Leaving Wayfair

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Last week (May 10th, 2024) was my last day at Wayfair. For those that don't know - I had been working at Wayfair since I graduated college in 2016! I often remark to others that I originally planned to only work there for like 2 years and then move back to the west coast and join a "real" tech company. But I ended up staying for 8 years! I think that's a testament to the great people I worked with and the interesting problems I got to work on.

I'll post an update about where I'm going next soon, so stay tuned!

A brief history of my time at Wayfair

2016 - Early 2017

I originally joined Wayfair as an L1 software engineer, I still vividly remember my first day because I accidentally joined the rest of the new employees that were going through what Wayfair called it's Labs program which was essentially a short bootcamp to onboard new hires to PHP and frontend web development at Wayfair. My new manager had to track me down and let me know that I didn't need to go through the program and instead could join the team for a lunch outside the office!

I started on (at the time) the PDP/Checkout/My Account frontend team. Wayfair at that time mostly split teams into a backend group and a frontend group, so I was on the frontend team. We were mostly using sass, mustache templates, and just a bit of PHP.

We didn't have a Git web UI at the time (at least not that I can remember), so we submitted diffs for code review using Reviewboard! Our deployments required manually pulling down an branch (we called them deploy trains), merging your changes into the branch, and pushing up to remote - hoping to beat everyone else trying to push their changes at the same exact time!

I bounced around for the first year to a few other teams also, joining the Wayfair Registry team to build out some of the initial web features for the registry product. I then moved over to the Wayfair Professional team to work on various B2B features across the site.

Around this time Wayfair had just started to adopt React, and I was able to start adopting it for a few Professional features on the site. Through that work I started contributing more to our internal component library at the time (I remembered contributing to it before we adopted React as well - when we were using mustache templates, and a home grown JS framework build on Backbone called Tungsten.js).

Early 2017 - 2021

I eventually lucked out and was able to move over to the component library team - which at that point in time was called the Front End Design Systems (huge shout-out to Eric for brokering the deal that let me change teams)! At the time - it was just 3 of us on the team (Eric, Rogin, and myself), all working to build and maintain a new React-based component library for everyone internally at Wayfair.

I'm so grateful to both Eric and Rogin for the opportunity to work with them on the design systems team. Together we all scaled the team to 11 engineers, and a partner design crew of 7 or so at it's height I think.

We built a ton of cool things on the team, not only 3 complete libraries of components (one for each of our internal organizations) - each with about 60+ components, but also got to tinker a ton with our internal documentation site and associated tooling around component libraries.

2021 - 2024

After a couple of years, I wanted to something a bit new and so I moved over to the Frontend Platform team. When I joined, the platform team was actually two different teams - one focused on core tooling and services for any team within Wayfair, and the other which I joined directly was focused more on Storefront (our e-commerce features and teams).

Over the time, the teams changed a bit after a few internal re-organizations and ultimately merged into a single team. While on the platform team I helped drive our adoption of Next.js, building and launching our first page on the e-commerce sites using Next.js.

Eventually also I was able to help drive the team to adopt the App Router features of Next.js, and completed that migration from Pages Router to App Router for the 10+ pages that we had migrated from our legacy tech stack over to Next.js.

Looking Back

I'm so grateful for the time I spent at Wayfair. I got to work with some amazing people, and I got to work on some really interesting problems. I still remember that when I joined Wayfair - I barely knew any JavaScript at all (literally was writing synchronous XHR for data fetching, using some bit of jQuery in my side projects at the time), hell I barely knew CSS also! Thankfully - over the years I was able to learn a ton (not just about CSS and JavaScript), but also general software development practices, many of which I've tried to distill as blog posts here.