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In June, I moved to San Francisco to intern at Optimizely as a Software Engineering Intern with the Data Services team. Data Services manages customer and product data from over 20 external systems. This data is then leveraged across Optimizely to enable the entire organization to make critical business decisions in a data-informed manner.

In just my first week I attended multiple onboarding sessions where I was able to learn more about the communities that exist at Optimizely, the technology stack used on engineering and how customer-facing teams support Optimizely’s customers. Optimizely uses a wide range of technologies like Python, Docker, JavaScript, Postgres DB, Google Datastore and many more. During the onboarding sessions, I was impressed by the security and privacy team the most. They tackle the security aspects of the code and protect Optimizely against cyber attacks and phishing. The most exciting part of my first week was getting to ship code that went into production! I wrote a Python program to extend data pipelines of key data sources to meet the growing needs of the business.

Data Services team during a visit to Salesforce Tower

My main project at Optimizely was migrating the Data Warehouse’s codebase to Python 3 from Python 2. I had to migrate each of the docker services one by one, making sure that the Python 2 versions that were not yet migrated were not impacted during the migration. The biggest challenge in the migration was managing the modules which had been deprecated or renamed in Python 3. This required a lot of debugging to use the modules effectively throughout the migration without affecting the functionality.

I was also part of the monthly sprint planning and daily standups which were an essential part of our delivery process. My manager, mentor and the rest of the team ensured that I was considered a part of the team and not just an intern. The entire team supported me in understanding the tech stack to a greater depth. My manager always helped me grow personally and professionally by providing constructive feedback during our weekly one on ones. We also had plenty of team outings and lunches where we had a chance to socialize and get to know each other better.

Interns and Mentors together at the Exploratorium

As if it could not get better I was able to participate in Optimizely’s Hack Week. Hack Week happens every 6 months to challenge the creative thinking of engineers non-engineers alike to come up with ideas that may not be in the product roadmap. Optimizely ensures one of these Hack Weeks happens while the summer interns are here, so we got to participate in the Summer Hack Week 2019 and my team even won the “Best Developer Productivity”! We developed a Slack Shared Seeker app for making slack message search easier.

Hack Week Team with judges Jay Larson (CEO) and Bill Press (SVP Engineering)

Optimizely also cares about corporate social responsibility. Every new hire is taken to St. Anthony’s on their second day for volunteering. I enjoyed this as it aligns with my own beliefs around the responsibility one has for their own community and society at large. Optimizely also organizes an annual Impact Week that aims to have all employees volunteer within a given week with non-profits around San Francisco. I participated in the Map Swipe hackathon where I developed a Python API for the Map Swipe app used by refugees and rehabilitation centers, here is the Github repository for the Map Swipe app.

I was also impressed with the communities that exist within the Engineering organization. Optimizely women engineers team (Womeng) had an offsite where we visited The Bar Ranch SF to spend time outside of the office to get to know each other better, share inspiring talks, and pamper farm animals. We returned from the offsite more empowered with a lot of new energy.

Women at Optimizely Womeng Offsite 2019

When I accepted the offer for internship to join Optimizely, I loved hearing about the culture and values at Optimizely. These values are abbreviated as OPTIFY, which stands for Ownership, Passion, Trust, Integrity, Fearlessness and transparencY. Once I started working at Optimizely, it was inspiring to see these values in action through the thoughtfulness of the internship program, how engaged my mentor has been and the events and communities I’ve gotten to be a part of in just a few short months. I consider myself very lucky to intern at a place that has supported my personal and professional growth. I hope to return next year!

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