Farida Sabry's CPT Project

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Introduction

During the summer of 2017, I had the pleasure of interning as a software development engineer at Audible. The internship program extended for a total of 12 weeks and had a 25 interns spread across its HQ office in Newark, NJ and the other development office in Cambridge, MA, which is where I was located.

The application process lasted about 3 weeks. Initially I was supposed to interview on-campus, but unfortunately that fell the same time as the Grace Hopper Celebration. Instead, I went through two rounds of phone interviews with Audible and Amazon engineers respectively. I got my offer the same day as my last interview and I couldn't be any more ecstatic! Software Development Managers from different teams then picked interns based on their skills and the team's needs. I was then informed of which team I was placed with, which happened to be the WhisperSync for Voice team.

Project

Throughout my internship, I was hosted by the WhisperSync for Voice (WfV) team at Audible, codenamed "HushPuppy". WfV is the technology that makes it possible for users to switch seamlessly back and forth between their ebook and companion audiobook. For example, say you were reading the "Martian" at home and then get for your commute to work, you can then easily start listening to the audiobook where you left off in the ebook with no extra hassle. Specifically, I was working with the Ingestion team within WfV. The team "ingests" audiobooks and align them to their ebook counterpart using Natural Language Processing.

My project, which was done in conjunction with two other interns, was initially meant to serve as a proof of concept, but by the end of the summer we had produced an end-to-end scalable feature. The feature has not yet been released to the public however. In fact, my manager informed me that the team will be filling a patent specifically for the work I've done on the back-end portion of the project.

Technologies and Frameworks

  • Java
  • AWS DynamoDB
  • AWS S3
  • AWS SNS
  • IntelliJ IDEA

Reflections

Audible was acquired by Amazon in 2008 and has been a subsidiary since. Being part of Amazon meant I could leverage the numerous resources of Amazon, all while feeling part of a startup-like community, one where I knew most of the engineers in the office and could easily reach out to any of them for help. It was also a great experience getting to work purely on back-end, and be able to explore interesting tools such as DynamoDB and S3, both Amazon Web Services. I now definitely see myself as a full-stack engineer, as I now appreciate and enjoy the whole development process.