Duolingo engineers get to work on a variety of high-impact projects on a global scale every single day. Here is a peek into one of these complicated but exciting projects: our New Year’s Promotion.
The New Year’s Promotion is a limited-time discount on Duolingo’s subscription product, Super Duolingo. We run the promotion on Android, iOS, and Web around the New Year’s holiday in order to support our learners’ resolutions.
For the last 2 years, I have been the engineering lead and a full-stack developer on the team responsible for launching the promotion. A project like this is a great example of how Duolingo helps engineers develop essential technical skills, creates opportunities for leadership within engineering, and encourages growth toward each Duo’s personal goals. Here is a look at how this project maps to each!
1. Engineers learn useful and transferable technical skills
When a project has a very wide scope like the New Year’s Promotion, there are tons of technical details to tackle. From building and load-testing the backend infrastructure, to SKU creation and resolution, to creating responsive UI, the opportunities to develop technical skills within this project are plentiful.
Additionally, the promotion is one of many examples of Duolingo’s use of A/B tests, as we build, test, and analyze several A/B tests to optimize the experience. This means engineers can work on interesting problems and directly see the impact of their work.
2. Engineers can lead projects, manage timelines, and make important decisions
Outside of technical work, projects like this provide many opportunities to expand soft skills as well. Engineers at Duolingo play a role in the entire product lifecycle—for example, engineers give important feedback during the design and planning phase of large projects. This allows them to ensure timely delivery and to communicate with other Duos across roles. On this project, I gave feedback on early designs to make sure we had feasible ideas, and I used takeaways from these conversations to prioritize the work appropriately and set implementation goals.
Leadership is a highly-valued skill at Duolingo, and that applies to engineers as well. In leading regular meetings like stand-ups, overseeing the team and its progress, giving presentations, and managing stakeholders, project leaders gain plenty of experience and are able to demonstrate their abilities.
3. Engineers can advance toward personal development goals
One of my personal favorite things about this project is that engineers at all levels can work on it. I am relatively early in my career, and the opportunity to lead such an important project has been incredibly valuable in my growth as a well-rounded engineer. Both senior-level and entry-level engineers on the team use this project to sharpen their technical and soft skills and develop their careers.
The New Year’s Promotion is a good example of the high-impact work we do at Duolingo, and there are plenty of other fun and high-visibility projects happening across the company! This culture is just one reason that Duolingo is an excellent place for software engineers looking to grow in their careers—and we’re hiring! Check out our available positions, learn more about our interview process, and apply to join our team.