What It’s Like to Intern at Jet

Two months after applying for an internship at Jet after visiting a talk at their offices, I started my summer internship. I was placed on the Front-End Team, which handles the main front-end of the Jet.com website, after being interviewed by the head of that team. Equipped with knowledge from a full day of orientation, a macbook, and a swag bag of purple goodies, I was introduced to my new team and let loose on the git repo.

Engaging Projects

I first joined the team right at the end of writing and deploying a rewrite of the site. This meant instead of spending a few weeks getting acclimated like may happen with internships at some other organizations, I got to immediately get into writing (soon-to-be) production code. Most days I grabbed breakfast from the kitchen in the office, attended a quick stand-up, and then got to spend most of the day coding.

For the first few weeks of the internship, most of my time went toward making fixes on the front-end and or adding bits of functionality here or there for the site. Since the codebase was larger than anything I’ve worked on previously, it took a while to get to learn how different parts of the site worked and interacted. However, my team was open to questions and was extremely helpful in explaining some of the more terse or complex parts of the codebase, and as I became more familiar with it I definitely became more productive.

Toward the second half of the internship I moved more onto the project I was initially supposed to work on, which was improving the testing of the front-end of the site. I set up a project with an automated testing tool to test usage of the site and started building out page objects and tests for some basic user flows. Once I had this set up, I worked with our internal tools team to evaluate different testing vendors, either to use their full testing solutions or their device lab. I ended up replicating some of those basic tests for each vendor to compare them and meeting with other teams to see which solutions we all could use. We eventually decided to only use an external device lab and to do tests in house for the html version of the site. I also added a linter to the build step of running the development server to help catch errors before they even hit tests, along with other build time checks.

JIT

During my time at Jet, we had our first internal hackathon called JIT, or Jet Innovation Time, where all developers were encouraged to work on any ideas they wanted.

Several of the interns decided to do an intern-only project to revamp the 404 page. Thirty-six hours later we had a mostly complete version of a Jet-themed game to place on the site, and before our presentation in front of the company was over, we got the go-ahead to polish it and put it into production.

I was able to shift my priorities and spend time getting it ready before shipping it out before I left (You can play it on our 404 Page). The best part was that they had no problems with supporting me so that I could spend my time designing something and working on it even though it wasn’t part of what I originally was slated to work on.

Perks and Activities

There were several fun interruptions from the typical workday. In addition to more tech talks in house than I had time to attend, there were perks like a pool table and ping pong table and office social events. We also got to attend events scheduled for the summer intern class like visiting the Jet warehouses, taking a boat ride to a day on the beach, and having a rooftop party with Jet’s executives. Despite the amount of work, the environment was easygoing and fun as long as you were flexible.

One of the best parts about Jet is that there is a high value placed on personal learning and development. Even though I was on a front-end team writing Javascript, I was encouraged to go to talks or even multi-day boot camps on F#, functional programming, internals of back-end systems, or anything else I was interested in, regardless of if it was directly related to the project I was working on at the time. Every week there were several tech talks, and they were interesting enough that I don’t think I ever went a week without attending one.

Takeaways

During my time at Jet, I learned a lot about how different development is for such a large-scale project, collaborating with several teams to finish projects, BDD testing, testing for a multitude of user environments, and canvas game development. This doesn’t even take into account the knowledge gained from attending a variety of tech talks and chatting with developers working on other projects. This was definitely my best internship so far, and it was so great that I even ended up returning for more.

Interested in an Internship?

Jet has super cool internships! Those interested should submit their resume to Campus@jet.com.

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