Engineering

Engineering Blog

Engineering Career Series: Ensuring Pay Equity & Career Progression in Yelp Engineering

At Yelp, we care deeply about ensuring all employees are compensated fairly for their contributions, regardless of their gender, race, and ethnicity. Within Yelp Engineering, we work hard to achieve equal pay for equal work through a combination of tactics: Well-defined career levels and corresponding pay bands A systematic levels calibration process across teams Transparency of our outcomes with the entire Engineering team In a previous blog post, we described how we think about career progression and leveling. Each level within Engineering and Engineering Management has an associated merit band, equity band, and cash bonus target based on location. We...

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Why Yelp's hiring strategy in Canada no longer requires being in an office

When Yelp first started building engineering and product teams in Canada in 2019, our plan was to create a workforce based out of our Toronto office. Over the past year as we adapted to being an entirely remote workforce we realized, like many companies, that people don’t need to work in offices to be collaborative and successful. In fact, through remote work surveys sent to our employees, we found that most people are happier and more productive when they have the option to work remotely. We’re now hiring engineering and product roles as fully remote in Canada, as well as...

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Analyzing Experiments with Changing Cohort Allocations

Introduction Have you ever run an A/B test and needed to change cohort allocations in the middle of the experiment? If so, you might have observed some surprising results when analyzing your metrics. Changing cohort allocation can make experiment analysis tricky and even lead to false conclusions if one is not careful. In this blog post, we show what can go wrong and offer solutions. At Yelp, we are constantly iterating on our products to make them more useful and engaging for our customers. In order to ensure that the Yelp experience is constantly improving, we run A/B tests prior...

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Engineering Career Series: How we think about engineering management

In our last post we talked about technical leadership, one of the growth paths available to software engineers at Yelp. In this post we’d like to share more about engineering management, which is another path that some software engineers choose after some time in the industry. We’ll start with an explanation of what engineering management is (and isn’t), discuss our approach to management, and talk about what makes it different from engineering. We’ll also discuss how people get started on a management path at Yelp, and what we do to help our management team grow in their roles. What’s an...

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Engineering Career Series: Technical Leadership at Yelp

Hi there! In this post we’re discussing technical leadership, a topic that is paramount to any engineering organization, but is also hard to define. Even observing whether your team, organization, or company has good technical leadership can be a challenge. You might be thinking right now, “Am I a good technical leader?” To help describe how Yelp thinks about technical leadership, we have two of our Group Tech Leads (a.k.a. GTL, more on what this is later) writing this post. They are both seasoned Yelpers who have held a number of technical leadership roles — they were even willing test...

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Modernizing Business Data Indexing

On the Yelp app and website, there are many occasions where we need to show detailed business information. We refer to this process as Data Hydration, filling out a “dry” business with compelling, rich data. Whether on the home screen, search results page or business details page, there is a large set of properties we may show about any given business, everything from name and address to photos, Verified Licenses, insights, and more. These properties are stored in a variety of different databases, and their display is subject to a significant amount of filtering and transformation logic. All of this...

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Engineering Career Series: Career paths for engineers at Yelp

About 5 years after joining Yelp, I was managing several teams in our Hamburg, Germany office and asked my manager, a director at the time, what were the expectations for an engineering manager versus a director. While the conversation was helpful to me at that moment, the gist was basically “we haven’t written that down.” As you can imagine, it’s hard to know both where you stand and how to grow if that’s not captured anywhere for you to read. Where we started For many years, the career track for engineers at Yelp was not documented. People still advanced in...

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Engineering Career Series: How we onboard engineers across the world at Yelp

Like most companies, Yelp has had to make substantial changes to the way we onboard new team members over the past year. Yelpers have always been naturally good at fostering a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for new employees. Translating this into a welcoming and supportive virtual atmosphere hasn’t happened organically. As we grow distributed teams across the United States, Canada, and Europe, the new ways in which we prepare, welcome, train, and support our employees have become, and will continue to be, important for the advancement of Yelp’s Engineering & Product organizations. Going into 2020, we knew we were already...

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