The A-Team

Meet the A-Team (aka "The Abuse Products Team")

  • Aaron Beppu
  • Vera Dadok
  • Zorah Fung
  • Alex Paino
  • Duy Tran
  • Jacob Burnim
  • Keren Gu
  • Thomas Schiavone
  • Sam (Saam) Talaie

What does the A-Team do?

Our team helps customers detect and fight different kinds of fraud, whether payment fraud, account abuse, promotional abuse, or content abuse. Not only does fraud look a bit different for each customer, but many of our customers see multiple kinds of abuse of their sites. For example, an e-commerce store may see payment fraud as well as content-abuse (i.e. fake reviews). We model each type of abuse independently and give each end-user a different Sift Score for each kind of abuse. We’re always working on improving the accuracy of our machine learning models, surfacing the most important signals of a good or bad user, as well as helping model new use cases. We are currently working on helping predict Account Takeover.

What is the relationship between the A-Team and the other teams at Sift?

We work with the Data Infrastructure Team - who is responsible for storing all of the data that informs our models, and the Fraud Operations Team - who displays the scores and signals that we produce. We also work very closely with our Solutions Engineers to continually get customer feedback and monitor the accuracy of our models for our customers.

What does an average day on The A-Team look like?

We have team stand-ups on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, where we each discuss what we’ve done in the past two days, what’s coming up next, and bring up any roadblocks we might be facing. We have longer team meetings every other week to plan and prioritize projects, as well as step back and get a broader view of our progress and where we’re going. We also have an occasional ad-hoc meeting for knowledge-sharing and brainstorming. We try to be mindful of keeping meetings to a minimum so our engineers can have uninterrupted blocks of time in the day to focus.

What is the culture like on the team?

We’re a pretty small, tight-knit team of eight people. Like the other engineering teams, we sit in close proximity to each other so we can easily ask questions and share ideas. As a team, we’re very mindful of actively sharing knowledge. Our standups are right before lunch so if we end early, we’ll sometimes start eating lunch a few minutes before the rest of the company (Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone!). We also like to have the occasional social team outing. We recently went out to Urban Putt Mini Golf and Trick Dog Bar.

What are the roles on the team?

Our team has:

- 1 Tech Lead
- 1 Product Manager
- 1 Engineering Manager
- and Software Engineers with a variety of backgrounds. The team is very collaborative so many of our larger projects are completed by two or three people.

Aaron loves playing with data, but also enjoys travel, seitan, bossa nova guitar, and hugging strangers online.
Alex enjoys rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals, hiking, travelling, and eating Thai food and doing ML research.
Duy loves solving engineering problems, playing ukulele, and playing basketball.
Jacob joins Sift after finishing his PhD on lightweight specifications for parallel software at UC Berkeley.
Keren loves sailing, math, cats, hiking and camping, reading modern literature over warm beverages, and obsessively organizing things into their perfect places.
When he's not out hiking or practicing his photography skills, Saam is working on problems at the intersection of engineering and machine learning.
Thomas loves building products that solve critical business problems.
Vera enjoys hiking, photography, and traveling to new locations to take photos while hiking. Vera finished a PhD at Berkeley with a focus on control theory.
Zorah spends her free time cooking, crafting, solving puzzles and building a collection of musical instruments.





Jupyter Notebook

Apache Spark

Apache Crunch


Open Positions

See open positions on other teams