Five most awesome things I fondly recall about my summer internship at SlideShare

October 16, 2012

Aakriti GuptaEditor's note: Here at SlideShare we value the terrific interns that pass through our hallways every year.

Among them May through July of 2012 was Aakriti Gupta, a computer science student who shared recollections of her experience with us here.

Here are the five most awesome things I fondly recall about my summer internship at SlideShare:

1. I’m in!
SlideShare had been acquired by LinkedIn only a few days back and this was visible in the office.

I was introduced to the entire team, most of them wearing their LinkedIn tshirts. I was nervous on the first day but they turned out to be a totally amiable and excited bunch of people.

2. Mentors

I worked with the backend team. Akash, Shishir and Arpit were my team and mentors.

During the first couple of days a lot of new words were thrown at me. Shishir and Akash carefully explained how SlideShare functions as a team and how the backend of the product is laid out. Honestly, I could hardly make sense of all the things but now I realise these are some of the most important things I picked up.

SlideShare has 55 people and doesn’t have a formal internship program in place. Yet, they were very prepared for the interns. The interview process was smooth and quick. A couple of detailed interviews and all was set.

A project was discussed, planned and goals were laid out. They are very careful about understanding a student’s experience and expectations. The best thing about their mentorship is that they perfectly balance “let-her-figure-it-out-herself” and “lets-work-on-it-with-her”.

3. Buzzwords at the lunch table, not!

Their purpose changes all together once you have the SlideShare team together, either at the lunch table or on a Friday evening! You bring up one of the buzzwords to the lunch table and you’ll be sure trigger one of our geeks.

You laugh here, admire each other’s food, share it (maybe), pull each other’s leg but don’t speak of code! The lunch table is also where they give you a warm welcome. Even if you’re a newcomer, they won’t spare you – not from exercises to break the build with your commit, and not from their jokes.

4. DevelopHer Hackday

LinkedIn and SlideShare often have hackdays. One that they organized together – DevelopHer, happened at the end of June. DevelopHer was a women’s hackday, running parallel in Mountain View and Delhi.

This was my first time for 2 things: the first hackday I participated in and the first time I met so many hacker women together! My team mate, Mansi, who traveled all the way from Mumbai, brought with her an awesome hack idea. We started a bit late but by the next morning we had our hack ready.

The brainstorming, the excitement, staying up all night, the final bug fix, the generous supply from the kitchen – it was an unforgettable experience.

5. Eee – o – dee: The lessons I take back

Working in a team: I learnt how working alone on a project, remotely, and working in a team, on-site, are different. I learnt to share the progress of my project with my team. They always had great inputs to give and at the right time.

It is important the way you put forward your research, progress and ideas. The daily morning SCRUM was what set the day productive.

An LGTM: I have worked on a couple of other summer projects, but here I understood what it takes for the team to do several deployments a day – speed, testing, code quality and some serious R & D. The final ‘LGTM’ or ‘Ship it!’ on your code review is your trophy!

They are a bunch of passionate developers and designers, friendly, content and very welcoming. I left after a surprise cake and a short goodbye note.