- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
Mission: Empowering Rakuten's global community of members and merchants through amazing apps and the most robust e-commerce data.
TITLE: Pizza, memes, and super teams: engineering at Unroll.Me
INTRO: Processing 100 million emails a day requires some serious engineering chops, but Unroll.Me engineer Steve Sozniack is always up for the challenge of making big, ugly data run smoothly.
When he first joined Unroll.Me x years ago, Steve was, in his words, "a Java developer with no cloud experience whatsoever." Today, Steve is one of Unroll.Me's technical leaders whose skills expand cloud services, serverless, devops, big data, management, and leadership. We interviewed him about what it's like working in DevOps at Unroll.Me.
JULIA: I know you’re busy, so I really appreciate you chatting! I’ll be asking a bunch of engineering questions, but before we get to that, here’s a good, easy one: if your team was a group of animals, what would they be?
STEVE: That’s a dangerous question. Dragons. Because we make magic happen.
JULIA: Well done, sir. Moving on. What’s the most fun part of working at Unroll.Me?
STEVE: Hmm. The most fun. We had to totally overhaul our CI/CD process and it's cool.
TITLE: A product manager’s open-grazing philosophy – a zoo of a team.
INTRO: Leading a product team takes a wide array of skills. It’s a balancing act, and one that takes a lot of flexibility. Michelle Robinson, product leader for Rakuten Intelligence’s consumer brands, knows how to walk the line and keep her ever-growing team thriving. “My team’s a whole zoo,” Michelle says, “or maybe a jungle. It’s kind of like open grazing.” Marketing and Communications Manager Julia Handel interviewed her about her role, her journey, and the ins-and-outs of working product for a huge, global company like Rakuten Intelligence.
JULIA: Hi there! Appreciate you sitting down with me, and at the Nutella Cafe? I’ll take it. Speaking of, what’s the office location like?
MICHELLE: I think this is actually one of the best locations you can work in in New York City. Being so close to so many different things - Union Square, the subway - it’s not Midtown and it’s really convenient. Having the farmers market right next door three times a week is the best.
Working for Rakuten Intelligence enables you to have your cake and eat it too. Our culture resembles that of a small startup; you’ll have ample opportunities for growth, as well as getting the feeling of being part of the close-knit Intelligence family. On the flip side, being part of a top tier, pioneering company like Rakuten means that you’ll be afforded all the resources you could ever need, and have the chance to travel to headquarters in Japan, as well as at the offices of Rakuten’s array of innovative businesses in Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Odessa, Ukraine (just to name a few). Even better, Rakuten’s partnerships with both FCBarcelona and the San Francisco Warriors gives you the chance to work with some of the world’s top athletic teams and learn the ins and outs of cross-functional projects and events. Rakuten Intelligence equals a great startup environment living within a huge, successful, global company.
Rakuten Intelligence is transforming e-commerce by unveiling never-before-seen e-commerce insights via our market research products, which are powered by our popular consumer applications, Rakuten Slice and Unroll.Me. Whether working on our B2B or B2C products, we’re constantly evolving and innovating, which translates to our employees having a big say in what we do and where we go next. Innovation is central to Rakuten Intelligence, but it’s not all we do. Creating and utilizing technology at the forefront of e-commerce data is at the core of who we are. Working for Rakuten Intelligence means that you’ll work on new developments in machine learning, data science, and weighting and projecting, enabling you to become the most well-rounded employee you can be. Whenever you’re ready for the next step, you’ll have mastered the tools you need for whatever comes next.
Rakuten Intelligence was incubated as a research project at Stanford, where the best and brightest minds in machine learning set forth on how to extract business value from the vast amount of unstructured purchase data in inboxes. When we took that project out of the lab and to the market, we retained the culture of excellence and personal growth, with respect for a healthy work-life balance. Because we love what we do and care about the people we work with.
Slice Technologies Acquires Vibrant Data to Bring a New Dimension to E-Commerce Data
Slice builds upon its investments in data science and visualizations as it delivers the world’s richest e-commerce dataset and customer experience
SAN MATEO, CA—JUNE 29 2016—Slice Technologies, whose products and services make the world’s highest-fidelity commerce data actionable, has acquired Vibrant Data, which reveals non-obvious patterns in complex, high dimensional data, for an undisclosed sum.
“With the acquisition of Vibrant Data, Slice is changing the way people interact with data,” said Harpinder Singh, co-founder and CEO, Slice. “Vibrant Data’s algorithms reveal an entirely new dimension in Slice data that will enable brands, retailers, and manufacturers to understand their customers and consumer buying behavior better than ever before.”
With the mission of making sense out of complex data, Vibrant Data was founded in 2013 by a team of luminaries in science, technology, and data visualization. All TED Fellows, co-founders Kaustuv DeBiswas, David Gurman, and Eric Berlow, are each recognized with top accolades in their respective fields: Artificial Intelligence, design, and ecology.
Inspired by the complex interdependencies in nature, DeBiswas, a technologist and entrepreneur, Gurman, a designer and data artist, and Berlow, an ecologist and network scientist, developed a new breed of algorithms that reveal hidden patterns in complexity. The result was an innovative interface that quickly maps data relationships, enabling discovery and exploration.
“Our technology has been used to map everything from conflict zones, to creativity, and commerce,” said DeBiswas, CEO, Vibrant Data. “The depth and breadth of the data set that Slice has amassed is rich medium for our algorithms to surface new business opportunities for Slice clients, and for Slice itself. I’m confident we will thrive at Slice and I’m excited to see what we create with this talented team.”
DeBiswas and the entire Vibrant Data team will join Slice and operate from its San Mateo, CA headquarters. As senior director at Slice, DeBiswas will continue to lead Vibrant Data product development alongside Gurman, head of design, and Berlow, head of science.
About Slice Technologies
Slice is online shopping, smarter. Slice’s technology automatically identifies e-receipts within inboxes and extracts every data point about every purchase to create digital commerce products that delight consumers and create business value for partners. Slice is transforming online shopping and retail by unveiling never-before-seen digital commerce data via its APIs, information products and consumer applications.
Based in San Mateo, CA, Slice is an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Rakuten. To learn more about Slice, visit www.slice.com.
Our engineers are friendly and willing to help each other. They are collaborative and open, making it easy to share ideas and get feedback (either for new features or to improve existing features).
It's a fun environment where people feel comfortable challenging each other's ideas while being respectful.
They are humble and always willing to learn new things. Below are some pictures of our engineers and what they have to say about their work and Slice.
"I turned down a job offer from Google to join Slice. Large companies are always an option down the road, as they will always be around. But the thing is at these companies there are tens of thousands of engineers. At Slice, the team is relatively small, so the impact we have on the business is huge. We can really direct the vision of the engineering team! Also, there is no bureaucracy or red tape when we want to build our solutions."
“Often in data science, you're working on similar problems - natural language, social networks, machine translation - our problem is different because no one has ever seen our data and had a crack at trying out new algorithms on it. The question on my mind for the next five to ten years is ‘how can we understand all machine generated text?’ If we can create algorithms to understand machine generated text, we can create new fields of data science.”
“The people at Slice invest in one another because they truly believe that if you invest in one another, that brings up the quality of the entire company.”
“Our one-on-one conversations always open with questions: "How are you doing? What are your short and long term objectives?" I've been able to express to my managers that my dream job is to be a CTO and they've helped me explore the path to arriving at that point and the skills that I need to develop to get there. Sabrina had an initiative to help me network in the Bay with more senior engineers - which has been a really helpful way to get mentors inside and outside of Slice.”
“When I was first feeling out my new role as a manager Eric, our CTO, was a huge asset to me. We went out for a drive and talked about the best qualities in a manager. Management shouldn't be about micromanagement - it should be about unblocking them and enabling them. They need to feel empowered and self-initiated.”
"Even though we have a lot of work, everyone is very friendly so it doesn't seem like a lot of work - it's fun!"
I have been working at Slice full-time
Great benefits, location, people, and leaders
Nothing really big at this point
I applied online. I interviewed at Slice in November 2015.
Applied online and received a call from hr for a phone screen. While the interview went very well, the interviewer was pretty patronizing but seemed satisfied with my interview. I then received a ridiculous assignment which I had to do which was not at all relevant to my position neither was it in my resume/skillsets (the assignment was related to front end while this was a backend infrastructure position). On telling the hiring manager this, he still insisted I do the assignment. So after spending a couple of days learning these technologies which I mostly wont use in the job, I received a rather rude rejection email as I did not complete some part which was not even mentioned in the description. Terrible experience and an utter waste of my time.
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