Leading at Roblox with Antoni Choudhuri
In this Leading at Roblox profile, we get to know Antoni Choudhuri, Head of Engineering for our Economy Group. Antoni has been at Roblox for nearly 11 years, growing from an Individual Contributor Software Engineer to Head of Economy Engineering. In this article, he reflects on his tenure at Roblox and reveals key insights into our values-driven culture as well as his own management philosophy.
Thanks for joining us, Antoni. To start, can you tell us about your current position?
I’m Head of Engineering for Roblox’s Economy Group. That means I lead the teams building the platform and products which enable our vibrant, virtual economy for all users and creators on Roblox. I also partner closely with our Product team to ensure we’re working on the right projects that deliver the most impact for our community and company. So every day, I’m thinking about delivering on our long-term strategy and building solutions that our users will find valuable and empowering.
You joined Roblox over a decade ago. What led you here?
I had used the platform in the past and watched it evolve and improve over the years. After exploring roles at the company and connecting with folks internally, I started to understand the core loop of the product and became intrigued by it. Most of all, though, I was drawn to the people. Everyone I talked to was working on really hard problems and had a true passion for the work, mission, and vision. In the past, I played competitive water polo and was very passionate about it. Through water polo, I learned that when I was part of a strong and committed team, I improved as an individual as well. The same rang true for me at Roblox. I wanted to be the best engineer I could possibly be, and I knew that surrounding myself with such talented colleagues would help me do that.
Throughout your Roblox tenure, you’ve made a tremendous impact on our platform and company, scaling your career along the way. Tell us about your career progression so far.
I joined Roblox as a software engineer when the company had less than 40 employees. There were no “teams” in the traditional sense, so I jumped right into tackling anything and everything that came my way. That was a really exciting period where I learned so much about the product and the tech. Everyday was a growth opportunity.
For the first few years, I was an Individual Contributor (IC), and I loved it. But I knew deep down that I had a real passion for leadership and that I wanted to continue developing my people and engineering management skills. With every new project, I paid close attention to what worked and what didn’t and internalized those lessons. Subsequently, through observation and collaboration with my leaders, I learned to delegate, ask hard questions, and take accountability.
Over time, I took on more responsibility as an IC and proved I could manage large projects effectively. After about two years, I transitioned into a hybrid Engineering Manager role where I led people but also did some IC contribution. I spent a handful of years in that position, always staying true to my philosophy of learning from my peers and leaders and building my skills by challenging myself with highly complex projects. Roblox was growing so fast that I eventually found I had so many direct reports that I was struggling to keep the high leadership bar I’d set for myself and still be able to deliver on the IC side. So I discussed the situation with my manager, who was very supportive, and we worked together to tailor a plan that empowered both my growth and the success of the team overall.
More recently, I’ve been a leader in two of our Engineering groups. First, I was Senior Director of Engineering within our Creator group for three years, and was promoted to Head of Engineering for our Economy group in early 2023. I’ve learned in these leadership positions that you’re always responsible for a part of the company, no matter whether it’s a group of people, a multi-quarter or multi-year project, or even a company theme or principle. So the most important part of my day job is taking accountability and ownership in any area for which I’m responsible. And while switching from project delivery and execution to being responsible for a group has been a big perspective shift, what’s remained the same across all of my various roles and levels at Roblox is keeping the long view in mind and prioritizing the mission. So as a leader, one of my top priorities is instilling a culture of ownership and long-term thinking throughout every aspect of our teams. That sense of alignment and shared responsibility is so valuable and it’s a key reason why Roblox is successful and a great place to work.
What’s kept you motivated?
As I developed and grew my career, Roblox was growing, too. The technical challenges we were solving became more ambitious and exciting, and at the same time, both our creator community and internal workforce were increasing dramatically. Every day brought new opportunities, which was and still is incredibly motivating. And while what I’ve wanted and needed from my career has evolved and changed over time, Roblox has always been able to provide it in the form of new projects, technical challenges, and career advancement.
There’s another thing that keeps me motivated, too: doing amazing work with amazing people. On any given day at Roblox, you can be part of a project that’s going to change everything. We have a very big vision and the potential for impact matches that scale. You know when it all clicks, and when it does, the feeling is unbeatable.
As a successful Roblox leader, what advice would you give to a new employee or someone thinking about joining the company?
Working at a growth company is exhilarating and exciting in many ways, but it also takes a level of grit and tenacity. Roblox will always provide scale and opportunities for meaningful impact, so you’ll get to be part of the amazing journey toward our vision of reimagining the way people come together. The people who are most successful in this environment are self-driven, persistent, able to think through a long-term lens, and always keep the best interests of our company and community top-of-mind.
What’s one thing you’ve learned as a leader at Roblox?
The best way to align motivation with success is to be clear about expectations. It works bidirectionally: both receiving and providing clear expectations empowers a team to succeed. I’ve always passed this advice along to the people I’ve worked with and mentored over the years, and I’ve found that it’s relevant across all types of work at every level of the organization.
What is something your team has accomplished that you’re very proud of?
I’ve just started in my role as leader of the Economy group but I’m already so proud of our Marketplace and how we’re creating a virtual economy system unlike any other in the world. It’s truly innovative. No other companies are doing this and there are no other products we can look at and say “it works just like that.” I’m hopeful that one day people will look back and say we changed the world. The work we’re doing is setting us up for a future where billions of people across all walks of life and all borders can interact in a fair and equitable virtual economy. It’s truly novel and really exciting.
On the Creator side, the team is focused on unlocking opportunities for creators to build their own tools and systems which address their individual needs. By empowering creators to solve their own problems, we help them build more efficiently and effectively. For example, the Creator group launched Open Cloud, which allows creators to build their own tools and applications to access their Roblox resources via standard web APIs and build more easily on top of Roblox. There are more than 3 million creators on Roblox, and the scale of that impact is just much larger than anything we can do with a few thousand employees. So unlocking creator potential and applying that to every product we look at is powerful and definitely something to celebrate.
Roblox is a values-driven company, so in closing, can you share a core value that resonates with you as a leader?
Our “Take the Long View” value is so intrinsic to everything we do at Roblox and it resonates with me deeply. When I first joined the company, our values and vision were pretty much the same as they are today. To me, that’s the ultimate realization of “Take the Long View.” It’s also worth noting that Roblox took the long view on me. I put in the time, but Roblox’s culture of continuous learning and investment is the reason I am where I am today. “Take the Long View” is embedded in our company in so many facets – from our performance management philosophy to our product roadmap to the health conscious snacks in the café. Our commitment to long-term thinking has benefitted my career, my experience as a technology leader, and even changed the way I look at elements of my personal life. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m very excited to see what the future holds.
Inspired by Antoni’s story? He and his team are hiring. Visit our careers site to explore open roles.
The post Leading at Roblox with Antoni Choudhuri appeared first on Roblox Blog.