It's a Traveling Life For Airbnb Software Engineer

Airbnb Software Engineer  Inside Jobs

If you enjoy travel, chances are you've explored the world of Airbnb. If so, you are experiencing the work of software engineer Surabhi Gupta, who has responsibility for what it's like to find a room through the site that lets people earn extra money by renting their homes to others.

It was her own pleasant experience as an Airbnb customer while working as a software engineer for Google that attracted Gupta to the company.

"We were trying to find a place to stay for my family," Gupta recalls, "and we found an amazing listing on Airbnb. It was an 'aha' moment. I should be talking to Airbnb."

Having an early passion for math and science while still in high school, Gupta was inspired by her older brother and started taking some computer science classes after school. It's what got her hooked on software.

These days she works in Ruby and Java to develop an experience that helps guide the traveler with the listings that make the most sense for their search. She also spends a lot of time conducting data analysis.

Her advice to others: "You learn some basic foundational skills, but a lot of it you have to learn on the job. As long as you're accepting you're not going to know everything, it just makes the job a lot easier."

The hardest part of her job: Figuring out which projects should be on the engineering roadmap. She's always working on multiple projects at one time.

The biggest challenge: Answering the question, 'Am I working on a problem that really matters the most?'

"You have to sweat out the details," Gupta says. "Just solving 50 percent or 80 percent or 90 percent of the problem is not enough. It just gets incrementally harder. It's having the patience and perseverance to get through" that really counts.

One of the biggest perks of the job, and it's one that keeps her sane, is the travel. Everyone gets a certain amount of travel credit to try out the product. On a recent trip to New Zealand, Gupta and her husband stayed at five different Airbnb sites.

Watch the video to experience what it's like to work at Airbnb.

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