Alexandre Campelo – API Team Tech Lead in Palo Alto

Alexandre Campelo – API Team Tech Lead in Palo Alto


API Team Tech Lead
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2011

What’s your favorite conference room?

Three continents, two spaces, one awesome Halloween costume. Here’s Alexandre’s super-serious-and-not-at-all-lighthearted Groupon story.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Every first day I spent in a Groupon office when I moved to a different country. The first day in Groupon Germany in Berlin after the transfer from Groupon Brazil, and then the first day in Groupon’s Palo Alto office! I enjoyed the change every time.

What was your first role here? How did you get to where you are today?

I was an Engineer in Brazil creating internal solutions for the business for Groupon Brazil. I moved to Germany first to work on the API that was used by Mobile Apps team for Europe and South America. Later, I moved to work from the Palo Alto office to do the same but for both North America and Europe, Asia, and parts of Latin America.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Expand on all of these international moves! How did those happen?

I was in Brazil and my boss asked me to go to Germany to prove that we’re good Developers…so I stayed there for two months! They liked my work, I liked Berlin, and we agreed in my moving to Germany to work there permanently! Things were great in Germany for over two years, but Groupon had evolved to new heights and I wanted to be part of it. I asked my boss if I could move, stating that my knowledge of the international business and systems were important in order to expand the One Platform Initiative. He agreed and I moved once again, crossing the Atlantic Ocean once again to Palo Alto! Now, I’ve been here for over three years in sunny California, saving the Groupon world one bit at a time!

Tell us about what you do every day.

You can’t see what I do, but I’m everywhere! Just kidding! I make sure the best APIs are designed to give the best data to customers in the Mobile app and on the Web!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I’ll be at home, playing games. I love games. I carry my Nintendo 3DS with me all the time to play games or watch movies, especially anime. If I’m not at home I’m with my family in the park.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve worked on?

Refactoring code is always a big challenge. I’m always trying to find better ways and refactoring what I can, challenging myself again and again.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Wow! They have green as their main color! I love Green!

What do your parents think you do?

My parents believe I sell my body and soul for money using a computer! I’m teaching them to use a tablet, it’s pure black magic for them. They learned to answer my calls and video call me, next I’ll explain what Groupon is…it’ll probably take another year for them to fully get it that my soul is safe.

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

I can be myself at Groupon! Oh, the question was about Engineering culture…I can make an impact in the Engineering culture, my decisions can impact the lives of so many customers, that’s amazing! As the Tech Lead for the Groupon API, I connect with multiple different teams to ensure we make the best products and that the solutions make sense. Any requests for adding new features to deals come through my team; we’re responsible for managing a deal, purchasing, and viewing your Groupons. One important thing I did was increase the performance of ‘My Groupons’. We’re still working on making that section perform even faster in order to give customers easy access to view their purchases.

What’s your favorite programming language?


Tell us something about you that would surprise us.

I hate cats! I prefer dogs! Oh and I’m vegan!

How does your work connect to Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I bring all the customers and merchants together, delivering features that will benefit both!

What were you doing before Groupon?

I was working with credit service protection companies. I met my boss in Brazil who wanted me to go to Germany to work with them in special needs for the local market.

What’s your favorite local business?

I love to go to the Farmer’s Market every Sunday. Fresh fruits from local farmers that’s all delicious.

Tabs or spaces?

Two spaces!

What should external folks know about Groupon?

Our customers love the mobile app! You should always have mobile as your target for design or any decisions. Mobile matters!

Vim or emacs? Why?

Butterflies! You let them fly in the surface flapping their wings! The disturbance ripples outward, changing the flow of the eddy currents in the upper atmosphere. These cause momentary pockets of higher pressure air to form, which acts as lenses that deflect cosmic rays, focusing them to strike the drive platter and flip the desired bit.

Eric Farraro – Android Engineering Manager

Eric Farraro – Android Engineering Manager


Android Engineering Manager
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2015

After 7 years at eBay, Eric met with the Android team at Groupon and took the plunge. His first few months here were like standing in front of a proverbial fire hose, but redesigning our mobile app alongside intellectually curious developers proved to be a rewarding experience.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory was launching Mobile 2016, a big ground-up redesign of the UI in the app. It was a huge accomplishment for the team, with tons of people involved in making it happen.

So tell us about your job! What do you do every day and what do you love about it?

I’m an engineering manager and my team is responsible for building great features for users. I work a lot with product managers to understand feature requirements, as well as back-end teams outside mobile in order to manage the dependencies. I love getting to influence the mobile app in such a big way and helping my team to meet their career goals!

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

On Android, we have a great team culture that’s built around being intellectually curious about technical topics, even those that aren’t directly related to the work we do at Groupon. We also have a great culture of giving back to the community and peers, through open source, presentations, or talks at conferences.

What’s your favorite language?


How does your work connect to Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Since I’m involved in mobile, my work directly connects to Groupon’s mission. Our users are always on the go, and being able to pull out their phone for a quick minute during a break makes it easy for users to make Groupon a daily habit.

What were you up to before joining Groupon?

Before Groupon, I was at eBay for 7 years (Front-end QA > Third Party Developer Technical Support > QA Automation > Windows Phone development) and was actively looking for a new place to work. eBay was a great company and I enjoyed working there, but at the time I was working on the Windows Phone, which was a dying platform. On top of that, the mobile team was in Portland and I was the only developer in California. I liked Portland, but not enough to move there. As a result, I felt pretty isolated from the rest of the team. I started reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn to look for a new job, preferably working on Android. I was very excited to start! I had wanted to work on Android for a long time, and I was impressed by the impressive credentials (speakers, book authors, etc. ) of the Android team at Groupon.

So what was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

I had a great first impression. I remember being greeted and mentored by some really friendly people on the Android team who helped me get ramped up really quickly. I like to say that joining Groupon was like a fire hose of information, in a good way. After 7 years at a company, you start to think things can be only one way. I learned instead that things could actually be really different, and I learned a ton, especially in my first 6 months.

Tell us about the most challenging thing you’ve worked on here.

Mobile 2016 was the most challenging project I’ve worked on at Groupon. The challenge wasn’t actually so technical, but more of a project management challenge. By then, I’d transitioned to a manager from a developer, so it was one of my first big projects as a manager. What made it so difficult was that M16 wasn’t just one feature, it was a collection of features that all had to be delivered at the same time in order to provide a cohesive experience for the user. I remember staying up late and putting in some extra time on the weekend to try and make sure all the features could merge, dealing with some pretty nasty merge conflicts along the way.

There were a lot of difficulties coordinating with back-end teams as well. One of the most important features in M16 was what we called the ‘nav card,’ a card that shows up at the top of the deal feed that shows some key categories that Groupon supports. We worked a lot with back-end on that card, but in some cases, it didn’t show up at all. The navigation flow in M16 was fundamentally broken when this ‘nav card’ wasn’t present, so we had to help back-end debug in order to figure out how to solve the problem. We eventually came up with a workaround that involved the client manually adding the nav card, when the back-end didn’t return it.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I do programming outside of work, usually related to game development. Adjacent, I also love playing a lot of games and you can frequently find me playing on different platforms (PC, PS4, mobile).

And tell us something that might surprise us about you!

I’ve been programming since I was in middle school (OK, that’s probably not really surprising if you know me). Another slightly surprising thing might be that I love musicals! I’ve seen a ton: Hamilton, Lion King, Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, Pirates of Penzance, Legally Blonde, Grease, Reefer Madness, Wicked, etc… I’m always excited when new shows come to the Orpheum!

Tabs or spaces?


Vim or emacs?

Vim; it’s what I started with in college and I have no idea how to use emacs. I’d rather use a good, modern IDE though.

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

We really believe in good code quality and take pride in craftsmanship. It isn’t good enough to just get the feature done, it needs to be done in a way that makes us proud as engineers.

What’s your favorite local business?


Cecilia – Android Engineer

Cecilia – Android Engineer


Android Engineer
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2016

Aside from the excitement of working on Groupon’s top-rated mobile app, Cecilia finds both professional and personal growth within the close-knit Android team

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The Groupon app made the top-25 list of comScore’s 2016’s U.S. Mobile App Report, ranking the second of retail apps. Groupon app was the only new entrant to the list that year! Our app has 4.5 out of 5 review in Google app store thanks to our Developers, Quality Assurance Engineers, Product Managers, and Designers who worked together to ship high-quality features continuously. Seeing the app we work on every day is used and liked by so many people makes me feel really proud of our team and our work!

Tell us your Groupon journey!

I joined Groupon as an Android Developer one and a half years ago. Within this short time, I see a big difference in myself. When I first joined, I had limited experience in my field and my English was not as good, which made me a little bit shy. As time has passed, I have improved as a developer and much more. I’m able to drive a medium-size project across teams; working with Product Managers, Designers and unblocking other developers to ensure it ran successfully. I got to where I am today by conquering challenges one by one, always pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I have found other people’s help have contributed to my progress. My manager encouraged me to be more advanced software engineer and create opportunities for me to grow. Members in my team are really nice and helpful, I can always find a role model to learn from.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

At first, I didn’t know anyone in our company and I was a little nervous when I started. However, everyone in the Android team was super friendly. They welcomed me and made me feel like part of the team. People on my team are full of energy and passion, I feel the synergy as we work together.

“Senior developers also share their knowledge and help the junior developers grow. In return, the junior developers often provide new and creative ideas and assistant to them. We work well as a community.”

What’s unique about the Engineering culture here?

There is a lot that’s special about our Engineering department. Our company encourages us to attend many conferences to develop ourselves. Groupon wants us to learn and treasure the creativity within the engineering team. For example, we have a week-long hack-a-thon over the summer (GEEKon), for which we get to use company time to work on fun and collaborating and creative projects.

What’s your favorite programming language?

Java. The programming language for Android. It is easy to learn, platform independent, and has a rich standard library and vast community support.

What do you enjoy about your team’s Software Development process?

There is only one Android team with about 20 people in Groupon, so we work closely together. We have open office meetings to talk deeply about new changes in our codebase and book club meetings to learn new technologies. Beyond completing new features for new business requirements, I have the opportunity to work on refactoring with my senior developers. Senior developers share their knowledge and help the junior developers grow, and in return, the junior developers often provide new and creative ideas and assistance to them. We work well as a community.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.

My mom is a software engineer, but she actually didn’t want me to be a software developer, because she thinks programming is really hard due to the constant need to keep up with new knowledge and technologies. Eventually, I became a software engineer; I think it’s in my blood.

Daniel Molinero – Android Engineer

Daniel Molinero – Android Engineer


Android Engineer
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2016

From Spain to Dublin to Palo Alto, one Android Engineer’s technology- and culinary-centric Groupon journey.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The Christmas costume party! Last year in December, before I was transferred to Palo Alto from Dublin, I came to California for a couple of weeks to speak at an Android conference. Luckily, around the same time we had a 1920’s-inspired Christmas party. It was so much fun: playing casino games, wearing old-fashioned, elegant clothing, and dancing the Charleston!

Tell us your Groupon story!

I started working at Groupon 2 years ago as a Android Software Engineer in Dublin (Ireland). I loved that office, with a typical Irish telephone box inside! One year later, I moved to Palo Alto, where I continue working with the amazing Android team. Here, we develop the Groupon Android application: one of the top 25 apps in the US!

OK, so what was your first impression of Groupon?

Before joining Groupon, I had worked at smaller companies. So, my first day here I was amazed by the size of the company and how fast things move! For instance, I went from a team of 4 developers to one of more than 20 located around the world. Isn’t that great?

Tabs or spaces?

Of course spaces, how could you even ask that?

And vim or emacs? 

Vim, I am masochistic, but not so much…

Show us your favorite place to hang out at the office!

What do your parents think you do?

I have a very funny story about what my family thinks I do. My grandfather, 92 years old right now, is not really clear about what software is and what I do. However, he does know that I’m “good” at tuning his TV and at fixing “electronic stuff”. So from time to time, he suggests to me that in the future, if I decide to go back to Spain, I could open a store where I could fix TVs and other “electronic stuff”. According to him, that is a good money-making business!

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

This question is easy to answer… of course the people! I’ve never been around such a brilliant group of engineers who work together towards a same goal. Everybody is important here and it is easy to to feel part of the team.

Name your favorite programming language. 

My heart is divided between Java and Python. One the one hand, Java is THE language, with its powerful API, clear syntax and community. Moreover, it is the language used for Android development. On the other hand, programming in Python is enjoyable, fast and… the batteries are included! Usually I use both languages: Java for Android development and Python for scripts or webhooks.

Show us your work space!

What do you love most about your team’s Software Development process?

Something I really like is when we face a difficult problem and we work together to come up with a great solution. A good example of that is our contribution to the Open Source community. These projects came from challenging situations where we joined our strengths to create something unique. Some examples are: Toothpick, a dependency injection framework to inject dependencies in an easy and powerful manner, or Henson, a library that makes it really easy to create a robust navigation layer within an Android application.

Tell us a random Daniel fact. 

I am a better cook than an engineer! I love cooking and learning new dishes from all kinds of cuisines, specially Spanish and Asian. My favorite dishes are Gazpacho, a cold Spanish soup made from vegetables and Sushi… I am a sushi lover!

Groupon World Headquarters

Sviatlana Khilko – Software Test Engineer

Sviatlana Khilko – Software Test Engineer


Software Test Engineer – Mobile Team
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2015

Almost 6,000 miles separate California from Sviatlana’s homeland of Belarus, where she started off as a lawyer only to eventually become an Engineer in Silicon Valley.

What do you love about working at Groupon?

I really enjoy volunteering with my teammates, as it makes me feel amazing to give back to the local community.

What was your first role here?

I joined Groupon as a contract test engineer two years ago and then joined as a full-time Grouponer, thanks to my peers, managers, and mentors! Initially, I was an STE1 and now I’m an STE3. All of the people I work with teach me something new and that helps both me and my team grow.

So what was your first impression of Groupon?

I was impressed with the level of people awesomeness around me! Every person is unique, very smart, professional, each of them has reach personality and impressive background I keep learning from. I was also impressed with the very well-documented and clear process! How easy it is to ramp up, how detailed the instructions, are and how helpful everyone is.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

My life philosophy is to move forward, learn, explore and find enjoyment in the process. I’m always open to new opportunities, people, and situations that I meet on my path. All this and even more I get as a Test Engineer: unpredictability, the need to understand every little detail, the opportunity to work with smart, talented, extraordinary people. I got into the testing in an unusual way: I was born, grew up in, and got Master’s Degree in Law in Belarus. For some time I was engaged in scientific research in this field. Then, I worked as an editor in chief for one of the publishing houses. Later, when the IT industry began to grow rapidly, I decided to try myself in a new role and I’m incredibly happy about making this transition. It’s so great to have the opportunity to change things in life, but at the same time to have my background which helps me a lot in my current role.

What do your parents think you do?

I’m originally from Belarus (small eastern European country) and of course due to generational, cultural, language, and other gaps, it’s very challenging for my mom to understand exactly what I’m doing. But what I know for sure is that my mom is very proud of me and happy that I found a place I really enjoy working in! She notices all the time that I’m growing (personally and professionally) and loves to hear all the stories about Groupon. She takes my job very seriously, so no funny quotes from her! But my son thinks that my work is so great because we always have Nutella in the kitchen 🙂

What’s unique about Groupon Engineering?

Respect. It doesn’t matter what role you’re in, you’ll be listened to and your opinions will be taken seriously.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Testing! It’s so exciting to be the very first person to see new features in action and to put yourself in the customers’ “shoes.”

Groupon World Headquarters