Be Open and Honest. Be Humble.

Isabelle James | Lodging Partner Associate I in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“The Expedia Group Guiding Principles defines our culture, and describes how we will collectively realize our Vision, Purpose and Strategic Imperatives.” The fact that the principles are applied to all Expedia Group employees worldwide already makes us a family — a huge family tree with full-blown diversity. How amazing is that?!

The ones that I live by are the combination of “Be Open and Honest” and “Be Humble”. I find these two principles somewhat similar and are in need of each other just like how hours need minutes and months need days. If you find yourself being humble, then you’ll find yourself being open and honest. Same as if you find yourself being open and honest, you’ll somehow find yourself being humble. Now, these works both ways — when we stay open to our partners they become humble and if partners are open and honest to us, we almost automatically become humble.

I am a Lodging Partner Associate 1 and I am supporting the Australian Market but based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Handling partners on the phone is a daily challenge to my team as the Australian market is known to be the hardest. In all honesty, I find them rather challenging than difficult. When I am open and honest while staying humble, partners tend to find it comforting and they try to match the tone, in that way we have quite a pleasant conversation but of course, easier said than done. There are partners who can be a little bit hard on us. Our Hotel Partners sometimes tend to forget that we are partners in business and it is important we keep in mind that we are indeed business partners.

I keep my conversations professionally open and I stay honest with the partners, willing to answer any questions they have in mind and willing to reach all ends to find a definite answer. (Pro Tip: My goal is to ensure they don’t call me back for the same inquiry.) Remain humble at all times when it comes to sharing some tips with the partners. They may ask some advise like, “What do you think if I named my rooms like this?” or “How much of a discount do you think I should give for this promotion?”. Of course, you don’t give them a ridicule answer. You be humble with the answers and be confident with your tone.

In my Life at Expedia, the main key to providing excellent customer service is by being open and honest; and staying humble. I hope this read up boosts your spirit as much as it does to me!

Common Tools & Services equals Developer Collaboration which in turn empowers Productivity!

Tammy Stockton | Sr Product Manager in Bellevue

As a Sr. Product Manager of Developer Collaboration and Productivity for Expedia’s IT organization, I’ve been participating in a Common Tools & Services initiative. But, lets back up about a year. In 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with Technology Leaders across Expedia Group. In these discussions, I listened and they talked, mostly about developer pain points within their pipelines and processes.  I was noticing some real themes here:

  • Lack of transparency across development teams
  • No common development tools
  • Lack of a centralized pipeline
  • Development teams are siloed and want to collaborate
  • Developers want to focus on building great Expedia products

These common themes uncovered a common problem which led to a common solution… Developer Collaboration & Productivity via Common Tools & Services. As a developer, collaboration and productivity were the primary themes here. After doing some analysis, there was also some underlying redundancy. Decentralized development tools incur redundant costs. Costs like:

  • Infrastructure costs
  • Administrative costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • costs, costs, costs

Well, with a blessing and the support of Expedia Group leadership, this led me on a mission to provide the best in class development tools that facilitate collaboration and productivity via Common Tools & Services for thousands of Expedia developers. Let’s consolidate…One Team, Group First!

Welcome Artifactory, Same but Better

You have to start somewhere and Artifactory was the test for consolidation to improve developer collaboration and productivity. After all, Artifatory is the same but better! Right? Having many flavors of “Binary Repository Managers” at Expedia, I and a few Engineers rolled out and have been successfully paving the way to consolidating development teams, providing common tools, and reducing redundancy and overhead costs.

Hello Github Enterprise – Goodbye Bitbucket

They say, “Coders Gonna Code” and with Expedia Group developers operating out of a variety of source code instances, with different tree structures and limited access across these instances, they do code… but they lack collaboration, and in turn, this impedes productivity. By means of persistence and facilitating the collaboration of a group of influential Tech leaders across Expedia, we collaborated on a plan for consolidation onto a single Github Enterprise for Expedia Group. This was a task I was not super confident about at first. In fact, for quite some time the “Octocat” haunted me in my sleep. Well, I’m excited to say we are well on our way to closing the gap on siloed development practices.

A Continuous Delivery Pipeline

It was a “build your own” world with a variety of home-grown solutions that lacked speed, transparency, quality, and compliance controls. A group of us from Expedia’s eCommerce Platform group conducted some working sessions with key technology folks supporting their own flavor of a Delivery Pipeline, and after much debate and testing, we landed on a solution right under our noses. As Brand Expedia Group’s Cloud Acceleration team had been supporting a very mature pipeline “Kumo” (which means “Spider (nature’s preeminent Web builder) and Cloud”). It was a no-brainer that we should engage this team on adoption and testing application deployment.

The adoption of Kumo across Expedia Group is a win/win as Kumo does also facilitate common tools & services which leads to developer collaboration, and in the end, we have happy, productive developers.

Now, this is a theme I can get onboard with! I’ve got to go now as I have much more work to do to continuously improve Expedia Group’s Developer collaboration and productivity. Stay tuned for more on Common Tools & Services at Expedia Group.

Career Check-In with Logan Scott

Logan Scott | Vice President, Human Resources in Bellevue, WA

What does your typical workday look like?

While the content of my days varies quite a bit, I do a couple things consistently every day. I lead a globally dispersed team and partner with internal stakeholders across the globe so I spend a lot of time in video-conference meetings connecting with these folks and working on a variety of topics. I also block a certain amount of time every day to allow myself the freedom to think and generally just get stuff done.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

There are so many things that I enjoy about working at Expedia Group so it is hard to name just one. I’m fortunate to be a part of a company where I feel connected to our purpose and get to play in an industry (travel) that I absolutely love. At the same time, I have the opportunity to play in a lot of different spaces, am constantly faced with meaningful work challenges, and work with so many great team members that share the same passion.

What makes your team unique?

There are so many things that make my team unique. We’re spread across the globe, comprised of numerous nationalities, have a mix of personalities and perspectives, etc. We also unite around opportunities to make our team and our business even better while having a lot of fun in the process. Given that we are so globally dispersed, it makes the time when we can collectively gather that much more meaningful.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I like to think that it hasn’t happened yet and it is something that I’ll relentlessly pursue until I retire. If forced to answer,  I’m most proud of some of the development risks I’ve taken on people over the years and seeing how those individuals have continued to grow their careers.  I like to think that I played an impactful part of that growth and maybe helped them achieve something they didn’t initially think they could do, but they did it. And they deserve the success and recognition for those achievements.

Who has influenced you the most?

This might sound lame or like an easy answer, but it has been my family and close friends. We all need truth-tellers in our lives and messengers of that truth that we trust. No one knows you likely your family and close friends so this is the group that both influences me the most and means the most to me.

How and where do you find inspiration?

I’m a firm believer that you need to find inspiration and challenge in a 360-degree way, including from within. Surrounding yourself with a group of people that constantly challenge you to be better and call you out in the moments where you clearly aren’t at your best is critical. I live with a life philosophy of “don’t demand more of others than you are willing to expect of yourself”. You have to constantly raise the bar and stretch your limits.

How did you learn to embrace failure?

I was fortunate to have a wonderful family support system growing up and parents that just wanted me to do my best. It didn’t matter if I failed, as long as I was confident I put my best effort in and learned in the process. I also love to work out and there is a saying that “if you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough.” You won’t get stronger by doing a bunch of things that you can already do with ease. You have to push yourself beyond your capability in order to grow beyond current limitations.

What is your favorite piece of career advice?

Construct your perspective on where you want to take your career but be open to experiences that you hadn’t considered. You tend to grow most when you’re uncomfortable – so be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Tell us about your favorite vacation?

For my wife’s 30th birthday, I surprised her with a 2-week trip to Italy which was long overdue and a place she had wanted to visit for her entire life since a lot of her family is from Italy. Surprising her and experiencing so many new things together was absolutely amazing. And who doesn’t like 2 weeks away from work?!? 🙂

What is your favorite weekend getaway?

I’m terrible at picking just one thing so I’ll name two. Living in the Pacific Northwest means you have a lot of great opportunities to explore. I love escaping to either the mountains & lakes or visiting wine country and indulging in delicious food and wine.

Life at Expedia launches blog

This week we launched as a way of sharing our story and showcasing why we love working for Expedia Group.

This blog is for everyone. We want to share valuable information and experiences with you while also giving you an inside scoop on the problems we’re trying to solve.

What makes us different? Expedia employees are passionate about travel and love working for a company that is dedicated to bringing the world within reach. Our goal is to provide you with stories and experiences that are relevant and meaningful to you.

As you can see, the Life at Expedia blog is live, so we encourage you to take a look around. We’re here to write about our experiences, the innovations we’re working on, and other things we find interesting and motivating. Come see why we love working for Expedia Group!

Being positive is a way of living.

Nicolas Grande | Area Manager in Buenos Aires

Being positive is a way of living. During your lifetime, you will face many challenges and worries. However, the way we react to those situations is 100% our decision.

Since I was a child I learned mainly through sports that you may frequently fall down. You can decide to get up and continue playing or you can just quit. Thankfully I have learnt that the best recipe is never to quit, to get up, to continue playing, and to try to see the positive side in everything.

Sometimes we may face extreme situations where it is very difficult to find something positive. But even in the worst situations being positive will lead us to a better outcome.

The impact of being positive is truly amazing. You will start looking at things from different perspectives, finding the bright side of every situation.

The best part is that being positive is very simple. It doesn’t require many years of study nor investing money. It is just to set our mind in the “Positive Mode”.

Joining Expedia Group (EG) is an example of how powerful being positive works. I was very interested in working at EG. It was my #1 option.

After 1 week of intensive interviews, I was anxiously waiting for the decision. I was so positive and was wishing so hard to join EG, that when I finally received the confirmation, it was a unique & deep moment of happiness.

I have been at the company for 14 months, and let me tell you, I have already faced many challenges. Each time I decided to stay positive, even in the worst cases. An example would be a recent project that took quite a long time to get launched. Even though I faced many blockers, I was very confident about the project, remained positive and I continued pushing it forward till I saw it brought to life.

Working at EG is an honor. It’s present & future. I see it as a daily challenge that keeps me motivated. EG moves very fast and changes every moment. Being positive and embracing change is the winning combination.

I encourage you to stay positive and work with passion. There is always something positive in everything….look for it!

Want to know why this Senior Software Engineer loves Expedia Group?

Urja Gandhi | Sr Software Development Engineer in Bellevue, WA

Being a Senior Software Engineer at Expedia Group, my typical workday is full of exciting stuff. It includes design discussions and white-boarding with other software engineers, architects, product managers, and engineering managers. Driving the end-to-end implementation of features in a full stack application, reviewing my peers’ code, mentoring co-workers & interns, and many times interviewing candidates for my organization is what my day is mostly filled with. Yes, if you’re an intern at Expedia Group, you get a mentor who will be dedicated to helping you throughout your project! Isn’t that awesome!? No fear of having to figure it out all by yourself!

This is one of the many things I love about my team here at Expedia Group – Whenever we encounter a problem, everyone wants to help out in finding the resolution. This culture of oneness is very refreshing to see and leads to everyone being a team player. That is one of the reasons why I have got not just one mouse at my desk, but three of them – one of which I refer to as a ‘visitor mouse’ (ha-ha) for my colleagues to use when they walk by my desk and we try out different solutions together on my machine.

What I really enjoy the most about working at Expedia Group is the endless opportunities I have received to wear different hats and get involved in various areas of technology. Here, I get to work across boundaries to lead new projects and get to build new skills. Being a lover of traveling, I can contribute to making the next generation of travel impactful in ways I never imagined before!

The best part is the tremendous support I receive from all over the Expedia Family for the volunteering initiatives I contribute to outside of work. When a co-worker found out about the University of Washington Husky Tech Industry Mentorship Program that I co-founded to mentor UW students, I was invited for a company-wide filming to celebrate and talk about my mentoring efforts. It was also great to be one amongst four Expedia Women Panelists at the ‘GenHERation discovery days’ event and empower over 50 young high school and college women to jumpstart their careers and be the next generation of amazing leaders!

I can proudly say that #LifeAtExpedia is awesome and #ExpediaCares truly!

Becoming better together

Nadja de Oliveira & Birta Marlen Lamm | Market Associates in Copenhagen

Starting a job at the world’s biggest travel company is both exciting and overwhelming. Here’s the experience we had, two women where one of them is Birta coming from Iceland, where the whole population is only a few times the size of Expedia Group and the other one is Nadja, raised between big and busy Copenhagen and a small, quiet village in sunny Portugal.

What we found unique was how the team welcomed us, the people at this company are so open and united, just like a family. It truly sets the tone and vibe for the one-team feeling, even across locations and offices.

Despite Expedia Group being an excellent company, both in terms of work environment and in its core business, Expedia Group acknowledges that we can still do better on every level. Therefore, one of our guiding principles is to relentlessly strive for better. This makes you rethink your day, your calendar, the email that you are writing, the meeting you are attending and even the presentation you are creating. It keeps the questions present of why do I do it this way, as well as, how can I make it better.

In the spirit of relentlessly striving for better, we decided to start a WELL (Women at Expedia Learning & Leading) chapter in Copenhagen. WELL is the organization in Expedia Group, that aims to empower women at Expedia, provide company-wide awareness of women’s leadership initiatives and provide an opportunity for career development. There are many local WELL chapters around the world and we kicked it off with a Lunch and Learn session centered around why words matter, inspired in the article written by our very own Expedia colleague Karen DeJarnette. This session centered around expressions or words that are excluding, misused or can be misinterpreted – f. ex. guys, bossy and man up. Even though it is a chapter centered around women at Expedia, we included everyone for us to grow as a team, to become better communicators together and learn from each other. We were honored that every single person in our office attended the session. Crammed up in our cozy meeting room, we came together and discussed this sensitive subject. We emerged as a better team who are more conscious of our communication with each other internally, as well as externally.

Having an environment that allows and encourages these sensitive and difficult topics somehow takes the pressure of thinking you have to be perfect from the start. We are not expected to know all the answers. Instead, we need to be humble and acknowledge our limitations and be open to ask and learn from our peers and team. Being humble is also a guiding principle at Expedia, which is a meaningful topic on its own, but for another time or another post.

If you want to join a company where you’ll be part of a family and where you know we are all working to becoming better together – then Expedia Group is the place for you.

All Things Agile – The Importance of Team Norms

Mouy Loeung | Software Engineer in Test II in Sydney

This article aims to answer the following questions around team norms:

  • What are team norms?
  • What is the importance of team norms?
  • How do we set our team norms?
  • How do we follow through?

What are Team Norms

Team norms is a relationship agreement or a social contract between the team members regarding the way they operate, interact with each other, deal with conflict and what is expected of everyone. This, in turn, will help promote positive behavior and discourage negative behavior.

What is the Importance of Team Norms

To understand the importance of team norms, I want to touch base on the agile definition of the stages of a team

Team norms help the team to focus on outcomes and drives towards a high performing team by:

  • By allowing the team to agree on a set of team behaviors, they will stick to instilling trust and respect within the team
  • Creating a safe and desirable working environment for open and constructive feedback and healthy discussions
  • Holding each other accountable for their actions and provides a sense of responsibility to promote self-growth
  • Removing assumptions by setting concrete points on what the team expects from their members and what is expected of them
  • Making teams self-organizing by promoting decision making within the team
  • Emphasizing communication, knowledge sharing and belonging to a “team”

Research indicates that team norms a.k.a  social contracts, if implemented correctly, have many positive benefits, such as giving employees a feeling of control and security in their relationships with their leader and teammates. These contracts also instill a sense of responsibility, accountability, and trust among team members. For the leader, these contracts help motivate desirable workplace behaviors and can discourage dysfunctional behaviors without heavy-handed surveillance.

How Do We Set Team Norms?

To make team norms brainstorming sessions successful, participants should come with an open mind and be willing to actively participate.

There are a few ways to set team norms:

  1. Split teams into 3-4 members and brainstorm, then come as one team and combine each team norms. This allows a more intimate feeling as there are fewer people to discuss with
  2. As one team, brainstorm together

Having a facilitator is also a great way to help move questions and suggest topics along if teams are struggling to build team norms. The following can be some discussion pointers that may help:

  • Working agreement – How decisions are made, core time and availability, expectations
  • Sprints – What is expected in sprint planning, standup, retros, day to day sprint activities, and achieving our goals
  • – Best way to communicate
  • Status reporting – blockers, updating the team, and communicating to stakeholders
  • Meetings and discussions – What is expected of each of the members in meetings
  • Conflict resolution – How do we solve them, what is expected of each member during times of conflict
  • Team expectations – What my team can expect from me, What I can expect from my team
  • Definition of Done – When is a story complete?

NOTE: It is important the team comes up with what they want to discuss as their team norms as opposed to providing them with a list of already made discussion points

How Do We Follow Through?

Once team norms are set, it is important the team continues to visit these norms so it is engrained into their day-to-day work. Here are some ideas:

  • Revisit 3-4 team norms every retro
  • Regularly update team norms to improve the effectiveness
  • Find creative ways to incorporate team norms in things such as bookmarks
  • Make copies of the team norms and make sure everyone signs it as a contractual agreement
  • Print out norms posters and put it around the team where it is most visible

Why not create a team norm bookmark so members can use them while reading agile books”  (smile)


Career Check-In with Garrett Vargas

Garrett Vargas | VP & CTO, in Bellevue, WA

What does your typical workday look like?

It’s really hard to call a day typical in an environment like CarRentals! Since I’m responsible for all parts of the technology that we use, it’s not unusual for me to meet with my teams to understand how current tasks are progressing, meet with the leadership team to discuss a strategic challenge, and get hands-on playing with new technology all in one day!

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

As someone who’s been a software developer my whole career, I like that Expedia Group gives me the opportunity to work close to the underlying business. Even at junior levels, software developers are expected to understand how their work provides business value which I didn’t see working at a tech giant right out of school. I think this makes our engineers more well-rounded in their approach towards problem-solving.

What makes your team unique?

CarRentals is the smallest standalone brand in Expedia Group, with only 150 employees worldwide. This gives us all the benefits that come with the backing of a large company like Expedia, but the start-up feel and culture that you get with a small group of people. CarRentals gives everyone a chance to interact with all parts of the business, work on projects across the board with a high degree of ownership, and really see the impact of your work in a way that’s harder to find in a larger team.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

We recently completed a multi-year journey moving the CarRentals brands (in addition to CarRentals we operate two other brands – CarDelMar and AutoEscape) onto a single microservice-based technology stack. While we were a cloud-based platform prior to this migration, refactoring the code into microservices positions us for explosive growth and an ability to iterate and innovate much faster than previously possible. What I’m proud of with this feat is not just what we accomplished, but how we did it – making sure that we learned about and tried different AWS product offerings while building solid agile engineering practices that allow us to even better take advantage of this technological accomplishment.

Who has influenced you the most?

About ten years ago, I was at Microsoft working in an incubation group within Windows, and a large part of our efforts involved developing new business models. I found this interesting and decided to go to the University of Washington for an evening Technology Management MBA. One of my classmates worked at Expedia and sold me on the ability to work in a technical environment but much closer to problems that moved the underlying business. A few years after graduating, she had an opening for a development director at Expedia, and I moved here. She really focused on the transition process for me and helped ramp me on several aspects of Expedia which set me up for success here.

How and where do you find inspiration?

I am inspired by a learning organization – I like working on side projects playing with new technology to learn what’s out there. One of my favorite interview questions is to ask someone to describe some side projects or hobbies. When I see someone who gets a spark in their eye and a passion in their voice as they talk about their “labors of love,” I know I have someone who is a continuous learner and will do well in my group.

How did you learn to embrace failure?

Learn from it! When I first became a development lead, I thought my job was to divide up tasks for my team while keeping the “grunt work” that no one wanted to work on for myself. While it made my team happy, it kept my focus off the big picture while I gained a deep understanding of the mundane tasks (not exactly what you want your dev lead doing!). I didn’t have that leadership position for long – and by reflecting on this failure, I was better positioned when the next lead opportunity came along.

What is your favorite piece of career advice?

Be an owner. No matter what you do or what you’re responsible for, think like an owner and understand the big picture. You’re not just working on a small feature in isolation – it’s part of a larger customer experience or product offering, and if you think about what you’re building end-to-end not only will you be able to do your job better (delivering what *actually* needs to be done, not just what you’re told to do), but you’ll demonstrate an ability to understand and take on larger projects to grow your career.

Tell us about your favorite vacation?

Two years ago, my family went to Europe. We wanted to visit England, France, Italy, and Germany and decided to take a train to get from city to city. Traveling by train in Europe is a wonderfully scenic experience, and as I was working on our new Rail product offering at the time, it gave me an opportunity to experience first-hand the full travel experience – from booking through various methods, with a different website for each leg, to actually relaxing and enjoying the ride.

What is your favorite weekend getaway?

I’ve always been a fan of Las Vegas – so many different experiences in one area, located out in the middle of the desert! While I’ve been going to Las Vegas for several years, this last summer I drove there from L.A. for the first time, and I really appreciated that “middle of the desert” aspect!

Why I’m Happy I Went Back to Work and My 3 Tips for Making the Transition Back

Laura Wilson | Recruiter, Egencia in Bellevue, WA

One of the hardest decisions I had ever faced in my life was one that I was not expecting. Two years ago, after having my beautiful daughter, the thought of leaving her every day to go to work seemed inconceivable. I knew in my heart, my head, my gut, literally every fiber of my being that I needed to be a stay-at-home mom.  There was no one in the world that could take care of my daughter the way I can and give her what she needs like I can and the thought of missing a single moment or milestone in her life crushed me.

Unfortunately, like many other women who wait until their 30’s or 40’s to have children, I was well into my career and provided a large portion of the financial well-being to my household. My husband and I had set up our lifestyle based on two incomes, and as much as I wanted to and was ready to leave my career, after looking at the financial impact it would have (and trust me I looked at every angle possible) there was just no feasible way we could financially survive without me going back to work.

The day that I dropped my daughter off for her first day of school I was a mess. I am not sure I have ever cried more in my life as I did the moment I walked out of her classroom and headed to my car to drive off to my first day back at work.

I am going to be honest, I cried every day for a couple months until one day I didn’t. It was hard, but it got better. The more I trusted her school and teachers and the more I got back into my work and was enjoying what I was doing, the more I got into a routine, the easier it got.

I understand that I am in a great situation and feel so lucky that I work for Egencia. Egencia is a company that has a culture focused on work/life balance and truly gives me the opportunity to have both a family and a career and not feel like I must sacrifice one for the other. I don’t have to feel guilty if I need to stay home with my sick baby or need a little flexibility so I can be present at school events. I feel that being surrounded in this culture has made my journey of being a working mom possible.

Overall, I feel that by going back to work I have truly found my balance. Life is busy for sure (more than I ever could have imagined) but I have my professional life where I get my intellectual stimulation and then my time at home with my family, although is not all day long, it is quality time. Because I have had the time away from my daughter during the day, when we are together we cherish that time and I feel like I can be fully engaged and present with her when we are together.

Also, I now see how well my daughter is thriving both socially and intellectually. I feel that my decision to go back to work was not only beneficial for myself but has also been beneficial for my daughter as well. While I still wholeheartedly believe that there was no one in the world that can take care of my daughter the way I can and give her what she needs like I can (because I am her Mom and no one can take that role from me), I also understand that there are things I cannot give her as well. She spends her days in an environment focused on specific activities tailored to her developmental needs at the moment and is working with professionals who have the education and training to provide her with the tools and lessons to push her development.

Going back to work after having a baby is not always the right situation for everyone. Some people know from day one that they want to go back to work and they cannot wait to be back in the office. Others know that working is just not going to be the right situation for their child and family. It is a very personal decision and what is right for one family is not going to be right for another. Although the decision was hard for me (and in the beginning felt wrong) I am happy that I went back to work. I feel that giving myself this balance allows me to be the best Mom and the best role model for my daughter and as parents that is what we are all striving for.

My Top 3 Tips for going back to work:

Be clear with your Manager and Team on what you need to transition back to work.

Everyone is going to feel different about this decision and need different things and a different level of support. Communicate how you are feeling, where you are struggling and what you think you are going to need to make a successful transition back to the workforce.

 Talk to other parents about their experience

Lean on your new parent community and learn what worked (and didn’t work) for them. This will help you not feel alone in your feelings and overall situation. It is especially helpful if you can find a network of parents in your workplace.

 It takes time.

Your life situation has changed, drastically! Give yourself time to figure out your new schedule and routine. Give yourself time to catch up on what you missed while you were off and re-learn what you may need to. Give yourself time to know if the decision you made to go back to work was right or not (because it is not right for everyone).