From Jeff Solomon: Why I Love Working at Tableau

By Jonah-Kai Hancock 2012/02/24

Below is a post from Jeff Solomon, one of Tableau's senior software engineers who works from the Bay Area, CA. We're hosting an open house March 1st in our new Menlo Park office. Come and learn about our company, our technology, and our plans. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the amazing team at Tableau Software and learn why Jeff joined the company.

From Jeff Solomon
When people ask me where I work, I look forward to telling them Tableau Software. Often times the career someone chooses, and the place they work says something about them. It defines who they are as a person and what they stand for. I really like what Tableau says about me.

When I first considered working for Tableau, there were two things that I focused on. First, I personally knew a handful of the engineers from my time at Stanford and I had a strong desire to work with them. There is nothing more gratifying then building something that is bigger than us with smart people. I knew at Tableau I would be stepping into a group of developers that I truly respected and admired. Second, I knew in my gut that Tableau was solving the visualization of data problem in the “right” way. When I saw my first demo of Tableau, this feeling was confirmed. At the time I had no idea if Tableau’s business proposition would succeed, but I jumped in because I believed in the people and the technology.

That was four years ago. Today, Tableau is the same group of people (developers don’t leave once they get here) only bigger, and the technology has grown and evolved. Happily, our products have proven to be wildly successful in the market. We have been doubling sales every year since I started.

I believe our success is the result of being at the right place at the right time with the right technology. We are solving an important problem right now. Big data is exploding all over the world because corporation's are amassing enormous amounts of data, and they need tools to help them understand it. Tableau is allowing them accomplish this.

Two weeks ago I went to a networking event at Stanford where a founder of a solar panel start-up saw Tableau on my name tag. Immediately he started gushing, “Your product is amazing! We use it every day and it makes our lives easier!” How gratifying to hear from a customer in such an unexpected place!

When I pitch Tableau to potential hires, I ask them if they want to work at a company that is helping companies, organizations, and people solve all kinds of problems.

A few examples:

  • Children’s hospital uses Tableau to provide better care to their patients.
  • A small medical lab helping save peoples lives uses Tableau to speed lab results so doctors can make informed decisions.
  • A large video game maker uses Tableau to ensure games aren’t too easy or hard for gamers.
  • An NFL team uses Tableau to help manage their stadium concessions.
  • A large newspaper uses Tableau to highlight changing real estate prices to showcase in regional markets.

These are just a few examples; we have thousands and thousands of customers who each use Tableau differently. I think that’s pretty neat!

I also ask potential hires what kinds of technical problems they want to solve. Making the Tableau technology simple, fast and reliable is incredibly hard! We have every type of problem an engineer could want.

Want to work on database query optimization? Check. Want to work on web server architectures? Check. Want to work on Desktop UI? Check. Want to work on interactive web applications? Check. Want to work on internet scale cloud products? Check. Tableau has it all.

Tableau is lucky enough to be solving the right problem, the right way, with the right technology and great people. But we need more great people to help us.

What kind of company do you want to work for?

Jeff Solomon

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