Internship Experience - A roller coaster ride, summer 2020

Gourav Barnwal
Intern, Backend Engineering
September 24, 2020
6 minutes

Let me start with the background story of this internship. 

How I got into it, why I joined it, and how everyone helped me?

My Graduation was about to end. I was entirely free and waiting for my job at MoneyTap. I started helping my juniors to get an internship through my LinkedIn connection. One day when I was scrolling through LinkedIn posts, I got to know about Shunya’s vision.  The company was looking for an advisor for the Turtle-ship program. I found that interesting. I pinged Ekta with all my experiences and expressed my interest in her Turtle-ship track — that was building a product for improving Education outcomes for kids from low-income backgrounds.I expressed my feeling like this:

“ Ekta, I feel your venture is looking for people who are compassionate about humans and their livelihood. For now, I am money-centric and won’t be a fruitful employee.“

We also discussed a bit about my ambition to start my venture, later someday. I don’t know what Ekta found inside me. She replied with a proposal: “ Pick up a project with Shunya. We will have milestones that go into a revenue-sharing model, and you can always start with MoneyTap in June. We have a very Senior person who will coach and review architecture & Tech design, I will coach on everything involving building business, Product market, Tech, etc.” I accepted it without waiting for a second because everything was in my favor. The next day, I was attending one of the sessions specially designed by Ekta for interns. I joined as a Tech member of the Turtle-ship program. Even though everything was virtual, the environment created was very Energetic. Every intern was from the top institutes of India. I met people from the IID-India Institute of Design, IIT-Madras, IIT-Roorkee, and IIT-Bombay.

Every day was a roller-coaster ride; learning and working were going hand-on-hand. Honestly saying, I was quite dumb in between every intern. Everyone has a bit of experience in some tech which later found to be useful.

My first task was to develop the basic LLD (Low-Level Design) of our product. Simultaneously, I was engaged in the reading book “The Mom Test, by Rob Fitzpatrick” and completing a course, “Product Design from Udacity.” Low-Level Design is an integrated part of any product; we read about system Design and somehow presented it. At a later stage after some editing and discussion with other team members. We created a basic sketch of our product.

Ekta used to introduce us with tech Mentors from different fields and experiences regularly. They were an integral part of our development. They used to give us a short session on required Tech, which was necessary for our products. We had senior mentors along the way who helped us on specific parts of the projects.

In particular, Shoaib, Kaushik, Karthik helped on App deployment, Engineering facets, and architect a full database stack. Though I did work on all of them, it was fascinating to break down a macro goal into small parts. Kaushik drove us to another level, and he showed us the tech requirements at every stage of our product. Later, he also distributed our work as per our experiences.

My second task was to integrate Jitsi, a video-conferencing software in our web-application. We had to change this plan because of Product-market fit (PMF) after our pilot results. So, it was interesting for me to plan, quickly validate, deliver, and move based on PMF.

After this, I worked on the integration of the notification part on our application. Though there were a lot of ups and downs, this went well.

And, then, I chose the AWS part. I went through AWS services and learned the implementation of any software on AWS through this course, AWS, for Engineers from Frontend-masters. For AWS also, we created an LLD of data storage, data flow, analytics, server-side, and all. We started pushing our software on AWS bit by bit.

Last day at Shunya

On my last day at Shunya, I ended my internship with a small goodbye message : It’s a beautiful journey, I have learned so many things. Special thanks to Ekta for her mentorship and guidance on every step. My tech friends, Ashish, Vedant, Rohan, and Mayank, thank you very much. Thanks to the product team as well, I have learned all the strategic and PR things. Special mention to Ria for the suggestion of book — Outliers: The story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell and Shai for her aspiring design skills.I am thankful to Ekta and Shunya for giving me this opportunity to experience various aspects of product development and life-long teachings.

I am a big fan of Harry Potter. I want to end my journey with a quote from Dumbledore: We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.

Thank you, Everyone!

Either you change the experience, or the experience changes you.