very skeptical, both of which are very helpful for my job as a data scientist. Also, since I’m an engineer by training, I like to apply engineering principles like reusing existing things, automation, building to scale, etc. in my job as a data scientist.
What’s the first and/or last thing you do at work every day?
I like to start my day by going through things that I need to do. In the event that I have tickets to get to, I like to work on the ones that require doing simple data analyses. It’s a great way to wake my brain up. I like to end the workday by reading an interesting research paper or blog post on a subject of my interest.
A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to develop/advance your career without job hopping?
I have been fortunate enough to be able to either change teams or job functions once every two and a half to three years at Vimeo. Doing that is very similar to changing jobs except you’re still working with people you know. That definitely keeps things interesting and helps me explore career opportunities I would have normally overlooked.
Ultimately, what has led you to stay at Vimeo?
I like the autonomy I have at Vimeo. I think generally engineers here have a greater sense of ownership than they do at other jobs. People here generally have strong opinions and there’s a lot of room for healthy debate.
How has Vimeo supported your personal ambitions?
I’ve been very lucky to work on teams where I’ve been able to pitch and work on ideas that have made their way either to production or into something actionable. Having a culture where ideas are welcome from different people in different parts of the organisation is very important and helpful for something like this.
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about Vimeo that you think they should?
I have built some very strong friendships at this company. I have had multiple people tell me that they’re surprised at how easy it is to make friends here. There are so many people with a variety of interests that there’s probably a Slack channel dedicated to whatever niche interest or hobby you have.
What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?
The ability to listen to less-senior employees, appreciate their inputs, and behave more like a peer than a boss.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
When deciding on what team or company to pick, always choose people over projects. Cool projects come and go, but it’s very important to work with people that are supportive and collaborative.
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