FROM MERCHANT TO SHOPIFY INTERN

Author, Andrea Herscovich, August 24, 2020

(Left) Me and Jenny Shen showcasing our company SitterNextDoor. (Right) me proudly donning my Shopify swag

The first time I ever used Shopify as a merchant, I was amazed at the power it gave me as an entrepreneur with hardly any coding experience. I loved the experience of customizing my storefront to create my own branding and create the best and smoothest experience for our customers.

I founded SitterNextDoor with one of my best friends and business partner, Jenny Shen (Shopify Dev Degree Intern), when we were 16. SitterNextDoor is a platform which matches parents with babysitters by neighbourhood and also provides on-site pop-up childcare at events. We have many happy recurring customers who have worked with us to develop the best product we could, and have been on Shopify since 2019.

Being the founder of a tech startup in high school motivated me to go into computer science. It is so powerful to be able to create anything you can imagine. I love that you can combine these coding and systems-thinking skills with any other field! For me, this was my business.

I was very interested in developing our product and spent a large amount of time working to optimize it for our users’ needs. I was very interested in learning about our users, the challenges they face with childcare, what they liked about our product and where they got stuck. We had to work hard to build trust from each of our users. Shopify allowed us to create the best product possible by iterating using the online store editor, and integrating our apps to create a seamless online experience.

Choosing Shopify for their Mission to Support Entrepreneurs

I applied to Shopify in second year with a ton of merchant empathy based on my own experience starting a business, and a love for entrepreneurship, web design and UX. I had to teach myself how to speak with customers and pitch our business, how to design and create online experiences for our users, and to make decisions for our business with time and money constraints.

It was really important for me to work at a company whose values highly align with my own. Shopify’s mission and their internal values really resonated with me, and additionally, I really loved the product! Shopify supports entrepreneurs in all stages of their venture, which I love! I was really excited to join Shopify and their mission as a way to give back to the entrepreneur community who supported me through my own journey.

I am currently interning at Shopify as a UX developer on the Online Store Editor team! It is so cool to now be working directly on the store editor which helped me create the platform that our customers needed, and facilitated my love for web design and UX. It is a real full circle part of my life :)

Highlight Reel of My Summer Internship with Shopify

Being a UX developer, I worked on the front end of the store editor tool working on interaction, accessibility, aesthetics, and other UI tasks which make it easier for merchants to complete their tasks within the editor. It is my responsibility as a UX developer to have empathy for the merchant who will be using the product, so I always consider my own experiences using the Online Store Editor. As I work on a component, I am asking myself things like “Is this component behaving the way I would expect it?” and “Do I know what are the possible actions and what will happen if I interact with these elements?”. My merchant empathy is my superpower as a developer!

I got to spend time with the UX team, where I learned about various projects as they went through the design cycle. I learned lots of different methods for UX research to better understand merchants and their mental models around the product, prototyping various solutions to implement new features in the best possible way, and design decisions under various constraints. I learned lots about discoverability, reducing the learning curve, and making it clear to users what the next steps should be. These learnings have been very valuable and I can’t wait to continue using them to keep developing SitterNextDoor.

Another cool thing I did was to contribute to Polaris, which is Shopify’s open source library! Most of my work this summer has been working on components within the UI component library for Online Store. I was developing tools for other Shopify developers. When working on adding a feature to a component in Polaris, I learned how to develop for a more general audience. This required more information on what the component does, different use cases for the component, and examples to provide further content. Learning how to write technical content is an extremely valuable skill, and this gave me the opportunity to pair with awesome developers on the Polaris team!

Why I LOVED my Internship

Shopify highly supported me as an entrepreneur, and continued to give me an incredible amount of support during my internship. I was paired with an amazing mentor who taught me and supported me in my learning and helped me out in my challenges. Everyone I met at Shopify has been extremely welcoming and very open to chat, share context (which made my initial transition much easier), and pair with me to facilitate my learning. My team supported me and gave me the freedom to learn at my own pace, choose my own path for my internship, and they were very trusting in allowing me to build and work on things. They always encouraged me to take the time to explore and learn, and did their best to ensure I was getting tons of value from the internship. I never felt like “just an intern”, they made it clear that my voice mattered and encouraged me to ask questions, be curious, and express my opinions. I really love my OSE family ❤

Overall, I had an amazing time — I genuinely love the work I did, I had a great team, and I created great friendships and memories despite being remote. We had lots of fun intern experiences (AJ is THE BEST!!!!). If you are looking to intern at a company which values impact over everything, life-long learning, and entrepreneurship, apply to Shopify!

Written by Andrea Herscovich August 24, 2020

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Articles and posts by current and past Shopify Interns. For more information about Shopify internships and to apply, visit our Careers Page

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Shopify Internships

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Articles and posts by current and past Shopify Interns. For more information about Shopify internships and to apply, visit our Careers Page

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