Meet the Interns — Summer 2017 Edition

As Engineers at Experience, we are passionate about two things: writing code and learning new things. That’s why we get so excited when summer comes around – it means it time for summer internships! We view internships as an opportunity to tackle challenges head on, explore limits, and push past them! It’s a vital time of growth for the whole team, of course interns included.

Our interns get to work on important, high-value projects and are responsible for design, committing, and deploying code that goes into production. It’s the best way to get hands-on experience with industry best practice and standards. But we aren’t just throwing these hurdles at new interns to face on their own. Each are paired with a seasoned engineer to help them out and provide one-on-one mentorship throughout their time here.

This summer, we were super excited to have not one, but two, interns join our development team. Each internship is uniquely tailored to fit the capabilities of incoming interns, so we can make the most out of their time here. After all, we expect all new team members to push code on day one – no exceptions!

With all that said, let’s introduce our 2017 summer interns, Joana and Larry – two amazing people that added tons of value to our team and helped make the summer a huge success!

Joana Ibarra

Studying: Computer Science @ Georgia State University
Mentor: Michael O’Connor

What I learned:

Programming and computer science is hard and challenging, but it’s rewarding too; when you are able to figure out a tough problem, it makes you feel happy inside. It makes me want to work harder and know more. I was super confused the first week I started, but I dedicated myself to learning the system and talking with Michael and others to get more familiar with the application. The last week here, I went back to what I did the first week, and I felt much more comfortable; I have grown so much since the start of summer.

One of the things that surprised me was how involved the engineering team was. We went to local Meetups and conferences a couple of times during the summer. What I took away was that community service, mentoring, and other outreach is just as important to grow as a professional developer, and I will be doing some mentoring next semester.

Key Advice for Interns:

Prepare for a lot of new stuff. I always tell people to ask questions and prepare to feel uncomfortable. You won’t know everything at first and that’s ok. The work isn’t easy, but you have to make sure you are getting your worth – that you are giving your all to learning and able to produce results. You are going to be uncomfortable and confused at first, but it gets better – I promise.

Larry Jacobs

Studying: Symbolic Systems @ Stanford University
Mentor: Kevin Glover

What I learned:

I have just learned programming last fall, so I was shocked with how much I still needed to learn. It took me a while to get comfortable asking questions, but I was glad that I did! Everybody is so helpful and it helped me grow as a programmer. For instance, in the classroom, you can’t share code and have to tackle tasks individually. Here at Experience, collaboration is a big part of developing. It was great to be embraced by the team and feel that I could ask for help and contribute back. It was amazing seeing deep, structured conversations about design decision and being able to be a part of those processes.

I never felt like I wasn’t learning anything new; everyday I was touching a new part of the application and developing features for things I didn’t think I would have been able to do. Looking back at what I wrote at the beginning of the internship, I can see that I’ve improved as a programmer, but I also know I have a ways to go. I have a better understanding of what goes into developing web applications and integrating APIs.

Key Advice for Interns:

Never be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Asking questions opens up so many doors. Invest time into learning the basics and essentials. Make sure you have a solid foundation to build and grow yourself on.

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