Gavin Servai


  • Studying Software Engineering at the University of British Columbia (2015)
  • Spent 4 months at Hootsuite (January – May 2015)
  • Signed on for a second term (May – August 2015)
  • Joined our Campaigns Engineering team
  • Worked with Python, PHP, MySQL, Laravel, Instagram/Twitter API, Push/Pull Queues, Redis, Javascript, and more
  • Connect with me on LinkedIn

My Contributions

  • Played a key role in integrating the login system and user flow of Hootsuite into Hootsuite Campaigns, allowing for seamless access between the two
  • Wrote the technical plan for the re-architecture of SocialKit, our back-end service which collects and processes social media data pertaining to Hootsuite Campaigns
  • Consolidated user roles in the Builder, the tool used to create Campaigns. This facilitates a consistent UI, and simplifies the process of adding new users to Hootsuite Campaigns. Also added atomic permissions, allowing for heightened flexibility of access control.
  • Implemented the ability to have Tiered Organizations, which are essentially trees of Organizations. This gives our clients the flexibility to emulate their own organizational hierarchies within Hootsuite Campaigns.
  • Implemented an Email Invitation System, allowing users to move between Organizations, claim Organizations, and register for Hootsuite accounts from within Hootsuite Campaigns
  • Implemented the ability for social media contests to use the Twitter and Instagram credentials of our clients, instead of the credentials of our application – this increases the capacity of the system while giving control to customers.
  • Created a testing tool which spawns a temporary database, seeds that database with a dump of the current database, then runs tests on that database. This is useful when analyzing the changes that a major release would make on the database.
  • For Hootputt, integrated social media into the Campaigns golf hole. At the beginning of the course, the golfer enters their hashtag. When the ball enters the hole, an animated gif of the ball near the hole, the time taken to complete the hole, and the handle entered into the app are tweeted out.

My Experience

It’s an exciting time to be part of the Hootsuite Campaigns team. Born from a recent acquisition, the Campaigns team is rapidly evolving as the product is scaled up to meet ever-increasing demand and interest. To be directly involved in this growth is an invaluable and rare learning experience. Everyday the codebase becomes more mature, the processes more defined, and the product even better than before.

Perhaps the most rewarding experience is the impact that a single developer can have on the product. I’ve been given the opportunity to take ownership of the features I work on, which makes it all the more rewarding when the feature launches; there is nothing greater than seeing your hard work go live. Your level of experience does not dictate your success here – if you have the ability to code, the drive to learn, and the passion to improve the product, you will make key contributions.

Not only is the work exciting – the people are too. The culture at Hootsuite is phenomenal. Everybody is supportive of everyone else, regardless of position or department. Everybody is united in a common goal to deliver a great product. Questions are encouraged, and cross-pollination of ideas between departments is important. Hootsuite has a unique cultural environment that facilitates learning while allowing you to make key contributions. I’d recommend Hootsuite to anyone out there.

Also, at Hootsuite, there is never a dull Friday!