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Twitter's recruiting efforts hint at its plans

The company is looking for help in data warehousing, search technology and business partnerships

By Juan Carlos Perez and Chris Kanaracus
April 1, 2009 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - As pundits debate what strategy Twitter should follow, the company's job openings provide a peek at its plans, which seem to include boosting partnerships, leveraging a massive data warehouse, strengthening its search engine and solidifying its service in Japan.

Twitter's job openings include a director of strategic partnerships, a software engineer for business intelligence, a Japan country manager and several positions related to its search engine.

In all, the Twitter jobs page has 15 open positions, a significant number considering that the small company appears to employ just 25 to 35 people. In February, Twitter announced it had raised $35 million in its latest funding round.

Twitter didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, so it's not clear how many of these jobs, if any, have been filled. Regardless of their status, the postings give outsiders hungry for Twitter information something to chew on.

The director of strategic partnerships job is described as "the first business development role in our mostly product- and engineering-oriented company," a sign that Twitter is now starting to build a revenue-generating team.

The person hired for this position will be expected to evaluate partner requests, define a partner strategy, and seek and finalize partnership deals, specifically with media and Internet companies "that drive distribution of Twitter," according to the job description.

In addition, as Twitter's usage increases by leaps and bounds, the company has apparently decided to find value in data warehousing and data analysis technology, as evidenced by its search for a business intelligence software engineer.

Twitter wants someone who can oversee an end-to-end business intelligence project "from raw data to warehouse to reporting," the job posting reads. The system should be able to generate scheduled reports based on predefined parameters, as well as on-the-fly SQL queries for data-mining purposes.

Twitter's intentions may be "as simple as BI to analyze their financials or operations, or as sophisticated as analyzing tweets, finding patterns, who's talking about what, et cetera," said Forrester Research Inc. analyst Boris Evelson.

But the second scenario is more likely, he said, given the fact that under "additional preferred experience," the ad seeks people who have experience working with multiterabyte data sets and environments with 100 million-plus daily transactions, as well as knowledge of technologies such as the Hadoop distributed computing framework, which is used by Yahoo Inc., among others.

And another part of the ad cautions applicants that they "will be prototyping systems that have never [been] built before with little or no technical documentation/requirements."

Twitter is also looking for several search staffers: a search operations engineer, a search product manager and a search software engineer. Beyond its pioneering status in microblogging -- short, real-time messages -- the company is also an example of what some consider an emerging search trend, thanks to its search engine's ability to retrieve and deliver real-time musings from its millions of users based on keyword queries.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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