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Meet Idan Izhaki, Software Engineer at Yelp

Interested in knowing what it’s like to work at Yelp as a Software Engineer? Today we hear from Idan Izhaki, a Software Engineer working on the Search Quality team based in San Francisco. 

“My team helps users on Yelp find what they’re looking for more quickly with high-quality search results. I am coming up on my 6th year at Yelp, and I’ve been working on the Search Quality team since my first month with the company! Since then, I’ve rewritten Search infrastructures, created Search properties and annotations systems, and aligned Yelp Search Learning and Ranking with cutting-edge industry technologies. That means our Search engine is smarter, more adaptable to new features, more reliable, and much faster to develop.

One of the most rewarding things about working at Yelp is having a healthy bottom-up culture. Engineers have a strong voice and this culture has enabled many of my ideas to be realized. I think this reflects the culture of trust and ownership here,” says Idan.

What do you enjoy most about working from home, and how have you been able to remain productive in this environment?

It’s great not having a commute and being able to cook at home. Being productive is simple when you keep yourself interested and challenged by your work, but it’s also important to find a healthy work-life balance which is not always easy!

What makes for a great day at work for you?

Seeing stories in the news about my work is always extremely gratifying. Whether it’s about a new search feature to help businesses during difficult times, or new annotations to recognize minority-owned businesses, it always brightens my day.

Tell us about a community at Yelp that you are proud to be a part of?

The mentoring exchange program is fantastic. The program allows participating engineers at Yelp to pick a strength (if a mentor) they love to work with, or area of growth (if a mentee) they’d like to further develop. This exposes engineers to new subjects and helps them learn new skills they might not have otherwise learned through their immediate team. Personally, the program enables me to assist engineers outside of my team or even other organizations within Yelp in non-technical areas. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone!

What’s something that can only happen here?

During my time at Yelp, I changed my immigration status four times, moved to another country, went through a breakup, lived through COVID-19, and had a parent fight and survive cancer. These memories will never be erased! When my mother was fighting cancer, Yelp was extremely flexible with my work hours and my meetings schedule. This allowed me to take her to her treatments and doctors visits in the morning and I could work later in the evening. This was absolutely amazing! I always felt like I could talk to my managers about these subjects freely, which was very important to me as I value having close relationships with coworkers and managers. Yelp has always been so compassionate and understanding about what I was going through, and they allowed me to take time off when I needed to, or enabled me when I wanted to grow more at work. The bottom line is that, the great work-life balance, flexible hours, work from home support, and close relationships with managers and coworkers, all made it a much better year than it could have been, and I am forever grateful for that.

Want to work with Idan?

Idan is now celebrating his 6th Yelpiversary as a Software Engineer at Yelp. Get started on your own journey by exploring a new career path at Yelp! Check out some of our job openings to find an opportunity that interests you.