Houzzer Profile: Johnny Zarate, Engineering
Johnny is a software engineer, based in Santa Monica. As part of Houzz’s consumer experience marketplace team, Johnny focuses on providing people the best experience while shopping on Houzz. When Johnny isn’t working, he’s typically adventuring with his 10-year-old son, Adrian, trying new restaurants, riding his motorcycle or practicing martial arts.
Why did you decide to become an engineer?
As a kid, I wanted to work in technology, but wasn’t sure in what capacity. My uncle, and role model, is an engineer/product manager so I aspired to have a similar job. In college, I took my first intro to programming course and fell in love with it! I thrive on working through challenges and like being able to see the work I’ve produced.
How did you originally hear about Houzz?
In 2015, I was looking for ideas for my own home, which I had recently purchased, and utilized Houzz. When a recruiter reached out about an engineering role in the Santa Monica office, I was already familiar with the platform and said yes!
What do you most enjoy about your role at Houzz?
I like working on something that directly influences the way people browse and purchase items from the Houzz Shop, and that my contributions have a positive impact on both our users and Houzz as a company.
How do you work with other teams at Houzz?
Houzz has a collaborative work environment and I work very closely with the other engineers in Santa Monica. Depending on the project, I often work with product managers and members of the design team based in Palo Alto, as well.
What is something that has surprised you about working at Houzz?
Considering the size of the company, I was pleasantly surprised at how accessible people are and how easy it is to get help or support from other team members.
What advice do you have for others looking to start a career in engineering?
My advice would be to work on your communication skills. As an engineer you are constantly communicating with others, both in technical and non-technical terms. The ability to share your thoughts effectively will take you far in this industry.