From Interviews to Onboarding: Insights From an Engineering Manager
Meet Engineering Manager Susanna Ferrari: a recent recruit, she’s based in our Zurich office and brings with her a wealth of experience in software development. She explains what attracted her to this new challenge, and why company culture is everything.
I joined GetYourGuide in September, and am a new Engineering Manager for the Marketing Optimization and Visuals team. I’m now two months into the role and I am really enjoying this new challenge. Above all, getting to know lots of interesting and lovely people has been the most enjoyable part of working here. My new job also brought with it a move to Zurich after eight years in Berlin, and before that my hometown of Bologna, Italy.
I started writing code when I was 15 years old when I would build websites for family and friends. That passion led to a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering, and soon after, a move to Berlin for my first job in a small startup.
In the years that followed I gained valuable working experience in tech, mostly as a Frontend/Full-stack engineer. My last role before joining GetYourGuide was at eBay, where I made the jump from an individual contributor role to Engineering Manager around two-and-a-half years ago.
Saying Yes to a New Challenge
Living in Berlin, I knew of GetYourGuide but honestly didn’t know they had an office in Zurich. So when I stumbled across the job posting on LinkedIn, I immediately recognized the company — although it was the job description that really caught my attention. My family has worked in tourism for three generations, which made GetYourGuide’s product particularly interesting for me. The position also meant that I could relocate to Switzerland with my husband and our kids. That was a big plus as we all loved the city and used to visit often.
The recruitment process was great: smooth, professional, and transparent. I was able to get all the information I needed to make my decision; the questions asked were challenging and spot-on; and I got a glimpse of the amazing company culture. During the interviews, I realized that GetYourGuide’s core values aligned with my own. I also felt we were on the same page about what’s expected from an Engineering Manager.
The people I met during these conversations immediately gave the impression of being very competent and motivated. The high quality of the hiring process was the major reason I accepted the offer almost as soon as it arrived.
Onboarding was similarly smooth: I’d describe it as fast but effective. I was provided with a list of resources to look into and had all the tools to start digging into our topics. I was invited to multiple in-person onboarding meetings that gave me a great overview of the company, the product, and the ways of working at GetYourGuide. Overall, everyone was very helpful in answering all of my (many) questions!
Engineering Manager: A Role with Reach
I love my team and the topics we own. The Marketing Optimization and Visuals team is fairly new at GetYourGuide: we split from the Marketing Platform in May 2022 and collected two new people on the way. We are now seven team members, and are currently interviewing for an eighth engineer to join.
Our mission is to drive growth through Visual Optimization, SEO, and Marketing Tooling. We own many different services and topics including image catalog and image processing; video generation tooling; SEO API and sitemaps; and CRM events and templates.
Being an Engineering Manager is definitely challenging, especially starting in a new team. But I enjoy challenges as much as I enjoy solving complicated technical problems. Being able to help my team in planning, designing, implementing our features, and measuring our impact is bringing me a lot of joy.
One thing in particular that I love about this company is the culture. In Zurich it's easy to casually bump into each other at the office, meet new people, and have random chats about life and work. In fact, it was only since starting this job that I realized how much I missed this social element during the pandemic when we were all working from home.
I’m excited about the year to come and can’t wait to see our next team initiatives go live. I’m especially looking forward to working with the marketing teams to grow their channel and improve their working process. Most of all, I’m looking forward to supporting the Marketing Optimization and Visuals team to grow together, both professionally and personally.
Other articles from this series
The Road to an Engineering Career: Learning to Code at 27
Behind The Journey: Laurence Rega - Full Stack Engineer
How to Empower Engineers with Infrastructure as Code
How we find and fix OOM and memory leaks in Java Services
Migrating the Pipeline: Tracking Clickstream Events