I’m In Seattle.

May 29, 2011 | Category: Miscellaneous

First off, this summer I hope to do some redesigns on this site. Focus more on the site as a gallery and less of using the blog as a gallery. I don’t know when this will happen but it’ll probably take all summer; I need to learn (and re-learn) a lot about web design πŸ™‚

Second: The title says it all. I’m in fucking Seattle. Working at fucking Amazon.com. Holy. Fucking. Shit. [Excuse my language. I’m just really excited]

If you had asked me a year ago what I’d be doing in 2011 for summer, I honestly probably would’ve said staying home again. Internships weren’t even on my radar. Not really sure what changed between then and October last year. One of my professors telling us to go to the career fair, maybe? Or just realizing that I needed to do something, to “find my Death Star” to quote Fanboys (great movie, see it!).

So I’m in Seattle, working at the biggest online retailer around, doing stuff I’m not allowed to talk about. No, seriously. All I can say is I’m in the Kindle department. I’m in the 2nd-highest top-secret part of Amazon; if you don’t work in my building, you can’t come in. The only place more secret that I’m aware of is the 5th floor of my building; even if you work in the building you need to actually work on the 5th floor to get up there. You have to swipe your ID badge in the elevator and everything.

It’s been a little over 2 weeks since I got to Seattle with my dad. I honestly had no idea what to expect. I was nervous, but it wasn’t the nervous I felt when I went down to Ann Arbor for school for the first time. No, this was a really, REALLY excited nervous. I had no idea what I would end up doing, who I’d be working with, and knowing nobody in and nothing about Seattle. Was I freaked out? Yea. Was I excited? You bet your ass.

For the few days my dad was with me we did the tourist thing; saw the Space Needle, went to Pike’s Place market (totally getting fish from there. SERIOUSLY), and wandered around town. We moved into my place that Saturday, got everything set up and stocked the fridge. First thing we bought? Beer. Hell yea. We ate good food and hung out, which was nice ’cause I haven’t done that with my dad in a while.

Then I started work.

We had orientation the first day. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I ended up hanging out with a girl I met who has a similar taste in TV shows (Firefly FTW), and then we watched a presentation of sorts by the recruiters. After that our managers came and picked us up and took us to our respective work areas; I met my team and started sorting out my workspace. As of now, it ended up being one desktop computer running Ubuntu Linux, one desktop running Red Hat Enterprise Linux, one laptop running Windows 7, and a Mac Pro sitting there doing nothing. More on that later.

The first week was really just getting my bearings; how do things work, how does the team work, stuff like that. I discovered Amazon is heavily into a management process called “agile management with scrum”. It boils down to managers aren’t constantly telling you exactly what you need to do; there’s a lot of freedom left for you to explore. We also have scrum meetings every day where we talk about what we did, what we’re going to do, and what’s blocking us from working. It’s an interesting process but I find it works pretty well.

The end of the first week I got my first coding task. It took a lot of research and familiarizing myself with even more systems, how a certain thing worked, and on top of that learning a new programming language to actually write the thing. All told it took about 7 days for that initial task, some of it spend waiting. That project’s basically finished now, it just have to go through something called code review where your peers tell you how much your code sucks, you fix it, and it goes into production. That actually went through, and while I have quite a few nit-picks to change, on the whole it went pretty well πŸ™‚

Last week was basically working on that; I did various other things (tested some small things, talked to my mentor and manager, stuff like that). Then late last week I found out I’d have another assignment that I started today; this one is going to be a lot bigger than the first one, but I’m excited for it πŸ™‚

Outside of work I haven’t done a hell of a lot. The first week some of us interns went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and that was great, but other than that I sat around my apartment and explored the city a little myself. I didn’t mind walking around by myself, I actually enjoyed it πŸ™‚ I took some pictures and I hope to have them up soon. Then last weekend I and some of the other interns I talk to on a semi-regular basis hung out Friday night and watched Firefly (yea, we’re awesome). Saturday night I got together with one of Chellie’s Austrian roommates who was in town (Oliver is pretty damn awesome, by the way). Otherwise….I’ve sat around, caught up on TV shows, played video games, watched movies, and read.

SPEAKING of reading, I bought a Kindle :). My hopes of getting one to keep were unfortunately misplaced, so I picked one up. So far I love it! πŸ™‚ I’ve got a bunch of books on it so far and it’s really great for reading on; easy to read, really light and it stores a ton of books πŸ˜€

That’s it for now. Hopefully some things will be changing soon…

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