#TeamWP: Meet Sarah – Channel Platform Manager

We’re happy to introduce Sarah, a Channel Platform Manager for the Whitepages Pro Team! Sarah joined us in 2017 and when she’s not on the road traveling for work, she holds things steady as a remote employee in the Denver, CO area.

Sarah recently penned a blog about online lending for the Whitepages Pro site. You can read that here: The Importance of Your Online Lending Decisioning Platform.

Read on to learn more about Sarah’s passion for the outdoors, her dog, and being a Whitepager. 


Where do you consider your hometown to be? 

Elkhorn, NE.  Fun fact: Very close to another small berg of Wahoo, NE.  Wahoo!

What was your very first job?

Bussing tables at a country club. The opposite of glamorous.

What’s the last TV show you binge-watched? 

Black Mirror

What do you do when you have 30 minutes of free time? 

Walk my crazy lab mix pup. (see photo below)

What’s the last vacation you went on? 

NYC and the Adirondacks with my son.

What would your role be if there was a zombie apocalypse?  

Frontline flamethrower operator.

What’s your favorite lunch spot? 

A patio in the sun.

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

The interwebz.

What’s your favorite meme?

I can’t get enough George Washington memes like this one:

Why did you choose to work for Whitepages?  

The Whitepages people and core values. This is a world-class team of innovative, passionate, smart people who are all pulling together to deliver the best solutions and service to our clients. That was clear from my first conversation and holds true today.

How long have you worked for Whitepages? 

I started in October 2017.

What are some of your day-to-day tasks you do that people may not know about? 

When I’m in my office, I do the usual things that people would expect: partner meetings/calls, emails, team collaboration, and drafting docs and presentations.

How do you describe your job to family or friends?

I tell them I work with companies to provide data and analytics solutions that help protect them from fraud losses.

When you’re not working at your desk, where might someone find you? 

On the road or in Seattle HQ.

What’s your go-to snack during the workday? 

Sugar snap peas.

What does being a Whitepager mean to you? 

Whitepages are doers. That means having a tactical plan to execute every day, that moves me closer to achieving my individual goals that map to the overall company strategy for success.

Choose one of the Whitepages values and describe how you see it at work on your team? (Serve, Own It, Lead, Invent, Do) 

I’m sticking with “Do”. Leadership sets the example and expectation that carries to every person in the organization. We celebrate our achievements, and then set our sights on the next goal and get to work. Full speed ahead!

Want to work with Sarah and the rest of the Whitepages team?
Check out our available positions!

View our current job openings

Folding@Home: Whitepages Donates Computer Power

At the end of our 2017 fiscal year, our Engineering and Infrastructure teams successfully completed a massive data migration — three months ahead of schedule! More details to come in a future post, but for now, we’re highlighting how Whitepages took all that work and donated it to a good cause. Below is a blog from Jeff, a Senior Software Engineer, on how we use idle computer servers to save lives with folding@home.


I’d like to share a side effect of this migration that I think was pretty awesome, but not very well circulated.

As we migrated services from the data center to AWS this year, the Operations team raised the question: “What do we do with the increasing number of idle servers in our data center?” I wasn’t there for this conversation, but I imagine it went something like this:

OPS: “So we have all these idle servers, what should we do with them?”

SOMEONE: “Uh… mine bitcoin?”

ACCOUNTING: “I’m not figuring out the taxes for that.”

OPS: “These servers have lots of CPUs, but all the good bitcoin mining is on graphics cards these days so that wouldn’t have worked very well anyway. Other ideas?”

SOFTWARE ENGINEER MANAGER MIKE: “Uh… cure cancer?”

OPS: “YES. THAT.”

If you’re not familiar, the folding@home project is a distributed computing project developed by Stanford to run simulations on how human proteins behave. This research goes to trying to find cures for diseases like Cancer or Alzheimer’s. These kinds of simulations require a ton of computing horsepower, and folding@home farms this work out to volunteer computers so people can donate time their computer would have otherwise been idle to help with this research.

There are several projects in this class of donating computer time to big problems if you’re interested, but folding@home is one of the oldest.

So that’s what we’ve been doing.

As we migrated services to AWS and freed up servers in the data center, we immediately put those servers back to work donating CPU time to the folding@home project. It’s personally been really fun to put some work into migrating some service, and watch as the Whitepages team ranking goes up as a result. For the last few months, we’ve been consistently in the top 20 teams worldwide in terms of donated computer power, even beating out teams with names you might recognize like “Reddit” and “Google”.

Among all the move-the-needle work we’ve been doing, I think it’s been a little under the radar, so I wanted to make sure we shared the good news.

 -Jeff W.

Here is a graph showing November’s spike in activity once we officially migrated data servers:

 


As of today, Whitepages has achieved the following two milestones:

(Note: “points” are folding@home’s attempt to normalize the fact that some Work Units are harder than others. We are currently ranked #58 out over a million teams!)

We are so proud to continue using our Data For Good and streamlining our systems to better serve our customers. Thank you to our Ops/Infrastructure and Engineering Teams for their efforts!

Join Our Team

#TeamWP: Meet Krisztián – Software Engineer

 

Our latest Employee Highlight comes from our Budapest office. Krisztián may be one of our youngest, but this smart and reliable Software Engineer brings a wealth of talent to the Whitepages Team! Here he shares his appreciation for music, online gaming, and his fellow colleagues. (And maybe a fun fact or two!)

Read on to learn more about Krisztián:

 

Where do you consider your hometown to be?

Géderlak, Bács-Kiskun megye

How long have you been with Whitepages? Why did you come to Whitepages?

More than three years already, I joined after a week of turning 19. I wanted to learn more and be the least knowledgeable person in the room so I could improve, which I couldn’t do effectively with my previous employer.

How do you describe your job to family or friends?

I make computers do what humans want for a greater good, working with a great team of smart people, improving and learning together.

What are some of your day-to-day tasks you do that people may not know about?

Bothering PM’s for extra specification when it’s missing. 🙂 Also checking the metrics of the 10+ services we maintain, to keep them in a healthy state.

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

Fruit (apples, bananas, watermelon)

What was your very first job?

At age 16 I worked as a tour guide for a Danube sightseeing company, convincing tourists (in three languages) to get on our boat to take a beautiful roundtrip on the waters of Budapest.

What does being a Whitepager mean to you?

Working with a great team on hard problems that push the boundaries of the members, while also doing a service to the people by providing information that protects their privacy and safety.

What’s the last TV show you binge-watched?

Actually, there were several: Rick & Morty, One Punch Man, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop. It was a long week. 🙂

What are you most proud of in your professional career?

There were multiple projects which I worked on that turned out to be successful that I’m proud of, but I have no favorite. If anything, I’m proud that I could develop the necessary mindset of critical, analytic thinking which gave me the drive to push myself in this field. This drive made completing all of these projects possible for me and I wouldn’t be here without it.

What’s your favorite Whitepages memory (so far)?

I always enjoy the yearly company trip, but the one in Bend, Oregon was for me the best one yet. I had tremendous fun with everyone from all three of our offices.

What do you do when you have 30 minutes of free time?

Play guitar, play a (hopefully quick) game of Dota, and browse programming related sites.

When you’re not working at your desk, where are you in the office?

On the 12th floor, playing table soccer.

What’s the last vacation you went on?

I went to the Let It Roll festival in the Czech Republic, which is the biggest drum & bass festival in Europe. One of the best experiences of my life.

What’s your favorite lunch spot?

The cafeteria we have in the building — it has a sweet spot for price, food quality, and speed.

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

Clojure (a programming language), without a doubt. It changed the way I think about software and gave me a solid vocabulary to express my ideas in a concise and elegant way.

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 – Every single one of the Pro team members here in Budapest had at least one previous experience where they put in that extra effort to get over the finish line/fix a bug that was above and beyond the expectations. We do not just write software for an employer, but really OWN these solutions, and treat them as our own responsibility to bring/keep them in a good state.

What is one fun fact that most people may not know about you?

I did parkour for three years, while also doing gymnastics. I have some fun stories regarding law enforcement, which I could tell 🙂

What do you wish people knew about Budapest?

I would like to tell people, that while we have the best nightlife in all of Europe, this doesn’t mean that you should leave your normal, civil behavior at the airport when you get here. Having said that, I would recommend LÄRM to anyone who likes deep electronic music and wants a unique experience which you cannot get elsewhere in the city.

Krisztián (far left) and some of our Seattle Team!

 

Want to work with Krisztián and the rest of the Whitepages team?
Check out our available positions in Seattle, New York, and Budapest!

View our current job openings

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