Get to Know: Alex Hsieh, Android Engineer

Alex Hsieh, Android Engineer @ Thumbtack

Alex joined Thumbtack three and half years ago as a new grad backend engineer on the Trust and Safety team and moved to the Targeting team as an Android engineer two years ago. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is usually based in San Francisco, but is currently working remotely from NYC for a month to see friends and eat some of the good food in the city.

What motivated you to join Thumbtack?

I was looking for a company that was big enough to have mentorship and well-developed processes but also small enough to where I can do impactful work, get exposure across the stack, and just learn a lot, and Thumbtack was a perfect fit. I was also looking for a company that had real, positive impact on people’s lives, and I really resonated with Thumbtack’s mission to make it easier for pros to do life’s work with joy and purpose by making it easier to find their customers.

How has Thumbtack enabled and supported your career growth?

About 2 years ago, Thumbtack was growing the iOS and Android teams and encouraged engineers to switch to native, with or without prior experience. I was one of a handful of engineers to make the transition and I ended up changing roles and teams at the same time, which was intimidating, but I’m so glad I did it. There was so much support from my manager and I was offered resources like books and boot camps to help me onboard onto Android and my new team. I felt supported throughout the process and felt that Thumbtack really had my best interest in mind. Now I’m developing my mentoring skills by paying it forward and onboarding a new backend-turned-Android engineer on my team.

Do you participate in Make Week? If so, what are some projects you’ve worked on?

Make Week is such a fun time and I love the opportunity to collaborate with people you normally don’t work closely with. A few years ago I worked on a project called message intent classification with a group of designers, data scientists and engineers. The idea is that we could train a model to predict the intent of the customer given their message to the pro and use that intent to help the customer with the next step. For example, if a customer sent a message like “great, does Thursday work?” we would show a booking flow to schedule a call with the pro on Thursday. Conversely if the customer found the pro wasn’t the right fit and let them know, we would show a list of other pros who are a good match for their project to contact next.

From your perspective, what does the future of Thumbtack look like?

I’m really excited by the long term vision for Thumbtack and the products we’re building. I imagine Thumbtack as being the one stop shop for homeowners to keep tabs on everything about their home maintenance and improvements. Thumbtack would keep records of types of jobs done (e.g. annual chimney cleaning) and send reminders for seasonal maintenance, at the right time.

What do you love to do outside of work? (Hobbies, TV shows, books, video games, etc)

I like to play basketball, read, and travel to enjoy the great food in all corners of the world.

What kind of projects have you used your TT bucks for?

I’ve used it for so many different categories! I’ve had fireplace installers, electricians, massage therapists, house cleaners, plumbers, and movers. Next month I’m planning on reaching out to a floor installation pro to replace the tiling on my kitchen floor. I’m super excited!

Glossary

TT Bucks: Full time US employees are allocated a certain amount of money every year to be used with pros on our platform as a way to bring us closer to our product and then share feedback directly with our product teams.

Make Week: Make Week is Thumbtack’s annual week-long hackathon. It’s an innovative week, spawning impressive projects that improve our technology and push forward our vision.

About Thumbtack

Thumbtack (www.thumbtack.com) is a local services marketplace where customers find and hire skilled professionals. Our app intelligently matches customers to electricians, landscapers, photographers and more with the right expertise, availability, and pricing. Headquartered in San Francisco, Thumbtack has raised more than $400 million from Baillie Gifford, Capital G, Javelin Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Tiger Global Management among others.

Stories from the Engineering team at Thumbtack

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Thumbtack Engineering

Thumbtack Engineering

We're the builders behind Thumbtack - an online marketplace that matches customers with local professionals to accomplish their projects.

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