Placement Experience: Software Engineer at Amazon – Andrei, Computer Games Technology

Andrei's work space

Computer Games Technology student, Andrei, shares what he’s learnt on his placement at Amazon so far and why he feels so valued.

  • 04 March 2021
  • 5 min read

Computer Games Technology student, Andrei, shares what he’s learnt on his placement at Amazon so far and why he feels so valued.

Hi, my name is Andrei and I’d like to share my experience of being a (remote) software engineer intern at Amazon and hopefully motivate you to apply for a placement year.

What’s it like working at Amazon?

From the start, I was greeted by incredibly talented and friendly people. I had about a week or two to just make sure I met everyone and had everything set up before getting into the work.

One thing that completely shocked me (in a good way) was that everyone valued my opinion and the input that I had to give from the very beginning. More that that, they were eager and excited to hear what I had to say. I was never just ‘the new intern’ and everyone made sure that I never felt like that, but instead felt like a valued member of the team.

Andrei's work station

Andrei’s desk at home

My role

As an SDE intern, my team does not put as much pressure on me as they would on other SDEs when it comes to deadlines and planning, as they should in theory keep outputting at full capacity regardless of my input. However, they count on me to do my best and deliver at all times. This allows for great flexibility when it comes to choosing what I work on, as everything I do for the team is considered ’the cherry on the cake’, to quote my manager :). Having said this, I aspire to be just as productive as any other member of our team (since I am also valued as one).

Things I’ve learned so far

On the tech side of things, I’ve become quite proficient in using React, Redux, Redux-Saga and Javascript. It was very challenging at first since I had zero experience with any of these, but I took my time in the beginning and dedicated myself to learning. I have also used Ruby, a few AWS Services and internal Cloud Formation tools.

On top of this however, this internship is teaching me more than how to code. A few examples include:

  • Learning how to efficiently communicate with team members (even from home).
  • How to prioritise tasks.
  • When/how to make compromises in order to get features delivered.
  • Business insights.

Highlights

Working from home has been challenging for all of us. The social aspect and team dynamics is definitely not the same as it would be working from the office. To help with this, I have organised a weekly/bi-weekly meeting on Friday where a few of us meet after work and play some video games together. I would like to think that it has helped others just as much as it helped me to have this time to relax and socialise within the team.

Another highlight would be the launch confirmation from leadership of a project I’ve intensely been working on for the past 3 months, along with some other team members. It is not quite there yet, but my internship will end just in time for me to see the successful launch of our project :).

Advice for you

If you’ve got the opportunity to go on a placement do it. Apply for jobs, go through the interviews, get the help you need from the University to build your CV. There are many resources you can use that I myself have used and have helped me a lot. Don’t limit yourself and keep learning/growing.

Good luck,

Andrei.

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