Title: Front End Developer
Location: Bristol, UK
Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Building award-winning marketing campaigns, converting cars to taxies, and learning more languages than we can count— all this, and more, in Melanie’s journey with Groupon.
Tell us about your job. What do you do?
A productive day in my world means very little talk or movement! As a Front-End Developer on our Coupons Team here in Bristol, it’s my job to take a flat design and translate it to a functional component that our customers can interact with on the web and is (I hope!) intuitive to use.
What’s been a particularly rewarding project you’ve worked on?
Most of what the Coupons Team does on a day-to-day basis is rewarding! We regularly work on websites for both internal and external customers from all over the world. For me personally, it was very rewarding to work with Groupon’s I-Tier infrastructure for the initial Coupons migration after Vouchercloud was acquired by Groupon. As part of the project, I had the opportunity to work on a new stack, with new people, tools, and technologies. I visited the Chicago office (learnt what a true winter looks like!), and worked on a website with a global reach for a globally recognised brand.
Where were you before you joined Groupon?
I was a software engineer on the other side of the world in Australia. I have always wanted to live overseas and, after packing up my entire life, I jumped on a plane and picked Bristol, UK as the first stop on my big adventure. I didn’t get very far beyond that! I love Bristol and working for Groupon has enabled me to build a life here.
My teammates would give me the superlative “Most likely to ____.”
Mispronounce words. As an Aussie, I’m battling against the Queen’s English. “Data” is pronounced day-tah not dah-tah and I’m sticking to it!
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
While my role is not customer facing, a web developer has a unique part to play in finding the balance between business requirements and customer needs. I spend my days building software that achieves Groupon’s business requirements, but I also have some freedom to consider how the paths I take to achieving those requirements will impact a customer’s experience. Selecting one approach over another may mean that a customer using a certain browser has a less engaging experience, or someone with reduced vision can’t navigate through our site effectively. These types of considerations aren’t always explicitly outlined within a piece of work, but I believe they should be on every developer’s mind when contributing to a codebase.
What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?
It’s not one-size-fits-all. Within Groupon Engineering, I work on the Coupons Team. We work with everything ‘coupon’ related and are smaller than those teams who work with things that are ‘deal’ related. Despite being a big organisation, which needs a level of consistency to run efficiently, Groupon still recognises the importance of a flexible problem-solving approach.
What’s an interesting hobby you have outside of work?
I love to travel and learn about other cultures and languages. Throughout my school and university years, I spent time learning bits and pieces of many different languages, including French, German, Indonesian, Fijian, Japanese and Hebrew! I’ve recently decided to approach my learning a little more seriously and have begun studying towards a DELF qualification in French.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
In one of my previous jobs I worked as an installer at a taxi company, turning cars into taxis. It was quite a bit more hands-on than where I’ve ended up, but I’ve always enjoyed working with cars and electronics. If I had to do something else, I’d look into being an auto-electrician.
Have you won any awards?
I had the pleasure of working with our Giftcloud team on a recent marketing campaign for one of our clients, TalkTalk. The campaign won an award from the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association. It was also nominated, along with 6 other Vouchercloud & Giftcloud campaigns, at the 2019 International Performance Marketing Awards.
What’s been surprising about working here?
Groupon is interested in your local community! As a Groupon employee, I’m able to use my leave towards volunteering and making my community better. Groupon also hosts an annual Volunteer-a-Thon month to encourage using that leave.
Vim or emacs?
Emacs. I enjoy having a working keyboard.
Tabs or spaces?
S P A C E S
What advice do you have for someone interested in joining Groupon?
Go for it! Groupon is a big place with lots of opportunity. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to offices in Chicago & Sydney and work with some very talented people along the way. Groupon operates in a constantly evolving and growing retail space, and as a result, the work is fast-paced and dynamic. It’s a place that values diversity & culture and allows you the space to be yourself.
What do your parents think you do?
“You set up websites for people.” – Granny, 2019
“I have no idea, I just know you are very smart and beautiful.” – Mum, 2019