How is Groupon helping to empower women in Tech? Two Engineers share their stories.

How is Groupon helping to empower women in Tech? Two Engineers share their stories.

Coding Across Silos: What One Intern Learned at Groupon

The fastest way for any coder to grow is through mentorship, getting a guided and hands-on tour of real-life problems and solution development. Through its relationship with the Ada Developers Academy, Groupon is supporting the next generation of women engineers by teaming interns with experienced developers in a space where classroom learning is mixed with hands-on development.

Today Melissa—a former ADA intern and current Groupon Software Development Engineer—and her mentor, Karena, talk about why it’s crucial for organizations to invest in initiatives that encourage women to pursue careers in STEM.

Karena // Senior Software Development Engineer in Test (above left)
Melissa // Colombia native & Journalist-turned-Software Development Engineer (above right)

How did being an ADA intern at Groupon impact you?

 [Melissa] Being an ADA intern at Groupon was highly impactful for me, as both of these institutions cared about my success. This, in turn, helped invigorate my desire to become a stronger software developer and strengthened my commitment to help other women starting out in the tech field. It is fantastic that Groupon is committed to making the Tech industry more diverse. It has very practical improvements to the overall developer community but also makes Groupon a more attractive company to software developers who care about such issues.

Why is the partnership important to Groupon?

 [Karena] Of course we all know about the big gender gap in the Tech world. When the Groupon Getaways leaders heard about the ADA program, they were intrigued because it was working to address this gender gap while still maintaining an extremely high bar for the candidates in the program. Groupon loves to get involved in initiatives that promote diversity, and finding such a reputable academy focused on educating women in Seattle was amazing! We’re excited about our partnership with ADA so we can help connect women with careers in Tech while bringing new, diverse perspectives to our Engineering teams here at Groupon.  

[Melissa] In my opinion, ADA connects Groupon with a highly-qualified network of developers. ADA developers have had successful careers in other industries, have committed to becoming software developers, and are highly vetted. Groupon benefits not only by adding talent to their Engineering teams but in broadening the larger skill sets and world views of its engineering community.

Why is the partnership important to you professionally? Personally?

[Melissa] I have become an advocate for women in Tech and a role model for the success that can come despite the risks of changing career paths. I am now in a position to speak with other women about what the industry is like for women. More specifically to Groupon, I can dispel many of the myths about being a woman developer at a large company and promote Groupon as the pinnacle in the field of career choices.

[Karena] As we continue to see problems with the lack of diversity in the tech field, ADA is an extremely valuable partner for Groupon. It not only promotes and advocates for women in tech, but it also brings in women from diverse backgrounds with a variety of non-technical skills that are often lacking in the one-dimensional tech world.

What did you learn as a student or mentor?

[Melissa] As a student, I obviously gained a lot of technical knowledge. However, I was also trained on many of the other skills that are necessary to become a successful team-based software developer: project planning, communicating ideas, working cross-functionally, testing and debugging, and of course proper Git usage. Before Groupon, I mistakenly assumed coding was about coding all day in front of my computer. On a more personal level, I was born in Colombia and have been living in the U.S. since 2014; this background provides interesting learning opportunities for me such as noticing cultural differences, subtle nuance in language, and even office etiquette. One benefit of working at Groupon is that the team is already globally diverse, meaning that a number of my teammates have already gone through similar cultural assimilation and are happy to help me in my process.

[Karena] One of the things I love about mentoring is that I always learn at least as much as the person I am mentoring! Something I have definitely seen firsthand from Melissa is how to view learning and growing in a positive way. She is always excited to hear other people’s opinions about her code and is so open to feedback. Programmers sometimes take it personally when their code is criticized, but Melissa has been a great reminder of how to always view feedback in a positive and constructive way!

What about interning at Groupon impacted your decision to join us as a full-time employee?

[Melissa]  Having a very smart and supportive mentor was one of the primary reasons. To have that connection, admiration, and role model who was invested in guiding my career path as a software developer became an asset that Groupon had which other companies could not compete with. Another big incentive to returning to Groupon was that I would be able to rejoin the same team I had interned with. The Discovery and Demand (Getaways) team is filled with smart and committed developers, and it is exciting to work alongside them. Finally, I found the Groupon culture to be a great fit for me; they are serious about software, but also value work-life balance and team building. All of these reasons made my decision rather easy.

What differentiates Groupon Engineering from other Tech companies?

[Karena] One major difference in Engineering at Groupon is the openness of the culture. I love the way we open source a lot of our projects so other engineers can benefit from our efforts. Internally, I love how collaborative the engineering teams are and the way we are developing good processes for working in each other’s repositories. Many Tech companies are more siloed and it’s difficult to contribute to code repositories that your team doesn’t own.

Want to learn more about women in Tech at Groupon? Check out or aptly-named category to get more insight.

Dublin’s Talent Brand Ambassador

Dublin’s Talent Brand Ambassador

Today we get to know John, our Talent Brand Specialist in Dublin, Ireland…and former pop star.

Name: John
Title: Talent Brand Specialist, EMEA
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Start Date: March of 2015

What brought you to Groupon?

I worked for myself for over 10 years managing my own company in Dublin. I decided a while ago that I wanted to move back into marketing and branding, which I really love, so I had been keeping an eye on the market. I also speak French and German so when the opportunity for EMEA Talent Brand Ambassador at Groupon arose, I thought “this job is written for me!” So, I applied and the rest, as they say, is history.

What does your role entail?

I am based in our Dublin office and work closely with the Recruitment Teams across EMEA to help build Groupon’s employer brand identity. This is a pretty wide-ranging brief encompassing our online presence, social media channels, and how we reach out to candidates and engage our existing employees. I look at my job as being in Marketing and my aim is to build a loyal fanbase of Groupon ambassadors.

You’re a couple months into your Groupon journey – what has surprised you about working here?

I love that it’s so dynamic. Things could change at any minute…and they regularly do! I get a real kick out of being handed a project, hitting the ground running with it and then seeing the results of the hard work paying off. In Groupon, that self-starter attribute is highly regarded and I really like that you can take your own initiative on projects! Being a young company and having grown as quickly as we did, we often don’t have a loads of processes and red tape, which actually at times is a great thing, and it can help get things done!

The first EMEA Recruiting summit recently wrapped up – what was your role in that and how has it helped EMEA’s Recruiting/Branding objectives?

I worked closely with my colleagues on the Recruitment team in Dublin to prepare the summit which was a hectic, action-packed 3-day agenda. We covered so many key areas including talent pipelines, pitching Groupon, strategy development and (my baby) talent branding, which is all about positioning Groupon as an employer of choice in a very competitive market.

One of our main aims for the summit was to foster a tangible sense of community amongst our recruiters, many of whom had never met in person. It was important that we come away from the summit feeling part of a team, and I think we absolutely achieved that, which is superb!

How does what you’re doing in Dublin reflect the overall company brand vision?

Just like Consumer Branding, Talent Branding is vital to a company’s strategic vision nowadays.  Groupon is no different and we need to make sure that our collective, global efforts are aligned so that we are strive towards the same goal: for candidates, that means a really strong and consistent experience when interacting with us; for employees, it means knowing that they are important to the company and that their voice is valued. Talent Branding helps reinforce our message and keeps us consistent across our markets.

What excites you about coming to work everyday?

The people I work with! Yes, that may sound cheesy and utterly cliche, but when you work with great people, it makes everything much easier! As a bunch we are the living, breathing definition of “Great People Make Great Companies.” We work hard, but we laugh a lot too!

Anything else?

In my free time you can generally find me in my local Crossfit Perpetua or swimming in the sea (summer time only!) Finally, speaking of cheese…eons ago, I used to be in a boy band called “Mankind” and we had a No. 2 chart hit in Ireland. We were kept from the top spot by some gal from Texas called “Beyonce” with her tune ‘Crazy In Love.’ I wonder what ever became of her…?​​

Thanks for reading the People Blog—a blog about people at Groupon! Interested in opportunities in Dublin or London? Not all of our employees are former pop stars, so don’t feel pressured to have gone up against Beyonce at some point.