My internship at StockX this summer was very different from my previous internships, but in a very good way! I have previously worked with a smaller startup with around 10 employees and a couple of larger companies with over 20,000 people. StockX doesn't fit into these two categories. Though StockX is a start-up, it has been growing rapidly over the last year, going from less than 100 people at the start of the year to around 300 when my internship began. Working in an environment with such rapid growth was really exciting, though it has been chaotic at some points!
I was a little apprehensive when choosing to intern at StockX for this summer. StockX's platform is “the world’s first stock market for things – a live ‘bid/ask’ marketplace," where users can place bids/asks on different collectable products like sneakers, handbags, and streetware. The main product on the platform is sneakers. My experience with sneakers was only in wearing them and I had never used the StockX platform. I felt that I would be surrounded by coworkers who were extremely knowledgeable about StockX and its products. However, when I arrived at work, I realized that being a sneaker head was not a prerequisite for the job. I won’t pretend that it wasn't a challenge, but as long as I was willing to take the time to learn about the products and platform, people were understanding. I also realized that as a person who had never used the site before, I had a unique perspective as a first time user of the site. Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to learn more about the platform and the products and have become more knowledgeable as a result. My main takeaway from this experience was to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone and that one will learn and grow more from doing something that they may not be good at than if they are already awesome at it.
While working for StockX, I feel I gained a wider experience about the development process and different areas of development as a whole. For example, I was able to develop a React web application with a group of interns. To do this, we coded a front-end UI, created and published a node module to connect to a backend service, containerized the application using Docker, helped set up continuous deployment for the node module, and helped deploy the final web application using Kubernetes. I'll admit, we did have mentors guiding us! While working on this project, I was able to do front-end, back-end, and devops development, gaining experience in all three areas. This was invaluable to me as an aspiring software engineer who hasn’t decided what area of software development to work in. Although the interns at my company were assigned specific “intern projects” to complete, the projects that the interns work on at StockX were not traditional throw away intern projects, but actually have a impact on the company, specifically to help increase the productivity of the engineering team.
StockX is also part of the Quicken Loans Family of Companies so interns at StockX also get the benefits of a bigger company's internship program. During this summer, I attended many events around Detroit, like a Detroit Tigers game. StockX itself also hosted several internship events, like taking all the interns to the Detroit Dart Club and a company-wide quarterly meeting and dinner. These events were fun, and it was a great way to learn about different events I could go to in Detroit.
As I near the end of my internship, I can definitely say that this summer has helped me become a better software engineer. However, the biggest advantage I have gained from this internship is I an understanding of interests within computer science and what type of developer I want to be in the future. I am very happy Hackerfellows connected me to StockX and that I chose to work at StockX this summer.
Melissa Heredia, 2018 Hacker Fellows Intern, graduated with a Computer Science degree from Wayne State University and is returning to complete her Masters there this fall. She is working with StockX for Summer 2018.