John Penner has joined Sounder’s engineering leadership to help improve the infrastructure and development process for our Audio Data Cloud technology.


1. Why did you choose to join Sounder?

I’m excited to work again with Chief AI Officer, Mercan Topkara, on building cutting edge podcast data and insights products.

2. Tell us a bit about your role on the team.

I’m joining the Engineering team as a Lead Systems Architect. I’ll be helping the team continue to improve both its infrastructure and development process.

3. What podcasts are you streaming lately? Why do you like them?

“Tig Notaro and Cheryl Hines’ ‘True Story’” – the podcast about documentaries that rarely talks about the documentaries but is more hilarious because of that.

4. What’s an interesting fact about you most people don’t know? 

I got my black belt in karate in high school – I could probably still break a wooden board with my bare hands but no longer remember the touch of death.

5. Who’s a podcaster or thought leader you admire today? Why?

My go to tech thought leaders are the stick figures of Randall Munroe’s https://xkcd.com/

6. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

It’s a toss up between helping clean up E911 records for a large VoIP company and winning my company’s Halloween costume by dressing up as the recently deceased coffee machine.

Fast Five

8. Go-to karaoke song? 

Bullet with Butterfly Wings by The Smashing Pumpkins (no singing, just screaming)

9. What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?

Playing softball in Brooklyn in the summer and basketball in the winter.

10. What’s your favorite trip you’ve been on?

Attending my friends’ wedding in India and getting to celebrate a ceremony in the bride’s hometown of Mumbai and the groom’s hometown of Kolkata.

11. If you could have a superpower, which would you choose?

The power to solve NP-complete in linear time.

12. What’s something still on your bucket list?

Running a half marathon (not crazy enough for a full).

We’re excited to have John Penner join our engineering team and enhance the development of our audio data solutions!

About John

John Penner is a software engineer who also possesses management and leadership experience. Through his 18 year career he has worked at both small startups (TargetSpot) as well as large companies (Verizon, Cablevision, Sony Music/The Orchard). He is comfortable both contributing code and guiding a team to implement a successful product.

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