Blogs » Developer Blog » Developer Blog » Team Spotlight: Clients

Have you ever been blissfully stumbling on your iPad or mobile phone when you’ve found yourself wondering, “is there a wizard behind these stumbles?” We have many wizards at StumbleUpon, but today we want to highlight the Clients Team, which is in charge of our mobile apps, web bar, and extensions for Firefox and Chrome. The team took time out of their busy schedules to answer some questions together.


Steven explains how he studied different swiping preferences in developing the “Swipe-to-Stumble” functionality on the recently-revamped StumbleUpon iPad app.

The Men Behind the Apps - The Clients Team develops and improves your stumbling experience across platforms.

Favorite places to stumble on a mobile device:

In bed or on the bus.

Best parts about working on clients at StumbleUpon:

Clients are what people actually get to see. If you have a really nice car everyone sees the paint job, but no one asks about the engine. It makes this team’s work fun and easy to explain.

Another plus is working closely with every team. For example, Clients needs to talk to the Recommendations Team to fine-tune quality for specific devices, and to Infrastructure to fine-tune performance and speed. From a general quality perspective, they need to make sure they’re not showing content that a mobile user couldn’t access easily, like a Firefox extension on a mobile device or flash on an iPhone. Users have different expectations in terms of types of content, speed, and more depending on the kind of phone they prefer.

Another benefit is that StumbleUpon is very flat in terms of structure and organization. Developers constantly have conversations with other teams about overall architecture, and everyone works together on the full product. The team recalled several nights during the iPad app launch when engineers across all teams sat around talking about how a certain user interface should look. StumbleUpon CEO Garrett Camp spent hours exchanging ideas with developers from multiple levels and roles in these late-night chats.

Hardest challenges you’ve tackled recently:

The “Fight Gone Bad” workout routine at Crossfit, the gym across the street from the office. The Clients Team goes together twice a week. It’s a lot of Olympic weightlifting and short high-intensity workouts – sprinting, jump-roping, box jumps, dead lifts. They’re really sore afterwards.

Also, learning the ins and outs of graphic designs and mobile layouts, making web bar stumbling faster, coordinating the release of the iPad app.

Most recent stumbles:

The Girl Who Loves to Levitate (My Modern Met)
XKCD: Standards
How Hydroelectricity Works

Interested in joining the team? Apply now!

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