How Do Whitepagers Survive Winter?

 

Shorter days, dark sooner, harsh weather conditions… As the official start of winter approaches, we reached out to our employees to see how they SURVIVE WINTER. The daily commute may be a bit slower, but our employees know how to get outdoors or snuggle in to beat those winter blues! Below are several accounts from Whitepagers from each of our office locations: Seattle, New York City, and Budapest. Read on to see how they fight the freeze!

 

Adrienn is the Office Manager in our Budapest location. She goes the extra mile making our employees feel festive and warm:

Darker earlier? Sunset bonus!

In Budapest, it gets dark around 4:00 PM, which is very devastating — but sometimes we have amazing sunsets. We just had the first snowfall on 29 November! It was really beautiful, especially viewing from the office. Unfortunately, here in downtown as soon as the snow falls it melts immediately, so it’s just mud everywhere.

I, personally, just love winter! From October until January I’m constantly in a holiday mood. Thus, I thought why not bring a little Christmas vibe to the office as well? I put out candies and a small Christmas tree, which really makes the employees happy.  🙂

Some ways we survive in the office:

  • Lots of fruits and veggies are available throughout the week
  • Bi-weekly we have “cookie Wednesday to uplift the mood

The winters in New York can be brutal, so Tom, who works for Whitepages Pro Enterprise Sales in our NYC office focuses on the good stuff:

As a life-long New Yorker, here are some of my favorite NY Winter/Christmas things:

  • Macy’s
  • Saks 5th Ave window
  • Snow – it comes early! (We got our first flurries this past weekend.)
  • A bag of roasted nuts from the street vendor
  • Bryant Park Winter Village
  • Rockefeller Center tree and ice skating  
  • A walk through Central Park
  • Holiday Festival College Basketball at Madison Square Garden
  • Radio City Christmas show (who doesn’t like the Rockettes?)
  • Dinner at Carmine’s sometime between Christmas and New Year’s (a family tradition)
  • Inexpensive matinee theatre tickets 
  • Plaza Hotel Lobby – nicest holiday decorations, for the true Home Alone 2 experience, a great place to take a family photo!

Kathryn, our Whitepages Pro Events Marketing Manager, enjoys taking winter adventures:

 

I love the outdoors and go on hikes every weekend during the winter, even in the rain or snow. I find that embracing the weather and exploring this beautiful area we live in keeps me sane and happy during the gloomy months. We try to go see Christmas lights every year. Last year we went to Stanwood.

 

 

 

Samantha, an Account Executive, LOVES the winter, especially with her four-legged companion!

Despite the constant battle to try to stay warm and dry, I love having the excuse to snuggle up with my dog and a blanket during the winter months. The crisp cold air and holiday spirit definitely outweigh even the rainiest of days here in Seattle, and I love the fresh new start that January brings. Having grown up in Alaska, I welcome the short days and long nights which further provoke my preference to hit the sheets early and wake up before the rest of the world to hit the pavement for a run (with my dog and a headlamp of course!)

 

Rebecca, a Reliability Engineer in our Seattle Office is also a big fan of winter:

I love winter time, mainly because of the contrast between the dark and all the lights that come up all around the city. We put our Christmas tree up the same weekend the clocks turned back, which I think was early November. There was some slight outrage from friends about it, but this time of year nothing beats cozying up in front of the warmth of the fire, surrounded by those lights while it’s cold and dark outside.

Security and Compliance Manager Sean isn’t a big fan of the winter weather but makes the most of it with his family:


Winter is not my favorite (cold, dark!), but I like the occasional snow days with my kids. We go to Hyak in the Cascades for a day and pack our sledding disks, snacks, and hot cocoa. We don’t have fancy snow gear, so we wear all our wool this-and-that in layers. We also hike, so we wear our hiking boots with lots of wool and cotton socks. Every other year, our little family joins our bigger Boise family for the Christmas holiday. Tubing is always on the agenda and Idaho has lots of tubing places that are really fun. This year, we will try snowshoeing too!


From all of us at Whitepages, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season! Stay warm!

Glassdoor Best Place to Work!

This post was written by Recruiting Coordinator, Amanda Moore.

Whitepages is a Glassdoor Best Place to Work in 2018!

We’re excited to announce that Whitepages is among the winners of the annual Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards, a list of the Best Places to Work in 2018.

What makes this especially exciting is that there was no self-nomination process for this award — instead it’s entirely based on feedback our employees have voluntarily and anonymously shared on Glassdoor. To determine the winners, Glassdoor evaluates all company reviews shared by employees over the past year.

Over one thousand companies were considered, and this year Whitepages is ranked #25 on the list of Best Places to Work among Small & Medium Companies in the U.S.

Below are just a few words employees shared on Glassdoor that contributed toward the award and made us feel honored to be recognized:

“What truly sets Whitepages apart, for me, is the opportunity to learn and grow professionally that is offered here. We are a small team, and therefore you need to roll up your sleeves, wear a lot of hats, and take ownership to get things done.”

“Excellent office environment, in both amenities and events. I really appreciate the All-Hands [meetings] where we peek into other business operations.”

 “Everyone here has a ‘can do’ attitude and that really adds to our collaborative work culture of getting things done.”

“I’ve never had to question my performance; management is quick to praise, and quick to correct behaviors as needed.”

A huge THANK YOU goes out to all our employees. This award would not be possible without the great people who spend their days here at Whitepages.

Want to join our team and find out first-hand why we’re a Best Place to Work?

Check out our Career Page

Data Services & International Collaboration

Drew is Director of Data Strategy & Acquisition for our Seattle Data Services Engineering Team. He and the rest of his crew recently visited our Budapest Office to collaborate and align on future Whitepages products and services. Drew discusses the fruitful trip below showing how Whitepagers work hard (and play hard!) to use Data for Good.


The week of October 15th was an exciting week in the Whitepages Engineering world.  For the first time, our Seattle-based Data Services Engineering team traveled to our offices in Budapest, Hungary to begin a multi-project collaboration with our Pro engineering team there.  To date these two engineering teams operated fairly independently, generally connected only through product managers in our Seattle office, but as our products and development resources evolve the opportunity, and quite honestly the need, for these two teams to work closely together became readily apparent.

So with that, a foursome of us from the Seattle office headed across the world to spend a week with Whitepages Budapest.  Not surprisingly it was a memorable trip!

Our goals for the week were pretty straightforward:

The first was to educate each other on the differences between the two teams in terms of development practices, technologies, and team structure.  This is critical as we are going to be working on the same projects and deliverables together for the first time and we need to make sure we are aligned with how this will be done.  Fortunately, Whitepages has an awesome team of software engineers that are eager to learn and quick to pick up new languages and practices.  Everyone was very excited about expanding their scope of knowledge, as well as teaching what they know.

The second goal was regarding tactical project planning for the various projects on which we will be partnering.  These projects are all focused on expanding the international data offerings and capabilities of Whitepages Pro.  I won’t dive into the specifics of the projects, but we have prior blog posts on our international expansion (The Four Phases of International Identity Check and Key Tips of Sourcing International Data) for additional context.  Our plan was to end the week with a detailed set of milestones and project scope for the four different projects on our plate, and after many meetings, brainstorming sessions and resourcing exercises we left with the clear sense of direction we were aiming for.

The third goal was to build out strong lines of communication and cooperation directly between the two engineering teams.  In the structure of Whitepages engineering & product, the Data Services team creates the Identity Graph and internal microservice APIs that all of our client teams, including Pro, access to develop their products.  As a result, the WP Pro dev team in Budapest constantly interacts with the products that the Data Services team creates, but until now there has been very little direct communication between the two development teams…it has mostly been through product managers.  While we have an extremely talented team of product managers, there are efficiencies with direct communication between the development teams that we were not getting.  After this trip and many hours spent together, we are much better equipped to reap these benefits and produce better products at a quicker rate.

The last, and really the most important goal was to get a little flavor of the Budapest culture, and our local colleagues are great hosts.  We were treated to some outstanding restaurants (I tripled my lifetime consumption of roast duck on this trip!), we discovered world-class Hungarian wine, we frequented Budapest’s famous ruin bars and of course we sampled, err..oversampled, Hungary’s native spirit, Palinka (ouch!)

All in all the trip was as successful as it could have possibly been.  Our teams are well set up for successfully working together, we have some big, impactful projects we’ll be delivering over the next couple of quarters and we have built great working and personal relationships that would have been impossible to replicate with Skype calls from halfway around the world.

I feel very lucky to work at a place that not only has these diverse teams but also highly encourages collaboration and learning.  It makes for a great, great place to work.

International collaboration deserves a good meal!

Recruiting Season!


Dora is a University Recruiting Coordinator at Whitepages. She helps plan our Campus Recruiting efforts and assists with all things University Recruiting related. Below is Dora’s account of the team’s recent travels to recruit the best and brightest to Whitepages!


We’re in the middle of University Recruiting season and our recruiting team has finished up the final visit for the year. This year, we visited a handful of universities searching for software engineering students for full-time and internship positions. We made trips out to Georgia Tech, University of Wisconsin Madison, UC San Diego, and the University of Washington. We had a blast meeting students and bringing the culture of Whitepages to each of these schools.

Our team was excited to meet and see all the new and familiar faces at the career fairs. At each school, we were met with students eager to take our coding challenge. No surprise, all the schools we visited are nationally ranked top Computer Science schools. There’s nothing more contagious than seeing students enthusiastically ready to tackle problems that our engineering teams here at Whitepages encounter in their normal days.

We’ll be back on campuses in the new year and want to meet you! We’ll update you in the next several weeks with where our University Recruiting team will be traveling to next.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in our full-time and internship opportunities for Software Engineers, check out our Career Page for more information about these roles.

 

Read about one of our success stories! Meet Ali – a former intern/recent grad, now a full-time employee at Whitepages!

#TeamWP: Meet Recent Grad Ali – Software Developer

 

After a successful 2016 summer internship, Ali is back with us as a full-time Software Developer with our Coresite Team! Ali is a recent grad from the University of Washington, with a degree in Informatics. Aside from doing full-stack work helping push out cool new features and bug fixes to the site, Ali has been instrumental in our recruiting events, Hackday 2017, and our Carepages affinity group. Read on to learn about Ali’s favorite things, how her new role “still feels like an internship,” and what working at Whitepages means to her.


Where do you consider your hometown to be?
Knoxville, TN

What’s the last TV show you binge-watched?
Orange is the New Black

What’s the last vacation you went on?
A month-long trip around Europe

What would your role be if there was a zombie apocalypse?
Buzzfeed told me I’d be a doctor

What’s your favorite lunch spot?
Anything poke related

What’s been the most influential piece of technology in your life so far?
My Garmin runner’s watch

What’s your favorite meme?
Anything with Grumpy Cat

Why did you choose to work for Whitepages?
Despite being comprised of small teams, Whitepages creates a big impact on its consumers. I like that Whitepages is a company that really values our consumers and that we are all able to contribute to and improve the user experience

How has the transition been from student to joining the workforce?
It still kind of feels like it’s a summer internship without a definitive end date

What are some of your day-to-day tasks you do that people may not know about?
Collaborating across teams to make sure that the changes we are making are in the best interest of all

When you’re not working at your desk, where are you in the office?
Somewhere that I can look out the window while I am thinking

What’s your go-to snack in the kitchen?
Carrots and hummus

What does being a Whitepager mean to you?
Being a Whitepager means being a part of a close-knit, hard-working team that values everyone’s input and collectively makes the business better every day

Choose one of the Whitepages values and describe how you see it at work on your team?
(Serve, Own It, Lead, Invent, Do)
Own it: Though Coresite may be the “free” part of Whitepages there are a lot of parts that we have to keep track of to keep the revenue streams at their max

Look for our Recruiting Team later this month at the University of Washington Career Fair (Oct 24)!

Want to work with Ali and the rest of the Whitepages team?

View our current job openings