eBay’s Verticals team is one of the most dynamic ones at the company, with team members focused on advancing individual categories such as Motors and Fashion. There is substantial technology infrastructure behind the Verticals, and Harita Yenisetty is one of the key managers of engineers working on them. Harita, a 10-year eBay veteran, also helped launch eBay Live Auctions last year.
We caught up with her for a discussion on what she does at eBay. Here are her thoughts.
What got you interested in the technology sector and brought you to eBay?
eBay is a fantastic ecommerce platform that touches the lives of millions of people. Aside from the human connection that it fosters, the state-of-the-art technologies used here were a big draw for me. I’ve always been interested in technology. I will never forget the success of my first C program. Over time knowing that I build products that people depend on and use every day has been very satisfying.
What are you working on that is helping to fuel eBay’s business?
We launched live auctions late last year. With live auctions, eBay shoppers now have access to exclusive auction merchandise previously only available to those bidding in person on the auction room floor. I played an integral role in delivering these auctions.
Building an online experience that enables online customers to compete against customers at the physical auctions poses challenges with respect to latency. We were able to prototype what we created by using various technologies, including RabbitMQ, ZeroMQ, Redis, Kafka, and SSE. We leveraged some open source technologies as well. We integrated everything into the core eBay platform to make the experience seamless.
With great collaboration across multiple teams within eBay, and our partners, including Invaluable and Sothebys, we were able to launch Live Auctions very successfully.
How do you embody eBay’s purpose and values through your role?
I truly believe in being the customer. As has been said, you need to love food to be a good cook. I buy and sell on eBay and use it every day. My team is passionate about multi-screen experiences, and really fond of quickly prototyping to see experiences across multiple devices.
A couple of engineers from my team built an Android mobile and wearable app for live bidding. We innovated with it, using various technologies and trying to simplify the experiences. We argue and debate and finally decide on the best solution that helps provide the best experience for our users.
What's the best career advice you've received and how has it helped you develop your career in technology?
The best career advice that I received was to pursue something that you are really passionate about. I got this advice when I was a fresh graduate out of college. There were numerous opportunities, and figuring out what my passion was was a tough challenge. I made choices as a rookie and learned through them what I was passionate about.
In this era of technology, it is extremely important to keep up-to-date. Having multiple mentors is helpful. Everyone has something unique to offer.
Always try to take on at least one new challenge that you think is difficult. Be ready to accept the fact that you might not be successful on your first attempt. Success finds its way.