Getting to Know Greg Leffler
January 13, 2017
LinkedIn wouldn't be the company it is today without the engineers who built it. We have no shortage of talented individuals in technical roles across the company. They are the ones who create, build, and maintain our platform, tools, and features—as well as write posts for this blog. In this series, we feature some of the people and personalities that make LinkedIn great.
Greg Leffler works on the editorial team in New York City, and is responsible for LinkedIn’s news coverage and curating content for Software Engineers. Before he took on this role, he was a Senior Manager for the Site Reliability Engineering team, and was also in charge of the interviewing process for SREs. Greg started at LinkedIn in 2012 as an SRE, and since then has supported nearly every part of the site, from traffic management to our backend data stores to address book import.
Greg went to the University of Louisville and then earned a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University. His first engineering job was at eBay in San Francisco, then he moved to LinkedIn and has been here ever since.
I made friends with a robot with a rainbow afro, because that’s what you do in Japan
What are some of the coolest projects that you and your team have been working on?
We have some really exciting changes to the desktop experience and to how we find and get content in front of our members that you’ll be able to see very soon. Those changes include new ways to see extremely tailored content about niche topics. We’ll be the source for professional news, even in deeply technical areas.
What other projects are you involved in outside of your work on the editorial team?
In addition to writing content and to scouring the web for good stuff, I also help edit the Engineering Blog you’re reading now. Since I was previously an engineer and am now an editor, it was a pretty natural fit. I also work to help maintain the R&D culture in the New York office, making sure that engineers and product people feel connected to headquarters and that we have similarly-awesome activities to bring us together.
What are your favorite kinds of engineering stories to read on the blog?
I like stories that focus on solving a problem and explaining how it was done, with examples. I love reading incident postmortems or reading about infrastructure scaling and growth. One of my recent favorites is the “Every Day is Monday in Operations” series, mainly because I felt like I was sharing in the story and learning about the challenges for the first time.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Figuring out what people want to read now, and—more importantly—will want to read in the future. I try to produce at least one long-form piece a week, and sometimes thinking about what will be the hot topic or what will get engineers talking takes a lot more time than I’d expect!
Compared to other places you've worked, how do you like working at LinkedIn?
I like working at LinkedIn because many of the leaders embrace our value of taking intelligent risks—my move to New York, my promotion to management, and my most recent career change to editorial were all intelligent risks that ultimately made LinkedIn more successful. At other places where I’ve worked, I feel like these things would have been more difficult or impossible to have happen, but here it seemed like we all agreed it was a logical move and it was done.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not at the office?
Traveling and travel hacking. I optimize points, miles, signup offers, and all that kind of stuff to take trips. I recently took a month off to take an Alaskan cruise and a trip to Japan, and I didn’t spend nearly as much money as you’d think to do those things. I also have written modules for my home automation system so that I get Telegram messages when things happen at home and so that I can control my house via the bot.
What’s something about you not found on your LinkedIn profile?
In keeping with the traveling mention above, I’ve flown enough miles to have flown to the moon (at perigee).