What’s it like to work as an Engineer at Groupon in Seattle? Krassimir Dimov, a Software Development Engineer, gives us the scoop. (And some nice new office pics!)

What brought you to Groupon from your previous company? 

I moved to Groupon from Amazon Web Services. It was a magnificently executed recruiting effort that started with a cold call. I had several meetings with the team leadership; we talked about vision, execution plan, team needs, and my fit. I was looking for leadership that inspires, impacts, and provides ample learning opportunities. These are the two questions I always ask when approached with new opportunities:

  • What about my background stood out to you?
  • What will I learn in the next year?

What do you do here?

I am a Software Engineer on the Relevance team. As I like to describe it, we are the team that chooses the deals you see and the order in which you see them. This includes the content of web, mobile, touch, email, and notifications. The work is very interesting; it involves data mining, machine learning, real-time streaming and analysis, and a massive number of requests. We have teams of specialists in different areas: Applied Research, Data Science, and Infrastructure. We all work very closely together.

I am lucky to be in a position to contribute to our service at an architectural level while still spending a good part of my time deep in code. Some of my projects in the past year include traffic shaping on the load balancer, profiling and performance optimization of several systems, a new plugin for our indexing system, traffic analysis, design and implementation of a new request fallback system, and redesign and rewrite of a release and continuous integration.

I maintain close working relationship with other Groupon teams; most are either our internal clients or vendors of our data. We work on requirements, designs, implementations, general ideas, and keeping up to date with technology.

What sort of impact do your teams have on the business? 

One great thing about my team’s work is that our impact is measurable. We are constantly running experiments and quantifying their impact on business. We have dashboards with trends, debriefs on the progress of every experiment, and the ability to promptly fine tune them. So, speaking fiscally, we can express the impact of each experiment with the precise lift or drop of Groupon revenue.

There is also the engineering impact. We own one of the busiest services in Groupon: virtually all real-time customer traffic results in calls to Relevance, plus email and mobile notifications. We have engineers experienced in designing, developing, and delivering highly available, scalable, and reliable services using the newest frameworks, libraries, and tools.

Just to give you an idea of the level of talent I get to work with every day, two members of the Relevance team’s papers were accepted as full-length papers at IEEE Big Data 2015 (plus oneposter), and we had a presentation at Elastic{ON} 2015 with a deep dive into the custom scripting we do in Elasticsearch scoring and ranking.

What’s important for an engineering candidate to know about Tech at Groupon?

We are still a young and fast-paced company. Engineers here have a keen sense of ownership; even at junior levels we expect of them to own a task, carry it to completion, and maintain it. Out of all the companies on my resume, Groupon has the fastest time to market.

We have well-established and solid engineering practices. We can teach you how to develop a well performing, scalable, production-ready software and how to test, release, and monitor it.

At Groupon you will be exposed to a wide variety of open-source software. An important part of fast delivery is knowing what’s available, evaluating and choosing the best tool for the job, and recognizing what we can contribute back to the open source community.

Groupon is a company where distributed development works. My team sits in Palo Alto, Seattle, Chicago, Santiago, Berlin, and Austin. We work on the same code base, do code reviews across offices, and regularly jump into a video conference for a quick “in-person” meeting.

Anything else you want to add?

We recently moved into our brand new Seattle office, which is in the second tallest building in Seattle with amazing 360° views. Last week I had a video interview with a candidate and at the end I hauled my laptop to the window to give them a glimpse of the scenery. I’m not the only one impressed…after the move everyone brought friends and families and there were a ton of people staring out the windows or taking pictures. Because we anticipate growing the office here, we have many open seats for future Groupon employees. And as an added bonus, our gaming rooms are sound proof, allowing you to play without disturbing anyone’s work.

Thanks for reading the People Blog—a blog about people at Groupon. We’re looking to add tech talent to our Engineering teams in Seattle; check out our current openings!