It’s already come to the end of my summer internship at Blueport Commerce and I have to say, I’m definitely going to miss it. Through the people I worked with, the technology I used and the great work atmosphere I was a part of, I have learned a lot and I am grateful to have received this opportunity.
My first learning goal for the summer was to learn a new programming language. Through debugging and implementing automated tests written in c# and built on Selenium as well as repairing defects to an MVC web application, I was able to dive into this new object-oriented programming language. Along with C#, I was able to work with SQL and Powershell by writing stored procedures for automated tests as well as creating tools to help debug these tests. Through C#, SQL and Powershell, I also learned the essentials of software testing and automation techniques. I knew that testing code was vital to programming but it was nice to dive into it and use advanced testing tools.
My second learning goal was to connect with more people in this field. I think this internship has greatly strengthened my professional relationships. Blueport has a strong collaborative atmosphere so I had the opportunity to work with a variety of mentors which allowed me to learn the best practices in coding and agile development. Along with this, I was able to learn about my colleague’s career paths and how they came into this field. It was nice to hear that everyone’s path was different. In fact, many people had not taken computer science during their undergraduate experience! Hearing about everyone’s experiences exposed me to more possibilities for my career path.
Also, I can say, impostor syndrome is real and at school. I have always felt like maybe I’m not meant to major in computer science. However, having real-world experience has definitely made me feel more secure in my major and has clarified my career interests in software engineering. I’ve also learned a lot about myself this summer as well as the importance of soft skills in any career field. I used to be scared of asking questions and being the person who didn’t exactly know what they were doing but working at Blueport has shown me that no one has all the answers and everyone is learning from each other. All that matters is that you have the willingness to learn and try. I guess one piece of advice that I would give to students interested in interning at a software company is to not be overwhelmed by everything you don’t know at first because through practice and asking questions, something that you once thought was impossible will soon be easy to you. Companies are always looking for a fresh and unique perspective and you have the capability to bring that to the table!
I am really proud of what I have accomplished and I am excited to continue to use what I have learned. To everyone at Blueport, thank you for an amazing summer and everything it taught me! With the daily stand-up meetings, the monthly events, playing card games at lunch and especially the office dogs, I had an amazing time! 🙂
Over the last few weeks, I have become a lot more comfortable with the environment inside and outside my workplace. Blueport Commerce has an open space environment which creates a collaborative atmosphere. I like this because it allows me to easily ask questions to my supervisor and other people in my team. Along with this, there are pair programming desks and many conference rooms which people can use to collaborate together. My co-workers have been great and four Northeastern interns just joined last week as well. It’s nice to also have a few people my age go through the same process and learn together. In terms of outside the workplace, it has been really nice living in the city and being close to so many places. Living alone and cooking has also been a great experience.
I have felt that the world of work is different from university life in many ways; like differences in the social environment and the practical use of what we have learned in our courses. In university, we are mainly told what to do in terms of assignments and projects which differs from an internship or job where we have to use the concepts we have learned and apply them to real-world problems. This has taught me a lot because it has forced me to learn and explore programming languages and software tools that I would probably not have explored. Recently at work, I had to learn PowerShell which is a scripting language to edit a Powershell script to make it more efficient. This made me feel accomplished because I learned something new and made something that will be useful for other people in my team. Another instance is having to learn C# and Selenium which is a web browser automation tool. It’s interesting to learn all the different things you can automate and test the websites.
Through this summer internship, I am learning, not only programming skills but also interpersonal skills which will help me in many different areas. Last week I had to demo a PowerShell script to the rest of the team and showcase what I have been working on and how it will be useful to us. This was a nice experience to have to demo your work and also see what other people have been working on. Blueport uses the agile work environment in which we work on specific tasks for 2 weeks at a time (called a sprint) and at the end of the 2 weeks, we reflect how that sprint went and what areas we need to improve on. I feel that this is a great technique because we create goals and reflect every sprint and I think this can be used even at college. Overall, the last four weeks have taught me a lot and I am excited to see what the rest of the summer holds for me!
With nervousness, anticipation and excitement, I finally started my summer internship at Blueport Commerce! At first, I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never had real-world experience related to computer science and I didn’t know if what I’ve learned so far at Brandeis would be enough. However, with the warm welcome I received and the great support my manager has been giving me, the apprehension is slowly drifting away.
Blueport Commerce is a leading cloud e-commerce platform for furniture, used by the largest retailers in North America. They are located in Boston, MA and are a small company with 51-200 employees. Their main mission is to help furniture retailers grow sales online and in stores as well as provide a better shopping experience for their customers. My main tasks this summer are to implement automated tests with the QA automation team and get exposure to Blueport’s agile work environment and collaborative atmosphere.
So far I have just been getting introduced to what QA is and how test automation works. I have already learned so many new things by working with git and bitbucket, realizing the importance of an agile work environment and engaging myself in the day-to-day tasks of a real company. The QA team is very important in preventing bugs and defects in the product, so I am glad I get the chance to impact the company in a helpful way.
One of my favorite things about Blueport is the people and how friendly and collaborative everyone is. When I first joined, my team took me out for pizza and everyone else also introduced themselves and made me feel welcome. Many people also bring their dogs to work which of course is such a pleasant surprise 🙂
One of my academic goals for this summer is to learn a new programming language and implement a product feature that uses this language. I will achieve this while working with the QA automation team. The engineers at Blueport commerce use C# in their projects so this will be a great opportunity to code in a language I have never worked with before.
Another goal of mine is to strengthen my professional relationships. The people I have met at Blueport have all been very friendly and positive. I am excited to get to know them more by asking about their experiences and career paths. Along with this, a few more interns are joining the company next week so it will also be nice to get the chance to work with other people with a similar path in mind.
I hope to continue to work towards these goals throughout the summer and make full use of the opportunity given to me. Stay tuned for chapter 2!