The tech industry has been one of the fastest growing and changing industries of our time. There are challenges that come with that, but if you embrace them it gives you constant opportunities to learn and give back. Candice Savino - Senior Director of Engineering, Groupon
Candice Savino has achieved a position of leadership and respect, as well as a reputation for diversity advocacy in the tech industry. Throughout her career she has overcome any obstacles that came her way, growing as an engineer and a person with each achievement and success. This is a path that she set out on early, led by a childhood fascination with a present that her parents brought home one evening. In her own words:
My parents purchased our family an old PC when I was in high school. I was fascinated by it and would spend countless hours in the basement exploring what it could do. It’s around that time I went to a programming class at my high school. I was hooked from there.
After High School Candice went on to receive a BS in Computer Science from DePaul University. She then entered the industry, holding engineering positions at several companies before she made her way to Groupon. There she rose up the ranks, attaining a series of promotions within the organization until she achieved the role of Senior Director of Engineering.
Candice ascribes a lot of her success to a willingness to take on challenges that seemed daunting at first. She describes her philosophy saying,
You learn the most when you put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Say yes to opportunities that scare you and you will learn a lot in the process. Never settle for plateauing in your career.
At Groupon, Candice has had a chance to be part of a number of exciting initiatives that have had a major impact on the entire company. She described a recent experience,
A project our Consumer Web org worked on was a complete redesign of the Groupon mobile touch experience. It involved 10 different dev teams and multiple product/design teams. It was a great success for the business and it was very satisfying to improve the UX of a component that's frequently used by our customers.
While excelling in her career, Candice has worked to promote diversity and inclusive practices in the tech industry. At Groupon she has been an advocate for maternity / paternity benefits, and has helped to recruit diverse talent by attending and interviewing at the Grace Hopper Conference for the past four years. She also mentors women early in their careers, and has volunteered at Girls Who Code for the past two years as a workshop leader and panelist.
In addition to promoting diversity, Candice is also passionate about helping people in disadvantaged situations using the power of innovation. She described her opinion on this saying,
If you look at the percentage of money/resources that go into making products/services for first world countries you realize that the majority of the world’s population are not benefiting from the great strides we’ve made. More focus on helping those most in need with technology is something I’d like to see more of in the tech industry.
She went on to cite the work being done by Liandra Bassiane and Charlene Tshitoka from ThoughtWorks to address health concerns in Africa, as well as the United States Digital Service which was co-founded by Haley Van Dyck.
When asked what advice she had for people just getting into the tech industry, Candice said,
Regardless of the situation, you are never powerless. You always have the power to impact or change something that’s not conducive to you or those around you.