Intern Stories: An Unforgettable Journey
On the first day I came to WePay, I was nervous. As a college student majoring in Electrical Engineering, this was my first internship. As an international student, this was my first time working in the United States. As a 23-year-old, this was the first full-time working experience of my life. But I was also full of expectation for the next 12 weeks.
Time has flown, and now it is the last week of my internship. Recalling the past 11 weeks, I would say WePay gave me much more than I expected. What I learned from it will have tremendous influence on my future career.
Rich Aberman (Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder of WePay) once asked every intern what was their favorite thing about WePay. I think it is time to answer that question: Work and People.
Before I came to WePay, I heard about what an internship looks like. In most cases, internship is described as doing odds and ends: you just do some very basic stuff over and over again. If you are lucky you might work on a pet project that is over when your internship ends.
At WePay we are assigned intern buddies who are team members with real experience. My buddy, Roopa, told me that my project was to create a new micro-service and the customers of this service would be all engineers in the company. The microservice I created is called Maester. It generates and visualizes API documentation for all the services and libraries created at WePay.
Basically, it uses document generation tools to parse source code and create well-formatted documentation in HTML. Then it automatically uploads the documents to Google Cloud Storage. Users can easily navigate to different libraries or services docs on the Maester home page. This will make it much easier for engineers to know how to use any of the libraries or services at WePay. The microservice is going into production and will be used at WePay shortly after my internship finishes.
The project took a lot of time: doing research, writing documentation, coding, reviewing and meeting with the team. I learned how software development really works in a live, commercial environment. But most important of all, I learned how to be a good software engineer: always clarify before you start, always try to find problems, always believe that every problem has a solution, and always have good software development habits. And the most important thing is to never be afraid to ask for help.
Many successful people emphasize how important it is to find a group of people whom you like to work with. At WePay, you will find it! When I started work, my team gave me lots of instructions and they were so patient. They always encouraged me to ask questions and they were always there to help.
In addition, people outside my team are approachable and friendly, especially the leaders of the company. I received an email from Bill Clerico (the CEO and Co-founder) on my birthday, I had coffee with Chris Conrad (SVP Engineering), and lunch with other executives. They are all willing to share their ideas with the interns and provide us with useful tips for our career.
When I saw how people gathered at our company all-hands meeting, how everybody reacted when WePay made some progress, or when our sales team won a new client, I felt that every single one of us was working as one team, one company. I am so grateful for being a part of such a young but energetic family and this summer will be an unforgettable memory in my life.
Thank you, WePay.