Meet Gabi, our Senior Director of International Marketing Ops

Meet Gabi, our Senior Director of International Marketing Ops

GABI STAFFORD

Senior Director International Marketing Ops
Dublin
Joined: 2014

Our Director of International Marketing Ops shares her love of Groupon’s open, diverse culture and how working here has lifted her game.

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Tell us about your Groupon story so far.

I have been at Groupon for three and a half years and I’m on my 4th job and my 5th boss! One thing you can say about Groupon is that it is never, ever boring. I love the fast-paced, results-based environment. I have learned more than I could ever have imagined at my time here and working at Groupon has truly lifted my game. When I started in 2014 I was Head of International Email and now three and half years later I am Senior Director of International Marketing Operations, a role with responsibility for all online international marketing channels. It’s been an exciting and wild ride.

 

What’s the secret to succeeding at Groupon? What type of person tends to excel here?

Success at Groupon is based on results: you need to be passionate, results-focused and data-driven to excel here. Creativity and an entrepreneurial bent are also definitely beneficial. You should like being constantly challenged and thrive on problem solving. All of that being said, respect, integrity and inclusion are core Groupon values so you should also enjoy working with lots of truly individual and awesome people.

 

What is Groupon like as a workplace for women? Does it feel like a diverse, inclusive space?

My personal experience of Groupon is definitely that it is diverse and inclusive. As a mother, the flexibility and family first focus that Groupon offers is something that I haven’t experienced in other companies. My daughters are particularly fond of the soft drinks and chocolate on tap when they come in to play table tennis or foosball. We are very lucky, particularly in International to have a significant number of female leaders. Our International President, CMO and HR Leader are all women. At Groupon the sky is literally the limit!

 

“There is real power in coming together as a group not only to support one another but also to harness our skills and talent to positively impact the representation of women in STEM, particularly in Ireland.”

How significant is it that we are launching Women@Groupon?

Women@Groupon is very close to my heart. I work with a lot of incredibly talented, passionate women and Women@Groupon is one way to celebrate and nurture that talent here in Dublin while also having a few laughs: another important part of life here! There is real power in coming together as a group not only to support one another but also to harness our skills and talent to positively impact the representation of women in STEM, particularly in Ireland. Dublin Women@Groupon is all about having an eye on the future.

 

What does your mother think you do?

I think she pictures me on the starship Enterprise constantly talking on my state of the art video phone. She loves the fact that I work globally for a well-recognised brand, even if she’s a bit vague on the details!

Groupon CTO & CEO Visit Seattle Office

Groupon CTO & CEO Visit Seattle Office

ENGINEERING

December 2017

CEO Rich Williams & new CTO Colin Bodell visit Groupon Seattle

Groupon recently added a new leader to our C-suite: Colin Bodell, Chief Technology Officer. As part of a North American tour to our Engineering and Product hubs, Colin and CEO Rich Williams made their final stop at our Seattle office, where Colin will reside. Grouponers in Seattle had the chance to mingle with the two leaders during an informal meet and greet. Conversations ranged from business questions to fun things to do in Seattle (using Groupons, of course).

Colin joins Groupon from American Eagle Outfitters, where he was CTO. Additionally—something Groupon is incredibly excited about—he serves as a trustee and board chair of AnitaB.org (formerly the Anita Borg Institute of Technology) as well as board chair of the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Together, with our Chief Product Officer, Jay Sullivan, the two will lead the technology strategy and implementation of the tools which serve Groupon’s 49 million customers worldwide.

Eric Farraro – Android Engineering Manager

Eric Farraro – Android Engineering Manager

ERIC FARRARO

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?

C#

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?

Tabs

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?

Aqui’s!  

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