This summer, 56 software engineering interns made a massive impact on Wayfair at our Boston headquarters. These talented engineering students, who represent 38 different universities across the country, came together for an incredibly successful 10-week internship. From learning a new tech stack, developing skills in stakeholder management, to attending events like Red Sox games and an internal hackathon, it’s safe to say it was a summer they will never forget.

As a Campus Recruiter who is in charge of the engineering intern and co-op programs, an intern’s experience at Wayfair is incredibly important to me. I asked five of our interns about their journey to hear about what excited and energized them – keep reading to see what they said!

Bixing Xie – NYU ‘20

What did you learn during your internship, and what was the best part?

Full stack development in a professional environment, how software processes like SCRUM work, and how to work efficiently within/across teams. I would scope the project details with my mentor, seeing it in more and more concrete form everyday until finally deploying it!

What advice would you give to future interns?

Be proactive. Don’t be afraid of speaking up and let your thoughts be heard.

What are you excited to take back to campus after Wayfair?

The mentality of keeping code quality high and scalable and writing tests for your code. Also, how to collaborate not only with engineers, but also with people in other roles, such as Product Managers and Designers.

Jordan Silbert – Cornell ‘20

What did you learn during your internship, and what was the best part?

During my internship, as well as learning a ton of new technical skills, I learned how to work as a functional member of a team, while still having fun doing my work. My team was exceptionally good at making sure work was not all just sitting and completing projects in silence. Learning how to balance this was something that I was really appreciative of and will definitely take with me wherever I go. The best part of my internship was being treated as if I was a regular, full-time employee rather than an intern. I was given a lot of responsibility and was given real work to do that benefited the company and worked towards my team’s ultimate goal. It was really fun to be able to deploy real changes to the codebase and to also get positive and appreciative feedback from the engineers who requested the changes I got to make!

What advice would you give to future interns?

My advice to future interns is to not be afraid or intimidated by the projects or the work that you are given. Your team is there to help you, and they understand that as an intern you do not know everything. You will not be given projects that are impossible, or completely out of reach, but they will be designed to bring you out of your comfort zone and learn new things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be open to seeing new ways to complete tasks!

What are you excited to take back to campus after Wayfair?

I am excited to go back to campus and show off my fancy new backpack!

Adam Lipson– Tufts ‘21

What did you learn during your internship, and what was the best part?

The best part was how quickly I was able to learn the development workflow and contribute to the team. My tech lead helped me to start on meaningful features from the beginning, and I was always able to understand the business goals behind what I was doing.While I learned new programming languages and technical skills, the most valuable thing I learned was how software development functions within the larger context of a business. I had to learn to look at the features I developed as if I was one of Wayfair’s suppliers rather than a developer, and be aware of how well my code could scale in the future. I also gained a lot of new skills in navigating and manipulating the huge amount of data that a company like Wayfair stores.

What advice would you give to future interns?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Wayfair is filled with smart people who are happy to help, and I wouldn’t have been able to be nearly as effective without them. Being able to ask specific questions to get myself unblocked without needing to ask for help at every single step was a skill that I learned throughout my internship, and it made me a much better engineer.

What are you excited to bring back to campus after Wayfair?

I’m excited to bring back the problem solving skills I developed. Navigating and parsing existing code in languages that are new to me has helped me develop my critical thinking. While the technical knowledge I picked up is valuable, I have made huge improvements in my ability to unblock myself when I’m confused, and that skill will be useful in everything I do back on campus.

Alexis Hale – Occidental College ‘20

What did you learn during your internship, and what was the best part?

The best part of my internship was my team, Gift Cards, in Storefront Engineering. Having learned to code less than two years ago, I was pretty nervous to code in a professional environment for the first time. My team was incredibly supportive through the whole program and I never felt out of place. My main goal was to learn if I wanted to be a software engineer or not, after completing my undergrad. After this internship at Wayfair, the answer is “yes!”. During my internship, I was able to work on a full stack project. It was awesome to be able to take ownership of a project: both the frontend and backend. I learned a lot about JavaScript, React, PHP, MVC architecture, Agile development, code reviews, and the deployment process.

What advice would you give to future interns?

I would advise future interns to make an effort to get to know their teammates and to ask as many questions as needed in order to understand what they are working on. I would also advise interns to try to do their own research on a problem rather than immediately asking for help. A ton of resources are available, but if that is not enough, ask away! There were many times where I had a hard time understanding concepts from the documentation. Later, when I asked a teammate, I understood it almost immediately.

What are you excited to take back to campus after Wayfair?

I feel like I have learned a lot about computer science and writing software. I’m definitely excited to take all of this new knowledge back to school and be able to apply it to my own work as well as share it with classmates. I also feel much more comfortable writing code than when I first started this internship. After being exposed to many new technologies, I truly realize that I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to learn! I hope to share my renewed passion with my classmates at school.

Nathan Drewniak – WPI Master’s ‘19

What did you learn during your internship, and what was the best part?

Being able to complete a project that was one of my team’s main Q3 deliverables! I learned that Wayfair has a very high coding standard. They have their own internal tool that ensures the quality of your code and that it’s documented properly.

What advice would you give to future interns?

If you are stuck, ask for advice. Folks will be happy that you are asking for help instead of spinning your gears aimlessly.

What are you excited to take back to campus after Wayfair?

Sharing the awesome company culture of Wayfair!

If you are interested in an internship at Wayfair for Summer 2020, your school will have more information on their career site. We look forward to welcoming all incoming interns to our Boston HQ!