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Sarah B. - Software Engineer

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Title: Software Engineer
Location: Seattle
Joined: 2019
Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

On top of absolutely crushing her day job as a Software Engineer, Sarah was recognized as a “Culture Champion”, and it’s easy to see why! Read more about her work on the Cloud Routing team, and what she’s gained since joining #TeamGroupon!

Tell us a little about your role and your team.

I joined Groupon in August 2019 as a Software Development Engineer on the Cloud Routing team. We’re an infrastructure team that develops and maintains much of the tooling used to route traffic at Groupon. Our primary tool, called Hybrid Boundary, is a routing service that provides service-to-service communication both in the cloud and in our data centers. As a developer, I work on new features for our infrastructure, bug fixes, and help investigate problems that come up.

Before getting into things, how has your day-to-day changed in light of Covid-19?

My work day-to-day honestly didn’t change that much. My team was distributed (I was the only member in Seattle) when this started, so Zoom meetings with the team were pretty typical. I’ve been grateful to have a team that respects time zones when scheduling meetings, and thankful that they’ve been available to hop on quick calls when needed to get face to face interaction instead of just Slack messaging streams.

Each quarter, Groupon recognizes outstanding teammates across the globe for demonstrating their excellence in living one of our core values. Winners are nominated by their teammates and then hand picked by leadership; they earn a spot in our Hall of Fame and also get a pair of custom green Chuck Taylor shoes; our way of saying “they are literally ‘walking the walk.'” Sarah was the Q1 “Culture Champion” for going above and beyond with her involvement during Women’s History Month, on top of absolutely crushing her day job. Congrats, Sarah!

How are you staying connected with your team as we’re all working remote?

Our team has scheduled a social hour twice a month, for us to just catch up with each other. I also try to set up individual chats with team members, so we have non-task-oriented ways to just stay connected with each other. It’ll be an interesting change to get back to the office, as most of my team is now located in Seattle with me, rather than distributed.

How have you grown in your career since joining Groupon?

I am so grateful for the challenges that my team faces on a daily basis. I’ve grown more comfortable with solving complex problems, and working with members from other teams to find solutions. I’m more willing to take on large projects, since Groupon has a supportive, pro-learning culture where there’s always someone to help you find answers.

How does your team prioritize the ideas you should build?

Our team adds value to Groupon by creating a stable and dependable platform for all other services to build on. We build ideas that achieve this for our customers, who are all internal Groupon employees. We prioritize projects that are interesting to work on, and solve problems that our customers are having.

Why would you recommend a career within your team?

I love my team because there’s always a new challenge. The technologies we work with, like Amazon Web Services, Terraform, Docker, or Envoy Proxy, require continual learning as new features come out. But, even as a younger developer, I’m able to have a large impact on our services, and work directly with our customers to deliver key initiatives.

What advice do you have for women who want to pursue a career in engineering?

Focus on what you love doing, be passionate about it, and always continue learning. Find mentors that can help you look ahead and work toward your goals, and a network that can support you when (yes, when) things get tough.

What do you miss about being in the office?

Definitely the coffee chats and culture events. The Seattle office was downtown next to so many coffee shops, and I miss getting afternoon coffee with coworkers. We also hosted tech chit-chats, happy hours, and other various culture events that just haven’t been the same since going remote.

What is one non-work activity or hobby that you’re into? How did you get into it?

Before high school I was an avid reader, and Covid gave me the opportunity to start reading again as an easy stay-home activity.

What have you gained from working at Groupon?

My professional network has really grown since starting at Groupon. I’ve had opportunities to meet people based at all of our global offices, from all our different departments, through events I’ve hosted and our virtual coffee-chats group.

Favorite pre-Covid activity you can’t wait to get back to?

Traveling! My partner and I have an empty picture map of the United States that I would love to start filling up with pictures of our adventures.

Rapid Fire Questions

Book or podcast? Got a favorite?

Books! I loved They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera.

#1 on your bucket list:

Learning to skydive. I’ve only been on one tandem jump, but would love to jump on my own – it’s so fun and freeing!

Favorite piece of quarantine clothing?

Oversized sweatshirts and pajama shorts.

What do you do to relax?

Read, play animal crossing, or watch a comfort movie I’ve seen a million times. 

It’s brunch! What do you eat?

Usually some type of fancy pancake with fruit and a mimosa!

Morning person or night owl?

The sun rises early in the summers in Seattle, but during the winter it’s always dark and therefore difficult to get up and out of bed. So – in the summers I’m a morning person, but I’m a night owl in the winter months!

Eat in or dine out?

Dine out – I hate cooking, so I’m definitely excited to start going to restaurants again!

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