• September 19, 2019

Team Spotlight: Engineering

Team Spotlight: Engineering

1000 600 Sarah Williams

We created the Team Spotlight series to highlight all the great work happening across the organization. This month, we are featuring our incredible engineering team. This team embodies the culture of experimentation we have at RealSelf and attracts individuals interested in a more impactful, consumer-facing role.

How does this team serve all our customers?

Our engineering team members touch all consumer-facing platforms through the work they do. In close partnership with both the product and UX teams, they solve consumer problems through site updates that improve the overall user experience. On the provider side, they work with our sales team, which is on the front lines, ensuring that our providers have a positive experience when interacting with the site. Finally, they partner with our community and content teams, to make sure the information on the site meets the needs of our community members. In so many ways, our engineering team truly is the backbone of our organization. 

What is a current problem this team is working on?

The team is always involved in a number of unique and fascinating projects, all focused on making the RealSelf platform the best it can be. Top of mind right now for many of our engineers is the information architecture work. This involves a full redesign of our site from the ground up, with special attention to how information and content are discovered and engaged with on the website. 

Additionally, our engineering team is working on updating our front-end framework via the migration from Angular to React. While these two technologies are quite comparable, React better aligns with our efforts to deliver a mobile-first experience while invigorating our technical SEO. 

How does this team’s work further our mission of helping consumers make smart, confident decisions?

As a technology company helping people make educated decisions, the effort of guiding our consumers to the information they are looking for has led to inevitable product changes that ultimately enhance the consumer experience. Over the years, RealSelf has grown to have millions of reviews and Q&As and therefore resulted in a bit of information overload. While this is a good problem to have, the team now needs to figure out how best to guide the consumer through the site so they are properly equipped to make decisions regarding elective procedures. 

How does the team stay connected and up-to-date on necessary information? 

Much like our product team, engineers at RealSelf stay connected throughout the day via a number of channels (Slack, Zoom, recurring meetings, shared Google docs, etc). Several members of the team work remotely full-time, including our CTO, so clear and consistent communication is vital. Individuals from the team will regularly host brown bag meetings or present at company all-hands meetings, to share technical solutions and knowledge with the broader group. 

What does the team have to say?

“Working in engineering at RealSelf means solving really challenging problems. Solving problems doesn’t mean crafting the perfect front end, API, and datastore. It means understanding which tech solutions are valuable to our customers and the business and which are not. It means we have more ideas than time to implement all those ideas, and so we must choose. It means we learn and change continuously. It means exercising judgment in an environment that is more shades of gray than black and white. Writing code, for me, is easy and fun. Crafting technical solutions in the context of RealSelf is challenging, rewarding, frustrating, and exhilarating, and in the end, lights me up far more than just writing code to a spec ever does.” —Mathew Corthell, software development manager

“My favorite aspects of working on the RealSelf engineering team are the people, the autonomy, and the ability to make an impact. It’s such a blessing to work on a team with so many talented individuals who are happy to mentor, help, and collaborate. Something I think is pretty rare is that there’s always an open-door policy for discussions with anyone along our management chain, from our VP to our CTO and CEO, to go over any ideas or feedback that we have. I’m grateful that I get to work with such amazing coworkers and that I have the opportunity to work on features and projects that continually challenge me to grow.”

Sky Herrera, software engineer

“I feel so lucky that I get to work with such a smart, humble group of people. We are able to discuss and debate all ideas, without judgment, in a way that feels genuine and safe and really allows us to grow together as engineers. I’ve never worked with a group of engineers so focused on creating value for all consumers. Whether it’s asking the hard questions about what we’re building or how we’re building it, the engineering team here is incredibly involved in shaping the future of RealSelf in an incredibly positive way.” —Vivianne Barzu, software development manager 

This team is currently hiring, so we welcome you to check out our open roles if you are interested in joining the engineering team at RealSelf.