Catarina Oliveira, Software Engineer

Deal Insight Dashboards & Grace Hopper Inspiration
All in a day for our Portuguese Software Engineer

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Catarina is one of our Software Development Engineers, based in our Dublin Office. She comes from Braga, Portugal and has been living in Dublin since 2015.

So, what brought you to Ireland and Groupon?

In 2014 I received my master’s degree in Software Engineering from the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal.  Unfortunately, though, Braga did not offer any real opportunities for newly qualified engineers like me, so my boyfriend and I looked into the idea of moving to another country where we could find a great working environment with lots of well-established tech companies as well as a vibrant startup culture.  After considering several cities, we chose Dublin because of its vibrant tech scene, the language and of course that friendly welcome:)

Groupon had always been on my radar from a career point of view. I was already a fan of the product and the technology stack they use, so it was a no-brainer for me to investigate career opportunities with them as soon as I moved to Dublin.

Tell us about your team and some of the projects you’ve worked on…

I started out as an intern on the Marketing Services team where, with the help of my colleagues I spent my first couple of months getting to know the company and figuring out the details of the applications they ran. Our team owns several services, one of them being the Marketing Deal Service which is used for internal and external marketing projects to create display advertisements across various websites and social channels like Google and Facebook.

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The first project I worked on was the Deal Insights Dashboard which is an application to present our data in an insightful way. It was a challenging project for me because I had to work on front- and back-end aspects, learn a new programming language called CoffeeScript and learn our internal framework, I-Tier, which we use to create Groupon’s websites and internal applications. So far, the dashboard has proved to be a success among Groupon employees, with over 1000 internal clients from Sales and Marketing teams using it every day to better understand the performance of their deals.

Over the past year I have also been involved in developing several features for our Marketing Deal Service to help improve advertisement efficiency. We created the Deal Performance Service to analyse all purchases and views internationally along with certain characteristics like gender, platform and other elements to make recommendations to our marketing channels around which deals should they show to which users. Previously, this type of automated targeting was not possible for us, so it was great to get this into production at the end of last year.  This was definitely the most technically challenging work I’ve done so far: I learned Clojure and worked with technologies I had never used before like Storm, Kafka and Cassandra in order to process all the views and purchases in real time from all the Groupon websites.

Helping Drive New Customers to Groupon

A key focus for Groupon in 2016 was to bring more customers to the platform and as part of that we started work on expanding the Deal Performance Service to recommend the best deals to the marketing channels in order to target new client acquisition. We started analysing purchase and repeat purchase patterns among newcomers which in turn, helped us identify the types of deals that were performing well and consequently which ones had the potential to bring even more customers to Groupon in the long term.  This allowed us create a list of ‘Top Deals’ which is now being used by many of our marketing teams as their main tool to attract new customers.

Aside from the fact that I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with many talented people from around the world, I’m very proud that in a relatively short space of time I have been able to make an impact in important areas of Groupon and contribute directly to the success of so many teams.

 

Getting Inspired at Grace Hopper Conference 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I was selected to participate at this year’s Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) in Houston, Texas. This is by far the biggest event in the world designed to promote women in technology and engineering and it was a real honour to be part of the team representing Groupon there.  These kind of conferences are vital to promote diversity in technology and I hope that they continue to encourage other women to follow a career in a field that is growing so quickly, impacting millions of people and changing the way we live.

As well as attending the conference, I also helped out with recruiting recent graduates at the Groupon booth! This was a really positive experience, talking with enthusiastic candidates who are starting out on their careers. Almost all of the people I spoke to had heard about Groupon and many were already customers. Thankfully we found loads of superb talent and were able to offer some great internship positions too!

GHC was, for me, a unique experience: meeting and talking with so many different women in my field and listening to the amazing stories shared by those who work and excel in tech while also having a family was truly inspiring.


If you’re interested in a career in Tech with Groupon then check out our open roles at jobs.groupon.com or follow us on LinkedIn


For information on moving to Ireland for your Tech career visit http://www.techlifeireland.com

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