OpenTable engineers are just as passionate about solving tech problems as they are about food.
By Betsy Mikel (Editor, Women 2.0)
We’re still reeling from all the excitement and energy at Thursday’s first ever Women 2.0 Awards. If it you missed it, don’t worry! There’s so much innovation and game-changing happening all around us that we’ll have to have another one soon. One night is certainly not enough time to celebrate what we’re all working together to build: a better tech future.
Our Awards would not have been possible if not for the support of our amazing sponsors. OpenTable sponsored the Legacy Creator Award to help us pay tribute to a leader whose long-term contribution has created lasting change for all participants in our industry – and beyond. The award went to Selina Tobaccowala, the CTO of Surveymonkey and founder of Evite.
We chatted with a few of the OpenTable engineers to learn more about what it’s like to work on building the technology that now seats 15 million diners across the world a month in more than 32,000 restaurants worldwide.
Location: San Francisco (Downtown, Financial District)
Size of team: Engineering @ 180, Design @ 20, Product @ 30 and growing . . .
Favorite company perk or benefit
- Having co-workers and friends everywhere you go — cities and countries — who love going to and talking about restaurants. — Elizabeth Casey, VP of Product
- Being around and sometimes even getting to experience the benefits of working with extreme foodies and wine connoisseurs. — Karen Nguyen, Engineering Manager
Sara Rahimian, Senior Manager, Engineering
What’s the culture like at OpenTable? Sara: OpenTable is a company where we have fun doing what we love. It is also a company that has truly demonstrated the mantra of continuous improvement in every dimension in the three and a half years of I have been at the company. We improve ourselves, our teams, our culture, our office, our snacks, our tech stack, our infrastructure, our products, our designs and our contributions to the greater tech community and the restaurant industry every day.
It feels good to know you work for a company that doesn’t want growth, but improvement. They are two different things. Growth can be a natural byproduct of improvement but improvement isn’t always a natural byproduct of growth. We know the difference and focus on improvement and growth.
What’s something people are surprised to learn about working at OpenTable? Sara: A tremendous amount of our business and focus is on our restaurant customers and making them successful. OpenTable is consumer facing and is very important to what we do, but more than half of the company is actually serving restaurants as their primary customers.
That reality tends to lead to a culture of people who have a lot of empathy for restaurants. Many have worked in restaurants or just have a kindred spirit of hospitality and therefore naturally gravitate towards OpenTable and the vision of making restaurant operations better so that restaurants can focus on their food and hospitality.
What’s one reason someone might chose working at OpenTable instead of working for another technology company? Sara: We bring technology and greater success to a global industry that is all about creating great memories. I think of all the most vivid life memories I have and they always involved a great meal where the hospitality was natural and the evening was magical. I love that I can bring my love for innovation and problem solving to that space.
At OpenTable we build technology with a culture of hospitality in how we treat each other and spend our days. It is a fun way to spend your professional life pushing the envelope of tech as it applies to a little remote restaurant in Puerto Rico. I hope to visit many of the global restaurants we are bringing to the Internet one city at a time.
Rachael L. Moore, UI Engineer
What’s the culture like at OpenTable? Rachael: Gracious, hospitable, energetic, passionate, experimental, conscientious
What’s one reason someone might chose working at OpenTable instead of working for another technology company? Rachael: Leadership with long-term strategy, vision for product is shared, flexibility not only within technology, but also workflow.
Karen Nguyen, Engineering Manager
What’s the culture like at OpenTable? Karen: My peers are friendly, geek out on new technologies, and are constantly seeking more efficient ways to solve problems. We are unafraid to adventure into new territory and subsequently, recover well from our make mistakes. We have respectful healthy debates about ideas, methodologies and strategies. Naturally, many people here love food and we have equally engaged discussions about ecmascript 6 as we do about cronuts.
What’s one reason someone might chose working at OpenTable instead of working for another technology company? Karen: OpenTable has meaty technology challenges. OpenTable has hardware, software and web components (mobile web, android & iOS) available in four languages (five if you count British English). We care deeply about ease of use, scale, internationalization, performance and customer delight for our restaurants and our guests.
Sound like your type of company? Check out OpenTable's engineering jobs.
About OpenTable: OpenTable exists to power great dining experiences. We connect restaurants and diners, helping people find the perfect table for every occasion. OpenTable reaches millions of diners through its mobile apps and website, and its cutting-edge booking solutions for restaurants help them stay filled with happy customers. OpenTable seats more than 15 million diners per month across more than 32,000 restaurants worldwide.