My Redfin Internship: Ian Lin

Updated on August 6th, 2019
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I received my offer for a summer internship at Redfin shortly after I received another offer from a large tech company. Initially, I was certain that I would pick the latter, mostly for the benefits that come with working at a well-known company. After all, neither I nor my friends had even heard of Redfin before I applied. But the longer I deliberated, the more I was drawn to Redfin’s unique culture and people. Now, at the close of my internship with Redfin, I can confidently say that I made the right decision.

At 12 years old, Redfin isn’t exactly what one would consider a startup. But on the other hand, Redfin has the exact features that make startups so appealing: teams are small, fast-paced, and take a high level of code ownership. Management is remarkably clear and accessible. Glenn Kelman, our CEO, is an inspiring speaker and genuine leader who’s very upfront about Redfin’s goals and progress. Above all, you are given the opportunity to really make a lasting impact in a massive yet antiquated industry: the opportunity to disrupt and reinvent how people think about and make what’s often the biggest transaction of their life.

During my time at Redfin, I worked on the Discovery Team, a fun-loving and quirky team dedicated to developing new features that drive user reengagement. The bulk of my work dealt with a mobile-responsive redesign of the Favorites page, a feature utilized by nearly all users who ultimately buy a home with us. The most interesting technical challenge I faced was developing back button support for the page which utilized infinite scroll. Infinite scroll is a pretty common feature on many websites and back button support is surprisingly nonexistent for most cases: they simply take you to the top of the list or the bottom of page 1. It was a very empowering experience to be entrusted with a pretty serious user experience problem that didn’t have a known solution. You start off not even knowing what questions to ask but then ultimately create these awesome features that get shipped and improve the user experience.

Redfin is a terrific place to work and grow as a software developer. Due to the people and culture, I was never afraid to ask questions and was always able to find people willing to help. From the start, you are given a lot of responsibility and trust, which opens many opportunities to learn new things as you go. I’ve learned so much during my time here and had a ton of fun with the Disco team, thanks so much for the great summer!

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Ian was a Redfin dev intern on the Discovery Team in Seattle.

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