You know someone is passionate about what they do when their face lights up as they talk about it. That is exactly what happens when Avi Goldman, 22, discusses coding.
Goldman was born in Florida, moving to Baltimore during his middle school years. He has been coding for nearly nine years, starting out in Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School’s computer science course his freshman year.
Graduating from Beth Tfiloh in 2015, Goldman attended University of Maryland College Park with intent to study computer science. After his first semester, Goldman took a semester off to work an internship in 2016 at SparkPost, an email software company based in Columbia.
But “school and I were not destined to be.” Goldman found himself getting frustrated, as his pace of coding was faster than that at which he was learning in college. After two weeks into his fall semester of sophomore year, Goldman left college to work full-time at SparkPost. He is currently a technical product manager for the company.
Goldman temporarily relocated to San Francisco, California, to work in SparkPost’s western coast office. Since starting full-time, Goldman has had the opportunity to travel, be a leader within the coding world, and build tools for the company that are used regularly today. He currently is in Silver Spring, back at the company’s main office.
What drew you to coding?
I love solving problems and it was exciting. I could see the power it held. I also didn’t really have a choice, since I was too behind to take Spanish [when I transferred to Beth Tfiloh]. Around two years after I started, I knew I wanted to do it for my job.
What is SparkPost?
We are an email delivery and analytics platform. We send 37.5% of the worlds business email. So if you get emails from Pinterest, Zillow, Capital One, that’s all SparkPost. Most brands send some portion of their emails through us — odds are, something that you get from them come through us!
What does your job at SparkPost entail?
Working with customers to learn about their problems, come up with solutions and partner with engineering to develop it. After we’re finished, I work with marketing, product marketing and sales to get the new feature or product into the hands of the people serve.
Since working at SparkPost, what are some of the opportunities that you’ve had?
I’ve gotten to do so many things at SparkPost, in part because I’ve been in engineering, marketing and product [development]. Through the years, I’ve gotten to run events, present at our forums, build tools and help solve problems for our customers.
What are some of the projects you’ve created, either on your own or at SparkPost?
I developed the PHP client library and led the #emailgeeksSF meetup in California, Recipient Validation. The thing I’m working on right now is Signals, a really powerful email analytics platform.
How has being Jewish impacted your job?
It’s given me a really strong appreciation of community and education. Even though I’ve had a less than traditional relationship with the educational system, my Jewish upbringing taught me to value knowledge. And understanding what a healthy community is helped me grow in my developer advocacy role. There are definitely more ways, but those are definitely at the top.