employee spotlight

 

 

 

Employees at Blurb

We're engineers, product experts, designers, executives, and more—but we're also real people (who are really fun to work with). Meet some of the people who make Blurb happen and learn more about who we are and what we do all day.

 

Geary Zendejas

Gael Zendejas

Product Manager, Website Experience

Product Department

 

What’s your favorite thing about working at Blurb?

My favorite thing about working at Blurb is building and shipping products that enable anyone to tell their unique stories to the rest of the world. People put a lot more effort into a book than they do, say, a Twitter or Instagram post. It’s really rewarding to browse our BookStore and to see the amazing stories we’ve enabled people to tell.


If you could describe working at Blurb in three words, what would they be?

Social. Unpredictable. Inspiring.

How do you describe your job at Blurb to other people?

I enable designers and engineers to build products customers love by employing a trifecta of customer behavior, market trends, and business strategy.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Learn something new, practice yoga, play video and tabletop games (no LARPing, yet, though), and explore New York City one artisanal cocktail at a time.

Chris Zhang

Chris Zhang

Senior Software Engineer

Engineering Department

 

What’s your favorite thing about working at Blurb?

The company culture is excellent and everyone here is really diverse and welcoming, which is a rarity in the tech industry. Everyone I interact with on a regular basis is really nice and I feel respected both personally and professionally. I enjoy being around all the members of my team and I really appreciate that management respects our time and work-life balance and also doesn't, for example, start yelling or trying to throw people under the bus if something ever goes wrong, or have unrealistic ideas and demands about deadlines, or any of the other dysfunctional stories I've heard about managers at other companies.

If you could describe working at Blurb in three words, what would they be?

Good work-life balance.

What technologies, processes, and techniques do you get to use?

Uh, in no particular order: Ruby, Rails 2, Rails 3, Coffeescript, Haml, Sass, Git, Rspec. We're working on being more Agile. We do a fair amount of pair programming and all our commits are code-reviewed.

 

 

 

Estella Madison

Estella Madison

Senior Software Engineer

Engineering Department

 

What’s your average day like?

First thing I do is spend 15 minutes to an hour skimming my RSS feeds for the latest technology news. Sometimes I'll come across something that's very relevant to what I'm working on at Blurb, like a new CSS technique or development tool, so I prioritize these articles. Other times it's just an inspirational blog post (like the ones I read from The Pastry Box Project).

I then focus on my tasks and stories for the current sprint. I do a lot of code review at Blurb using GitHub—this gives us an opportunity to review someone else's work and provide constructive feedback. It not only helps us maintain a high-quality codebase, but it's also a great learning tool. It gives me a chance to see how someone else might achieve a task—we each have unique approaches as coders.

When I worked out of the San Francisco office, lunch was always something I looked forward to. There are so many amazing restaurants near our office, so a few of us would get together every week to try them out. And of course on Wednesdays we have catered lunch. This is always fun as I usually get to chat with someone in a different department.

If you could describe working at Blurb in three words, what would they be?

Challenging. Flexible. Diverse.

How do you describe your job at Blurb to other people?

I'm a UI-focused Software Engineer at Blurb, an on-demand publishing platform where we help people make both print and digital books.

What technologies, processes, and techniques do you get to use?

JavaScript (Ember.js, Backbone.js, and jQuery), Rails, CSS/SASS

Tell us about your own Blurb books.

Every year my husband and I celebrate our anniversary with a book that nicely summarizes the year for us. It's a photo book of all our adventures.

Pierre LaRochelle

Pierre Larochelle

Engineering Manager

Engineering Department

 

How did you hear of Blurb?

In college, I downloaded BookSmart because I wanted to make a book for a friend. For some reason I didn’t end up making the book and completely forgot about it. A few years later a recruiter I was working with suggested Blurb as a place to work. After my first interview I looked into the company a little, downloaded the latest BookSmart, and was pleasantly surprised to see my half-made book staring back at me.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Blurb?

I like how laid-back things are. I think it’s important not only from a life balance prospective but also because of the relaxed “just get it done, don’t worry about it” environment. Everyone is always happy—even when they’re stressed. It just makes coming into work that much more pleasant.

What’s your average day like?

I usually start by looking through my emails and any code changes that need to be reviewed. I then get started on any stories I need to finish or start. I’ve been transitioning into a new leadership role, so actual development work is chopped up into the spaces between meetings. I used to really hate meetings, since they distract from “actual” development work, but I’ve started to notice that I’m much more motivated to get the dev work done after seeing where we’re going as a company and how the work of my team has gotten us to where we are.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I’m a very social person so I’m often out with friends. Dinners, bars, dancing—that sort of thing. I like to travel a lot (again, to see friends). When I’m on my own I like to work on personal software projects and read fiction.

 

 

 

To Top