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A Look Into Being a Yelp Software Engineer



Meet Marcello T, a Software Engineer on our Engineering – Traffic Quality team. Marcello recently celebrated his 3rd Yelpiversary! Today he is sharing his advice to folks interested in pursuing a career in tech, a look into his day as a Software Engineer, and more.

Why did you want to work at Yelp?

I used to attend the San Francisco Python meetup, and I thought it was cool that Yelp was sponsoring it and hosting it at their own office. I also found the product to be very compelling. It is such a good product, even Apple made it a first-party integration in their maps app.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in tech?

Many people focus on compensation and “Big Tech” (or similar companies), but I find that to be a mistake, especially early on. I suggest instead working for a product and team that you find interesting, uses up-to-date tech, has good engineering practices, and good work-life balance (burnout is common in tech). Also, identify a mentor who can help to guide you in navigating the company and planning your career growth.

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… jokes aside, I have been messing around with computers for a long time, but I think what made me decide I was going to pursue a career in tech was when I got a hold of a Bondi Blue iMac. It was settled. I had to go to the U.S. The chance came with a Ph.D., but I quickly realized that while I enjoy doing science, applying that science to make an impact on people is something I enjoy even more, so I swiftly switched to working in the tech industry.

What does a typical day look like in your role?

After a big stretch and brewing an Americano, I sift through the backlog of emails, checking for alerts that need to be taken care of, if any ticket needs follow-ups, or if there are any outstanding tasks to unblock teammates. I then start tackling whichever ticket I had in progress last. I also have 1-2 meetings, usually related to ongoing projects I supervise as a tech lead or other ongoing efforts with external and internal stakeholders.

What is something that was a positive surprise about being a part of an Engineering team at Yelp?

The amount of scope and ownership is very similar to what you would get in a startup.

Tell us about a project you are proud to have worked on

I built the photo moderation pipeline. We built a scalable photo moderation workflow leveraging Yelp’s in-house real-time data streaming and processing pipeline, simple heuristics, and deep learning models to deal with hundreds of thousands of photo uploads per day. I also wrote a blog post about this project.

How do you stay productive in a work-from-home environment?

I believe the largest benefit of remote work is the time saved from commuting. It is not hard for me to stay productive in my home office, but I think it helps to keep your phone away and do your work in short, intense bursts followed by a quick break.

How does your manager remind you that your work is valued?

I think my manager effectively acknowledges my career growth and contributions with timely promotions and compensation increases, as well as asking for and incorporating my feedback. I also like celebrating the completion of projects and acknowledging each other’s work with kudos.

Want to work with Marcello?

Get started on your own Five Star Career journey by exploring a new career path at Yelp! Check out some of our job openings to find an opportunity that interests you.

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