Brian Ronaghan is Marketplace's former director of product.
What do you do at Marketplace?
I'm full stack software engineer who leads Marketplace's Product team, which builds and fixes all types of digital products and gets our content on new platforms wherever users are. We also try to provide analytics and insight around the shop to inform everyone on what our users/audience love most. Basically, if it's not on the radio, I build it, fix it, or help people use it.
Most memorable Marketplace moment?
Not winning a Peabody after appearing as a guest on Marketplace PM definitely left a scar. (Ha.)
But more seriously, Our Smart Speaker skills, the migration to our new Digital Ecosystem, and the Performance Improvements that have led to tremendous year-over-year growth are all projects I'm very proud of. I've also really enjoyed building out data-tracking dashboards that give teams insight to what our users do on the site. Oh, lastly, learning about search engine optimization and running training sessions has been a fun stretch out of my normal lane.
What was your first job?
Library Page, re-shelving returned books. Taught me the value of accidental discovery – I found some fascinating things I’d never know to search for.
Also, they accidentally left me as an employee account until college – zero fines $$$.
What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?
Capitalism doesn’t mess around. Listen to the incentives society and the market give you and ignore them at your peril.
What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?
Building and coding products in a scalable way... we have to maintain everything we build, and usually by the time we come back to the code we've forgotten writing it. So I've had to learn to write clean, easily-maintainable code. Also, explaining technical topics to non-engineers without being boring or confusing is a skill.
What is something that everyone should own, no matter how much it costs?