Geekfest Evangelism in Seattle

Geekfest Evangelism in Seattle

Title: Director of Engineering, Consumer Experience Groupon Getaways
Location: Seattle
Start Date: December 2010

Can you talk about Geekfest? What is it? Geekfest is a technology-agnostic software developer meetup that was launched by Obtiva back in 2007. After Groupon acquired Obtiva in 2011, the tradition continued in Chicago. In July of 2014, Geekfest Seattle started and in November of 2015 we kicked off efforts to start Geekfest Palo Alto.

Geekfest is an open meetup where you can hear from both Groupon speakers as well as external folk. We always invite people outside Groupon to join us in person or to watch live stream on our YouTube Channel.

What has your involvement been in Geekfest? When I first moved to Seattle, I felt there was a lack of learning opportunities in the office. After some time I decided to launch Geekfest in Seattle; this came to fruition in June of 2013 after I was able to lock in our first speaker. This wasn’t an easy task, considering I had only recently moved to Seattle and didn’t have many connections yet. We initially started running Geekfest Seattle once a month and we run it twice a month now that we have more than 1,000 members.

What interesting Engineering challenges are you tackling here at Groupon? There are never-ending challenges here, but my favorite one is helping my teams and individuals grow and develop professionally. This means many things, whether it’s inspiring them to tackle challenges or helping them focus on important projects by minimizing distractions and blockers.

What do you love most about working here? I have been here for more than 5 years, so it’s always nice to look back and see how much we have achieved. The thing that I love the most—the one that keeps me coming back to work everyday—is my team. Their passion, their openness to new challenges, and their willingness to work together in order to make everyone a better Engineer is inspiring.

What advice do you have for people interested in working at Groupon, especially in Engineering? What’s unique about Groupon Engineering is that no two teams are alike. However, one thing that’s consistent across the board is each team’s direct impact on the business. Groupon is open to trying new things with the understanding that there is value in learning from mistakes. It’s a place where you can directly shape the culture around you all while facing unique technology challenges and working with incredibly smart people.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?
a space cat watching
people’s group buying power
revolution starts

Thanks for reading the People Blog—a blog about people at Groupon. Check out our Getaways Engineering openings here!