Stephen Morrison was an intern at Quizlet for the summer. He is now a Freshman at New Jersey Institute of Technology.
I spent the past 2+ months as an intern at Quizlet. As a previous Quizlet user and fan, it was great having an insider's view of the team and how such a useful product is built. The summer felt very short, but a lot happened. I want to highlight some of the best parts of the experience to show you some of what goes into the making of such a great product.
Passionate about Education
One of the first things I realized about the Quizlet team was that they are extremely passionate about education and making sure every new feature built on Quizlet ultimately helps students study more effectively. Before meeting and working with the team, I really had no idea there were people who cared so much about education. The team's enthusiasm for education showed itself in everything that we did. At times we spent hours just to make sure that a feature would not hinder students from learning. And I can think of multiple times where we scrapped large chunks of code, representing days of work, because it was evident that it would not ultimately benefit students.
Focus on Quality
Another thing that stands out to me about the team was their dedication to quality work. We would not launch a feature unless it was as close to perfect as physically possible. No matter how long we had been working on a feature, and no matter how much we didn't want to look at the code for another minute, we would not launch a half baked product. This ranged from making sure that an inordinately large class (I'm not thinking of The Coolest Study Group Ever! ;)) loads just as fast as any other class, to moving a button 2 pixels because it looked better that way.
What I Worked On
Now that I have given you a good idea of what it is like to work with the Quizlet team (inspiring in short), I want to give you an idea of some of the best parts of my work. The thing I loved most about the internship was that I got to work on every part of the site. Some days I was coding on the new classes feature (definitely check it out if you haven't yet). Other days I was fixing a critical bug in the create set page. Somedays I would code in the morning and in the afternoon brainstorm on study modes for the iOS app. It was fantastic to be able to have impact in every area of the site in such a short period of time.
Another thing I loved was reading and responding to students' feedback. Quizlet makes sure to respond to every feedback (and we get a lot). Some nights I would open up feedback before I went to bed (at 1 AM usually) just because it was so much fun reading and responding to the excited students who wrote in.
It was so much fun to watch the real-time Quizlet stats during the summer. I saw the iOS app climb from 0 downloads to thousands in a matter of days. We watched to see which profile animals people liked most (if you haven't chosen an animal you should). And I saw the Quizlet traffic climb into hundreds of thousands of visits a day. Pretty soon it will be over 1 million visits a day.
I absolutely loved the experience of being able to see inside Quizlet over the past few months and can't wait to continue to work with the team and make it easier for millions of students worldwide to learn.