Success: Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Cloud Support Associate (CSA) Internship; Technology in Fashion: How Computer Software (Bots) Have Shaped the Sneakerhead Community and Culture

Chicas, Cristian, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Graham, Daniel, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

Although being loosely connected, this portfolio addresses two important topics in the field of technology. The technical paper analyzes my experience as a support engineer intern at Amazon Web Services (AWS) while the STS research paper addresses how the sociotechnical relationship between automated computer programs, bots, in purchasing sneakers impacts the sneakerhead community and culture. There are many motivations behind the technical paper. First, the paper provides a critique of my experience as an intern at AWS so that other potential interns can understand what to expect for the support engineer role. The critique can also be utilized by AWS to determine if they should make any changes for their support engineer internship. On the other hand, the technical paper can also be utilized by other technology companies that are seeking ways to retain and maintain talent even while technology continues to evolve. Since my overall experience at AWS was good, the technical paper can serve as an outline or model for technology companies that are seeking to create their own internships. As for the STS research paper, the primary motivation was to illustrate how technology can have wide-ranging impacts on non-tech communities and their culture. Overall, the STS paper investigates how sneaker bots have impacted the economic, social, and cultural aspects of the sneakerhead community to determine whether sneaker bots have been overall beneficial or detrimental for the sneakerhead community.

As the cloud computing market for Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to increase, the demand for Cloud Support Associate (CSA) employees rises. Cloud computing is a relatively new field that is constantly seeing new technologies and innovations, which makes finding knowledgeable employees hard to do. The scarcity of talent and the high turnover for the CSA role has led AWS to create its first-ever Support Engineering Internship to encourage successful interns to join AWS full-time. Beginning in summer 2021, AWS offered an engaging experience that enabled interns to learn the basics of networking, internet fundamentals, and cloud computing in less than three months. Their success led to successful interns receiving full-time offers. Thus, the technical deliverable analyzes AWS’ solution to their employment problem to serve as a guide and critique for other companies to use.

The fast advancement of technology has led to many new applications. In particular, the advancement of software has enabled software programs to be utilized in non-tech markets. For example, automated software programs, or sneaker bots, are being used to buy sneakers for the bot’s owner. The use of sneaker bots has made it extremely difficult for those without sneaker bots to purchase coveted sneakers at retail price. This paper aims to address how the unfair sociotechnical relationship between sneaker bots in purchasing sneakers has shaped the sneakerhead community and culture. Historical Case Studies are utilized to compare and contrast the sneakerhead community and culture before and after the widespread use of sneaker bots. In addition, the paper is written through the lens of Thorstein Veblen’s theory of technological determinism to justify claims stating that sneaker bots, a technology, has influenced the sneakerhead community and culture, a society. Results from the research should provide insight on the pros and cons of sneaker bots on the sneakerhead community and culture. However, the results of this research can be extended to understand how technology can impact non-tech markets and communities.

Overall, this portfolio highlights the broad impacts technology has. The technical paper illustrates how the fast growth of technology has brought new employment challenges for technology companies while the STS paper demonstrates how software programs have completely changed the sneaker market and the sneakerhead community/culture. By understanding both papers in this portfolio, the user is prompted to gain a better contextual lens of how new technologies introduced can have both lasting benefits and detriments outside of the technology’s intended purpose. This is meant to reframe the narrow lens many developers may have to help them think beyond intention to understand complex consequences, instill a culture of empathy, and build a more multifaceted approach to designing new solutions.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Sneaker Bots, Sneakerhead Community, Technological Determinism
Issued Date: