Keleigh Zolnierek – Software Development Engineer in Test

Keleigh Zolnierek – Software Development Engineer in Test

KELEIGH ZOLNIEREK

Software Development Engineer in Test – User Sessions
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Test Engineer Keleigh pays it forward by participating in programs and volunteer efforts focused on building, developing, and motivating women in Technology.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The first time I helped with Scout Out Engineering, I was so impressed by how much the scouts knew. It seems like schools have started teaching basic computer science concepts in elementary which is awesome!

What were you looking for in a company while you were job hunting?

Prior to joining Groupon, I interned at Thompson Reuters over the summer. It was an excellent internship program and the people who worked there were incredible. When I was looking for a full-time position, I knew that I wanted to move out of Michigan (which is why I did not choose Thompson Reuters) and that I still wanted to do Software Development. After that, I also focused on companies that would allow me to grow my career and further my programming knowledge. I was not sure that I wanted to work in Test Engineering, but decided based on other factors, such as location, benefits, and the people, that it would be the best fit at the time. I am happy with where I ended up and think it turned out well.

What does your family think you do?

Mom: “Test and fix computer programs”

Dad: “I really don’t know…..” (After telling him to guess.) “Responsible for the quality control for previously designed programs.” 

Brother: “Find mistakes.”

I’m very impressed with all of the answers! They are way closer than just making cool Powerpoint slides, which is what they thought for a while in college.

What’s unique about Engineering at Groupon?

There is always someone willing to explain a concept or process when you have questions about it.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

My very first impression of Groupon was at the career fair. They were one of the few companies that had t-shirts in women’s sizes and fits which impressed me. When I interviewed, I really liked how casual, yet knowledgeable the interviewers seemed. Also, it probably did not hurt that my interview in the Palo Alto office ended with fro-yo. 🙂

Can you tell us about your work promoting women in Tech?

I’ve recently started co-leading Groupon’s Lean In Circle, which is currently based in Chicago; however, we do have an engineer who joins from Palo Alto. We meet regularly to learn and grow together, specifically in the engineering space. There are three areas we focus on: professional, leadership, and technical development. We hope to grow our circle to include more women from different Groupon offices.

What’s surprised you the most about working at Groupon?

The random company things that Groupon does are awesome. Some of my favorite things were Halloween caramel apples and cider last year, laptop stickers, Women@Groupon handing out ice cream, the building’s ice cream social and rooftop doughnuts, and Geekfest weekly tech presentations (which are open to the public). These seem like small things, but I really appreciate them.

Tell us about the SDET team.

As an SDET there are a few different team setups at Groupon. For my team, I have two sections: my testing colleagues and my feature team. My testing team is made up of SDETs who are also doing front-end testing for Groupon. With that team there are different features—such as internal tools or frameworks—that we develop.

My feature team is the group of people who are responsible for testing the user sessions material. The people included in this are a team manager who makes sure our team stays on track for team goals, a product manager who decides what new features we will try out, a developer who turns the feature ideas to code, two Software Test Engineers who manually test features, and me who automates the testing process!

What’s your favorite language?

C++

What’s your favorite part of your team’s software development process?

I really like when we find a bug. If there aren’t any found, it makes me a little nervous and I feel like we may be missing something.

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

I make sure that the sign-in page is not broken so users are able to make purchases.

What are your favorite local businesses?

Doughnut Vault and Mindy’s Hot Chocolate.

Vim or emacs?

Vim, because it’s what I used in school.

Tabs or spaces?

Spaces

 

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Paige – Merchant Development Representative

Paige – Merchant Development Representative

PAIGE EGAN

Merchant Development Representative
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

If there are two things Paige is passionate about, it’s competition and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs.

What do you love about working at Groupon?

I liked when they announced President’s Club (Groupon’s top sales rep competition) because no one was expecting it. The office was pretty quiet on this particular day (which is rare I know!) and all of the sudden there was Mexican music blasting and people were running around in sombreros and outfits to announce the winners of it!

Who inspires you?

Honestly, there are way too many people who have inspired me in my life to pick just one.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I kind of felt like I stepped into another world when I first went on my office tour. I absolutely loved everything about the office and I knew right away that it was going to be a fun place to work.

What’s your favorite Groupon story?

I’m not one to brag ever, but this story is too funny to pass up. My good pal Griffin & I were neck and neck for contracts in the GroupOnboarding program (the 12-week training program for Sales). Towards the last few days he was ahead of me and on the last day of the program, a merchant signed my agreement at 4:47 PM. Griffin was so mad that he went back to his desk and kept calling out in hopes to get another contract back! He didn’t and we ended up tied and we beat the old record and made a new GOB record for most contracts closed!

“I love the office environment and how friendly, outgoing, and laid back everyone is. It is a great, challenging job but we are all constantly being rewarded.”

Are you involved in any organizations within Groupon?

I’m a member of Women@Groupon. I love meeting new people here at work and being involved with a women-focused group. In college, I was able to meet a lot of people through my involvement with different clubs and activities, so I felt like this was a great way to get involved.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be?

I would be a veterinarian. It was always my dream job and to be honest it still is. I just would be too sad on a daily basis if that was my job to help hurt or injured animals on a daily basis.

What makes Groupon a unique place to work?

I love the office environment and how friendly, outgoing, and laid back everyone is. It is a great, challenging job but we are all constantly being rewarded. I work with a lot of cool, young, and fun people. The office is a great place to be and I really like how there are no cubicles (yuck!)

Tell us something random about you.

I’m totally, completely, and utterly obsessed with dogs. Honestly, if I’m not watching dog videos on the internet, I’m either looking up future breeders, talking about my own dogs, or showing people pictures of my dogs. They are perfect.

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Anita – Business Development Representative

Anita – Business Development Representative

ANITA MAZKOORI

Business Development Manager
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2016

If you ever come across a deal for a llama tour in the Phoenix area, be sure to thank Anita. She’s determined to win over a llama farm just as much as she wins in Catch Phrase.

What are you most proud of so far?

I worked on an account for almost a year before it closed and it was by far the account I’m most proud of! I built a relationship with this merchant, met with him in person, and waited as patiently as I could for him to come around. It was well worth the wait once it went live and I even bought the Groupon once (ok, twice)! Persistence is really half the battle.

How do you keep work fun?

CATCH. PHRASE. Totally bragging about my Catch Phrase team here….but we don’t joke around. It’s serious.

Who or what inspires you?

Obviously, my mom. She’s almost 60, smiles all of the time, and has a super positive outlook on life. She’s the most compassionate person I’ve ever met. Also, honorable mention goes out to Beyonce. Because, Beyonce.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

It’s so laid back, and there was so much LaCroix! At my last job, we had a $6 fee each month to be in the “water jug club,” so unlimited LaCroix was awesome. On a side note, there are tons of really pumped, incredible, and inspirational coworkers.

“I love the Groupon marketing platform. It’s really cool to work for a company that only makes money when the marketing works for the business.”

What do your parents think you do?

Our conversation via text:

Me: “Mom, what do you think I do at work every day?”

Mom: “Whatever you do in your life, do it with honesty, integrity, and best intentions. Love, mom.”

Are you involved with any ERGs (Employee Resource Groups)?

I’m a member of Women@Groupon. Whether it’s women in sales, leadership, or outside of G2, it’s been inspiring to see women play a vital role in the direction of the Groupon’s future. A few months ago, Women@Groupon’s Phoenix chapter hosted an event that brought women from various backgrounds and companies together for a happy hour. I really enjoyed learning about the goals and roles of local female entrepreneurs.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I was really lucky to have the opportunity to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia from 2011-2013 (a country in Southern Africa). I taught and managed an After-School program and learned so much from the resilience of the kids I worked with!

If you could do another job for a day, what would it be?

I’m a huge animal lover. If I could have any other job, I’d own a llama farm and do llama tours full time. I’m on the Things to Do Vertical, and I’m always chasing farm tours. It’s been my dream to close an account that does llama-walking tours. I think it would crush. I’m not kidding.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Smiling and dialing

I’ll call back in the morning

Objection overruled

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

How Women@Groupon is Commemorating Women’s History Month

How Women@Groupon is Commemorating Women’s History Month

Written by: Nicole Meyerson, Marketing Program Manager and Women@Groupon Community & Volunteering Co-Chair

Women's history grouponYou may recall some ideas we suggested for companies to celebrate International Women’s Week last year. Since our past celebrations of the important day have been so well-attended, and in light of the current political climate, we’ve expanded our programming to all of March around Women’s History Month.

Companies large and small can draw inspiration from our initiatives below. The first step is acknowledging that women in the workplace have different challenges than men, and that truly anyone can be an ally.

“We’re excited to build on the successes of last year and celebrate the amazing accomplishments of women with engaging programming throughout March,” said Anjana Dalal.  Deb Schwartz added, “Acknowledging all those who have blazed the trail for us makes me realize how much more impact we all can have.”

March 6: Women@Groupon presents our “View From the Top” speaker series featuring former Navy Seal and business expert Pete Naschak. He’ll discuss leadership skills for women in the workplace.

March 15: Groupon’s Talent Development team established a partnership with Second City Works to put on a series of Inclusion 101 Workshops; the first starts in March. In their words, “We believe that the same skills that make successful improvisers can also support an inclusive culture. By offering experiences, unpacking ideas, and providing real-world tools, our programs give participants ways to practice inclusion.” Explore their course offerings.

March 16: In partnership with Blacks in Groupon (aka BiG) and IMPACT Chicago, we’re hosting a “Speak Up, Speak Out” self-defense workshop. Skills including reading body language and assessing verbal communication, projecting confident body language, and speaking confidently and powerfully can prove vital in a variety of situations.

March 17: Fireside Chat with Groupon’s new Vice President of Investor Relations, and Women@Groupon’s executive sponsor Deb Schwartz.

All month long, and March 11: Collecting gently-used professional clothing and accessories for Dress For Success throughout the month, and volunteering onsite at their Chicago donation center. (Anyone can contribute to their Amazon wish list!)

March 22: Networking organization ARA launched in Chicago in 2013, and has since established chapters in other cities across the country. Women@Groupon is co-sponsoring their event A Journey in Progress: Diversity & Inclusion at the Chicago Trading Company. This event is open to all attendees who register in advance.

Curious about what diversity and inclusion mean to Groupon at a corporate level? Read Karishma Patel Buford’s take, Global Head of Talent Development & Diversity, on ARA’s blog.

People of all genders can celebrate this important month with coworkers and loved ones. Follow the conversation on social media at #WomensHistoryMonth. Men, your efforts are needed and appreciated, too! Watch this speech to learn more about where to start.

Groupon employees: Visit Women@Groupon’s Skynet page to view more details about the above events, and to RSVP.

Abby & Jinting: Michigan seniors on the Application Security Team

Abby & Jinting: Michigan seniors on the Application Security Team

The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2016! We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience tackling challenging problems and working with our teams.

Who are you?

Abby: Hi! My name is Abby Grobbel and I am interning with Groupon this summer! I will be a senior at the University of Michigan. I am studying computer science engineering with a minor in German language.

Jinting: Hey! My name is Jinting Hayter.  I am also a senior Computer Science student at the University of Michigan. This summer, Abby and I are on the Application Security (AppSec) team in Chicago.

Tell us about your team!

Abby: The AppSec team focuses on reviewing code and conducting tests on Groupon’s site to ensure secure implementation, as well as handling security threats and researching better ways to implement security. AppSec communicates with the rest of the engineering teams throughout development.

Jinting: I couldn’t have said it better myself. You might not typically hear that much about the security teams within Groupon, but we’re here and we’re important! There’s also this thing called ‘Red Team,’ which is where the security team does penetration testing and tries to exploit security flaws in Groupon’s website. Abby and I have been familiarizing ourselves with some hacking techniques over the past couple weeks in preparation for that.

What are you working on this summer?

Abby: I’ve been involved in building a web application to manage the security status of all of Groupon’s internal applications. Rather than manually sorting through over 500 applications, it gathers data from Groupon’s central repository and presents the team the most crucial applications that need security audits. Each application can be ‘grabbed’ by a member of the application security team and when the security check is done, marked as secure. Not only does this streamline the workflow for performing security audits within Groupon, it also allows the team to better visualize the scope of all vulnerable applications within Groupon and the team’s progress over time. It integrates a few different tools the team currently relies on, primarily a tool called Codeburner, which runs each application through a pipeline of tools to reveal security risks. Beyond just this project, discussing ways to remediate vulnerabilities and being included in the team’s discussions of new ways to improve security has been a great learning experience.

Jinting: I’ve also been working on the project Abby described in detail above. My role has been primarily integrating Codeburner into the dashboard, receiving burn data for a given service and sending it to get scanned for vulnerabilities by the Codeburner application. Another really cool project I’m starting to get  involved with is the Groupon Online Defense dashboard. Very simply, Groupon Online Defense manages web traffic to identify abusive actors by IP address. The dashboard is actually only one of three parts that make up the system – the other two parts being Behavioral Modeling and Repsheet. AppSec is mainly responsible for maintaining the dashboard, the UI component of the system, which allows users to view the status of the system in addition to manually submitting actions. It’s a very sophisticated and complex piece of software and I’m super excited that I have been given the opportunity to work on it!

What is it like working at Groupon?

Abby: So far everyone at Groupon has been extremely welcoming and willing to offer help and guidance when I need it. The quirky atmosphere makes coming to work everyday exciting and all the different events for engineers throughout the week definitely encourage a learning environment. It’s amazing being able to work for a company which consistently invests in the development of its employees.

Jinting: Ditto to what Abby said. Working at Groupon has been really awesome so far! Everyone has such a great attitude all the time and treats the interns like they would treat anyone else who works at Groupon, nothing less. I really enjoy working with my team as well. We all have great chemistry and help each other out when we see each other struggling, all while making sure we’re still having fun and not taking things too seriously!

Any highlights this summer?

Abby: For me, my summer highlights have been our architectural boat cruise of downtown chicago, attending the Pride Parade with Groupon’s float, and enjoying the many amazing places to eat in the city with the Groupon Chicago tech interns.

Jinting: So many! Getting to know the other interns and goofing around in the city has been really fun. Just a couple days ago, a bunch of us went to Taste of Chicago, and a couple weeks ago, we marched in the Pride Parade. P.S. 10/10, highly recommend. It was truly an amazing experience.

I recently started a program with the mission of getting the engineers in the Chicago office to get to know one another a bit more, in a casual setting. Essentially, teams are paired each week and are encouraged to grab lunch together, have interesting conversation, and maybe even learn a thing or two about how the other team operates. I was given the opportunity to pitch my idea to all the engineers at one of the weekly ‘Hello, Chicago!’ tech all hands meetings, and I got an overwhelmingly positive response. Over 24 teams have signed up so far! It began as a little idea, but with the help of my manager, I was able to reach out to the right people and the rest is history. My advice for future interns is just to be loud with your ideas and visions. You never know, it could really take off!