GIANT ROBOTS SMASHING INTO OTHER GIANT ROBOTS

Written by thoughtbot

Internbot Chronicles I

Hey everyone, I’m Nick Quaranto, the new intern at Thoughtbot. You may know me from here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Luckily my university has a co-op education program, so I get to both work at an awesome place and learn even more about Ruby on Rails. I’m working out of the Boston office until the end of the summer, and hopefully I’ll post a new chapter of the Chronicles every week or two.

There’s a few things that really impressed me from my first day on the job:

Everyone codes

I can’t stress how awesome this is. From the top down, everyone knows their craft and knows it well. Having a staff filled with extremely technical people means that I learn new stuff about the Ruby language, my development environment, and software engineering in general on a daily basis.

The environment

I’m used to offices that are a little more…boxy, but thankfully that’s not true here. We’re all out in one big area, with big desks and beautiful 24 monitors. Sure, open air offices don’t work for every organization, but they’re great here since it facilitates communication and makes pair programming a lot easier.

Dedication to testing

Being test-driven isn’t just a goal or an option, it’s the normal mode of operation. I think this week I’ve written and spent more time on tests than at any other jobs I’ve had previously. I’m also starting to get a hang of our open source projects, and hopefully you’ll see some more commits from me on them in the future.

Standups

The concept is simple: just say what you’ve done since the last standup, what you’re planning on doing today, and what is blocking you. There’s been a few technical difficulties, but I don’t think any other kind of meeting has been more useful in keeping in touch with others in the company and what they’re working on. Since roughly half of the employees are based in Boston and the rest are spread around the country, this really helps to put everyone on the same page.

I plan on posting some more about some of the neat tools we use daily, and definitely about what my role is like here at the company. Stay tuned!