Alyssa Daw was offered as an Software Engineering in Test (SET) with Google last winter and prepared vigorously by taking advanced coursework in computer science. "I was absolutely ecstatic when I got an internship at Google and I immediately set out to prepare myself by registering for the most difficult courses that I could for spring quarter," she says.
After her winter quarter, Alyssa was diagnosed with a rare medical condition and, after considering the severity of her situation, she contacted Google to give up her offer. "I called my manager to say that he could find someone else," she says. "But instead of taking me up on my offer, he offered to hold the job for me for as long as I wanted it - even if it meant finding shorter projects in case I needed to start late."
Alyssa joined Google this summer in the Seattle office as an intern in our SET group. And although her situation caused her to begin the internship behind schedule, she still had a very successful summer with us. "In the end, I did have to start a couple of weeks late, but the experience was amazing! I definitely felt the support from my whole team, especially my host who ended up getting Vice President approval for some of my accommodations."
Alyssa knew she was going to spend her summer as an SET, but she didn't quite understand what that meant at the time. "Before my internship, I thought that a Test Engineer primarily spent their time testing, and I am sure that in some cases this is true. However, during my internship with Google the only tests that I ran were against my own code - just like any other developer. I also got the experience of talking to users (in this case, other Googlers), and designing and developing a product that fit their specifications."
Her contribution to Google? A tool that allows admins to organize and display information about test labs. "I have never worked in a place where it was so easy to write quality code, test the code, have the code reviewed, and see all the comments, changes, test coverage, and more in one place. This is all thanks to some stellar internal tools. As I got into my own project, it hit me: I was adding to the stellar tools! It felt great to be giving back in this way, and to know that future Googlers would use my tool to make their lives easier.