An interview with Justin and Gautam about their internship experience

Author: Matthew Nyhus

At Alloy, we’re really excited about our intern program. Our interns work on the same tasks as our full-time engineers and get to contribute on code that is shipped directly into production. Our interns have worked on a variety of projects, from forecasting and machine learning to new UIs showing customers insights from transactional data.

We asked three of our past interns to share some of their experiences from interning at Alloy. In this first post, we’ll hear from Gautam and Justin. In the next post, we’ll hear from the third intern, Teresa. We’ll also hear from Matthew, our intern recruiting lead, about what excites him about the intern program.

Justin

Justin joined our team in 2019, and then stayed on full time through the pandemic.

What made you choose Alloy over other internship opportunities?

When I was looking for my first internship, I was aiming to get experience in as many technologies as possible, and knew that startups were more flexible in this regard. Alloy’s job posting stood out to me because the job requirements matched my skills (which at the time were just Python and Java). When I visited their website, it succinctly described the company’s goal of providing retail analytics solutions and convinced me of the value in their product.

During my interview, the interviewers informed me that the work would involve a lot of hands-on problem solving. They also expressed interest in my own career goals and were flexible in the details of the internship. The combination of all these factors made interning at Alloy an easy choice.

What kind of work did you do as an intern at Alloy?

As a full-stack intern, I had the opportunity to work with a variety of technologies, including not just the languages (JavaScript, Java, Python, Postgres, etc.) but also a variety of popular frameworks and libraries that I had not seen before as a student. The work I did was all relevant to the product and I often heard testimonials from clients about the impact my team’s work was having, which made it feel much more fulfilling.

To complete my tasks, I would sometimes consult with other employees, and having these discussions helped give me a better picture of how all the components of the product fit together. During my internship, I was even able to transfer to the forecasting team to do some work with machine learning (I had expressed my interest in this area during my interview) which was a pleasant surprise as I did not have the academic credentials typically required for it. Throughout my internship, my supervisor sought out opportunities for me to work in areas beneficial to my development.

What were the main takeaways of your internship?

I have learned a lot about having a career as a software developer during my internship at Alloy. Since it was my first internship, it gave me a baseline of what to expect in an office setting. Working with certain technologies (in my case, machine learning and devops tools come to mind) on an actual product has also been enlightening, as the experience has turned out to often be very different from following tutorials or example projects, and I have reconsidered which areas of software development I am truly interested in. I also learned quite a bit from my supervisor, who gave me some insight into the tech industry by recounting some of his experiences in other companies during our weekly check-ins.

Gautam

Gautam was our first intern, joining the San Francisco office back in 2018 before coming on full time in Vancouver later that same year. Previously, he had interned at a number of other companies, such as Venmo and Shopify. He recently co-founded his own startup Highbeam.

What made you choose Alloy over other internship opportunities?

Alloy being a small startup with a smart team tackling a huge problem was the biggest attractor. Everyone I talked to during the interview process also seemed really nice and so I had to choose Alloy.

What kind of work did you do as an intern at Alloy?

Because of the small team size, I got to work on a lot of different things—backend, frontend, infrastructure, and even eng processes. It was a great learning experience for me since I had not worked with some of the technologies before.

What were the main takeaways of your internship?

It was my first time working in a B2B SaaS startup and my biggest learning was how a product development lifecycle and sales processes work in such a context.

About the Author:

Matthew Nyhus

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