All new SDE hires have to go through a series of SDE Bootcamp sessions to understand the development processes here. Basically, Amazon has custom systems for all phases of development including building and deploying. Startling statistics such that Amazon deploys a server every 11 seconds on average made it clear than safe deployment was one of the major concerns here. Two sessions – First Code Change and First Bug Fix were taken on day2. I got to meet a lot of other new joins from various teams.
I was unable to do hands on practice during the sessions because my desktop was new and the RHEL (RedHat Enterprise Linux) virtual machines that we required for training were under provisioning. The amazon internal wiki (w.amazon.com) has an awesome collection of documentation on all the systems and also detailed step-by-step instructions on completing the Bootcamp. In the later days, I completed all 4 sessions.
On Wednesday, I was given an intro on the project I’ll be working on my teammate Vijayakumar Dinesh. Our office has lots of conference rooms – series named after Indian rivers (Ganga, Krishna, Kaveri etc), series named after our leaders (Chandragupta, Sivaji etc), series named after planets and so on. We can book them for various meetings. So after such a meeting with Dinesh for my briefing, we were both surprised to see our manager waiting with another person outside. Amith informed me that there were slight change of plans (#scop) and that I’ll be working with the Transit-time systems team from now on.
So I said goodbye to my first teammates and headed for the new location. I got a cubicle with the team itself: 2B3 – 373. TTS was a team of 8 members (including me) and had 2 other interns – Ankit from VIT and Giridar Pasumatri from BITS. They were 6 month interns and were already in their 4th month. I was taken for a tea time chat by Mahadev Vagvala – our lead developer (SDE level2). I was given a high level overview of our system – basically we have a predication engine that calculates possible transit times for delivering packages to different zip codes in a country for different ship methods etc. I was assigned a mentor –Miss Tanvi. She has been very helpful so far and guides me with directions on how to proceed.
Fast forward to May: I’ve been at Amazon for one month now. It’s been a wonderful rollercoaster ride. I was able to learn a lot from truly talented programmers. Got a chance to see and experience the high level OOP concepts that we learn at college in action. Hash maps, Hash sets, Interfaces, Caching, massive DB queries.. a lot of cool stuff are in daily use here. And also, ours is a very jovial team. We have something special every Friday – team outings, ordering lunches (pizzas) etc. At Amazon, employee progress is tracked using Scrum procedure. Our manager reviews our progress everyday, checks whether we are blocked by any problem, resolves it and keeps us on track. I have made good progress with my tasks so far. I’m hoping to deliver the project on time.