Pinterest / Android Tech Lead / Apr. '12 - Dec. '16

Pinterest is the world’s catalog of ideas where you can browse, explore, and discover things you love. 

The story

In spring of 2012 I joined Pinterest as their first Android engineer and at the time, Pinterest was only available for and iOS. Prior to joining the company, I had been building a 3rd party application for Android in my spare time, which became the foundation for the first version of the Pinterest Android app. 

Three months after joining, the Pinterest Android app launched with feature parity to iOS and a few days later Pinterest’s mobile platforms became the primary source of traffic for the company. 

Today Pinterest’s Android application has over 100 million installs and maintains a 4.6 star rating with over 2.5 million reviews.

What I did

Over the course of 5 years at Pinterest I was responsible for:

  • Building and maintaining Pinterest’s Android application
  • Adding new features including related pins, secret boards, and pin uploading.
  • Growing the Android team to over 20 Android engineers

The signature grid view

As the first Android engineer at Pinterest, the Android application was a ground up build and without the plentiful Android open source solutions that exist today, much of the core functionality was built from scratch. An example of this is the signature Pinterest scrolling grid view. 

By studying the ListView and GridView Android source code I derived a solution that supported uneven heights, fast scrolling, and smart image loading. 

The volume of images and variety of Android devices created the potential for major performance issues. I worked to make sure that the Pinterest gridview performed well even on low end Android devices. 

My iOS counterpart, Naveen Gavini, and I spoke about these early challenges at the Mobile @ Scale conference at Facebook and you can watch the talk here.