Anastasia Santasheva


Growth Engineer, May 2015 - August 2015

Ana's Desk at 500px. While taking this photo a coworker commented 'you do know that they've added the screenshot feature to Macs, right?'

I took up working at 500px as a Product Manager to finally try my hand at what I had been aspiring for for so long - I wanted all my development experience to culminate in technical insight as a Product Manager. I loved being able to debate the next steps for the company and application as a whole, and being able to detach myself from the implementation details and dream of grandiose features.

Despite this, a lot of the time I still loved coming back to development. My role cumulated into Growth Engineering - engineering with a focus on customer retention, monetization, notifications with many, many data-driven decisions. To accomplish these feats, I worked closely with product management team and attended product offsites about 500px's 6 month, 1 year and 5 year goals. Simultaneously, I did a lot of development. During my term I took up product planning for 500px's notification system as a whole. I created an overview of 500px's existing 144 different types of notifications across three platforms (web, mobile, email). I worked in collaboration with the Marketing, Product and Customer Excellence to determine which notifications were deprecated and which we wished to add. I handed off this project to the Platform team lead to begin implementation.

I also worked on another part of the notification system - emails. One problem with emails in 500px was that they were all hosted and generated in the codebase, making it difficult for a non-developer to update these emails. I created a structure to replace old email methods with new methods that referenced Mandrill templates. These templates could be easily edited in Mandrill's GUI while integrating translations, AB testing and improving tracking in all emails.

Akbar and Ana at 500px Hackathon

At the end of my term, 500px had a hackathon. I partnered up with Akbar, an iOS developer, to solve problem the mobile team had been running into for a while. 500px's mobile app kept getting rejected by Apple during the app review process because the reviewer would come across pornographic content. Since we couldn't possibly filter out all inappropriate content generated by users, we decided to replace inappropriate search terms with phonetically similar but SFW search terms.
Nude => dude, porn => popcorn. We implemented the hack in Ruby on 500px's Mobile Search Service. The hack ended up winning the Teamwork Prize ($250 each!!).

Another hack done at 500px's Hackathon was a magazine about 500px. I was featured in 500px's first issue of Pixels Mag.

500px building

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