Airbnb Engineering in Seattle – Airbnb Engineering & Data Science – Medium


Airbnb’s tech-focused Seattle team has moved into a new home. The 42,000 square foot office in downtown Seattle is the company’s third engineering hub.

Want to know what it’s like to work in Airbnb’s new office?

Ari Steinberg, Director of Engineering and Head of the Airbnb Seattle office, shares more on Airbnb’s Seattle presence.

Why is Airbnb in Seattle?

We wanted to expand our footprint outside of San Francisco to attract some of the best talent and it made sense to do this in Seattle. It’s one of the top cities in the US for technology talent, given the presence of the University of Washington, as well as major tech companies, startups and other Bay Area-based companies with Seattle offices.

How long has Airbnb had a presence in Seattle?

We established our engineering presence in 2016, and moved into our new space this month. Check out some photos!

What prompted the move to a new space?

When we first has a presence in Seattle, a co-working space was what worked best for us. It gave us the flexibility to grow and scale. It was great when our team was smaller, but at the size we are now, it became clear that we needed the ability to more deeply customize an office space and make it our own. Plus, in our own space, we can offer our team members the perks they know and love.

What teams and roles are in Seattle?

People work on a wide range of teams, all the way from foundational infrastructure up to specific product features such as Airbnb for Work and our Open Homes program (which provides temporary housing to people displaced by natural disasters, conflict and illness). We have roles on teams including engineering, product management, data science, experience design, content strategy, and user experience research

Do Seattle teams work remotely on projects from HQ, or do they own their own projects?

We are constantly adding more teams to Seattle so that we can give people more flexibility about what they work on. Not every team is at the same point in its evolution, but our goal is for each team to be on a path toward having “first class” ownership in Seattle — where the team on the ground here includes not only the engineers but also managers, designers, and other roles, with full cross-functional collaboration happening in Seattle. Of course, even when a team hits this point, they still tend to do plenty of collaboration with other teams in HQ and the company has found ways to make it easier to collaborate across offices.

Where do you see the Seattle office in five years?

We’re really ambitious about our growth here. We selected this office space with the intent of making it our home for a long time, and as a result of the long-term focus we’ve been able to invest in making it a great space to work.

Are you hiring in Seattle?

YES! We are currently hiring for a variety of positions.

Where else does Airbnb have engineers?

Seattle is our only general-purpose tech hub outside of San Francisco. We also have engineering teams in Portland, Beijing, and Montreal — those offices are dedicated to specific purposes, such as Community Support or Luxury Travel, and have engineers working there who support those verticals.



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