My software engineering internship at QuintoAndar

Highlights of my experience as an intern and how it contributed to my professional growth

This article is co-authored by @nayara.gerolomo and me and it contains the combined experiences of us both during our software engineering internships at QuintoAndar along 2016 and 2017, respectively.

When I first started searching for a software engineering internship, my focus was to learn as much as I could with the time I had. I’m passionate about learning new things, and at QuintoAndar I found a great environment, brilliant people and a lot of opportunities to study, be curious, explore, to make mistakes and to learn from them. This article is about the highlights that made my internship experience unique!

I learned a lot

There’s no doubt that my internship at QuintoAndar was one of the greatest learning opportunities I’ve had so far. I developed (a lot of) new skills and developed some I already had, and there are three major aspects of this learning period that made me most excited about the whole experience:

Knowledge beyond university

During my undergraduate studies I gathered a lot of knowledge about computer science and software development in theory. However, as soon as I started to put such knowledge into practice, I realized that there were still so much to learn! To name a few things I learned as a QuintoAndar intern:

  • It was cool to study the concepts of object orientation and design patterns, but it was while I was creating new features that I could properly explore inheritance and polymorphism and choose between pattern A or B, and the exchange I had with the caring and high standards people at QuintoAndar pushed me in that direction.
Example of feedback I received by one of my more senior teammates: “What can be improved? Study more deeply about object orientation, design patterns, tests and testability. This will be helpful in the future.”
  • Software testing was not a strange concept to me, but here I learned how important it is and how to do it properly.
Code review is an important part of our culture and a great source of learning.
  • Even though I had studied distributed programming in school, it didn’t come close to the amount of knowledge I gained when dealing with our microservice-oriented architecture and its concurrency, race conditions, message queueing and the amazing technologies provided by AWS and Google Cloud Platform, which I could deeply explore at QuintoAndar!

Being creative

At QuintoAndar, we frequently deal with the unknown. We are revolutionizing the way people live, after all! And when dealing with the unknown, we need to be creative. During my internship, I participated in quite a few challenging situations in which we had to come up with unprecedented approaches.

I remember that when my team was developing a new service, we were struggling with how we were going to make the communication between Google Cloud Platform and our backend servers. At the time, we had a lot of constraints and not much experience dealing with GCP. After a lot of research, we came up with an unconventional solution that has proven itself very solid. And even though I was an intern, I was given the chance and all the support I needed to implement this solution from scratch. It was a real challenge, but the result is used company-wise up to this day, and is one of the works I did that I pride myself the most :)

Great powers, great responsibility

We believe in hands-on learning. If you’re looking for an internship just to add additional hours to your undergraduate course, QuintoAndar is definitely not a place for you. We value everybody’s opinions and expect their contribution. In many companies (including other companies where I was an intern before) you are not expected to make decisions, but instead you’re only assigned to tasks which have lower impact and less visibility to the company.

Here, the intern is responsible for the product too, has autonomy to make decisions and has voice in discussions, just like the other engineers. Sometimes you’ll make mistakes, and that’s ok, we all do! It’s not in our culture to hunt for culprits but we do expect all of our employees to act with ownership and responsibility. And it’s amazing to be part of such work environment where people believe in you and help you become a better engineer.

We care

I used to be a trainee at large companies before coming to QuintoAndar, but here I learned that we can solve serious problems every day in a relaxed and good mood. The way we deal with difficulties makes us more than a company, makes us a team. Working at QuintoAndar also means learning that formal clothes or rigid schedules are not requirements for success. We have flexible schedule, horizontal hierarchy and no dress code.

We care about our people and we believe that happy people perform better. In addition to the rental market, we are revolutionizing the way people work, and I love the way we work.

I impacted lives

And the thing I love the most about QuintoAndar is how our product impact people’s lives every day. As a former student from outside São Paulo, I lived the struggle it is to rent an apartment. Outside of QuintoAndar, the conventional process is stressful and bureaucratic, but in here our people work really hard to make it as easy and cool as it gets.

We’re passionate about it and people love it!

Every time I create a new feature or fix a bug, I am sure that a lot of people are going to interact with it in that very same day, and it’s very rewarding to know that I’m making the lives of other people better.

Join us!

When I came to be an intern at QuintoAndar, it had a small office with approximately 30 employees. Today we are more than 430 people working hard to make renting apartments better. Being part of this growth is a unique experience of maturity, resilience and commitment.

We are challenged every day to be better, to think outside the box and to turn ideas into products. If you want to meet brilliant and hard-working people who will help you become a great software engineer while building a fantastic app, go to http://quin.to/carreiras and apply for an internship with us.

Are you up for the challenge? :)

Some of our former interns who are now full-time rock star software engineers!