Career stories: Rejoining LinkedIn to scale our media infrastructure
September 6, 2022
Originally from Argentina, systems & infrastructure engineering leader Federico was a founding member of the Media Infrastructure team in 2015. Now based in Bellevue, Wash., Federico shares how his supportive mentor, LinkedIn’s “sweet spot” scale, and the distinctive engineering challenges here ultimately brought him back to LinkedIn in 2019.
My love for engineering started in my home country of Argentina. After working as an engineer in a corporate setting for a few years, I decided to start my own company focused on custom software development. I loved the interesting problems I could solve every day for my clients, but I was searching for greater economic opportunities in the U.S., where most of my clients were based. After working as a contractor for YouTube, I found my passion for media and engineering of video systems.
Joining and rejoining LinkedIn
When LinkedIn reached out to me with an opportunity to build their video platform in 2015, I jumped at the chance. It was thrilling to join LinkedIn at a time when we launching in-feed video. What originally started as a team of two grew to nine people, and that’s when LinkedIn began training me to step into my first management role for the Media Infrastructure team.
After growing in my management position for a few years, I left LinkedIn for an opportunity working on larger scale systems. But I quickly became burned out and missed my original role as an individual contributor at LinkedIn. My previous manager at LinkedIn was so supportive. I was offered a role as a technical architect (i.e., Senior Staff) for the Media Infrastructure team, which allowed me to return to LinkedIn with new technical knowledge, and the same passion for my work.
Making the move to a new LinkedIn home base
Once our team had grown to almost 40 people, we reached the point at which it made sense to look for additional engineering talent outside the San Francisco Bay and New York City areas. It is challenging to find engineers in the media domain since very few companies are doing what LinkedIn does at scale. That’s when we started considering the next office location as an opportunity to bring in more talent.
Ultimately, we decided on Bellevue, Washington. After eight years in the Bay Area, I was ready for a move, and Bellevue was the right fit for my wife and me for many reasons. For example, many of the media companies we partnered with had a strong engineering presence in Seattle. Our driving motivation was to spearhead the company culture and to build an identity for a new LinkedIn office. The Bellevue office just turned one year old and we have been able to build a thriving engineering community here that’s growing quickly.
Taking ownership and giving back
In my current role as a Principal Staff Software Engineer, I love that I can mix the technical side of engineering with driving the strategic and product roadmap for my organization.
As an infrastructure engineer, there’s a sweet spot here between the scale of your work and the size of your engineering team at LinkedIn. We have relatively small teams tackling very large problems in complex technical domains. This creates great opportunities for individual ownership over a significant engineering problem on a large scale. We have space to get involved and truly make a difference instead of simply being a cog in a wheel.
Throughout my time in Silicon Valley, so many mentors were instrumental in shaping my career. As I’ve grown, I’ve tried to prioritize paying it forward by mentoring my team and other engineers at LinkedIn. Relationships matter, especially at LinkedIn. Building your network is a really core value here, because we thrive on connections.
Based in Bellevue, Washington, Federico is a Principal Staff Systems & Infrastructure Engineer on the Media Infrastructure team. Prior to his time at LinkedIn, Federico’s engineering career led him from launching his own software development company, ESTUDIO42, to software engineering roles at YouTube and Instagram. Federico holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Tucuman in Argentina. Outside of work, Federico enjoys traveling with his wife, cooking, visiting shuttle expeditions, and mixing music.
Editor’s note: Considering an engineering/tech career at LinkedIn? In this Career Stories series, you’ll hear first-hand from our engineers and technologists about real life at LinkedIn — including our meaningful work, collaborative culture, and transformational growth. For more on tech careers at LinkedIn, visit: lnkd.in/EngCareers.