AVP Explore

Aligning Our Purpose, Messaging, and Branding

22 August 2022

Over the past 9 months or so AVP has been working with the superstar team over at Parisleaf on an effort to refine our messaging and branding. If you had asked me prior to beginning this process what I thought it would be like I might have thought it would be building from the ground up. Or perhaps just figuring out how to communicate more clearly. However, as a 15 year old company I think the process may be more akin to chiseling at a large stone to reveal the underlying figure. It was a painstaking process that consisted of shedding some things, finely shaping others, rounding off rough edges, making tough decisions, and making commitments. It was a difficult, albeit rewarding process.

We went through this process rather than just building a new website because at 15 years old we knew we needed more than just a new coat of paint. We needed to do some more serious reflection, renovation, and updating. In order to do our most impactful work and deliver the most value to our clients, we needed to understand, articulate, and deliver on what we do best – and do more of it.

Our aim is to take the outcomes of this introspective process and create the flywheel:

  • Be clear within ourselves about what we do best and where our passion lies
  • Clearly articulate verbally and visually what we do best and where our passion lies
  • Attract an audience to whom we can deliver greater value and impact than anyone else out there 
  • Build and innovate on what we do best and where our passion lies, maintaining our advantage and competitive edge

And so, with this intent, you will see that we have refined/new messaging, logo, website, and of course, some really good swag.

So, what did we come up with? You can see the visual changes throughout the site, and we will explain more about the logo below. Our new colors have been selected to represent our organization’s attributes. These are:

  • Professional & Accomplished
  • Future-Forward & Imaginative
  • Dynamic & Energetic

We can also now better articulate why we exist:

We help clients to maximize the value of their digital assets.

If you don’t know what they are, 

if they can’t be found, 

if they can’t be used effectively, 

if they’re damaged or lost, 

if they’re disconnected from other systems, 

then they aren’t creating value. 

And, if they’re badly managed, 

they’re an expensive overhead and a liability. 

Because data isn’t valuable until you can do something with it.

And share our purpose:

Your digital assets have extraordinary potential. 

Our purpose is to maximize their value through the innovation of information ecosystems.

And describe how we fulfill our purpose:

We connect humans and data. In collaboration with our clients, we create complete ecosystems for managing data that are designed around how their teams actually work and think.

Our value comes from our diverse perspectives. To see value and opportunities in data, you have to see things from different angles. We’re a forward-thinking team of cross-disciplinary experts working across a wide range of industries, so we know how to work with data in unique ways for different clients. 

Since 2006, we’ve been helping clients pinpoint their true vision and reach their goals. Instead of generic solutions, we actively listen to your needs and focus on opportunities that bring about beneficial change. We’re experts at challenging organizations to see the bigger picture, to understand where they are on their digital journey, and to navigate their next steps.

Our new logo represents this.

There are multiple meaningful elements within this logo:

We meet our customers where they are.

We look at the big picture.

We bring a clarifying spark.

We guide.

We know that there will be a lot of questions about our updates and we look forward to talking with our peeps about them. Meanwhile, we have anticipated some specific questions about what our rebranding means, and have created the FAQ below.

FAQ

Your new website seems to focus on digital asset management. Does this mean that you don’t offer services focused on digital preservation or collection management anymore?

No. We believe that digital asset management is a concept that encapsulates everything we do.  Sometimes when we use the term we are literally referring to digital asset management systems (i.e., DAMS), but as a concept, it also encompasses digital preservation, collection management, data management, metadata management, and more. These data are digital assets to your organization—we help you realize their value.

Do you still offer software development? I no longer see it under the services offered.

Through our reflection we had a couple of insights into how we talk about the services we offer.

First, we are not a consulting and software company. We are an information innovation firm. What does that mean? It means that we have a cross-disciplinary team of experts that maximize the value of digital assets through the innovation of information ecosystems. This team of subject matter experts consult, advise, develop, engineer, and more. The titles many of our peeps have consist of some version of Consultant and Software Engineer. We all focus on, are experienced within, and are experts in the domain of digital asset management.

Second, our continued software engineering contributions will be in support of digital asset management projects and prototypes. For instance, we will use software engineering when performing data migration, system integration, metadata cleanup, workflow automation, AI evaluation, and more. We will also use software engineering to build prototypes and proof of concept applications focused on digital asset management practice that will either be handed off to another entity to turn into a production system or will have otherwise served its purpose and be shut down.

What we won’t do moving forward is build production systems that require ongoing maintenance, support, and an entirely different infrastructure and operations to sustain. They are very different animals and operations. This approach and focus maximizes the value and impact that AVP can deliver and leaves the rest to others who can deliver maximum value and impact in those areas.

Does your focus on digital asset management mean that you are a DAM provider now?

When most people use the term DAM they are thinking of a software product/platform. We intentionally use the phrase digital asset management instead of DAM because we are 1) not a product/platform, and 2) we are referring to the broader practice of digital asset management, encompassing purpose, people, governance, process, technology, and measurement. We offer services focused on this holistic perspective of digital asset management practice.

Why did you remove products from your website? What has happened to your products?

We strongly believe in our products and know that they have been significant contributions to the communities we serve. We found that having both services and products on the website created confusion. People weren’t sure if we offered services or products and wondered what the relationship between our services and products were. Therefore we decided that wearavp.com will be focused on the services we offer. Paid AVP products like Aviary and Fixity Pro would best be represented by having their own independent websites. Products that have been developed by AVP for customers like embARC and ADCTest are best represented by those customers and the associated GitHub accounts. And finally, some products like MDQC, Catalyst, and Exactly will either remain available without support on GitHub or will be sunsetted.

Why did you keep the same name?

We actually set out to create a new name for AVP as part of this endeavor and we went through a process that required a great deal of time, energy, and thought. We arrived at a decision that, despite the cons of our name (not memorable, bad for SEO, etc.), redefining the name rather than changing it offered more pros and just felt right.

So, what does it stand for? Well, it stands for multiple things in different contexts. To name a few: Ambitious Vibrant People, Abundant Vantage Points, and Ample Value Proposition. You will see these sprinkled throughout our new website.

Audiovisual Metadata Platform Pilot Development (AMPPD) Final Project Report

21 March 2022

This report documents the experience and findings of the Audiovisual Metadata Platform Pilot Development (AMPPD) project, which has worked to enable more efficient generation of metadata to support discovery and use of digitized and born-digital audio and moving image collections. The AMPPD project was carried out by partners Indiana University Libraries, AVP, University of Texas at Austin, and New York Public Library between 2018-2021.

Report Authors : Jon W. Dunn, Ying Feng, Juliet L. Hardesty, Brian Wheeler, Maria Whitaker, and Thomas Whittaker, Indiana University Libraries; Shawn Averkamp, Bertram Lyons, and Amy Rudersdorf, AVP; Tanya Clement and Liz Fischer, University of Texas at Austin Department of English. The authors wish to thank Rachael Kosinski and Patrick Sovereign for formatting and editing assistance.

Funding Acknowledgement: The work described in this report was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Read the entire report here.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Libraries and archives hold massive collections of audiovisual recordings from a diverse range of timeframes, cultures, and contexts that are of great interest across many disciplines and communities.

In recent years, increased concern over the longevity of physical audiovisual formats due to issues of

media degradation and obsolescence, 2 combined with the decreasing cost of digital storage, have led institutions to embark on projects to digitize recordings for purposes of long-term preservation and improved access. Simultaneously, the growth of born-digital audiovisual content, which struggles with its own issues of stability and imminent obsolescence, has skyrocketed and continues to grow exponentially.

In 2010, the Council on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR) and the Library of Congress reported in “The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age” that the complexity of preserving and accessing physical audiovisual collections goes far beyond digital reformatting. This complexity, which includes factors such as the cost to digitize the originals and manage the digital surrogates, is evidenced by the fact that large audiovisual collections are not well represented in our national and international digital platforms. The relative paucity of audiovisual content in Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America is a testament to the difficulties that the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) community faces in creating access to their audiovisual collections. There has always been a desire for more audiovisual content in DPLA, even as staff members recognize the challenges and complexities this kind of content poses (massive storage requirements, lack of description, etc.). And, even though Europeana has made the collection of audiovisual content a focus of their work in recent years, as of February 2021, Europeana comprises 59% images and 38% text objects, but only 1% sound objects and 2% video objects. DPLA is composed of 25% images and 54% text, with only 0.3% sound objects, and 0.6% video objects.

Another reason, beyond cost, that audiovisual recordings are not widely accessible is the lack of sufficiently granular metadata to support identification, discovery, and use, or to support informed rights determination and access control and permissions decisions on the part of collections staff and users. Unlike textual materials—for which some degree of discovery may be provided through full-text indexing—without metadata detailing the content of the dynamic files, audiovisual materials cannot be located, used, and ultimately, understood.

Traditional approaches to metadata generation for audiovisual recordings rely almost entirely on manual description performed by experts—either by writing identifying information on a piece of physical media such as a tape cassette, typing bibliographic information into a database or spreadsheet, or creating collection- or series-level finding aids. The resource requirements and the lack of scalability to transfer even this limited information to a useful digital format that supports discovery presents an intractable problem. Lack of robust description stands in the way of access, ultimately resulting in the inability to derive full value from digitized and born-digital collections of audiovisual content, which in turn can lead to lack of interest, use, and potential loss of a collection entirely to obsolescence and media degradation.

Read the entire report here

AVP DAM SERVICES FOR MUSEUMS & CULTURAL HERITAGE

21 January 2022

AVP Museum Services Map HS 2022
AVP Museum Services Map HS 20222

AVP Is Hiring An Analytical And Creative Data Specialist Consultant

19 January 2022

AVP is looking for talented, diverse, energetic, and creative folks to join our fantastic team of consultants, and right now we are hoping to find a data specialist.

At AVP, we partner with amazing organizations to help maximize the value of their data and information assets. We untangle complex data management challenges and enable organizations to protect, manage, and leverage their assets through our consulting services, software products, and custom software development services. We holistically straddle human, business, and technology aspects of each challenge, apply proven and rigorous approaches, and collaboratively partner with customers to innovate and overcome. We love solving big, complex, difficult problems that have a huge positive impact on people and organizations. Take a look at our portfolio and you’ll see what we mean. Recent and upcoming projects include building experimental machine learning and crowdsourcing workflows for Library of Congress Labs Humans in the Loop, aggregating public datasets and creating a data access portal for Save the Black Press with Black Voice News, History Pin with Shift Collective, and researching researching open A/V streaming media and annotation protocols AudiAnnotate Audiovisual Extensible Workflow (AWE) project with University of Texas.

We are deeply committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive world. We pursue our values through our work, ensuring that accurate and authentic data is available and used to create breakthrough solutions and solve knotty problems. We also stand firmly committed against systemic racism and all other forms of oppression; and hold ourselves accountable for taking actions that reflect our values. With these values firmly in place, we invite potential team members who share our commitments and reflect a diverse array of lived perspectives and experiences.

We are seeking a data management consultant who can help bridge our consulting and software development services and products. This role will work on a diverse set of projects and challenges, including data migrations, system integrations, web and desktop application development, and data warehousing development. The one thing that is common to all of them: a lot of data.

Read more below and apply!

P.S. If you’re not interested in or available for this position, but know someone who is, we would really appreciate it if you passed this along!

What you’ll do

As a consultant with AVP, each day will be different, but rewarding.

  • You will work with incredibly diverse organizations, from media and entertainment companies to financial organizations, hospitals to university libraries, tech companies to governments
  • You will work closely with our software development team as a subject matter expert (SME), data analyst, or project manager
  • You will work closely closely with clients to identify needs and scope projects that meet the organization’s most pressing data management challenges
  • You will formulate, test, and refine solution hypotheses
  • You will gather a ton of information. You will interview stakeholders and users. You’ll craft and facilitate workshops. You will listen, observe, read, and probably spend a lot of time digging into datasets.
  • You will spend a lot of time working with data — understanding and analyzing data sources, modeling data, mapping data, transforming data, normalizing data, and more
  • You will help oversee software development projects by acting as a scrum master and project manager
  • You will translate user and stakeholder requirements into easily understood and manageable documentation for developers
  • You will always be looking for ways that we can improve, sharing your suggestions with the team, training and mentoring others, and creating internal documentation

A little about you

  • You are a strong collaborator and an independent thinker
  • You bring diverse identities and experiences. You are culturally competent.
  • You are curious, always eager to dig a little deeper to figure out the why and how
  • You are analytical and creative. You see connections between seemingly unconnected things
  • You have experience working with structured and unstructured datasets
  • You have experience writing SQL queries
  • You are not necessarily a software developer, but can do some scripting in Python (or other languages)
  • You can translate between users and technologists and create documentation that is useful to both
  • You are always learning and improving
  • You really care about the details
  • You have real world Agile/Scrum and/or project management experience
  • You have some knowledge of (or are interested in learning about) the domains of library/information science, product management, UX design and research, and/or business analysis

Bonus points

Optionally, you may have expertise in one or more of these areas:

  • You may have experience building relational databases
  • You may have some data science, statistics, and/or data visualization experience
  • You may have some experience with NoSQL technologies
  • You may have experience with (or are interested in learning more about) machine learning and artificial intelligence

If you don’t have one of those four more specific skills, but feel you would be a good fit based on the description above, we still want to hear from you!

What we offer

We work really hard to make working at AVP an amazing experience. We have a team full of truly exceptional people—the kind you’ll be excited to work with. Here’s how we operate:

Live Where You Want

We’re a distributed team, so you can live and work wherever you want. In late 2020, most people are used to working remotely, but we’ve been doing it for years, and will continue to once the world opens back up. We do have offices in Brooklyn, and Madison, WI—if you live in one of those areas, our crews there would love to have you. The rest of us are scattered around.

Work/Life Balance

We work hard and smart, but we’re in this for the long haul, no need to go crazy on the hours. We strive to make your workload manageable.

Take Vacation

We want you to take vacation. It’s important to get out and do something. We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your vacation on Slack and hearing about your adventures at the weekly standup after you return. Even if you just need a break to sit on the couch for a week (we all know this feeling these days).

AVP Retreats

We get the whole team together two times a year to catch up, hang out, and plan for the future. In normal times, we’ll go to places like the mountains of Wyoming, the coastline of Florida (in the winter), and the cheese curds of Madison (at all times of year). We take advantage of working together, have strategy and planning sessions, bring in guest speakers and coaches, and do really fun things. The highlight is always hanging out together and having a blast.

Up Your Game

We’re serious about helping you improve your craft. We’ll support your attendance at conferences, online courses, and workshops, buy books and subscriptions. We have a culture of continuous improvement and we love to see our people growing (and teaching us what they learn!).

Benefits

You’ll be a W2 employee with benefits including medical, dental, vision, HSA, FSA, 401k, profit sharing, and more. AVP pays 80% of medical and dental insurance, and 100% of vision insurance. We also contribute 3% to your 401k whether you choose to throw any money in there or not. It vests immediately.

Be Yourself

At AVP we are committed to growing a representative team offering diverse perspectives from different age groups, abilities, races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, genders, gender identities, religious beliefs, and other lived experiences. AVP continually strives to promote a culture in which all employees feel included and where all voices are heard and appreciated. Whoever you are, wherever you call home, we want you to feel free to be your authentic self at work; and we want you to know that you will be authentically valued at AVP.

How to Apply

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you have a prepared resume, attach it in PDF form. If you don’t have a resume because you aren’t even sure you’re looking to change jobs, that’s fine! An informal list of your work and education history are all we’re looking for. A LinkedIn profile would work too.

Attach a PDF of your cover letter. In your cover letter:

  • Introduce yourself and explain why this position is of interest to you, and you would be a great fit. Optionally, please include links to relevant past work and anything else that makes you look good, and describe your role in that work.
  • Include a response to the following question: What are two of the most challenging obstacles you have faced when working with large datasets? And how did you overcome them?

Interview Process
Exploratory Interview

This is a high level conversation seeking to find out more about you, your interests, goals and objectives, background. Also to tell you about AVP, our culture, goals and objectives, services and products, and answer any questions you have.

In-Depth Interview

If the exploratory call goes well, one or two AVPeeps will meet with you, focusing in on a chronological walk-through of each job you have held focusing in on five core questions: What were you hired to do? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What were some of the low points during that job? Who were the people you worked with? Why did you leave that job? At the end of the interview we will discuss your career goals and aspirations, and you will have a chance to ask us questions.

Reference Interviews

If the in-depth interview goes well, we will ask you to introduce us to 3 references, representing previous supervisors, people that you supervised, and peer colleagues that you have worked with (as applicable).

All-Team Interview

If the reference interviews go well, there will be an all-team meeting set up with you. This is a chance for the team to meet you and for you to meet the team. The agenda is as follows:

  • Round robin introductions of AVPeeps
  • Candidate introduction
  • AVP questions for you and discussion
  • Your questions for AVP

Apply here!

AVP Is Hiring A Curious, Creative, And Analytical Consultant

19 January 2022

AVP is looking for talented, diverse, energetic, and creative folks to join our fantastic team of consultants.

At AVP, we partner with amazing organizations to help maximize the value of their data and information assets. We untangle complex data management challenges and enable organizations to protect, manage, and leverage their assets through our consulting services, software products, and custom software development services. We holistically straddle human, business, and technology aspects of each challenge, apply proven and rigorous approaches, and collaboratively partner with customers to innovate and overcome. We love solving big, complex, difficult problems that have a huge positive impact on people and organizations.

We are deeply committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive world. We pursue our values through our work, ensuring that accurate and authentic data is available and used to create breakthrough solutions and solve knotty problems. We also stand firmly committed against systemic racism and all other forms of oppression; and hold ourselves accountable for taking actions that reflect our values. With these values firmly in place, we invite potential team members who share our commitments and reflect a diverse array of lived perspectives and experiences.

Our consultants guide organizations through strategic, tactical, and operational changes that will allow them to utilize data / information / digital assets to deliver impact. We work on all kinds of challenges, from strategic planning and roadmapping, to DAM system selection and implementation, and everything in between. Although each client and challenge is unique, we use consistent approaches that allow our clients to make immediate progress toward their vision.

Read more below and apply!

P.S. If you’re not interested in or available for this position, but know someone who is, we would really appreciate it if you passed this along!

What you’ll do

As a consultant with AVP, each day will be different, but rewarding.

  • You will work with incredibly diverse organizations, from media and entertainment companies to financial organizations, hospitals to university libraries, tech companies to governments
  • You’ll help organizations find and implement technology, people, and process solutions to their data management challenges
  • You will work hand in hand with one or more of our incredible consultants for each project
  • You may be invited to support one of our software projects as a subject matter expert
  • You will formulate, test, and refine solution hypotheses
  • You will gather a ton of information. You will interview stakeholders and users. You’ll craft and facilitate workshops. You will listen, observe, read, and probably spend a lot of time looking at datasets.
  • You will synthesize vast amounts of qualitative and quantitative data to identify insights
  • You will create and deliver recommendations, which could take the form of a report, a presentation, a training session, or another form appropriate to the situation.
  • You will help bring in new business by identifying ways we can continue to support our clients beyond initial engagements, by ensuring our proposals are well crafted to meet client and consulting team needs, and by promoting our work
  • You will share your knowledge with the world by creating blog posts, white papers, webinars, presentations, and online courses
  • You will always be looking for ways that we can improve, sharing your suggestions with the team, training and mentoring others, and creating internal documentation

A little about you

  • You are a strong collaborator and an independent thinker
  • You value diverse identities and experiences. You are culturally competent.
  • You are curious, always eager to dig a little deeper to figure out the why and how
  • You are a gifted interviewer, skilled at drawing out stories and details from stakeholders and users
  • You are analytical and creative
  • You see connections between seemingly unconnected things
  • You can synthesize findings to create meaningful insights, and share those in a succinct but clear way
  • You write well
  • You can make a compelling and clear slide deck, and present it well too
  • You apply perspectives from different disciplines to problem solving and solution building
  • You have a background in Library Science, Business Analysis, Organizational Design, Service Design, Product Management, Data Governance, UX Research, and/or Consulting
  • You are always learning and improving
  • You really care about the details
  • You are willing to travel routinely (once that becomes a thing again)

Bonus points

Optionally, you may have expertise in one or more of these areas:

  • Digital asset management. Maybe you worked for a DAM vendor or managed a DAM (or similar system) in a previous role
  • Data wrangling. You are a whiz at mapping, normalizing, and transforming data
  • System architectures. Maybe you were a systems integrator in a past life
  • Digital preservation. If you know about this, you know what we are talking about.

If you don’t have one of those four more specific skills, but feel you would be a good fit based on the description above, we still want to hear from you!

What we offer

We work really hard to make working at AVP an amazing experience. We have a team full of truly exceptional people—the kind you’ll be excited to work with. Here’s how we operate:

Live Where You Want

We’re a distributed team, so you can live and work wherever you want. In late 2020, most people are used to working remotely, but we’ve been doing it for years, and will continue to once the world opens back up. We do have offices in Brooklyn, and Madison, WI—if you live in one of those areas, our crews there would love to have you. The rest of us are scattered around.

Work/Life Balance

We work hard and smart, but we’re in this for the long haul, no need to go crazy on the hours. We strive to make your workload manageable.

Take Vacation

We want you to take vacation. It’s important to get out and do something. We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your vacation on Slack and hearing about your adventures at the weekly standup after you return. Even if you just need a break to sit on the couch for a week (we all know this feeling these days).

AVP Retreats

We get the whole team together two times a year to catch up, hang out, and plan for the future. In normal times, we’ll go to places like the mountains of Wyoming, the coastline of Florida (in the winter), and the cheese curds of Madison (at all times of year). We take advantage of working together, have strategy and planning sessions, bring in guest speakers and coaches, and do really fun things. The highlight is always hanging out together and having a blast.

Up Your Game

We’re serious about helping you improve your craft. We’ll support your attendance at conferences, online courses, and workshops, buy books and subscriptions. We have a culture of continuous improvement and we love to see our people growing (and teaching us what they learn!).

Benefits

You’ll be a W2 employee with benefits including medical, dental, vision, HSA, FSA, 401k, profit sharing, and more. AVP pays 80% of medical and dental insurance, and 100% of vision insurance. We also contribute 3% to your 401k whether you choose to throw any money in there or not. It vests immediately.

Be Yourself

At AVP we are committed to growing a representative team offering diverse perspectives from different age groups, abilities, races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, genders, gender identities, religious beliefs, and other lived experiences. AVP continually strives to promote a culture in which all employees feel included and where all voices are heard and appreciated. Whoever you are, wherever you call home, we want you to feel free to be your authentic self at work; and we want you to know that you will be authentically valued at AVP.

How to Apply

Apply by 11:59PM on December 22, 2020.

​​​​​​​If you have a prepared resume, attach it in PDF form. If you don’t have a resume because you aren’t even sure you’re looking to change jobs, that’s fine! An informal list of your work and education history are all we’re looking for. A LinkedIn profile would work too.

Attach a PDF of your cover letter. In your cover letter:

  • Introduce yourself and explain why this position is of interest to you, and you would be a great fit. Optionally, please include links to relevant past work and anything else that makes you look good, and describe your role in that work.
  • Include answers to the following questions: 1) ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you were interviewing a client for the first time, what are your first three questions? 2) If you were interviewing a prospective candidate for this position, what would be a good interview question to ask to find out if a candidate really knew their stuff?

Interview Process
Exploratory Interview

This is a high level conversation seeking to find out more about you, your interests, goals and objectives, background. Also to tell you about AVP, our culture, goals and objectives, services and products, and answer any questions you have.

In-Depth Interview

If the exploratory call goes well, one or two AVPeeps will meet with you, focusing in on a chronological walk-through of each job you have held focusing in on five core questions: What were you hired to do? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What were some of the low points during that job? Who were the people you worked with? Why did you leave that job? At the end of the interview we will discuss your career goals and aspirations, and you will have a chance to ask us questions.

Reference Interviews

If the in-depth interview goes well, we will ask you to introduce us to 3 references, representing previous supervisors, people that you supervised, and peer colleagues that you have worked with (as applicable).

All-Team Interview

If the reference interviews go well, there will be an all-team meeting set up with you. This is a chance for the team to meet you and for you to meet the team. The agenda is as follows:

  • Round robin introductions of AVPeeps
  • Candidate introduction
  • AVP questions for you and discussion
  • Your questions for AVP

Apply here!

AVP Is Hiring A Senior Software Engineer

19 January 2022

AVP is looking for talented, diverse, energetic, and creative folks to join our team of software engineers.

At AVP, we partner with amazing organizations to help maximize the value of their data and information assets. We untangle complex data management challenges and enable organizations to protect, manage, and leverage their assets through our consulting services, software products, and custom software development services. We holistically straddle human, business, and technological aspects of each challenge, apply proven and rigorous approaches, and collaborate with customers to innovate and overcome. We love solving difficult problems that have a positive impact on people and organizations. Take a look at our portfolio and you’ll see what we mean. Recent and upcoming software projects include Library of Congress Labs Humans in the LoopSave the Black Press with Black Voice News, History Pin with Shift Collective, and AudiAnnotate Audiovisual Extensible Workflow (AWE) project with University of Texas. 

We are deeply committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive world. We pursue our values through our work, ensuring that accurate and authentic data is used to create breakthrough solutions and solve knotty problems. We also stand firmly committed against systemic racism and all other forms of oppression and hold ourselves accountable for taking actions that reflect our values. With these values firmly in place, we welcome potential team members who share our commitments and reflect a diverse array of lived perspectives and experiences.

We are currently growing and developing our software engineering services. We build desktop applications, web applications, data warehousing services, and integration middleware. We transform data and migrate it from system to system. We write data acquisition services and public data APIs. We design digital forensic analysis tools. Although each client and challenge is unique, we use consistent approaches that allow our clients to make immediate progress toward their vision.

We are looking for a Senior Engineer with experience across the entire software development lifecycle to join our team and to lead and contribute to the wide array of development projects we support, as well as to assist in the continued improvement of our operations and infrastructure. Experience building scalable cloud services, distributed systems, and/or database systems would be a plus.

Read more below and apply!

P.S. If you’re not interested in or available for this position, but know someone who is, we would really appreciate it if you passed this along!

What you’ll do

As a Senior Software Engineer with AVP, each day will be different, but rewarding:

  • You will work with incredibly diverse organizations, from media and entertainment companies to financial organizations, hospitals to university libraries, tech companies to governments.
  • You will develop, design, and test software for SaaS products, desktop applications, web applications, middleware, and data services.
  • You will advise AVP and our clients on new technologies.
     
    • NWF Visipec (Data warehouse and public API)
    • Python scripts for acquiring data from the internet from publicly accessible APIs and writing the data to our Postgres warehouse.
    • Python and PL/pgSQL scripts for normalizing and correlating acquired data for Postgres table storage.
    • .Net and C# public API to provide data services for client partners.
    • AWS infrastructure for all server, network, and database services.You will work daily with AVP’s software team — currently a mix of external and internal developers — on an array of development projects for AVP clients. Below is an example of one of our client’s tech stacks:
  • You will work daily with AVP’s software team to support and continue to develop AVP’s suite of existing and emerging software products. Below are examples of two of AVP’s product technology stacks:
    • Aviary (SaaS product)
      • Integration of external services like IBM-Watson STT, Trint STT, Stripe, and Wasabi Storage.
      • Auto-scaling EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancing, RDS, and S3 infrastructure in AWS.
      • A harmonious stack of HTML, CSS/SASS, Ruby on Rails, Solr, React.js, and Javascript.
    • Fixity Pro (Desktop application)
      • Java (OpenJDK)
      • Swing UI
      • Paddle subscription integration
  • You will collaborate with one or more of our subject matter experts for each project or product.
  • You will work closely with clients to identify needs and scope projects that meet their most pressing data management challenges.
  • You will design development project approaches, timelines, and outcomes in order to deliver on time and within budget.
  • You will formulate, test, and refine solution hypotheses.
  • You will help to improve AVP dev ops practices and policies.
  • You will look for ways that we can improve, sharing your suggestions with the team, training and mentoring others, and creating internal documentation.

A little about you

  • You value diverse identities and experiences. You are culturally competent.
  • You are a strong collaborator and an independent thinker.
  • You are curious, and eager to dig a little deeper to figure out the why and how.
  • You are comfortable working independently and in a team setting.
  • You are always learning and improving.
  • You really care about the details.
  • You are able to research innovative solutions for challenging business/technical problems.
  • You have 5+ years of full lifecycle software development/engineering experience in environments that use Agile and Scrum project management methodology.
  • You have expertise in at least two development languages; and competency in two others (AVP most commonly uses Ruby, Java, C#, .NET, Python, PHP, and Javascript).
  • You have backend data persistence expertise using databases and datastores, preferably SQL-based.
  • You have knowledge of network and application security practices.
  • You write consistent, efficient, and well-documented code, including the creation of technical documentation for deployment and maintenance.
  • You have a working knowledge of continuous integration/deployment processes and systems.
  • You bring an ability to debug and optimize code, and to automate routine tasks.
  • You are experienced administering web servers, Git repositories, databases, and network services.
  • You have experience creating, developing, delivering, deploying, and maintaining online services.
  • You have experience developing in the cloud (e.g., AWS, Azure, or Google).
  • You are comfortable designing architecture for the processing, storage, and analysis of large structured and unstructured data sets.
  • You have some knowledge of (or are interested in learning about) the domains of Library Science, Forensic Analysis, Data Acquisition, Machine Learning, Product Management, Data Modeling, UX Research, and/or Taxonomy.
  • You have knowledge of open source coding practices, licenses and technologies.

Bonus points

Optionally, you may have expertise in one or more of these areas:

  • Digital audiovisual content. You are familiar with digital audiovisual formats and the common challenges developers face when working with such formats in web applications, storage configurations, and desktop applications.
  • Digital asset management. Maybe you have developed for a DAM vendor or implemented a DAM (or similar system) in a previous role.
  • Data wrangling. You are a whiz at mapping, normalizing, and transforming structured data.
  • System architectures. Maybe you were a systems integrator in a past life.
  • Digital preservation. If you know about this, you know what we are talking about.

If you don’t have one of those four more specific skills, but feel you would be a good fit based on the description above, we still want to hear from you!

What we offer

We work really hard to make working at AVP an amazing experience. We have a team full of truly exceptional people—the kind you’ll be excited to work with. Here’s how we operate:

Live Where You Want

We’re a distributed team, so you can live and work wherever you want. As of 2020, most people are used to working remotely, but we’ve been doing it for years, and will continue to once the world opens back up. We do have offices in Brooklyn, and Madison, WI—if you live in one of those areas, our crews there would love to have you. The rest of us are scattered around.

Work/Life Balance

We work hard and smart, but we’re in this for the long haul, no need to go crazy on the hours. We strive to make your workload manageable.

Take Vacation

We want you to take vacation. It’s important to get out and do something. We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your vacation on Slack and hearing about your adventures at the weekly standup after you return. Even if you just need a break to sit on the couch for a week (we all know this feeling these days).

AVP Retreats

We get the whole team together two times a year to catch up, hang out, and plan for the future. In normal times, we’ll go to places like the mountains of Wyoming, the coastline of Florida (in the winter), and the cheese curds of Madison (at all times of year). We take advantage of working together, have strategy and planning sessions, bring in guest speakers and coaches, and do really fun things. The highlight is always hanging out together and having a blast.

Up Your Game

We’re serious about helping you improve your craft. We’ll support your attendance at conferences, online courses, and workshops, buy books and subscriptions. We have a culture of continuous improvement and we love to see our people growing (and teaching us what they learn!).

Benefits

You’ll be a W2 employee with benefits including medical, dental, vision, HSA, FSA, 401k, profit sharing, and more. AVP pays 80% of medical and dental insurance, and 100% of vision insurance. We also contribute 3% to your 401k whether you choose to throw any money in there or not. It vests immediately.

Be Yourself

At AVP we are committed to growing a representative team offering diverse perspectives from different age groups, abilities, races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, genders, gender identities, religious beliefs, and other lived experiences. AVP continually strives to promote a culture in which all employees feel included and where all voices are heard and appreciated. Whoever you are, wherever you call home, we want you to feel free to be your authentic self at work; and we want you to know that you will be authentically valued at AVP.

How to Apply

​​​​​​​If you have a prepared resume, attach it in PDF form. If you don’t have a resume because you aren’t even sure you’re looking to change jobs, that’s fine! An informal list of your work and education history are all we’re looking for. A LinkedIn profile would work too.

Attach a PDF of your cover letter. In your cover letter:

  • Introduce yourself and explain why this position is of interest to you, and why you would be a great fit. Optionally, please include links to relevant past work and anything else that makes you look good, and describe your role in that work.
  • Include answers to the following questions:
    • 1. What are the three most challenging obstacles you have faced when migrating structured data from one database environment to another? And how did you overcome them?
    • 2. Unit tests are inefficient and cost too much in project overhead. In a few paragraphs, argue for and/or against this point.
    • 3. I do my best work when … ? Please complete the sentence in whatever way you prefer. Please write at least a paragraph to add context to the sentence.

Interview Process
Skill Test and Exploratory Interview

We will provide a skills test for you to complete. Upon successful completion, we will contact you for a high level conversation to find out more about you, your interests, goals and objectives, background. Also to tell you about AVP, our culture, goals and objectives, services and products, and answer any questions you have.

In-Depth Interview

If the exploratory call goes well, one or two AVPeeps will meet with you, focusing in on a chronological walk-through of each job you have held focusing in on five core questions: What were you hired to do? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What were some of the low points during that job? Who were the people you worked with? Why did you leave that job? At the end of the interview we will discuss your career goals and aspirations, and you will have a chance to ask us questions.

Reference Interviews

If the in-depth interview goes well, we will ask you to introduce us to 3 references, representing previous supervisors, people that you supervised, and peer colleagues that you have worked with (as applicable).

All-Team Interview

If the reference interviews go well, there will be an all-team meeting set up with you. This is a chance for the team to meet you and for you to meet the team. The agenda is as follows:

  • Round robin introductions of AVPeeps
  • Candidate introduction
  • AVP questions for you and discussion
  • Your questions for AVP

Apply here!

AVP Is Hiring A Humbly Talented Full Stack Software Engineer

19 January 2022

Disclaimer: Thanks to Jesse Mecham (an awesome person and CEO!) at YNAB (an awesome company!) for sharing his time, thoughts, and resources on building and representing the culture at AVP. That includes helping us write better job posts. Like this one.

At AVP, we partner with the best clients in the world and build applications that radically improve the way people work and use information. As a Software Engineer at AVP you may be working on our groundbreaking Aviary product, consolidating public data sets to analyze supply chains for bad actors, creating media forensic analysis tools (we can’t tell you for who until you learn the secret handshake), working on building a first-of-its-kind platform for mass-generation of metadata for audiovisual content, and so much more. Your days will be filled with exciting and fulfilling work.

When we say Full Stack, we mean that you like being in the trenches with code, are comfortable at various levels of the stack, and are familiar with the following (not exhaustive):

  • Server-side languages like Ruby and Java
  • Front-end development with CSS and JavaScript
  • DevOps tooling and services like Rubocop and Github
  • Cloud storage and compute environments like AWS and Wasabi
  • Database/SQL/noSQL development and optimization (MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MongoDB)
  • Agile methodologies and tools including Jira

That’s some of what you’ll be working on. But let us tell you about us and what it means to be an AVPeep.

Apply Now

A Bit About Us

We maximize the usability of data by resolving large-scale, multifunctional, and enterprise-wide, digital and physical audio, video, image, metadata, text, numeric, and other data challenges with consulting services, software products, and software development. We holistically straddle business and technology aspects of each challenge, apply proven and rigorous approaches, and collaboratively partner with customers to innovate and overcome. We love solving big, complex, difficult problems that have a huge positive impact on people (and little, simple problems that are just annoying and should be squashed because they can be). Take a look at our portfolio and you’ll see what we mean.

We’re profitable, bootstrapped, and growing. AVP started in 2006 and we’re in it for the long haul.

We have one overarching requirement when it comes to joining our team: our Vision, Values, and Operating Principles have to really click with you. If you’re nodding emphatically while reading it, you’ll probably fit right in!

At AVP we know that as we grow, we need to increasingly reflect the world we live in and the clients we serve. We are committed to growing a representative team from multiple age groups, abilities, cultural backgrounds and genders. AVP continually strives to promote a culture in which all employees feel included and where all voices are heard and appreciated. Whoever you are, wherever you call home, we want you to feel free to be your authentic self at work.

First, let’s talk about life at AVP and then we’ll go into detail about what we’re looking for.

Who You’ll Be Working With

Our team of Software Engineers is 7 people strong and spread across the globe, but we all work pretty closely. For that matter, we also work in cross-functional teams frequently so you’ll get to work with people in all different roles in the company and on both products and projects. As a small sampling, here are a few teammates that you’ll definitely rub digital shoulders with:

Kara, AVP Partner and Senior Consultant, is our chief evangelist of continuous improvement. Kara loves systems – creating them, adopting them, putting them to practice, refining them, eating them for breakfast, you name it. As a natural born leader, Kara was the one in her neighborhood that inspired and organized all the other kids and made things happen. As an adult she continues this, convincing her husband and friend James to do awesome things like eating the food of every country in alphabetical order without leaving New York City or driving a small car on the Silk Road from Europe to Mongolia. Kara brings this same rigorous approach and fun spirit to AVP, keeping us excited and never complacent.

Bert is an AVP Partner, Senior Consultant, and Aviary Co-Product Owner. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and somehow manages to be a jack of all trades AND a master of all trades. Bert wouldn’t say that because he’s humble (so much so that whenever we rent a house for a team retreat Bert claims the worst bed in the worst room immediately). We would all say it, because aside from constantly impressing us in a professional setting, he manages to beat us at all competitive endeavors. Ever. Of any type. Yes, including curling. Treasure the skills that get you this job because they may be the only thing you can hold over Bert. Fortunately, Bert is also a hell of a nice guy, so don’t worry. He won’t make you feel bad when he beats you at everything else.

Kerri joined the team in March of this year as Aviary Product Manager and AVP Senior Consultant. Kerri adds to our Brooklyn crew where we now roll 5 deep (going to have to get a car with more seats if we add any more). Although Kerri specializes in self deprecating humor, she’s an all around funny person and a delight to work with. But don’t let the laughs and smile fool you into thinking that Kerri is anything less than a powerhouse. She has a deep passion for the work we do and brings her best to everything she does. In other words, there ain’t no half steppin’.

Dan is a data scientist and one of our full-stack developers. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin and he is currently having a great time simultaneously working on media forensic analysis tools that we can’t talk about for a client we can’t talk about, metadata embedding tools for the Library of Congress, and working on wildly complex data analyses and algorithms to gain insights into supply chain issues including deforestation of the rainforests. Dan actually works with us as a contractor (we won’t hold that against him), but we work so much together that he feels like fam. Dan comes by his ability to grapple with, and make sense of, mind-blowingly complex sets of data honestly. His father was in baseball doing statistical analysis and worked with Bill James, the creator of the Moneyball theory.

Nouman is one of our Senior Software Engineers working out of Lahore, Pakistan. Nouman has been part of the team since 2010 and has become one of the leading software engineers in the libraries and archives ecosystem. Nouman embodies the humble talent that we call out in the title of this job posting. It took us several years to get him to laugh (which almost certainly says more about us than him), but now he’s got us all LOL’ing at every standup. We think he may have a second career as a comedian, but for our sake we’re hoping that doesn’t come anytime too soon.

How You’ll Work at AVP

We work really hard to make working at AVP an amazing experience. We have a team full of truly exceptional people—the kind you’ll be excited to work with. Here’s how we operate:

Live Where You Want

We’re a distributed team, so you can live and work wherever you want. Proximity doesn’t influence productivity. Some of us are more nomadic than others, but between work trips, personal trips, and just wanting to work out of different places, where we work from isn’t all that important. Not all of us travel so extensively, but the fact that some of us do is totally okay because we’re all adults. As long as we have a reliable internet connection and communication is flowing we’re all set.

No Crazy Hours

It’s not uncommon that we work more than 40 hours per week, but we intentionally do not make a habit out of it and we discourage it when it’s unnecessary. We work hard and smart, but we’re in this for the long haul, no need to go crazy on the hours.

Take Vacation (Seriously)

We want you to take vacation. It’s important to get out and do something. We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your vacation on Slack and hearing about your adventures at the weekly standup after you return.

AVP Retreats

We get the team together in one place three times a year to catch up on six sigma techniques in a windowless conference room with fluorescent lighting. Just kidding. So far, we’ve done retreats in the mountains of Wyoming (in the summer), the coastline of Florida (in the winter), and the cheese curds of Madison (at all times of year). We take advantage of working together, have a strategy and planning session that is usually led by the one and only Jim Canfield, and do really fun things. The highlight is always hanging out together and having a blast.

Up Your Game

We’re serious about professional development at the individual and team level. We budget the time and the money for it as part of our annual planning. Think conferences, Agile training, Lynda subscriptions, books, dedicated time away from work to learn something new… it’s really up to you and your supervisor. But we have a culture of continuous improvement and we love to see our people growing (and teaching us what they learned!).

Because We Give a Damn

You’ll be a W2 employee with fantastic benefits including 401k and profit sharing. AVP contributes three percent whether you choose to throw any money in there or not. It vests immediately.

Sound Good?

If this sounds like something you can get on board with, let’s get back to talking about you. You will play a big part in helping AVP maximize the usability of data in service of our amazing clients and the fulfillment of their vision and mission.

Now, Back to You, Our New Full Stack Software Engineer

You’re an experienced server-side developer that knows how to ship, monitor, and maintain large SaaS apps (not just websites). You’re an expert in at least one modern server-side framework (Rails, ASP.NET, etc). You aren’t intimidated or turned off by desktop apps either.

You’re not necessarily the “Ops” person where you work, but you certainly understand the infrastructure well enough to aid in architecting and maintaining scalable solutions. Experience with OVH, Heroku, AWS, Wasabi and/or other popular IAAS/PAAS is good.

We have four main areas that you will play a role in:

  1. Aviary
  2. AVP products
  3. Custom software development
  4. Client projects

For our main product, Aviary, you’ll help vet and improve our server-side layer, implement new features, develop our API, integrate with third party API’s, and shepherd the application. We might have conversations that start like this:

  • “How can we be certain that our application is going to scale as we grow (web scale)? How did the other apps you worked on handle similar load conditions?”
  • “We want to develop an API for internal and 3rd party purposes. What’s the best strategy for this?”
  • “We need to integrate with a new partner. How do we set it up so that we can reuse most of that work when we bring on another partner later?”
  • “How can we be sure that we are using the most current best practices with regard to security?”
  • “What monitoring tools can we use to help detect and troubleshoot issues?”

AVP has a variety of products that we have developed alone and with clients that we are responsible for managing, maintaining, and supporting. These range from desktop applications to SaaS applications, encompass closed and open source projects, and are written in a variety of languages. We might have conversations that start like this:

  • “How do we turn this into an app for sale in the app store?”
  • “How can we improve the quality and performance of this application?”
  • “Help us figure out a strategy for managing our suite of products with regard to development, maintenance, and support over the coming year.”

For custom software development projects you will work with AVPeeps and the client to elicit and document requirements and use-cases, scope projects, propose methods and strategies, and ultimately create an awesome application that meets the agreed upon requirements within the scope and budget of the project. We might have conversations that start like this:

  • “What are the top 2-3 options for tackling this set of requirements and what are the pros and cons of each?”
  • “What questions do you have to help clarify the requirements and use-cases for this prospective software application?”
  • “What information do you still need to be able to estimate the level of effort for this project?”
  • “What are the variables that may cause surprises and how can we mitigate and plan for those

It is also frequently the case that we work in cross-functional teams on projects for clients in which the outcome is not a product, but rather data that has been migrated or data that has been acquired and consolidated from multiple sources.

  • “What are our options for acquiring these identified data sets in the most efficient way possible?”
  • “What tests can we write and implement to prove that all data has been migrated without loss, corruption, or alteration?”
  • “How can we speed this process up by a factor of 10?”
  • “What algorithms can we use to answer the following questions with this data set?”

You’re Our Person if You

  • Are an excellent developer and can adapt to new languages quickly.
  • Aren’t intimidated by working with non-AV and AV projects alike.
  • Have plenty of war stories to tell about the last time you launched a big SaaS application, or weathered a massive spike in load, or recovered from an outage.
  • Have excellent debugging skills. You know how to find problems, and how to architect apps so that problems are discoverable in the first place.
  • Know your way around SQL and relational databases. If the database layer turns out to be the culprit behind an issue, it’s not a black box to you.
  • Understand basic algorithm design and data structures: You know that a binary search is faster than a linear search, and a Hashtable/Map lookup is faster still. You might not remember all your data structures off the top of your head, but you know you have options and know how to Google for them.

How to Apply

  • Apply here by 11:59PM on July 31st, 2019. Firm. It’s a real deadline.
  • Attach a pdf of your cover letter. In your cover letter:
    • What are your two strongest programming languages? Is there another language that you’re curious to learn next?
    • If you were interviewing a prospective candidate for this position, what would be a good interview question to ask to find out if a candidate really knew their stuff?
    • Introduce yourself and explain why this position is of interest to you, and why you would be a great fit.
    • Please include links to apps you’ve built or anything else that makes you look good, and describe your role in building those apps. (If they’re internal, you can skip the link part).
    • Include answers to the following questions:
  • If you have a prepared resume, attach it in PDF form. If you don’t have a resume because you aren’t even sure you’re looking to change jobs, that’s fine! An informal list of your work and education history are all we’re looking for.

The Interview Process

Exploratory Call
This is a high level conversation seeking to find out more about the candidate, their interests, goals and objectives, background, and to assess for cultural and skill fit at a high level. Also to tell them about AVP, our culture, goals and objectives, services and products, and answer any questions they have.

In-depth Interview
If the exploratory call goes well, one or two AVPeeps will meet with the candidate, focusing in on a chronological walk through of each job the candidate has held focusing in on five core questions: What were you hired to do? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What were some of the low points during that job? Who were the people you worked with? Why did you leave that job?

At the end of the interview we will discuss your career goals and aspirations, and you will have a chance to ask us questions.

Reference Interviews

If the in-depth interview goes well, we will ask you to introduce us to 5 references, representing previous supervisors, people that you supervised, and peer colleagues that you have worked with (as applicable).

All-Team Interview
If the reference interviews go well, there will be an all-team meeting setup with the candidate. This is a chance for the team to meet the candidate and for the candidate to meet the team. The agenda is as follows:

– Round robin introductions of AVPeeps [5 minutes]
– Candidate introduction [10 minutes]
– AVP questions for the candidate and discussion [60 minutes]
– Candidate questions for AVP [30 minutes]

P.S.  If you’re not interested in or available for this position, but know someone who is, we would really appreciate it if you passed this along!

AVP New Year 2022 Playlist

3 January 2022

 

[Read more]

Free Digital Preservation Webinar With AVP

8 December 2021

Free Digital Preservation workshop with AVP:

“Digital Preservation Maturity Assessment with AVP’s Digital Preservation Go!”

December 7, 2021 at 1 PM ET

Join AVP for a free webinar that will introduce you to our newest and lowest-cost digital preservation assessment service. During the webinar, Senior Consultant Amy Rudersdorf will present on the benefits of maturity assessments and how performing them can move your digital preservation program to the next level.  Sign up here and learn more about DPGo! below.

Test

9 September 2021

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