New Pixel and Hammer Logo

Pixel and Hammer Internships: Shaping the next generation of developers

Written by Shannon Fourlas

As a small company we take pride in working within our community and try to offer internships, whenever feasible. The ability to offer an internship not only allows us to be involved in our local community but it provides us with the opportunity to mentor young minds who are actively seeking work in the ever-changing and exciting world of web design.

This year, we didn’t have to look too far for an intern.

A little over a month ago we were contacted by a local high school student who was interested in working with our team. Based on the how impressed we were with his initiative and his clear passion for our line of work, we knew right away that we wanted to invite him in for an interview.

Meet Alex. He is a junior at a nearby high school who spent his previous summer break developing websites, for fun! The websites which Alex created blew us away, given his age and few years of experience. During our meeting with Alex, we invited him to come and work for us over his summer break.

Since Alex has started, he has already contributed to several projects and has tackled everything that we have thrown his way. He is currently in the process of working on a project in a brand new language. So far, he’s doing great and we couldn’t be happier with our choice!

We wanted our clients to get to know a little more about Alex, as he has his hands in some of their projects. The best way to do this, was to ask him a few fun filled questions and sit back and enjoy his responses.

S: What would you say your favorite hobby is? Or if you have multiple hobbies, what are they?

A: Programming is probably my biggest hobby, by time spent. The better part of my last two summers have been spent learning to program and building things. I also run a whole lot. I’m not super fast, but try to put in as many miles as possible.

S: What is your favorite subject in school?

A: Probably math. Calculus has been super rewarding. With that said, I also had a blast writing something like a gazillion essays for AP World History last year.

S: During your interview, you had told us about taking classes at a local college, while completing your Junior year of High School.

A: First semester, I should be taking multivariable calculus. I just interviewed with the registrar and I’m getting ready to make the deposit. Second semester, I’m hoping to take physics. My high school only offers physics without calculus, so I am hoping to avoid that class and maybe get a more relevant physics class. The second semester would be contingent upon scheduling though.

S: What college would you really love to go to?

A: I think it would be awesome to go somewhere in the Boston area, just because there are so many schools. I guess ambitious choices around there would be MIT or Harvard. California is definitely appealing too though, especially for techy degrees. As far as specific schools, I’d think Berkeley, UCLA, or Stanford. When it comes down to it and I have to make an early decision application, I will probably choose University of Pennsylvania because it is in state.

S: What would you like to major in, while at college? Any minors?

A: Computer Science feels like an obvious answer and would probably be an okay place to stop too. I am really interested in other modes of computing, such as information theory. I’m pretty sure you have to do postgrad stuff to get into that, so it is more of a long term plan.

S: What do you picture yourself doing after college (in the next 5-6 years)?

A: That seems super far away! Best case (moonshot), I’m running some funded company in the Silicon Valley. I’ll almost definitely end up working as a developer somewhere. If I had a choice, I’d work outside of the US, in Japan or South Korea or somewhere of the like.

As you can see, we were very eager to hire this young man and allow him the opportunity to work with us and be a part of our team!

S: What prompted you to seek out our company and want to work with us?

A: A little more than a year ago, when I was starting to get into web design, a friend of mine showed me the 717 studios website. It just took me as the holy grail of small web design company sites. It was more about the copy than anything else. Thanks to the website, when I started thinking about an internship, clearly in my head I had Pixel and Hammer sorted as my first choice.

S: How does it feel to work with four ladies?

A: I mean, I’m having a good time. I do my best not to interrupt the dynamic. Everyone, of course, is super friendly. it would probably be more intimidating to work with four adult men.

S: What do your parents think of you working in and office with four ladies?

A: Mostly, I think they were surprised that an all lady tech company existed. Everyone hears about the gender gap in tech jobs, but I guess central PA is an anomaly.

S: We all have totems, here at P&H. What would you like your animal totem to be, and why?

A: Maybe I’d be a gerbil. I had one when I was younger and it only did two things: sleep and sprint on its little wheel. I feel like that is deeply representative of my life.

S: What are some fun (and possibly random) facts about yourself that others should know?

A: My older brother and sister are music product and musical theatre majors, respectively. I’m sort of the odd one out. I skipped the 6th grade. My favorite movie is Glengarry Glen Ross. Favorite band since middle school is the Mountain Goats. My current read is American Sphinx.

We are so pleased to have Alex join our team, as he is a great asset, and we are proud to have him work with us on the projects that we are producing. He has a great sense of humor, which is probably a must when being the only male (and a young one) working in an office full of adult women! We do our best to make him feel welcomed!

If you have a chance to come into our office on a day when Alex is here, please stop in and say hello to his talented young man!

See more by Shannon Fourlas