Acquisition Squad @ SpotHero

Squad Mission Statement

Help those with a parking need find SpotHero and confidently make their first purchase.

Squad Values

  • Foster an environment of psychological safety 
  • Iteration – always try to build upon past learnings
  • Always be willing to try new/unfamiliar things, knowing you can ask for and receive support
  • Don’t be afraid of failure
  • Welcome partnerships with other teams
  • Consider Google/SEO as a user
  • #DontGetStuckInTraffic (for example, If you’re stuck on a problem for one day signal for help)

What Technology Are We Using

Our Front End Stack: Frontend consists of a Server Side Rendered React Page App and a statically generated NextJs App. We build in React/Redux, Sass, Jest/React Testing Library/Cypress, Playwright for E2E testing, and Webpack. We support WordPress while migrating to Prismic as our primary Content Management System.  We maintain a private npm repository with shareable UI components, utility functions, Babel/ESLint/Prettier configurations, and custom tasks.

Our Back End Stack: Monolith using Django/Python/PostgreSQL. We are moving our Monolith to a Modular Monolith, using Domain Driven Design. We also use Docker, deploy our apps via Kubernetes. We use Kafka for asynchronous-, and gRPC for synchronous service-to-service communication.

Productivity Stack: GSuite, Confluence, Jira, Zoom, Slack

Past Successes

When our squad first formed in late 2020, SpotHero was experiencing lower traffic due to Covid along with a decrease in budget and team size. Because of this, there was a unique opportunity to shift more focus to building scalable systems for our Marketing team members that support long-term success. As event and travel traffic has come back – better and higher than ever, we’ve starting to really see our work pay off!

Below are a few of our past projects:

  • Improved Partnerships Platform
    • By moving our partnership tracking and attribution from in house to a third party system, we were able to not only save our internal teams time, but we were able to add features like cross platform attribution & real time external dashboards that have unlocked our ability to close and support major national partnerships deals with pro sports and theaters.
  • SEO Infrastructure
    • The investments we’ve made in our technical SEO infrastructure to improve page performance and increase scalability have been crucial to SpotHero’s long term acquisition strategy. More visibility on google searches means more new users at zero incremental cost to the company. 
  • Migration to a Headless Content Management System
    • By leading the migration to a new headless CMS, Prismic, we are able to empower business teams to directly build, manage, and edit new and existing pages. This helps us dramatically reduce engineering, design, and content creation time and increases the quantity and quality of our content.
  • Scan2Pay Alpha Experience
    • Our custom Scan2Pay Web user experience flow unlocks the ability to expand our SpotHero drive-up parking footprint and provides the functionality & tracking needed to make future improvements. 

Introducing The Squad….

Name: Claire Giovanoni

Role: Product Designer

Claire was born and raised in St. Louis, but she also claims a bit of home in the Pacific Northwest, where her family has since moved. As a “people person”, Claire is compelled by true stories. At the University of Missouri, she studied English with an emphasis in nonfiction writing. This passion for understanding and exploring the human experience led her down a (winding) path to UX. Claire enjoys taking the stories of users and using them to make products that solve everyday problems.

What I Do for Fun: fitness, reading, travel, reality television, spending time with friends and family.

Fun Fact: I am weirdly good at remembering peoples’ birthdays and specific dates. 

Name: Demonze Spruiel-Rose 

Role: Senior Level 2 Support Engineer II

Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, Demonze received his degree in Media Management from Columbia College Chicago. He worked for one of the first independent music companies in the country after college to partner with Apple on something you may have heard of… iTunes! I arrived at SpotHero in 2018 to became our first Level Two Support Engineer. In my role I am the bridge between multiple Engineering teams and our Hero department, where I triage and report bugs on our mobile app and website. I also support our QA Engineers in a backup role. 

What I Do for Fun

Traveling, weight lifting, watching/listening to politics based shows, reading comic books, watching comic book movies, and enjoying family time.

Fun Fact:  I was almost ran over by Bear’s Tight End Martellus Bennett at a Chicago Bears practice.

Name: Gru Singh

Role: Senior Frontend Engineer II

Gru was born in a small town in Punjab province of north India. He currently lives in Ontario, Canada with his lovely wife and two kids. He did his Master degree in Software Engg and Human Computer Interaction with distinction from University of Reading, England. Gru is passionate about quality and test automation and has helped teams deliver features with confidence. When he is not working he enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and spending time with his family.

What I Do for Fun

Nature walks, cooking, reading, house keeping, outdoor gardening

Fun Fact: 

I was in regional (Punjab, India) print and TV news for my college project to localize Linux in native Punjabi language.

Name: Igor Polynets

Role: Backend Engineer III

Igor was born and raised in the west of Ukraine in the beautiful mountain area of Transcarpatia. He received his Master Degree in Physics in Uzhgorod National University. Right now, Igor lives in Oakville, Ontario with his amazing wife Anna, 5 years old daughter Mary and 3 year old son Evan. Igor thrives in environments where there is strong genuine connection between team members. Other interests of Igor are meditation, running, reading books, and recently studying all about cryptocurrencies and specifically DAO’s.

What I Do for Fun

Listening audiobooks, podcasts. Running, yoga and other ecstatic practices. Experimenting with fermented food (Kombucha, Kimchi, Natto, Sauerkraut etc). Spending time with 5 and 3 years old kids. 

Fun Fact:  

I used to do 3d graphic animation, took part in production of a fairly popular cartoon in Ukraine called Alik and Lyolik.

Name: Kate Owens

Role: Senior Product Manager

Born in Chicago, Kate lived in St. Louis, Omaha, Eastern Shore Maryland, and Florence, Italy before returning to her Chicago roots. Her combination of creative and analytic skills led her to Washington University in St. Louis where she studied both Fine Arts (Sculpture) and Business (Marketing). Her innate drive to learn and desire to be part of an entrepreneurial culture, brought her to SpotHero where she still resides nearly a decade later. In addition to fueling her nonstop curiosities, Kate is passionate about creating that kind of positive, memorable experience that makes both SpotHero customers’ and employees’ days just a little bit better. When not at work, Kate can be found watercolor painting at a local studio or teaching herself other random – not entirely useful – new skills via YouTube.

What I Do for Fun

Live figure drawing/watercoloring, yoga & meditation, trying new foods, watching cooking YouTube videos while I eat food that I definitely did not cook myself, reading, being anywhere on/near large bodies of water, spending time with close friends and family

Fun Fact: 

I once created a miniature replica of Florence, Italy out of leftover bread and filmed pigeons devouring it.

Name: Max Rashes

Role: Senior Frontend Engineer I

On a snowy day in an Ann Arbor Michigan Hospital, a baby cried.  Max, the man you read about before you.  His degree may have been in communications but after being a coal mine tour guide for a few years, he needed a change.  Max taught himself how to code, then went to a bootcamp so he could work with people and get industry experience.  He loves talking about his and others work – showing it off and breaking it!

What I Do for Fun

Making stuff (wood turning, 3d printing, laser cutting), playing on my switch, baking (scones, pizza dough), going on bike rides

Fun Fact: 

One time I was volunteering at a Robotics competition and I rescued a baby that fell from the second floor of the gym to the first.  No big deal.

Name: Nathan Caraker

Role: Frontend Engineer III

Born and raised in Frederick Maryland, Nathan received his B.A. from The University Of Maryland, Baltimore County where he majored in Visual Arts with a focus in Graphic Design. During his time as a Visual Designer, Nathan discovered his passion for Web Development. Since the summer of 2020 he has been working as a Front End Engineer. In his free time, Nathan is an avid tinkerer, with anything car, music, or technology related.

What I Do for Fun

Playing in garage bands, (amateur) music production, playing video games, cooking, and tinkering with cars.

Fun Fact: 

While working as a lifeguard at a Boy Scout camp, I competed in the mile swim event multiple times, each time placing in at least 3rd place.

Name: Robb Robins

Role: Agile Coach

I came to technology from a background in the humanities (including philosophy, english literature, music, and psychology) and am finding new ways of applying these disciplines to my work. Originally from northern Wisconsin, my family (wife, Meghan; daughter, Margot; sons, Julien and Simeon) live in the western suburbs of Chicago.

What I Do for Fun:

  • Hiking with my family! Every year we try to do something more challenging during our summer vacation
  • Coffee: drinking it, brewing it, roasting it, sharing it
  • I love running, biking, lifting, and being in the woods as much as I can

Fun Fact:

Throughout middle school and high school, my foot size matched my age until I was 16 years old

Name: Robert Stewart

Role: Engineering Manager

Robert was born and raised in Jackson, MS. After graduating from Jackson State University with a Bachelors in Computer Science (same college as Chicago’s beloved Walter Payton), he left the nest and moved to the Chicagoland area to begin life as an adult. Robert is married to his wonderful wife of 19 years and has 2 kids. When he can find time to get away, Robert is either on a golf course or a lake with fishing pole in hand.

What I Do for Fun

Enjoying time with the family, following the kids’ many volleyball tournaments, fishing, golf, basketball, cooking (on grill and smoker), video games, Packers, Lakers and White Sox Fan!

Fun Fact: 

In college, I had a pet ball python named Eve.

Interested in joining SpotHero?

Check out our careers page

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