My summer internship on the Platforms Team at Redfin was a completely unique experience unlike any other internship I’ve had. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first; I mean, the first time I ever heard of Redfin was at the career fair. I guess what I expected was something along the lines of internships I’ve had in the past: you walk in, write a bunch of code to solve a relatively unimportant problem, then walk out a couple of weeks later with a notch on your belt and a stronger resume. But Redfin turned out to be totally different.
Sure, I did write a bunch of code, but that’s about where the similarities stop. This summer was jam-packed with learning opportunities of all kinds. Everyone at the company — executives, product managers, and developers alike — was extremely excited to help me learn new things and develop my skills.
It started with my team – the Platforms Team, which takes pride in keeping up with the latest technologies and making them available to developers at Redfin. I learned so much from my projects. From my first project, I learned about NGINX’s crazy performance as it handled requests faster than I could siege it. I learned about Kafka’s impressive architecture for consuming and producing data streams. I learned about AWS and its ability to spin up servers on a whim, then used Ansible to spin up and tear down ec2 instances automagically for log generation. I spent the second half of my summer investigating TrailDB, a highly performant database designed for time-series data that came out 8 days after my internship started. During the summer I also got to explore Golang, React, D3, Charted, Swift, and a few others that I probably missed.
Software wasn’t the only thing I learned about. Through conversations with product managers, I learned about what makes a valuable product and how to measure that value through customer impact. Through Glenn’s entrepreneurship talks and various conversations with coworkers who had worked at other successful startups, I learned about starting a company and all the challenges that come with it. Through numerous roundtable discussions, I learned what it’s like to be an executive and how their work impacts the company. I also had the chance to meet one-on-one with some amazing people who imparted valuable, personal career advice to me.
But I didn’t learn about just software and business this summer. At the start of summer, I learned all about bicycles, their parts, and how to find a good one on Craigslist. During a trip to Tahoe, I not only learned that there’s no such thing as too much water when you hike, but also how to make the perfect scrambled eggs. Through some of the office’s culinary adventures, I learned the delicious art of sous-vide. Thanks to the encouragement and advice of a couple skilled Redfinians, I also immensely improved my climbing skills and developed a passion for the sport.
All in all this summer was absolutely amazing. Both through the amazing projects I was given and the awesome people that surrounded me, I learned more than I could have imagined. Thanks Redfin!