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Joel Kitching Engineer and creative mind

Amazon intern day 11: explain it to me

May 10 2011

Today was a long day of explanations, farewells, and hellos. Spencer, the friend who was staying at my apartment for a few days, and I got up at relatively the same time this morning, and cooked up a quick breakfast (which included leftover pekoras). When I was leaving, we made arrangements for where he would put my keys, so that when he left later on in the afternoon to head to the airport, he would be able to lock my door. It would be put in the flowerpot in the lobby!

Tutorials and explanations

I left for work, arrived a half-hour late due to our impromptu breakfast, and luckily neither of my teammates were there to witness my lateness. I did some more tutorials, had a very helpful meeting with Chris and Mark in which the whole Prime space was explained again, and then escaped to have lunch with Spencer, despite accidentally missing another meeting that I had forgotten about (which is essentially useless at this point for me anyways, since I have no clue what is going on in said meetings).

Spencer and I had some Jimmy John’s sandwiches for lunch, and afterwards we wandered around the park area near Lake Union for a bit. He headed to the airport, and I headed back to my desk!

James explains his job

A bit later, I met with James for our Training Plan meeting. Of course I had to wait for his team’s golf tournament to end, which was quite amusing to watch I admit. We found the room I had booked, and basically I probed him about what he actually does on his team (it turns out to either be a lot simpler than I thought, or he is not telling me the whole story).

Mainly, their job is to take what the marketing people tell them to do and turn it into some kind of Prime config file. They also own the code that grabs all of the context necessary to pass into the binary than ingests that config file, which is written in Perl/Mason (the distinctions of which is unclear based off of our discussions).

Cruise visitors

I managed to escape work eventually, and came home to meet my second wave of visitors at the coffee shop beneath my building! They had just finished a cruise that went up to Alaska, and as it turns out, most of them decided to just head straight home, so it was only three friends who remained: Monica, Mariana and Quinn. And in fact, I learned they planned to stay the night, when I thought they were not going to! But that was fine; it just meant I could test out my air mattress, and that got to see them more.

I brought them up to my place, impressed them with its spaciousness, and then we sat around for a while and they told me about their wonderful cruise. I think there was about 100 pictures shown to me of food in the span of two minutes. It seemed to be the main attraction of a cruise. Apparently there was also some neat touring of Alaska and the Yukon, some nice saunas and showers and shows and more.

An extra little “kick!”

After a while, we got hungry, and so I suggested we go enjoy the end-of-day sunshine rays at the same place I had fish & chips the other day. We walked over to the downtown area, then to Pike Place Market, and it turned out the aforementioned restaurant was already closed!

So instead, we tried this extremely sketchy teriyaki chicken joint (which I later looked up, and is called Osaka Grill Teriyaki & Deli), in which a sketchy homeless woman told us it was extremely important to get the chicken with ranch sauce on it, because it adds an extra little “kick” (at which point she sort of bounced her body to express this sentiment). (I also later noticed on the Yelp page one of the reviews specifically mentions that “customers are very passionate about their ranch sauce.”) We ordered the $6 meal each from the little Vietnamese women, and it turned out to be quite good. I’ll have to try going back there another time!

IGA run, a failed movie, and sleep

We briefly did some shopping at an IGA to grab some juice and ice cream, among other things (so much ice cream!), and returned to my apartment. Everyone was pretty dead tired at that point—apparently cruises are exhausting?

So we sat around playing this strange dice game, and then attempted to watch a movie, during which Mariana fell asleep, and I almost did. We stopped it half-way through, haphazardly made some sleeping arrangements in the living room, and then we all went to bed.