Life as an R&D Intern at WP Engine
Part two of a two-part series documenting the life of interns across all departments at WP Engine. In part one of the series, we spoke with interns from Marketing, Talent Acquisition, Sales Operations, and Accounting.
Here at WP Engine, we pride ourselves on our ability to innovate and engineer solutions that improve the experience of our customers. That’s why our Research and Development department is always looking for talented software engineers excited to learn and innovate forward, faster.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that since day one, WP Engine has welcomed promising and enthusiastic interns to the various R&D teams. While the internship program has grown substantially from one R&D intern in 2010 to 23 interns worldwide today, the goal remains the same—provide a challenging, immersive, and rewarding experience for interns looking to kickstart their careers as developers.
WP Engine offers two programs for software engineering students globally. The first is the summer internship program in one of the two Austin office locations. This year alone, we welcomed 17 R&D interns to our teams in Austin. The second program is an 8-month long Co-Op in Limerick, Ireland. This program currently has 5 students from the Computer Systems or Computer Games Development programs at The University of Limerick. R&D interns in both Austin and Limerick become essential members of their teams; they are expected to actively contribute to their team’s goals and ultimately benefit from the complex, real-world problems they face on a daily basis.
To find out more about what our R&D interns’ daily lives look like at WP Engine, we talked to three Austin interns and one Limerick Co-Op participant to see what they have been working on.
Here is what they had to say:
Paula Paysan joined the Downtown Austin R&D department on Team Omnibus. This summer, she has helped her team create an agent to resolve all unreconciled invoices and payments. Once they finish, the agent should reduce the amount of manual intervention required and improve the user experience.
“My favorite part of the internship so far has been my team. I feel like everyone on the team works really well together and is always willing to answer any questions.” – Paula Paysan
TLC (Two Laptop Crew)
WP Engine makes sure to offer interns who extend their internship or return the following summer opportunities for growth as developers. Garrett Wezniak, a WP Engine intern for over a year, experienced that first hand this summer.
When he first joined the company in the summer of 2018, Wezniak was welcomed by the LGTM team. After a year as an intern on the LGTM team, he began looking for a new challenge for his summer internship and decided to join a new team within the R&D department. Now on team TLC, the Two Laptop Crew, Garrett has taken on exciting projects, like helping develop WP Engine DevKit, while building on his skills he gained from the previous summer.
“Not only is everything you work on veritably important to the company, but everyone here is more than willing to teach you a new system or explain what’s happening in a piece of code. This collaborative attitude isn’t exclusive to helping interns either: “Where the Best Get Better” is one of the company’s core values, and they live it.” – Garrett Wezniak
Infrastructure Engineering Team
This summer, Ryan Beltran, another Austin intern, joined the Infrastructure Engineering Team. While his team works on achieving an array of objectives, Ryan took it upon himself to pursue an independent project for his time at WP Engine. He has spent the past 8 weeks creating a dynamically generated automation tool that lets users put forms in front of common processes to connect APIs, custom logic, or create work tickets. The motivation behind his project is to reduce the human toll associated with frequent tasks.
“I certainly appreciate the full stack nature of my project, but I also love the work environment. Not only are people-friendly, knowledgable, and willing to help, but the energy at WP Engine also helps encourage productivity—it’s fun being surrounded by that. It’s really an awesome experience looking around the room seeing people coding things all the time.” – Ryan Beltran
Finally, we talked to Neil Daly, one of the 5 Co-Op participants in Limerick. Similar to the Austin office interns, the Limerick team embed Co-Op participants in their scrum teams. As a member of Team Athena, Neil helps deliver enabling services that allow developers to be more innovative and efficient.
“I have been thoroughly involved with Athena’s projects over the course of my co-op placement. The experience has prompted me to create many new projects and goals of my own. I’ve started learning new technologies such as React, Django, Django Rest, Docker, and many more. These new skills will certainly help me in my final year of college starting in September.” – Neil Daly
The WP Engine internship programs offer great opportunities for young adults to experience working at a customer-inspired, employee-driven company.
Check out the WP Engine Career Page for more information about our Summer Internship Program and career opportunities at WP Engine!
Interested more in the business side of things? Read part one of this series to learn more about our business interns’ experiences.
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