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Interns Spotlight: Sri, Software Engineering Intern S20

Tania Wu

Hailing from her hometown of Orlando, Florida, Sri is a sophomore pursuing a dual degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley.

Over the past summer, GitStart was lucky to work with 7 bright interns from across the USA, France, India, and Hong Kong. Sri is one of our interns from Berkeley who worked remotely with us from Orlando, Florida.

Sri enjoys playing with her new puppy (meet Zuko!), cooking, baking and reading, when she's not writing code for GitStart!

Tania: Hey Sri! Can you give me one phrase to describe your summer?

S: Yes! It would be "rapid growth".

T: Can you elaborate more on what you learned?

S: As this is my first software job in a software company, it is the first time I learned about  collaboration at scale and in a distributed team. I also learned about the startup world from the inside. And of course a huge learning in technical expertise: from NodeJS, SQL databases, webhooks, and frontend React development, to product ideation and management. A full stack experience that is deployable and deployed!

T: What was your previous experience with startups like and what did you learn there?

S: Well, I've seen a few startups that were highly focused on growth in the company only and the culture was a bit cut throat. However, at GitStart, my mentors prioritized my personal growth — helping me grow meant indirectly helping the company grow. It definitely humanized the startup world for me and now it feels less intimidating. I also learned and experienced wearing a lot of hats in a startup.

T: Wow, I'm glad to hear that! Since the internship was fully remote, can you share your remote experience?

S: There is no big hindrance really — though I would prefer seeing some humans when I work! With such an international team across different time zones, it was interesting to hear about people's different experiences about COVID too. It's also very flexible, where I can boost my productivity by only working during my productive hours and taking the necessary breaks!

T: What is the most impactful work you've done in the past summer?

S: I'm wrapping up product managing GitStart Rank currently and it has been super rewarding. GitStart Rank is a way to calculate developer contributions for us internally, and I think by combining that and algorithmically helping define and curate tasks for developers, we can increase efficiency greatly! It has a lot of potential to improve our current workflow and is definitely the most impactful work I can think of - one where I have been highly involved in ideation, product specs and execution.

T: We look forward to launching that feature soon! Now that your internship is wrapping up, what is next for you?

S: Since Hamza, our CEO has encouraged interns to start their own entrepreneurial projects, I have been brainstorming with friends about an idea for a startup. We are still ideating but it will be an app to help girls avoid threatening situations on the streets.

T: Wow, as a woman I hate that we need that, but I'm glad that you are trying to work on something in that area!

T: Lastly, do you have any tips or advice for other aspiring software engineers?

S: Yes! Before I signed on to GitStart, I was interviewing with other startups. It's very important to evaluate the company culture! Find companies that prioritise your personal growth rather than only what value you can produce for the company. See what the company prioritises other than pure development. In GitStart's case, I could tell how much they value community in the interview process and it turned out to be a great indicator.

Tania: Thanks for sharing with us your experience Sri! For those interested in connecting, you can find her on LinkedIn here :)

We are hiring fall software engineering interns at GitStart! Please get in touch at internship@gitstart.com for more info!


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