Technology Conference Inspires Innovation Across eBay’s Platforms

By: Kendall Fields, eBay News Team

The first-ever eBay Amplify conference brought together over 800 technologists in three locations to foster collaboration and encourage innovation to drive the future of ecommerce forward.

“You technologists will have the right tech idea that is going to change the world,” Sanjeev Katariya, VP and Chief Architect at eBay, told a room full of technologists last week. 

As technology and commerce evolve, these technologists came together at eBay’s first ever Amplify conference hosted in three locations—San Jose, Netanya and Shanghai—to share ideas on innovations that will change the way people shop online. 

The goal of this conference series was aimed at fostering collaboration and pushing innovation amongst more than 800 eBay developers and engineers in attendance. eBay employees were invited to attend in their local region to network and discuss complex concepts, being mindful of how some of these ideas can move eBay’s platform and the entire ecommerce industry into the future.

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"This was a special time when our technological community came together to share and collaborate on innovation and research that is powering—or is going to power—the future of eBay," Sanjeev said. 

“eBay Amplify is a platform and an opportunity as well,” said Vivian Tian, General Manager of eBay’s China Center of Excellence. “To amplify the zest in technology and to pursue excellence is the expectation for each individual eBay employee.”

At the heart of Amplify were lecture presentations and posters presented by attendees that centered on current projects, learnings, best practices and big ideas. Over 200 abstracts were submitted, with 64 percent accepted by a reviewing team and shared at Amplify.   

“We are going to keep innovating. That is in our DNA,” Sanjeev said. “We are the people here that are going to empower people and create opportunity – seller groups, buyer groups. And we need you [technologists] to innovate, to create new technologies, to create new opportunities – that is what Amplify is all about.”

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Workshops and presentations ranged in focus from ensuring security and performance to finding opportunities to incorporate emerging technologies across our platforms, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, Internet of Things, augmented reality and virtual reality, and wearables. 

Tao Xiao, a software engineer who attended the two-day conference in Shanghai, said, “The technology sharing not only helped colleagues broaden their horizons, but was also conducive to mutual learning from each other.”

eBay VP and Chief Product Architect Steve Yankovich discussed the future of technology and commerce and how eBay is evolving through innovations. Steve told attendees that eBay will promote their creativity by hosting events like HackWeek where employees can submit their ideas for consideration and executive sponsorship. “When it comes to which new technology is for eBay, it’s all about understanding the products and giving people the opportunity.” 

At the end of the conference in each location, the technology teams who submitted the best poster and gave the best presentations were celebrated with awards.

Sanjeev said he and his team plan to hold this conference annually in hopes that the technologists who attended “re-discovered our deep passions for our customers and partners, recognized the deep and wide technical talent in eBay, and finally left with stronger and deeper connections to our global technological family.”