Skip to main content

A Day in the Life of Yelp Engineering Interns

The Yelp Engineering team loves their interns! So much so, we had a bunch of amazing interns join our engineering team during the summer of 2011.

What’s it like being an intern at Yelp, you ask? Coffee runs? Making besties with the copy machine? Nah. Our interns quite literally become part of the team and work side-by-side with our engineers to make a big impact on the external and internal applications here at Yelp. In fact, some of our interns will actually be joining us full-time on completion of their school year!

We’re super proud of the work they did and wanted to share some of the things they built, designed and created in their time with us. Check out some of their stories below and if you like what you see, get your resumes ready because we’re hiring!


Stephen J., Engineering Intern, Case Western Reserve University
Steve worked on critical new features for mrjob, Yelp's framework for processing large data. Job flow pooling was one feature that Stephen worked on during his internship. His changes allow Yelp mrjobs to automatically reuse Amazon Elastic MapReduce job flows across teams, improving engineer productivity and lowering infrastructure costs. You can make use of Steve's hard work yourself by downloading and using mrjob at


Scott T., Engineering Intern, University of California – Irvine
Scott spent his summer messing with Markov Chains and Mutual Information and managed to build a reasonable quoting model that we are rolling out in a series of controlled A/B tests. Say what? Turns out that a search for [great views] in [san francisco, ca] doesn’t work so well, as both "great" and "views" turn up tons of businesses. However, if you search for the phrase ["great views" (in quotes)], you get fantastic results. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks to add these quotation marks to their query, which is why we asked Scott to build a system that would automatically do this quoting for users. To read more about our search group, you may be interested in this blog post.



Molly S., Engineering Intern, Carnegie Mellon University
Molly was the fire burning in the heart of our newly launched mobile site. She developed the lion's share of the front-end code for the core pages, while tackling the numerous challenges of developing for the new era of smart phones. Molly built the home page, business page, and business photo page (including a swipe-able photo viewer) for the mobile site. The next time you use the Yelp mobile website from your iPhone or Android, think of Molly, and know that she hand-crafted that lovely HTML5 and CSS3 for you.

But she didn’t stop there. Molly’s project was also featured as one of our favorites in our Hackathon 5 video for her hack of Side-by-Side!


Allison S., Consumer Product Manager Intern, School of Visual Arts
To celebrate Yelp’s 20 millionth review, Allison worked with our data folks to get all the information she needed, then used Processing to render an image of the United States. The rest of the infographic? That’s just pure design magic. Check out the infographic based on Allison’s work.


Fred H., Engineering Intern, Case Western Reserve University
Fred worked on migrating a major part of our content-serving architecture to Amazon S3, which was no small task! Previously, Yelp served user photos through a complicated pipeline which ultimately ended up going through our servers. Fred jumped in to make a series of changes that allowed us to remove our own servers as a bottleneck, while maintaining the same access control properties we previously had. For us, this alleviated a major architectural pain point, reduced strain on our servers, and most importantly, provides a better experience to our users. Hurrah!



Toby W., Engineering Intern, Case Western Reserve University
Toby worked on a rewrite of our Weekly Yelp editing system to fit more closely to the work flow of our many Yelp Community Managers across the world, making it more relevant and easier to use. On top of that, the back-end code was much cleaner, making some developers squeal with delight. The project wasn’t quite wrapped by the end of his internship, so Toby will be finishing it up when he comes back to work for Yelp full-time.

These are just a few of the interns who have spent time with us at Yelp, but the good news is our engineering intern program is growing and we are looking for the best and smartest coders out there (aka YOU!) So if these projects sound like something you might code in your dorm room, you live and breath HTML5 and would love the opportunity to really, truly build some kick-ass stuff, then give us a holler at We’d love to hear from you!