EPISODE #16 || Daniel Viedma, Associate Technical Director at Firstborn


Daniel started as a software engineer in Barcelona before diving into advertising in NYC with positions at ROKKAN, R/GA, and currently Firstborn. Hear about the role of the Tech team within agencies, building digital products vs. digital campaigns, and his mindset when applying for a visa. For anyone interested in the tech side of the industry, this one's for you.

Heads up: Had to cut out a cough attack and pop a Ricola at 23:20, if you're wondering why my voice is all quivery from that point on. The struggle was real.

Topics Discussed

  • How he made the move from software engineering in Barcelona to working in advertising in New York City.
  • The role of the Tech team within an agency.
  • What it means to work on digital campaigns vs. building digital products. 
  • The hard and soft skills needed to work in Technology. 
  • How Technology teams help fuel creativity.
  • AI and how it will affect the advertising industry.
  • Daniel's mindset when approaching the challenges of applying for a visa.

Mic Drops

“You have to be good at communicating and collaborating with people [...] at sometimes not taking things personally, and just working towards the same goal. Collaborating is so important. Most people can work on their own. Working together and sometimes working with other people’s code or having a different opinion—that’s what makes the difference between a person that might be very good at their craft, but if the soft skills aren’t good, then they become hard to work with.”

“That’s the beauty of places that have a tech team in house, because you can get to really high levels of quality because you have the team here, so the communication and work with the creatives is super tight. Also having a tech team in house helps fuel creativity.”

“[AI] will also impact our field—advertising systems that work with machine learning. Creating a given ad for a website with a piece of copy and an image—that’s something that the system trained to select the best image to maximize the number of clicks and the best tagline will do better than a human, soon. And faster, and more efficiently […] Even us in the Tech team. Maybe in 5-10 years, maybe our job will be to code the machine that builds the website.”

Resources Mentioned

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About Daniel

As an Associate Technical Director at Firstborn, Daniel provides technical guidance and oversight of all digital projects to create experiences that seamlessly blur the lines between design, motion and development. He also oversees and guides the technical strategy for multiple accounts including Supercell, Mountain Dew and L'Oréal.

Hailing from Barcelona, Daniel brings to Firstborn over 10 years of experience developing back-end and front-end systems. Daniel joined Firstborn from R/GA where he was a Senior Software Engineer overseeing web platforms for Nike and Beats by Dre. He has also held positions at Atos Origin and ROKKAN.