LEKSHMY P R
Software Development Engineer – Push Marketing Engineering
An exciting innovator on the Push Marketing team, Lekshmy makes sure that Groupon’s communications are impactful and drive people to the website.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
The 2017 Grace Hopper Conference in Austin, Texas. It was my first time travelling internationally. It was amazing to meet all the wonderful women working in Groupon Engineering from around the world. It was a very well-organised event by Groupon. A gang of 60 women from our offices across the globe came together with the goal of hiring and branding. We were one of the Gold sponsors, with a grand stall next to LinkedIn and Microsoft. We had 8 iPads where the students could check themselves in and attend their interviews.
Can you talk more about your experience at Grace Hopper and what you learned as an engineer?
I attended multiple sessions by leaders from other companies like Google, Amazon, etc. The person who inspired me the most was Anna Patterson who won the Women of Vision Award. She was a mother of three but still led the Artificial Intelligence team at Google. Her journey was something I could really relate to. Her speech had a really big impact on me as an Engineer because I always thought that married life could challenge my career as an engineer. But after meeting all those successful women who have great careers along with wonderful families, I was so moved and inspired. My perception totally changed.
Each time I heard those amazing women speak, all I could think about was when I would be able to present a session at Grace Hopper. My career goal is to have a journey that’s significant and inspirational enough to encourage women to stay with Engineering and not shy away from a career in Tech.
What was your first role here? How did you get to where you are now?
I joined Groupon as a fresher. Since then, Groupon has moulded the engineer inside me to think outside the box, learn, experiment, attempt, fail, and succeed. My first role was really challenging and exciting. As I had prior experience with RoR in college, I was paired up with my mentor to design, develop, and roll out a content management system that could run the customer support page FAQ and the first level of the questionnaire.
This was my first experience in designing a service with such a scale. Perhaps the first time I dealt with the real-life problems of scaling, caching memory leaks, etc. As I was a fresher just out of college, my designs were reviewed and revisited multiple times. I had to redesign and redo my coding multiple times. After six months of design, implementation, and testing effort, we were able to successfully launch the service to production. Though it missed the initial deadline of five months, I was on cloud nine. Those six months were a great learning experience to learn more about the systems, frameworks, and real-life challenges at Groupon. I’m really thankful to my mentor for trusting such a big assignment to me as a fresher.
Tell us about your job! What do you do exactly? What do you love about it?
I work as a developer for Push Marketing team in Engineering. We handle sending emails, push notifications and SMS. I love the way Groupon challenges its engineers with new and innovative problems. I deal with one of the most important services in the Groupon Push flow. My service takes care of sending emails, push notifications, and SMS to customers. We deal with multiple services to pick the relevant deals and the best offers available for a customer.
The service is developed Play Framework using Java. It handles a scale of 8KTPS. We send almost 300mm emails and 100mm push notifications every day. We use rabbitmq for the asynchronous queuing of messages before they are processed for sending.
Where can we find you outside of work?
I love swimming, dancing, singing, driving. If not any of these, I will just go shopping. 🙂
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve worked on?
Of these 4.5 years at Groupon, there were many exciting and challenging tasks I got to work on. The most challenging one being establishing the performance of a legacy system that handles a scale of 8KTPS. Debugging, analyzing, configuring the infrastructure, load testing, and slowly improving the performance without affecting production were all challenging tasks.
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What was your first impression of Groupon?
All I knew was that Groupon sold restaurant and spa deals.
What do your parents think you do?
They think I am like those geeks who spend 90% of their time on laptops, like they normally see in movies.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
My team and I ensure that the right deals reach the user every day without them having to search through millions of deals.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I acted in two episodes of a TV serial. As I pursued dancing and singing from a young age, I was a regular performer for various events at school and club programmes. One day when I was around 10, one of my neighbours who was directing a dance-based TV series gave me an opportunity to perform in two episodes.
Have you won any awards during your time here? Green Award, team award, etc.?
I have won four quarterly awards, Question of the Month Award, GEEKon Local Award, and the most important Employee of the Year Award.
What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?
Groupon invests a lot on an employee’s personal development, be it the mentorship program, personal growth programs, training sessions, or workshops. We have many committees where we can have discussions about tech. Sometimes people just ping on HipChat to get together for a table topic discussion.
What’s your favorite part about your team’s Software Development process?
We have a very direct impact on the business’s bottom line. The emails and push notifications we send drive business to the website. The variations in the open/click rates of our emails with each feature are exciting as they signify the impact on revenue.
We see that you are a member of Women@Groupon. What do you like about being in this ERG?
Women@Groupon Bangalore is a very positive forum that has widespread activities like mentorship programs and training for women. The togetherness among the women in coordinating various activities brings a liveliness to the office.
What’s been surprising about working here?
Be it a fresher or a senior, Groupon has challenges and opportunities for anyone who would like to try out new things in their career.
Vim or emacs?
VIM. More user-friendly commands than shortcuts I feel.
Name your favorite programming language.
Tabs or spaces?