This Seattle Healthtech Team Is Looking for Engineering Talent

RealSelf is helping individuals make informed decisions to have an enjoyable cosmetic procedure experience.

Written by Tyler Holmes
Published on May. 21, 2021
This Seattle Healthtech Team Is Looking for Engineering Talent
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As a senior software engineer at beauty and healthtech company RealSelf, Neil Moonka appreciates the spotlight individual teammates are given during organization-wide retros. That exposure and experience with presenting has helped him and his colleagues grow as both developers and professionals. While Moonka finds such significant dedication to learning and development unique based on previous experience, it’s the day-to-day projects that keep him on the edge of his seat at work. 

“We have a huge body of reviews available to us, but figuring out the right ones to surface for that particular person is a huge undertaking,” Moonka told Built In Seattle. 

Such an issue is certainly relevant – and prevalent. In 2020, more than 15 million people received some form of cosmetic surgery, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. By gaining access to up-to-date information and consulting a community of previous patients with verified experience, it’s easier than ever to identify where to go for desired results – a process that Moonka and his coworkers have set out to streamline.

Below, Moonka walked us through the tech stack his team relies on and discussed the impact he hopes to have on the industry.

 

Neil Moonka
Senior Software Engineer • RealSelf

Give us a bit of insight into your tech stack. What are some of your favorite tech tools your team is using?

We are cloud-based, largely built on top of AWS. We practice CI/CD, which lets us send changes out to the world quickly and iterate over features. We are still partially built on a PHP monolith (with an Angular front end), but are moving to a world of microservices (with a React front end) leveraging tools like AWS Lambda and Kinesis. For me, I’m very excited about moving to a serverless world where we are able to concentrate on writing and optimizing logic, and letting machines be handled automagically for us.

 

MORE ON REALSELFRealSelf Acquires YNS Group to Expand Its Global Reach

 

What’s the most interesting or challenging project you’re working on right now, and what do you enjoy most about it?

One of the challenges we face is providing customers with the information that will be most useful for them. When I’m looking at the results of procedures, I’m interested in how it’s going to be on me. Everyone is different, and so being able to personalize the experience by surfacing reviews left by people like the customer gives them a lot more confidence in making their decision. We have a huge body of reviews available to us, but figuring out the right ones to surface for that particular person is a huge undertaking. I’m so excited for the very real impact this will have on our customers.

This is an invaluable time where we get to showcase our work to a broader audience.”

 

What’s something unique about your team?

One of the interesting things that RealSelf’s engineering organization does is our retros. While after each sprint we have a team-level retro, we also do an organization-wide retro. During the team retro, we spend time thinking about our BOPs (Behaviors and Operating Principles), and how our teammates have exemplified specific ones with their actions in the last sprint. It lets us recognize each other’s excellent work.

The organization-wide retro is also something I find is unique to RealSelf. Each team takes a few minutes to talk about what they’ve achieved and show a quick demo. It can be easy to get a myopic view of what just our team is working on, so this is an invaluable time where we get to showcase our work to a broader audience. There is also an emphasis on lessons learned, which allows us to identify opportunities for future improvements. Each team rotates presenters, which helps give individual teammates broader exposure and some more experience with presenting – opportunities for which can be hard to find for engineers at other places I’ve been.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Photography provided by RealSelf.

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