Getting to Know Nick Pazzaglia

Our team at Petuum is made up of incredibly talented people. This series features the engineers, managers, and creators that keep our company moving forward and make us proud of the work we do together.

Nick_Pazzaglia_Headshot_BlogNick Pazzaglia is Engineering Director at Petuum, Inc. Before joining Petuum, Nick served as the Director of Engineering at Lucas Systems and Opus. Prior to taking on Director roles, Nick worked for over a decade in software engineering. He grew up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm and studied applied computer science at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Why did you join Petuum?

I’ve always wanted to work with an artificial intelligence company and Petuum is such an exciting and impressive company with so much talent. When I learned what Petuum was looking for in an Engineering Director, it became immediately clear that the position would be a perfect fit for me. I’ve been a Director of Engineering for a number of years now at different software companies and I’m well equipped to run engineering, quality assurance, and DevOps departments. I’m really looking forward to helping Petuum grow into a large, well-run company.

What do you do at Petuum?

My focus is operational excellence and throughput. I make sure the solutions department is able to produce the best products possible while meeting deadlines and dealing with the innate difficulties of machine learning software development. I work closely with the leadership team to make sure the right organizational structure is in place for us to scale efficiently (including everything from architecture to design, to requirements gathering, to project management). I also work closely with the engineering product managers to make sure they have the resources they need.

Nick_Dairy_FarmNick's family's dairy farm.

What are you most excited about at Petuum?

Growth. There’s so much potential here and we’re already expanding rapidly. I’m meeting and interviewing many incredibly talented people every day and everyone here is great to work with. Because of our culture of enthusiasm for and dedication to the work that we’re doing, I really can’t wait to see where we’ll be in the next 5–10 years.

Do you have any advice for people interested in pursuing similar work?

The most important thing is probably to know what you’re talking about. It’s not enough to just have experience because anyone can sit around for 20 years and claim experience. You need to be a craftsperson who can not only talk about what the best practices are but also implement them effectively and efficiently.

If you’re pursuing a position at a company like Petuum, it is also crucial that you are able to work well in a startup environment. Because we’re growing so fast, the way we operate today isn’t the way we’re going to be operating next year. You need to be flexible and creative to show your worth.

What do you love to do outside of work?

My passions are work and family, and there’s a lot of overlap. My family owns and operates multiple businesses, so when I’m not at Petuum, I’m either working on our ranch or at our paintball park. I’ve been working nights at the paintball park lately because October is our busy season — we have one of the largest Halloween events in Pittsburgh.

Nick_Paintball Nick at his family's paintball park, preparing for the yearly Halloween event.

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