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Qualtrics Internship Summer 2019

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Summer 2019 I had a great opportunity to intern at Qualtrics. I want to walk through my decision to interview at Qualtrics, the other companies I interviewed with, why I chose Qualtrics, and what my overall experience has been.

Why I applied to Qualtrics

While beginning my journey through the Computer Science program at Brigham Young University. I began to hear about a local company named Qualtrics that was growing. Over the course of the next two years I continued to hear more and more about Qualtrics in the news, see them at STEM Career Fairs, and at Computer Science club events. I even took an opportunity to go on an office tour to see what the company was all about. In each of my interactions, Qualtrics impressed me as a driven, growing, local company where I could see myself interning and eventually working full time.

I applied to Qualtrics for the first time in fall during my Sophomore year and never heard back. Since then I've learned that having taken (or currently taking) an "Algorithms" class is essentially a prerequisite to getting an interview. So I waited a year and then re-applied in fall of my Junior year where I got called back for an interview.

Summer 2019 internship options

Besides interviewing with Qualtrics, I had an impromptu interview with Instructure at the STEM fair and an on-site interview with Pluralsight. I ended up receiving offers from all three companies. Overall, I was much more interested at interning with Pluralsight or Qualtrics than I was with Instructure. Deciding between Pluralsight and Qualtrics was difficult though!

Pluralsight has a very unique development culture that focuses on collaboration and test-driven development. I was interested in working there because I knew I could learn a lot by pairing or mobbing with one or more engineers every day. But I was also drawn to the high-growth, scrappy Qualtrics culture.

At the end of the day, what made the decision for me was the hygiene factor that Qualtrics paid significantly more and since it is located in Provo, I could continue working there after the school year started. Even though my final decision seems a little arbitrary, looking back I'm grateful that I made the choice to go to Qualtrics.

My overall internship experience

The team I was placed on was partially based on my preference and partially based on internal need. I didn't know the project that I was going to be working on until the day I arrived. That being said, my summer project was COOL and the team that I got to work with was a lot of fun!

In a nutshell, my project was to take the two large translation repositories that held 30,000+ language strings for 75+ languages and standardize them by migrating to a new repository and format that would solve some technical debt and allow the localization process to scale as Qualtrics grows. The change impacted every engineer working on the Qualtrics product as well as a localization team working in Dublin. The tech stack that I worked with included Golang, React.js, and Docker.

I was surprised by the amount of autonomy that I had while working on my project. Besides a bi-weekly check-in with my mentor which I created, I was completely free to implement my project in whatever way I deemed best. In one sense, the autonomy was liberating, but it also put significant responsibility on me to finish the project on-time and with minimal negative impact to the engineering organization.

The trade-off to the autonomy though, was that I was not (and still am not) completely integrated with my team like a part-time employee might be. So that's something to consider when debating between an autonomous project-based internship and a position where you effectively would be another team-member.

Conclusion

Qualtrics was an incredible experience for me, and my technical skill and knowledge grew significantly because of my experience there. I would highly recommend sending in an application if you're considering interning there. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to me at braden.watkins5@gmail.com with any questions about getting a job at Qualtrics or the interview process. I'm more than happy to chat!