Hey, Daniel ‘Kez’ 👋 Do you want to give a quick introduction to yourself and tell us a little bit about your time at Klaviyo?
I joined Klaviyo 5 years ago. When looking for this next role, it was key to me that the company I joined would have strong technical leadership and a great culture. I can confidently say Klaviyo has both and we’ve been thoughtful as we’ve grown not to lose what at its core makes Klaviyo a great place to work.
Presently I help lead 6 engineering teams at Klaviyo from our content creation experiences (Email, SMS, Signup Forms), customer onboarding and information architecture, and frontend platform inclusive of our component library and internationalization efforts.
It has been an exciting journey! I’ve had opportunities to develop products across all of Klaviyo and the stack. From building complex drag and drop editors, scaling our event processing pipeline, to scaffolding infrastructure patterns that are now used across the company. Klaviyo has been an amazing place to grow technically and also as a leader.
If an engineer was looking to join Klaviyo’s UK Internationalism team, what would you tell them?
Today, Klaviyo is at an inflection point. We have a rapidly growing product that has found an excellent product-market fit not only in the US but also internationally in many distinct markets. We believe that bringing a localized experience to these markets where we are already growing quickly will accelerate the business materially while also creating a product experience that our customers deserve.
The internationalization team is one of a few key teams we’ve chosen to seed our new London engineering hub. The scope of this platform and project is massive and there are many paths for professional growth. The team will build the foundation of all current and future product development at Klaviyo. We are establishing a platform, and if having an impact across R&D as well as the greater business is something you are looking for this could be the role for you.
Can you share what kinds of projects the team will be working on (if you’re allowed!)?
There are multiple approaches when considering the internationalization of a SaaS product. We are taking a platform and tooling-based approach to enable engineering at large to integrate.
We are looking to leverage react-i18next with strongly typed translation keys that create a great development experience. An idea under discussion is how we can leverage machine translation during development builds to enable fast iteration to enable teams to understand layout shifts and other challenges during their build processes. We want to balance product development speed with a great customer experience.
What values does Klaviyo look for in their engineers and why do you think they’re important?
The cop-out answer is to say all of them and in many ways that is true. If I had to focus on two, it would be “remarkable” and “collaborate radically”.
Remarkable engineers are those that focus on quality-of-work, and then learn how to do it faster, and more efficiently. They are meticulous and high-performing. They know the “why” behind each problem and inspire others through their actions.
This is balanced with being humble and transparent. We have a strict “no brilliant jerks” policy. Collaborative engineers who have strong opinions and proactively seek feedback. No task is below us, we can upgrade a dependency or architect a greenfield system.
What’s life like working at Klaviyo and is there anything that makes it different to work there?
Instead of focusing on a single technology, I really enjoy the way we evolve our tech stack. We stole the idea of request for comment (RFC) proposals from the open-source community early on. These documents are fairly straightforward: a problem statement, proposed solution, alternatives considered, risks and roll out, open questions. All of these documents are internally public.
This process has been a key component of our success and is notably different from many other companies. It’s not only the action of writing but the way we approach and discuss challenges from a technical and non-political perspective. The sense of ownership it fosters and how it can rapidly grow engineers through thoughtful technical discourse is really amazing to see.
A real story: There was a co-op a couple of years ago who wrote a series of RFCs on our approach to deploying certain services on Kubernetes. The arguments and proposed approaches were very thoughtful leading to the team adopting aspects to their roadmaps extending that engineers impact well past their limited co-op time. Great ideas grounded in technical reasoning can come from any part of the organization.
Beyond that, the people we have here are genuinely some of the best I’ve had the opportunity to work with. I mean this both technically and also as just human beings. People at Klaviyo are thoughtful, intelligent, humble, and remarkable. Over the last five years, I’ve learned so much from Klaviyos and call many of them friends. I would not have stayed for five years without the culture and the community we’ve built here. Here’s to many more!
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