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Floop Intern Spotlight: Jack Boyd

Jack Boyd (LinkedIn) interned with Floop from June - September 2020, working as a Software Engineering intern on building Teacher Referrals and Co-teachers in the Floop web app. We continued to work with Jack as a part-time developer past his internship. He is earning his B.A.S. in Application Development from North Seattle College, graduating June 2021, after which he will be looking for opportunities in Software Development, specifically Web/Android Development.  We've loved working with Jack because of his self-direction, attention to detail, and collaboration. Learn more about what Jack accomplished in his 3-month internship with Floop.

An excellent problem solver, communicator, and team player - Jack is a joy to work with. He drove the development of two large features of the Floop app, Teacher Referrals and Co-teachers, and his thorough approach and attention to detail resulted in production-ready features. Not only does Jack drive his own work, he takes the initiative to see how he can collaborate and help others. Most importantly, Jack is an overall kind, empathetic, and good-natured person who makes the team better by being a part of it. 

Top Accomplishments

  • Owned and created the Teacher Referral system for Floop. Ensuring the feature prevents exploitation and allows for easy integration with the payment system. With 5% active users currently utilizing referral credit.

  • Led and developed the Co-Teacher feature by breaking down initial requirements into assignable modular tasks for development, thereby saving hundreds of hours in customer support time.

  • Identified and resolved 30+ in app bugs by analyzing the structure of the existing code base then testing for edge cases throughout, to provide a smoother experience for all users.

Key Strengths

  • Self-Direction and Initiation - Jack’s first project was to build our entire Teacher Referral system. He owned the project, from defining the back-end structure to designing the UI, and broke down his work into clear, concrete tasks. He then drove development to meet deadlines, allowing us to launch Referrals within a few weeks of him joining the team. Since then, Jack also owned and completed our Co-teachers feature. After every project, he took the initiative to ask what he should do next and provide his own suggestions for how he could help.

Jack owned the entire referrals project and broke down this ambiguous, full-stack feature into clear, concrete tasks.

  • Attention to Detail - Jack is meticulous in his problem solving approach. When developing Referrals or Co-teachers, Jack identified multiple edge cases beyond what our team had considered, along with potential solutions for each. Jack is also thorough with identifying and fixing bugs, like when he broke every aspect of the app with white spaces during a bug bash. We can trust Jack with any software issues or features, knowing that he will consider all the areas to troubleshoot, patterns to implement, and diagnose the steps needed to take to solve the problem.

  • Proactive Collaboration - Lastly, Jack has excelled with clear, proactive communication with teammates. Even when working independently on Referrals, Jack sought opportunities to collaborate, setting up meetings with our Software Testing Engineer to learn how he could implement testing. When he identifies issues, he reaches out to others to investigate before looping back with suggestions. Jack has also become one of our go-to mentors on the team for newer interns, knowing that he is happy to help with questions and provide thorough reviews on people’s work.

Jack demonstrates consistent attention to detail, but beyond just identifying issues, Jack proactively collaborates with teammates to find and suggest solutions. The screenshot above is just one of many examples of Jack’s effective communication.

Summary of Work

Teacher Referrals

Referral page where users can:

  • Find their referral code

  • Apply codes from other users

  • View the list of users using their code

  • See their referral credit total

Co-Teacher Feature

Short video of the process for adding a co-teacher to your class -

Biggest Challenge

In Jack's words: The biggest challenge I faced has to do with time allocation when working on a complex issue. One thing I have noticed about myself when programming is, I feel extremely driven to keep going until I solve the problem. I personally see this as a strength and weakness. A strength because I will continuously refine and test the issue to reach a resolution. However at times, can be a weakness because if it’s a particularly difficult scenario, I can find myself pouring hours into the solution to no avail. 

After a certain amount of expended time and effort, a point of diminishing return is reached where it would be best if I documented my findings and asked for help or handed the issue off to another developer. However, I am still refining my intuition for the whens and wheres to take a step back and evaluate the situation. 

Intern Takeaways

Here is what Jack learned during his time at Floop:

  • Problem solving is all about understanding the system, breaking it down, reading documentation, and asking for help when needed.

  • This internship reinforced the fact that communication is key. Whether it be through writing concise PR documentation or collaborating with fellow developers, being understood is essential to successful software development.

  • Floop was my first real exposure to developing software at a company and I loved it. Each day presented fun and interesting challenges, along with great people and significant opportunities to expand my knowledge!

We loved working with Jack this year. Best of luck in future endeavors!

Contact Jack Boyd through LinkedIn.


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