It has been a great 2 months working for Nobee and the journey is coming to an end. This makes a great time to look back and reflect on what I contributed and achieved with my internship.
My goals at the beginning were to learn real programming skills, build projects, and get hands on experience with the software development cycle. At Nobee, I built an actual Ruby on Rails project and adding/modifying various functionalities to an existing one. From that, I believe I got quite good hands-on technical experience with Ruby on Rails. Furthermore, by joining in with the discussion and brainstorm, I was exposed to the internal operations and the communication process of a fast-paced startup. Overall, I would say my defined learning goals were met.
This internship has given me a glimpse into the life of a software engineer. There were some stressful times around deliverable deadline but, in all generality, the job is really interesting and has a decent work balance (this source says most work 40 hours work week but sometimes software engineers have to work evenings and weekends to solve problems). I have been enjoying learning a new programming language and solving problems. Therefore, this internship has definitely confirmed my interest and career choice as a software engineer. Also, this year and the current pandemic situation also provided a prospect of a remote software engineer job. It is by no means perfect and definitely an adjustment than working on-site. However, it is shown that working remotely as a software engineer could totally be viable.
All in all, I enjoyed my experience working for Nobee. The team comprises of smart and energetic young people and communication is dynamic and comfortable. My supervisor was super helpful, really devoted to help me solve my problems. My advice for future interns at Nobee as well as interns in general relates to communication. If you are running into a difficult problem or unclear instructions, the best thing to do is to discuss with your supervisor. The process of talking and explaining the problem to the supervisor is already the first step to tackle the problem. On top of that, sometimes a simple hint from the supervisor can connect that final dot in your thought process. My advice is not to hesitate to contact your supervisor/project manager and further discuss the problem while of course, making sure that they are available and happy to help.
The COVID situation has brought unprecedented circumstances and seemed surreal for many of us. One of the changes includes working my internship virtually. So how exactly is a virtual internship different from a regular internship? I’ll share my own experience, comparing with that of my internship last year at AIAcademy?
Virtual internship means building your own schedule. To many, that could feel liberating to not follow a rigid schedule and do what you want with your time. Personally, I find more value in a predictable constant schedule. With all these distractions at our fingertips, it is super easy to burn a couple of hours watching Netflix or playing video games. To that my solution is (the same as during the academic year) to build a schedule on Google Calendar and try to follow it as strictly as possible. So far that has been working out quite well 😀
One difficulty to a virtual internship is the limitation of communications with one’s supervisor and peers. In an on-site setting, it is as simple as turning your chair 90 degree to ask a question, have your supervisor look through your code and try fixes. Now, if I were to ask my supervisor for technical help, I would have to schedule a meeting and have him look through my shared screen and tell me what fixes he might implement. However, even facing these differences, I think communications amongst the team are being done quite effectively and effciently at Nobee using Zoom. Clearly, working remotely has notable distinctions compared to working on-site. Still, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to work remotely and highly reduce my chances of contracting the virus.
During my internship at Nobee, I focus on building my back-end web developing skills with Ruby on Rails. I’m hoping by building functions for Nobee’s website, my Ruby on Rails skills will be sharpened. Getting through the beginning is always the hardest, but once one gets a hang of a language or a library, it’s becomes a lot quicker to learn it further. I’m hoping that Ruby on Rails will enhance my resume and skillset and better equip me for the daunting job search. There are currently 8,888 job search results from Indeed when I searched for “Ruby on Rails” in the United States (305 were entry level)! Given the economic impact of the pandemic and not prime recruiting period, it seems Ruby on Rails is quite in-demand in the job market and possessing this skill will be a great advantage. Also, working at Nobee has opened a new path for me in my tech career – backend web developing that I am enjoying more and more every day and I look forward to making it my Computer Science specialty.
During my sophomore year when I took Software Entrepreneurship, I got a chance to meet Danny Nguyen and heard about his company Nobee. Nobee seeks to connect landlords to tenants without going through brokers and as a result saving both the landlord and the tenant from exorbitant brokerage fees. Having been troubled with broker fees myself while on my search of off-campus housing, I think Nobee would be absolutely useful not only for me but everyone else during their search for housing. For that reason, I would like to be a part of Nobee to help realize their goal to help eliminate broker fees once and for all. And so, I applied and gladly accepted their internship offer.
Nobee Inc., a startup based in Boston, is currently building and maintaining a web application on Ruby on Rails platform. The team is made up of a few software engineers and a few people on the business side, all are Brandeis and Northeastern grads. While working remotely does present some problems regarding communications and planning, Nobee still works together like a well-oiled machine.
My main responsibility at Nobee is to conduct research on the functionalities of the deployed app on a few different metrics. Essentially, I make sure that everything is running smoothly, the connections to the servers are quick and reliable, and should there be any issue or blockage, I research a possible solution. I am also working on a side project in Ruby on Rails, aiming to create a responsive application that can handle adding, editing, and deleting content in real time.
My goals at the beginning were to learn practical programming skills, build functional projects, and get hands-on experience on the software developing cycle and the housing market. While the work can be demanding, it is absolutely worth it being part of this energetic and hardworking team. I look forward to my remaining time working at Nobee!!