Name: Sarah Kim
Title: Software Development Engineer
Start date: July 2015
You were previously an intern here; how did your internship impact your decision to come back to Groupon as a full-time employee?
I had such a great time at my internship on Pull in Chicago. I think the biggest influence was the people I met during my internship. As a new graduate, I knew I would be able to grow and learn as much as I could anywhere I went, but I wanted to work somewhere I felt comfortable among my coworkers. I also knew I wanted to be in the Bay Area to expose myself to as much tech as possible (and maybe for the weather :P), so I decided to relocate to the Palo Alto office.
Can you talk about your team and team culture?
Layout Service is a core platform team that supports all of Groupon’s front-end teams. When you go on Groupon.com, there’s a header, a footer, and the content is in the middle. We serve the header and the footer; other front-end teams serve the middle. We provide the bread for the Groupon sandwich, if you will. This means we interact with a lot of different people on a daily basis. To top it all off, due to how large our scale is, we support over 20 countries. It’s only fitting that with such a global impact, we have a global team. We have two developers in Palo Alto, CA; a QA in Denver, CO; a developer in Santiago, Chile; two developers in Berlin, Germany; and a project manager in Chicago. This provides for 8 a.m. meetings whenever all of us need to meet for those of us in Pacific time. It can surely be painful to get out of bed, but in the end working with Layout Service is worth it. Our team is expanding soon with another developer to join us in Palo Alto next year, raising our female:male ratio to exactly 50% once she joins.
Are there any notable differences between being an intern and a full-time employee?
The biggest difference is the time. With 10 weeks during my internship, I only had so much time to learn about the code base and gain experience. However, as a full-time employee I started out doing similar things from my internship, but as I continued working I became more and more knowledgeable about our codebase and am slowly opening myself up to be a face of Layout Service. I feel confident in answering for the team when people aren’t available, and it’s definitely something I don’t think I could have done as an intern.
How have you grown professionally since working here?
I’ve learned to become more confident in my work. I’ve struggled with impostor syndrome a lot, but the more time I spend on our codebase and our team, the more confident I become with myself as a developer. Also, because I’m on a platform team that interacts with so many other teams, I’ve learned to communicate effectively with so many different people.
As a woman in Computer Science, how do you feel as an employee here?
I feel really safe working here at Groupon. I’ve heard many harsh comments doubting my skills as a developer throughout college years, and I have yet to hear like that here. For many women in computer science, impostor syndrome hits a lot harder due to many stigmas in the industry. I used this as an opportunity to buckle down and work harder; to show everyone that I am an effective developer. Here at Groupon, I’ve met so many other women in engineering (Hi Melody, Monica, and Jena!), and it’s so encouraging to be in such a safe environment that pushes so hard for equality.
Thanks for reading the People Blog—a blog about people at Groupon. Want to work with Sarah and her global team? Apply here!