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10 January 2017   |

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People of GumGum: Keith Rives

We sat down with Keith Rives, Director of Web Engineering at GumGum. Keith embodies all the qualities that make up an ideal employee: brains, humor, loyalty and visions for the company’s future. Our technology team is essentially the root of our company and Keith has worked and managed two of its departments. He also just celebrated his five year anniversary so it’s safe to say he is an irreplaceable part of the team.

Please tell us a little about what you do at GumGum?
I work with the front-end engineering teams at GumGum. That set of teams covers things from UI/UX, JS, internal tools such as dashboard and external tools like our AdBuilder IDE among others. As we have expanded I have taken on more managerial and strategic duties but I still try to find time to code to keep the saw sharp.

How has your role evolved as the company has grown?
When I started we were a ragtag scrappy team of about seven people. At that time it was a race to develop products and a demonstrable revenue stream. As we have evolved we still maintain a good pace of development, but my peers and I have had to start looking at things like building teams, setting standards and more protocol type things. Personally I have gone from hacking on the code base to a more broad and strategic type day-to-day but still trying to fit in some commits where I can.

How did you get your start in web engineering?
I started by building websites for local businesses around 2001 or so and then decided it was fun, scalable and potentially something I could do for a living. I went to New Mexico State University and also started working at a local web development shop, Digital Solutions. It grew from a small operation to handling web application contracts for things like commercial space and some government funded projects. I had to learn and adapt quickly to adapt to more intense requirements and demands that come from these larger entities. I still love NM but I wanted to head to a major city and found GumGum in Santa Monica.

Besides being an awesome employee at GumGum, what are some personal things you like to do? What motivates you?
Recently I have been trying to learn sailing because it is a skill that requires a more raw mechanical experience within nature. Riding a bike down the Venice bike path and beach-bumming around is always a great way to spend time (as is a nice local craft beer).

My motivation is to be a part of the story of something that grows from a small group of like-minded individuals to a large well-known success story. GumGum has been great for this and I see no sign of the growth stopping anytime soon. One of the most fulfilling facets that motivates me is seeing coworkers and junior employees step up to the plate and develop into senior and critical roles and gain experience that will help them in their careers.

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