Groupon sponsors Nasscom Product Conclave Conference

Groupon sponsors Nasscom Product Conclave Conference

Groupon sponsors & sends keynote speaker to Nasscom Product Conclave in Bangalore

Groupon participated for the first time in the Nasscom Product Conclave as Platinum Sponsors and we also sent our own keynote speaker—Senior Director of Engineering Phani Kumar Bhogaraju—to present on the topic “The Five Imperatives to Scale up Products.” The conference itself had over 2,000 participants, which provided a lot of great networking opportunities with national and international attendees.

Aileen Sandridge – VP of Engineering

Aileen Sandridge – VP of Engineering

AILEEN SANDRIDGE

VP of Engineering, Consumer Platform
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2012 & 2015

Overseeing multiple Engineering groups focused on improving the Groupon customer experience is no easy task, yet we think Aileen’s non-smartphone-owning parents do a good job of summarizing her work.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have great memories from a week-long off-site with a group of great product, design, and engineering folks aimed at coming up with a new mobile product strategy. It was challenging but amazing, the end result was awesome, and we all ended up so much closer to one another. The vision from that off-site has come to fruition in the award-winning mobile app we have today.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of being the daily habit in local commerce?

Connecting consumers with local businesses is the ultimate goal of everything we do. I tend to be very mission oriented, so I want everything we do to tie in with that goal. Whether it is broadening our local inventory, improving customer reviews, helping local business price their deals optimally, or ensuring we have the scale and redundancy we need to make it through our peak holiday season with confidence, it is all about connecting customers and local businesses.

Where were you before Groupon?

I cut my teeth at Amazon and learned a tremendous amount about how both productive teams and great e-commerce applications get built. I spent some time at a FinTech startup where I learned about grit and ownership and keeping your eye on the big picture. When I had the opportunity to scale mobile at Groupon, I couldn’t turn it down: it was already a premier mobile property and it was so exciting to help take it to the next level.

What was your first role at Groupon and how did you get to where you are today?

I was hired as Senior Director of Engineering, focused on scaling mobile development at Groupon. I got to where I am now by taking it one day at a time, trying to always remain focused on making progress against our most important goals and challenges. As mobile shaped up, I added Consumer Web and GAPI (Groupon API) to my scope where I had a big focus on improving latency. After that, I added GAPI (Groupon API), where improving process and documentation has been a big win, and we have some exciting things in the works on the engineering front. Most recently, I have added important backend consumer services to my scope, including Relevance, Orders, Payments, Identity Services, Financial Engineering, and Data Science.

What’s your favorite part of your team’s Software Development process?

I love it when the team gets into a shared flow state: exchanging ideas and solving problems with everyone contributing, not even aware of the passage of time. A team can only get in that state if they have trust and mutual respect, so it also means you have the foundation for a high-functioning team.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

As a customer, I very much enjoyed the Lady Gaga dance class I took — my first Groupon! I loved that Groupon got my friends and me out experiencing new things.

 

What’s your favorite local business?

ZombieRunner, a running store/coffee shop in Palo Alto that also sells specialty licorice and chocolate. The coffee is AMAZING — my favorite drink is the cold brew, but you can’t go wrong — and I love that the owners use their business to share their eclectic passions with the world.

What do your parents think you do?

My parents don’t even own smartphones, so this one was tough! Rather than guess, I just asked my mom. She initially responded to my text message with, “We know u r Vice Pres of Engineering, excellent in what is called ‘coding’.” Later, they followed that up with, “You mentor computer programmers, are excellent in coding, analyzing data, creating websites, striving for quality, team-building, leading by example. Sorry, we don’t know too much re technical language/details. We do know u r working very hard and love you so much!” Aww, thanks, Mom. And not too bad on knowing what I do after all.

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

Groupon’s engineering culture is fast-moving and everyone can have a big impact. I love that about Groupon, and know many others who do too. It keeps things exciting and engaging.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I once bungee jumped off of a bridge in South Africa while pregnant. Oops! It was during an around-the-world trip with my husband and I didn’t know I was pregnant yet! I now have a healthy and bright six-year-old daughter, so thankfully, the bungee jump doesn’t seem to have done any harm! I also have a four-year-old daughter. While travel isn’t as easy as it once was, I love being a mom and the trade-off is totally worth it!

What’s been most surprising about working here?

Groupon loves cats, and animated cat gifs feature prominently in our presentations. I love it.

Tabs or spaces?

Spaces

Groupon World Headquarters

Groupon Makes Built In Chicago Top 100 Tech Companies for 2017

Groupon Makes Built In Chicago Top 100 Tech Companies for 2017

GROUPON IN THE NEWS

25 October 2017

Groupon makes Built In Chicago’s Top 100 Tech Companies List for 2017

For a third consecutive year, Groupon has made Built In Chicago’s list of top 100 tech companies. Since 2008, Groupon has been a pillar of Chicago’s tech community, helping to establish the city as a compelling alternative to the Bay Area and Seattle’s domination for Engineering talent. Comprised of Engineering, Product, and Data teams, Groupon Chicago’s Tech organization works in conjunction with teams across the globe to help build the daily habit in local commerce.

Overall, how has Chicago overall fared as a tech talent competitor? According to their research, Built In reports a 15% overall increase in Chicago tech talent. View the complete list of top tech companies on Built In Chicago.

Raghavendran – Engineer in Bangalore

Raghavendran – Engineer in Bangalore

RAGHAVENDRAN VC

Engineer
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2016

Raghavendran describes the excitement of working at a global tech company focused on empowering local businesses.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Groupon Engineering challenges are some of the most fascinating challenges I’ve experienced in my life. I will always remember September 9, 2016: the day when Groupon’s EMEA software stack migrated from our Swiss data centre to the Dublin data centre. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have been involved in such a huge data centre migration. I remember that night when the office was filled with employees buzzing with energy, everyone fully focused on achieving that engineering feat.

What inspires you?

The day-to-day challenges, talking about scaling, and millisecond responses drive me to perform at my best. The magnitude of the engineering services we own always remind me that I am working at the tip of an iceberg and there is so much more to learn and experience. Also, the talks I have with my director, Phani Kumar, inspire me to excel beyond borders.

Your role exists at other companies…so why Groupon? What’s unique about it?

The opportunities to work across tech stacks combined with the fast-paced environment and inclination towards performance and scalable systems: only Groupon can provide such challenges. Groupon provides such unique technical challenges and it’s up to you to mold everything to help your career grow.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

That it was a startup at a global scale!

How does the work you do impact Groupon’s mission of becoming the daily habit in local commerce?

My team owns the connection between customer and local businesses: the actual voucher that a customer buys and redeems at a merchant! So we truly connect both worlds and try our best to make this connection look effortless, simple, and elegant.

What’s your biggest accomplishment so far while working at Groupon?

Getting Groupon onto the Unity platform was a major organisation goal in early 2017. Functionally, things looked simple but later we started facing significant performance issues with countless engineering challenges in terms of scalability and performance. After a major overhaul in architecture and design of the existing systems backed up with countless sleepless nights, I helped Deckard roll out in EMEA. This was a major achievement in my career at Groupon.

What do your parents think about your job at Groupon?

They say: “stop typing and go to sleep.”

If you could do anything else for a day, what would it be and why?

I would love to meet our merchants and listen to them talk about the impact of Groupon on their business. It would be great to talk to them and understand the issues in reality.

Tell us something about you that would surprise us.

I would love to play soccer as much as I code.

Groupon World Headquarters

Tristan – Engineering Intern

Tristan – Engineering Intern

TRISTAN SEIFERT

Engineering Intern
Palo Alto, CA
Texas A&M University

Future outages beware: intern Tristan wrote a script to help keep Groupon’s data centers up and running at 100%. Not bad for a summer internship!

Tell us about the team you’re working with this summer.

I’m embedded with the Systems Engineering team. I worked on critical infrastructure like DNS and load balancers. Most of the code I’ve written has consisted of Python or shell scripts since a lot of the work we do is systems administration. I’ve worked with Zeus (our Ansible-based bootstrapping system) to develop a new DNS server setup. Most of our systems run some flavor of Linux.

What’s been most surprising about interning at Groupon?

Groupon’s architecture is rather interesting. Rather than the entirety of Groupon being in one app (it used to be this way – it’s a nightmare to maintain, and even worse for performance!) most everything is split out into different services, which are owned by different teams. That means we’ve got, for example, a team that handles databases, a team responsible for the internal API, and yet another team that is in charge of the Groupon website. All of these services work together to provide the Groupon experience. Every time you click a link on the website or buy a Groupon in the app, you’re using dozens of different services! Obviously, that means there’s a lot of cross-team collaboration: we make that easy by using HipChat to communicate. It can get a bit tricky when the team you need is on the other side of the planet, but that’s what’s awesome about working at a company like Groupon.

Describe your internship in 3 words.

Stressful, innovative, rewarding.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I do some sort of magical stuff.

What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

Fast, reliable Internet access. Without that, none of the other technology we have would ever work. Having grown up on dial-up or otherwise fragile connections, I can appreciate fast, reliable Internet a lot more.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve accomplished this summer?

The project I worked on my first week at Groupon was a small script that would verify whether files being passed to the DNS servers were formatted correctly, and if not, roll back to a previous version of the DNS data to put the system back into a functional state. This made it into production across all of Groupon’s data centers by the end of my first week here, which will help prevent outages in the future!

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

1984 by George Orwell

What’s your favorite spot for grub in the Bay Area?

Layne’s: they’ve got the absolute best fried chicken.

 

Groupon World Headquarters