We are students from National University of Singapore on a one year entrepreneurship program that brought us to Silicon Valley, where we have the opportunity to intern at a startup while taking courses at Stanford. Our primary reason for choosing UpGuard was the excitement of working in a fast-paced DevOps environment with experts and solving challenging, large-scale enterprise problems. The product enables complete visibility into IT infrastructure, tracks and manages change, and ultimately helps prevent downtime and breaches. Our time at UpGuard has not only contributed to our education, it has been nothing short of amazing.
Experiencing Technology Entrepreneurship
The technology stack we work with is complex and gives us great exposure to cutting-edge technologies such as Golang, Docker, and CoreOS. The learning curve has pushed us to accelerate our learning of the techniques and practices that we employ here at UpGuard. As college undergraduates, it is both an eye-opening and rewarding experience. More importantly, we have amazing people working at UpGuard. Everyone makes it a point to treat each other with respect and the leaders are invested in empowering everyone to do their best work.
We are given real issues to work on, and our code gets pushed into production and utilized by users around the world. Not only does this enable us to ramp up our skill in software development, it also gives us the confidence and satisfaction that comes with building something of value. We are also able to interact with company founders on a regular basis, giving us insight into the leadership process of a company and collecting feedback on how we're doing and where we are in terms of reaching the goals we defined when starting here. The first-hand anecdotes and advice from the founders also serve to inspire and motivate us as we begin planning our own futures as entrepreneurs.
The work we do is technically demanding, and new challenges emerge from customers and engineering daily. With the company rocketing along the hockey-stick growth curve, everyone has to pull their own weight and set high standards for themselves. (That does not stop us from cutting loose during lunch for the occasional game of Call of Duty or RockSmith, however.)
Aside from typical engineering tasks, we’re also given wide-ranging and interesting side projects. They range from simple hardware Skunkworks projects such as using Arduino boards for in-office IoT projects to doing research using big data analytics for marketing purposes.
We also get opportunities to develop entrepreneurship thanks to a budget allocated for attending tech conferences and events that we might be interested in. This gives us exposure to Silicon Valley culture beyond the office and classroom. Most recently, this meant participation in the 2016 Developer Week Hackathon in San Francisco.
Developer Week Hackathon
The Developer Week Hackathon brings together 1000+ San Francisco Bay Area developers in a competition to build apps from scratch and compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes. Teams are allowed to work on any type of project (e.g. web apps, mobile apps, data visualization) and all of the hackathon prizes are sponsored by technology companies. Awards are then given to the teams that best utilize that sponsor's particular technology. This year over 800 onsite and overseas developers participated in the hackathon. About 25 teams walked away with prizes from their respective sponsors that weekend-- including us, Team Mimr.
We came prepared with an idea to tackle DJI's challenge: to create a cool application with their mobile SDKs for the Osmo handheld camera. Being fellow interns who regularly get together for pair programming, mutual code review, and learning, the rapport and interpersonal dynamics we enjoy allowed us to efficiently execute the idea with good project management. More detail about the nature of the hackathon and our winning project is on our Medium post.
Overall, we are thrilled to be a part of UpGuard’s journey as it progresses as a company. We believe that interning here embodies the best traits of what it means to be part of an innovative disruptor in Silicon Valley.Team Mimr consists of Jonathan Lim Siu Chi, Jonathan Tan Jye How, Haritha Ramesh, and Chai Jia Xun.