Cristián Sepúlveda, Senior Software Engineering Manager, was Uber’s first Grocery software engineer hired in Chile. Today, he is an Engineering Site Lead and is helping to build and scale the global Grocery project.
What’s the most exciting thing about working with a Global team?
“The scope of the work we do. We create systems and platforms that bring to life apps used in dozens of countries on every continent. In addition to the scope, usage, and impact is extremely high. Uber users rely on our apps in their daily life to move around, get food, send packages, and so much more. This gives everyone at Uber the chance to have an incredible global impact!”
What was your recruiting process like at Uber?
“Challenging and enriching. The preparation for the process allowed me to reflect and deeply analyze my past experiences from the perspective of building something on a large scale. I had six interviews, plus additional conversations with Uber leaders who had a lot of experience both in the industry and at Uber, including some who had been with the company for more than seven years! There were several weeks between the first contact and getting an offer, and that gave me the space to resolve any doubts and to be clear about what my next steps would be upon joining.”
What made you decide to join Uber?
“I think it’s a unique opportunity to have one of the largest and most iconic Silicon Valley companies expanding its global team in Chile by incorporating one of the most successful startups from Chile, so it’s not something that I think will happen very often in the future. Also, my personal experience of working in Silicon Valley allowed me to act as a bridge and facilitate that expansion, contributing to keeping it going in the right direction. That’s why I saw it as a special fit and a challenge I couldn’t pass up.”
What are the most interesting technical challenges you’ve had?
“It’s the sum of building, migrating, and scaling a whole new merchandise delivery experience within Uber Eats combined with the great service that Cornershop provides to its customers that translates to a much larger, global scale. The use case of merchandise delivery presents different complexities to the case of Restaurant delivery, and that requires new systems to which we’ve had to migrate to support much larger catalogs, synchronized at high frequency with our affiliated merchants, and with a more flexible and sophisticated data model.”
What advice would you give to someone interested in joining Uber?
“Prepare yourself really well for the interview process. Don’t only brush up on your ability to understand problems and create software solutions for them, but also your ability to design large-scale systems. For that, it’s crucial to understand how to distribute loads, how to store information to optimize it for your reading and writing cases, etc. Be very clear about the scalability challenges you had in your past experiences and how you solved them, what metrics were observed, and how they were measured.”
How does your role at Uber differ from previous career experiences?
“In this industry, I’ve had the opportunity to work in companies at various stages of evolution, from early-stage startups to companies with more than 15 years on the market. I have worked at companies that deliver 100% of their value in the digital world, and at others that connect the digital world with real-world operations. Uber is the unique combination of high-level, real-world operation, and market maturity, and still on a trajectory of growth and innovation.”
How would you describe the culture at Uber?
“Uber’s values are constantly reinforced and vocalized, and they seek to push us to be autonomous, critical, and give our best every day.”
What’s most rewarding about your work?
“Being able to contribute to building global platforms outside of just Chile and Latin America. If we achieve this, it’ll open up the possibility of having more high-quality jobs on a global scale for professionals in the region, and being a part of that expansion is extremely rewarding.”
What is your most ordered Grocery item?
“Bread! I can’t live without it.”
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