Built In: Looking for a Software Developer Job? Try the Local Grocery Store
When shoppers walk past displays of produce at a grocery store, they typically don’t think they’re witnessing the result of a high-tech operation. But companies in the grocery business rely heavily on engineering and software development teams to attract customers, run operations and continue to push for innovation within the grocery industry.
Take, for example, the grocery chain Kroger, which owns 84.51°, a data insights company that uses retail data to provide insights to the company about customer habits. Other companies, like Albertsons, operate tech divisions in developer hubs like San Francisco to attract tech workers who otherwise may not envision themselves in the industry.
Software development skills are needed in virtually all aspects of the business, said Christina Garcia, senior vice president of engineering at 84.51.
“We are working on science and engineering solutions for merchandising, supply chain, couponing, personalization, loyalty — there isn’t an area of the business that is not supported in some way, shape or form by an engineering team,” Garcia said.
Even something as common as the ability to have customers order items online and pickup at the store, known as shop fulfillment, requires engineering support. What used to be a manual process, with orders printed out and distributed to shop associates, has been accelerated through digitization efforts by reducing the amount of time it takes between when the order is received and when it is ready for pick up, said Reyner Bacallao, senior software engineering manager at Walmart’s technology organization, Walmart Global Tech.