We Know Email Series: Aaron Mills

The following Question and Answer series profiles Return Path employees in a variety of roles and locations. Join us as we find out what they do, what they enjoy, and most importantly, what email campaigns they are loving lately.

Aaron Mills
Director, Infrastructure Engineering
Colorado office

What’s your role here at Return Path?
My team manages Return Path’s computer infrastructure, both in the data center and in the cloud. We touch everything from code deployments, to metrics and monitoring, to writing tools to make our world more automatic. What that means, practically, is that we’re responsible for helping engineering be as efficient and effective as possible.

What initially brought you here?
I’ve been working in the email industry since 1999, so I was already interested in helping Return Path in its mission to improve the email ecosystem. But Return Path’s passion for being employee-first and strong work-hard/play-hard ethic really resonated with me. It was a no-brainer.

Tell me something I don’t know about infrastructure and data.
I think the software industry is currently undergoing a tectonic shift in the way companies develop and run software. The last such change was in the mid 2000s when everyone switched to virtualization. We’re in the middle of the same thing now with software containers and it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of.

What energizes you about your role at Return Path?
One of the things that’s energized me for as long as I’ve been at Return Path, is the fact that everyone is empowered to make a difference. We really value ownership here and that gets me excited to come into work every day.

What problem is the most fun to solve?
For the past few years, we’ve been revamping our infrastructure to utilize a lot of new processes and technologies, like Docker and Kubernetes. We’re not just doing “devops”—but really focusing on building our cloud with technologies and processes that will empower Return Path to build the next generation of industry-leading products.

What about you might come as a surprise to those that work closely with you?
I really enjoy cooking. I make my own bread, pasta, and just generally love spending time in the kitchen.

What’s the most memorable email campaign you’ve seen lately?
I think Teton Gravity Research’s campaign with a video of Alex Honnold on El Capitan was probably the most memorable for me right now. It had content that really resonated with their target audience and definitely got me engaged.

What emails can we find in your personal inbox?
I like to get outside whenever I can, so I’m subscribed to all manner of outdoors lists. Meetup, TGR, fly fishing shops, cycling newsletters, you name it and I’m probably subscribed to it.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Return Path?
It’s difficult to pick one thing. But I suppose my first choice would be the folks I get to work with. We really do have an amazing group of people here who really enjoy what they do, and are never satisfied with “good enough.”

Thanks for chatting with us, Aaron. To learn about how Return Path can improve your email marketing, schedule a demo today. Tell them Aaron sent you!

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