The Giants have two openings in their front office that represent some of the youngest ways of getting into baseball that doesn’t involve t-shirt cannons or fetching coffee. They’re finally getting around to developing their own in-house database platform a la the Houston Astros’ Ground Control, and they need software engineers.
Application Developer, Baseball Systems
The San Francisco Giants application development team is seeking an experienced software engineer that will impact the Giants major league and affiliate teams. In this role, you will build tooling, product enhancements and work with a team of baseball minds to evolve the Giants’ baseball systems. The Giants are looking for a candidate with a passion for baseball and technology, who will research and develop new solutions to enhance their applications.
This individual will focus on projects related to baseball development. Projects may include acquiring new data, working on ETL, or front-end development. Additionally, this individual will assist in the daily support and maintenance of The San Francisco Giants baseball information system.
Now, the only thing I know about these positions is that they report to someone named Daniel Quill, the Senior Director of Application Development for the Giants. I only know he’s the guy because he was quoted on the Pure Storage website. Pure Storage is the official data-storage infrastructure provider of the San Francisco Giants. So, these app developer applicants should feel good knowing
Club management and back-office staff have fast access to the data and applications they need to run the modern-day operational needs of one of baseball’s most prestigious franchises while giving their fans the best possible game-day experience. Meanwhile, the demands of storage management on the IT staff have been reduced to almost zero.
But back to the bigger point: the Giants are really revamping their front office and becoming more data-driven. We’d been told that the team’s analytics weren’t quite as behind the curve as it might seem to the public, but it seems odd that a team in the heart of the tech world didn’t have its own platform for accessing the complete baseball operation from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
I’m now imagining a bunch of disparate spreadsheets across multiple folders and share drives... and thinking this joke wasn’t far off the mark.
Farhan is going to spend the first week just getting the malware off the Giants’ Windows XP machines.— McCovey Chronicles (@McCoveyChron) November 7, 2018
If you have any of the requisite skills (click on the job descriptions for more details), apply! Even if you don’t live in the Bay Area right now — apply! I don’t think there’s a distinct home field advantage here. Kind of like how people who were born and raised in LA don’t have a huge advantage in getting work in Hollywood.
Most of the engineers in the city are used to building platforms and databases that don’t work right away and need several series of funding before fully realizing their potential. And they’re probably only used to making apps that siphon personal data and transfer metadata to the cops. This would be all about baseball!
As you can see, I don’t know anything about software development. I’ve probably irked many of you reading this by using developer, engineer, and programmer interchangeably, to say nothing of my glib assessment of the tech industry and culture. I’m just too ignorant to understand most of it. To steal Kenny’s line in our Slack:
I wish I knew how to code. Or that I had any other skills.
This would be a cool job to have for a variety of reasons: being a part of Giants history, helping the team win, accidentally running into Bruce Bochy and having to explain the two-step verification process in order for him to access video of Nick Hundley’s batting practice.
Plus, you might get to help the team come up with the name for the platform. Ground Control is perfect for Houston. What could be a good one for the Giants? I’ll run through some bad ideas first:
- Baywatch (city by the bay)
- Obi-Wan (a play on O-B-1 as in Orange & Black-1)
- Due Diligence (homage to Sabean)
- Coke Bottle (the only part of Giants Baseball that will ever touch it)
- McCovey Code
It’s an exciting time for the Giants. They’re really pushing themselves into a new frontier. It won’t be easy and it won’t look pretty, but when it’s all said and done, scouts, coaches, and executives will be able to access the same resource to look at every piece of data available to the Baseball Operations department, just like most of the teams have been able to do already for years and years.
Hat tip to Roger for seeing this on FanGraphs.