I secretly enjoy visiting people’s surprise once I told them that I decided to intern at Etsy because it had been the only company that requested for a cover letter. Because I felt like I really told my story to a company that cared about my whole self, I enjoyed every moment of filling out my Etsy program engineering internship program. I started working once I graduated from school in 2017 and interned at Etsy. The individual touch embedded in the engineering culture, business plan and business vision of Etsy is still the number one thing.
Coming into our very first day, the particulars of our job were overwhelmingly foreign to us. The subject we had been dealing with was the listing page of Etsy. It is a page that is complicated, due to the simple fact that 60 million listings exist on Etsy and all of them are vastly different. When engineers make modifications it is tough to check their code against every possible variation of this page that exists. Sometimes, a version slips from their thoughts — they forget to account for it, which could cause the page to break when they push on code. Specifically, we were asked to create a benchmark to allow them to readily find listings which match different criteria and variations to test code against. But resolving a project that we knew ourselves sounded daunting, if not impossible.
In ideation, the solutions we pictured ranged dramatically. Something as basic as a spreadsheet would have been useful, but we dreamed larger. We thought about producing an Etsy shop that auto-generates listings that signify the border cases that had to be analyzed. It had to be, although we wanted to make something challenging.
After three weeks, our job was completed in two stages. Our first phase was focused on developing a spreadsheet. This is the skeleton of our final product, which mirrored the entire body of the list page itself. To create this, we broke down the various elements of the listing page and identified each the variants that could happen within those elements. Afterward , we spent several days creating nearly one hundred of their listings on Etsy that represented each of those variants. We ended up using a thorough, intuitively ordered catalog of edge cases which can now be retrieved by anyone at Etsy who needs it.
Structure. While some engineers relied on their own bookmarks or spreadsheets to keep track of edge cases, some relied upon absolute memory, or asking their coworkers via Slack. Our solution needed to provide an element of uniformity; it had to eliminate that glaring unawareness about what other teammates were doing. It had to be a unifier.
A note about our internship & our company:
WiTNY (Women in Sciences and Technology in New York) is a collaborative effort between Cornell Tech x CUNY made to inspire young girls to pursue careers in engineering. WiTNY offers program and workshops that teach important skills and supply real work experience.
After interviewing many engineers, we realized they each had their own methods of testing for edge cases. “I just have two folders of bookmarks that have some links inside them,” said one engineer. “But I’m not sure what other men and women use.” It was surprising to hear that engineers weren’t certain what other people on their group were doing. We understood that the problem wasn’t a procedure — there was no procedure to begin with. It was up to us to formulate a procedure, or establish a basic benchmark when it comes to testing for edge cases.
A world of culture and vocabulary had to be packaged into our brains to be able to accomplish what we did in three weeks. However, we felt so seamlessly incorporated into Etsy’s ecosystem from day one, as a result of the enthusiastic character of everybody around us. We’re not afraid to ask questions, because no one ever talked down to us or made us feel poor. There are no mechanisms in place at Etsy which make electricity dynamics apparent, not from the point of view of an intern.
The Winternship application is a paid, three-week, mini-internship for first and second-year undergraduate students at CUNY schools, throughout their January academic recess. Etsy is among the many firms who participated in the Winternship plan this year, taking a group of five young girls and giving them a difficult project to finish while also teaching them about the various roles within a tech firm.
The second phase of the project was a Slack-integrated bot. Utilizing our spreadsheet for a backbone, we planned to design a bot that can retrieve edge cases on control via Slack. Engineers can input commands that come single, multiple, or all border cases they could be on the lookout for. Due to our time constraint, we were just able to make a bot that uses examine data, but we hope to see a future iteration that completely integrated with all our spreadsheet.
Confidence. Bugs are unavoidable, but our engineers have to feel confident that the code they’re pushing is as clean as it can be. The more moderate instances they could test , the more sure they can feel their code is both quality and totally operational. Consequently, our solution was dependable and thorough; it needed to be something engineers.
Over the previous three years, I have gotten many questions about what it’s like to intern and also have my very first job out of college at Etsy. It always gives me a warm feeling when pupils are excited and curious about careers at Etsy, and I believe it’s time we give this query answers that will live on the interweb.
Last summer, I met five interns which Etsy hosted for WiTNY (Girls in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York)’s Winternship program. At the conclusion of the three-week internships, they have been excited to share their experiences. One of the winterns, Nia Laureano, composed a recap of her time in Etsy, and I believed it’d be a great way to start sharing the Etsy internship experience!
Interning at Etsy is a special experience because so much about Etsy’s identity needs to be known in order to move forward with any sort of work. A team of four girls and I combined the Etsy household as interns and were tasked with solving a problem being confronted by means of a product group which assists the buyers.
Our job was finished not due to crash courses in PHP or because we overloaded on cold brew; it was thanks to the men and women who nurtured us along the way. It was the prospect of creating something that could make a lasting influence on a firm we loved that encouraged us. Etsy’s relentlessly human touch makes the smallest of jobs feel meaningful, and it can turn three weeks to an unforgettable adventure that I will never stop feeling enthused about.
The entirety of the first week has been spent in the context of this world we were working in. We strolled through the workflow of an Etsy engineer, trying to imagine where our solution could fit neatly into the mystery. We spoke to engineers about their frustrations to reach the origin of their demands. We became engineers being thrusted to the process of pushing code to Etsy’s repository. We couldn’t devote without understanding how these workers live and work.
Convenience. To be able to make a tool which was accessible and simple to use, we needed to identify and understand the environment where engineers complete the bulk of their job, because that’s where we would want our tool to call home. We quickly noticed one common thread not just the company as a whole, although Etsy’s engineers: Slack, our platform. We observed that work at Etsy is accomplished via Slack; it’s where workers push on code and collaborate. It made great sense for our solution to be integrated within the environment that was already so lived-in.