I'm considering joining a new ads org, and I was wondering what working in ads was like overall since I've never worked in ads before.
A more specific question: There's a lot of competition in the online ads space nowadays - Will that make ads orgs more prone to layoffs as they find trouble gaining traction in this crowded market?
I worked on ads at Meta, so I'll share my experience here. Some of this is specific to Meta, but I do think there's some common themes here:
In terms of layoffs, I understand the point about competition, but I feel like this is true for a lot of orgs as tech companies are copying each other all the time. I feel like the average ads org is more insulated from lay-offs as they directly bring in revenue. Any sizable tech company will have tons of teams working on features without as much traction which don't bring in revenue directly - Those orgs will probably be cut first before ads.
How can you help your team to build an exemplary architecture for ad teams? Or what are the design challenges and how can you step in as a senior engineer and solve these complex issues especially when your team is new?
Good questions, but they're tricky as every ads team will be different. If I were to pick something, it would be to always have the advertiser at the front of your mind. The advertiser is the most important user in the ads equation, so you want to make sure you have the infra necessary to keep them happy. Here's some examples:
The bar for all the good software traits (robustness, reliability, scale, etc) is much higher with enterprise software, which is what ads effectively are. With consumer software (e.g. the features for "regular" everyday users in Meta apps), you can cut corners and ship a lot of things fast with rough edges - You can't really do that with ads tech. Make sure you're always fighting for quality when doing ads product launches; this is very much inline with what it takes to grow to a senior+ engineer anyways.