The GoDaddy Internship Story : 2017
Yeng & Jessie:
Hello and welcome to the official [unofficial] GoDaddy 2017 internship review!
We are Yeng and Jessie; colleagues at work and fellow classmates at Cal Poly. For such an awesome summer internship, we were surprised at the lack of awareness/reviews of the GoDaddy internship program. Hence why we decided to comprehensively describe our GoDaddy internship journey: covering everything starting from our internship interviews, our first and last week of work, and all the crazy shenanigans in-between. We felt that even though we experienced amazing things at this company, there were a few differences in our summer experiences. So here is a full recap of our summer internships with GoDaddy: The Tale of Two Interns.
How we ended up at GoDaddy
I interviewed with GoDaddy at my college’s fall career fair, where I had an initial screening with a senior manager. Shortly after, I was scheduled an on-campus interview with the same manager and a software developer, with the interview being a mix of behavioral and technical questions.
About a week later, I was scheduled two technical interviews with senior engineers from the Kirkland office over the phone, with the interviews being about a week from each other. All the interviewers were great and passionate about what they were doing, and I received an offer soon after the second phone interview.
I was initially introduced to the company through Grace Hopper. Ever since Blake Irving became the CEO, I had been intrigued by the change in GoDaddy’s company culture. Especially since at Cal Poly I was able attend some tech talks to hear about the company and the incredible turn around it has been going through to become a big advocate for women in technology (instead of infamously misogynistic like before).
From the moment I connected with the first recruiter in the career fair at Grace Hopper, I knew that this company was where I wanted to work. Everyone was incredibly happy and welcoming, and Blake himself was even on the recruiting floor talking to prospective interns. I had two interviews at the conference, and three over the computer afterwards. The last interview was with the manager I ended up having over the summer and it was behavioral to make sure I was a fit for his team. I felt like I connected well and personally with each person who was interviewing me, and I was able to show off my own skills while still learning a lot about the teams and the company.
Yeng & Jessie:
Nothing gets an employee more hyped and ready to join a company than a solid orientation program. GoDaddy did just that and more. Every intern is taken through a series of days called N.E.W.i — New Employee Welcome (interns). These days consist of presentations about the company culture and products, panels that give career and internship advice, fun icebreakers and exercises to introduce you to colleagues, and amazing opportunities for networking with executives in the company (including Blake Irving).
N.E.W.i really helped create a purpose for why we are here and how much of a difference we can make. While a company like GoDaddy may not seem very large (especially since it is known most commonly for only selling domains), it was a shock to learn about the huge variety of products that they offer, and NE.W.i laid out each of the organizations within the company and the importance of those orgs in correlation to each other.
First week at work
My first week of work was pretty crazy! I had a lot of setting up to do with my team, both in terms of establishing my software environment and acquiring access/permissions to different tools. There was not one point in time where I felt like I was just an intern, and my team made sure of that as they delegated a lot of responsibility down my way. It was definitely a refreshing change from what I was used to doing.
One cool thing about GoDaddy is that it vibes like a startup: the dynamic of the team, the management style, the meetings etc — everything was moving at such an unbelievably rapid pace. Yet despite this, there was also a level of organization and maturity that you would see in other large companies. If you could combine the fun environment of a startup with the systematic/methodical approach of solving problems, that would be GoDaddy in nutshell.
Everyone at GoDaddy is given immense amounts of support to succeed — almost every task I was assigned required exterior help, but my colleagues were more than willing to walk me through the codebase every step of the way.
My manager, Dan, really instilled the idea of “ask questions, and if you still don’t understand, ask even more questions”, and that philosophy is really reflected in both the work we do and the quality of our communication streams.
Doing good work is one thing, but being a contributive and engaging member of your team is equally as important; at GoDaddy, you can find a combination of both.
One of the things that really makes GoDaddy’s internship so unique is that they actually do ‘throw you in the deep end’ on your first day. Within hours of getting my environment set-up I had already helped complete a task, committed my changes, and pushed those up to the real live product. At a company that reaches over 17 million customers, I was expecting to be treated like an intern at a big corporation (little permissions, minor code changes, and a lot of busy work). But after my first day in the office, I realized this job was going to be entirely different. I was attending meetings, pair programming, and working on the same tasks as well established engineers on my team. I felt needed, wanted, and important.
Initially I was terrified of my first few weeks on the job. I was going to be coding in languages that I had never even heard of. I didn’t prepare nearly enough for my first day, and I thought it would be years before I could even think of making my mentor’s life easier (instead of taking his time away to help me write code).
In that first week, my manager Jared said something pretty unexpected to me. “Generally speaking, the interns and their internship [experience] are more important than the company profiting off of an intern’s work.” At first, I was definitely skeptical of this idea. Aren’t interns there to take on the more mundane and not-wanted work from the senior engineers? I thought that’s what all of my friends had been saying their internships were, how could I have landed the one internship that was so different?
It was then that I realized that this internship wasn’t just for GoDaddy; it was also for me to learn, work with, and be supported by an incredible team of engineers for a summer. With a company that really cared about who I was and what they could do for me. It was an amazing beginning.
Life at work
I worked on the CMS/FOS team, which represents the Content Management System and Front of Site at GoDaddy. Every morning at 10am, my team goes through our daily standup meetings where we discuss tasks we’ve accomplished, and goals for the day. We also designate a ‘parking lot’ at the end of the standup meetings to serve as a Q&A session.
The craziest part about our standup meetings is that everyone in the team is involved, ranging from software developers to senior managers, and even our vice president. Can you imagine how insane that is — that an intern like myself got to talk and discuss engineering problems/solutions with our vice president every morning?!
Another great thing about the office was being able to experience work-life culture with the other interns. No office had more than 15 interns in it, which I felt was a great way of balancing working life while also having a nice support system.
There are 2 floors in our Kirkland Office, with free lunch Monday to Friday. The Kirkland office also hosts 3 beer keg taps, a cold brew tap, and a large variety of drinks and snacks of all kinds: a never ending supply of Costco coconut water is honestly the best way to describe it. There’s also a foosball table and a ping pong table, which essentially serves as a mini-temple for us interns during lunch.
I had the opportunity to work for the Hosting User Interface (HUI) team, which is part of the Hosting organization based out of Gilbert, Arizona. One of the reasons the Hosting organization is so cool is because of the Demo session we have at the end of every two week sprint. This means that all of the developers go to the big conference room together to eat food, drink beer, and watch presentations from every team about all of the cool things they created during the sprint.
After each sprint is over, my team comes in and goes through a two(ish) hour planning and retro session. Here, we talk about the tasks that went well, the issues we could improve on, and what we would like to accomplish in the next two weeks going forward. Besides planning meetings and stand-ups, I would usually attend five to ten meetings a week.
On any given day, I would take small ping pong breaks or eat lunch with all of the interns, which was a really great (and needed) mental break from all of the development. It was also really awesome that the corporate housing assigned to us was close to the office, and it served as a really great excuse to build friendships with the other interns.
The Kirkland office hosted a bunch of fun activities for us, most notably Ziplining and holiday celebrations at Arnold Blinn’s (GoDaddy’s chief architect) house by the lake. It was crazy to think that all these events were planned out for us. ZipLining was especially crazy, since they took us out on a Friday during working hours.
GoDaddy also pays for all the intern events we have, which helps facilitate bonding between our intern group. I think that the way they interviewed and selected the interns was very important for this process; GoDaddy wanted to make sure that everyone was a cultural fit not only for the company, but also for each other.
Outside of that, we spent a lot of our own free time exploring downtown Seattle, partying at the apartments, and doing random shenanigans together: which include everything from fun activities to incredibly stupid acts of future regret.
One of the biggest highlights of the summer internship for me was being able to get close with all of the other interns in Arizona. Since there are three separate offices in the state, there were about 26 of us spread out across all of them. It was definitely a big surprise to me how close I got with all of the other interns. We ended up traveling together to Sedona, Lake Havasu, and the Grand Canyon for weekend getaways.
Each trip had at least thirteen other interns there, with twenty one people attending the Lake Havasu trip. These weekend trips were great for bonding, and it really made the entire internship experience that much more meaningful.
Outside of the awesome weekend trips, there were countless opportunities for hanging out with interns or networking with colleagues. Whether it was beach volleyball, swing dancing, pool night, indoor skydiving, cat cafes, or just relaxing there was always something to do and people to see.
GoDaddy is pretty unique in the sense that they provide the exact right size of interns in the right locations to allow for friendships to be made. Unlike other companies that have hundreds or even thousands of interns, there are only about 70 GoDaddy interns spread across the United States.
I am so lucky to have been able to meet all of the other amazing interns here, and I finished the summer out with stronger friendships than I have created even in my time at college.
Yeng & Jessie:
Something that GoDaddy offers that goes far above and beyond any other internship is the ‘Intern Week’. Part way through the summer, all of the out-of-staters are flown to the headquarters in Scottsdale where all interns from all starting groups meet for the entire week.
Every night, there is a free dinner event at a really fun location (like Dave & Busters, Go Karting, Aquariums, etc). During the day, there are multitude of events being hosted. This includes and is not limited to: an intern Hackathon, tech talks from senior executives, scavenger hunts, volunteering, data center tours, photo shoots, and ping-pong tournaments.
This is a really incredible opportunity for a few reasons. First, as an intern we were able to utilize the skills that we’ve learned at our job and apply it to real-life applications during the Hackathon. Many interns had never participated in a Hackathon either, so it was a really welcoming and fun first experience for that. Second, we were able to network with senior executives in the company, as well as with all 70 or so other interns across the company (during and after official events). And third, we were paid to have an amazing week filled with free and fun activities with all of the friends we had made over the summer.
Could you ask for more?! Altogether though, intern week is really such an incredible and unique opportunity that you definitely won’t find at another company.
Yeng & Jessie:
Working at GoDaddy over the summer might have been one of the best decisions we’ve made.
No words can describe how pleasantly surprised we were with the internship program — from the job scope to the company culture, it exceeded our expectations in every way possible.
There was a point that Blake Irving mentioned during intern week that stroke us as especially powerful: interviews are a two way street, it is equally as important that you interview the company just as much as they interview you. Finding a workplace that is culturally aligned with your values is just as imperative as the work you do.
GoDaddy goes above and beyond to create a welcoming culture for everyone, and that is something that can be hard to find at a big tech company today. With the exception of the goofy logo and the absurdly misleading name, GoDaddy is everything you would want from a company.
Thank you GoDaddy for such a great experience!
Feel free to reach out to either of us if you have any questions about the internship program!
If you are interested in applying for the summer internship program, be sure to check out GoDaddy’s career page! Applications open as early as October.