Written  by Allie Ivener –  iXperience '14 (Web Development), University of Virginia '16

Yes, it was just like I had imagined. I was standing in front of a whiteboard with a Microsoft employee waiting for me to start writing. His question involved something about drawing database tables. I hadn’t learned that in school. I hadn’t practiced that before my interview. But I still did it, and if you don’t mind me bragging, I nailed it.

And then came questions about testing, user experience, and development practices. I was currently enrolled in an advanced software development class at UVa, but this interview was after only a few classes and we definitely hadn’t gotten to all of that yet. I was asked to describe types of testing and even had to pretend my interviewer was a customer and have a conversation with him about a broken product. Again, I hadn’t practiced this before my interview or really learned a lot about it in school. I was asked about a project I worked on. Nothing I had done at school was more than just a homework assignment. But I quickly pulled up Kazoo, a web application I made with a friend while at iXperience. And sure enough, a few days after I left Redmond I got the call offering me an internship position at Microsoft! I guess I had pulled it off.

allie_microsoft.jpg

When I first signed up for iXperience, I expected to just learn how to make web applications. I didn’t really know what exactly that would mean, but I never imagined it would contribute so heavily to me landing an internship at Microsoft.

I mean, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t write code in Ruby during my interviews, especially when there are so many evil questions related to linked lists, hashes, and other data structures that just beg for some C++. But what I hadn’t realized is how much I would learn about coding practices, development, and database structure, while at iXperience, and how important it is to have a project to display my skills.

At iX, I learned more than just how to code. I created an entire web application from scratch and learned to use git in the process. I learned about test-driven development from our instructor, Salman, about user experience from the CEO, Aaron, and I worked in at a startup, 22seven, which used an agile methodology. I also learned a whole new programming framework and language in just a few weeks, which allowed me to prove to my interviewers that I’m a quick learner and can thrive in new environments. Sure, I may eventually learn these things in class, but I certainly will not get the firsthand experience at school that iXperience provided me.

 

Learn. Intern.  Explore in an  incredible  city. Visit the  iXperience  website.

Topics
iX Alumni Stories, iX UVA Alumni

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