At Duolingo, we pride ourselves on hiring individuals who are passionate about our mission and want to use their expertise to change the world for the better. To give you a peek into what it’s like working for Duolingo, we’ve asked our team members to share more about their experience at the company! Today, meet Franziska, an Operations Engineer!
What’s your background and what did you do before Duolingo?
In my last role before Duolingo, I was actually working as a security engineer! I find security to be a super interesting field. I am now working as an operations engineer, but there is a lot of overlap between the roles across cloud and cloud security. Before that, I worked as a backend developer and platform engineer, and have a Masters degree in Computer Science. My focus has been on platform engineering and cloud development: essentially, building tools and services to empower other engineers to deploy, run and monitor their code in the cloud.
Why did you choose Duolingo?
Just before joining, I was taking a breather from work. I was enjoying the free time and decided to pick up my Spanish in an intensive class for a couple of weeks. To supplement my learning, I listened to the Duolingo Spanish podcast and downloaded the app as well. I decided to browse the jobs page—not knowing there was any presence in Europe—they happened to be hiring for a role that matched really well in my city, Berlin! So I applied.. and well, it worked out!
I was really excited about Duolingo’s mission. In my last job, I was in the financial industry, a domain I was less interested in, so I was excited to be working on a product that people love to use, and that helps people.
Another reason I chose Duolingo was the stellar interviewing process. My recruiter was so friendly and welcoming, and my interview panel included multiple senior women in engineering, which was exciting for me.
What team do you work on? What excites you about what your team is doing?
At Duolingo, I’m part of the CloudOps team which maintains our cloud infrastructure on AWS. I currently lead a project to restructure the way we organize our AWS accounts. I love that this project gets me to think about and interact with a lot of different teams at Duolingo: Security, DevInfra, Observability, and of course, our product teams. I also really enjoy the balance of doing technical planning at both a high and low level—what will we be achieving in 6 or 9 months? Where do we want our cloud platform to be in a year?—as well as digging into the low-level code when there is a bug.
What are three words that describe Duolingo’s culture?
Curious, kind, and fun!
What do you think someone needs to be successful at Duolingo?
Early on when I joined, I was told to expect that some processes are really well thought through and mature, and others… well, just don’t exist yet! This has been true, and I think to be successful at Duolingo you have to be open to forging new paths and defining new structures, especially if you’re joining a newer team.
What is your favorite feature on Duolingo?
I am a big fan of the Duolingo podcasts. As I mentioned earlier, I listened to the Duolingo Spanish Podcast long before using the app, and still listen to it as a full-time Duo!