It was the last day of my third year and I was packing my bags to go back home. Lots of companies had visited our campus for summer internship recruitment and I didn’t got selected in any of them. It was really frustrating to go through the selection procedure of every company and finally get rejected. Most of my friends were going to intern in companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung etc.
Then on the last day I got a mail asking if I would be interested to intern in a stealth mode startup based in Bangalore. I was obviously not interested to join another startup. In the past I had interned with two startups and the experience was great but not again. The person who mailed me had seen my Windows Phone app development articles on a few websites(Tuts+ & WindowsAppTutorials) and was impressed by my profile. Here’s a excerpt from his mail.
“I came across your profile and liked your articles which you have published on tuts and your other blogs. I was wondering if you like to intern with us in coming summer vacation and help us with our Windows Phone app 🙂 .”
I enquired about the work and other details and finally he convinced me to blindly come to Bangalore and work with their team. He didn’t give out details what they are actually building.
The next two months were wonderful. Later on I came to know that its another startup(Zeta) from Directi’s founder Bhavin. The team had engineers from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Directi. I was the only fresher(or intern) in the team and others had atleast 3-4 years of experience. The work was awesome and I never felt that I was just an intern. I am not very good at algorithms and competitive coding so it was impossible to imagine working in Directi which has one of the toughest selection procedures.
It was a completely new experience for me. I hadn’t worked on projects at this scale where there were proper teams to handle server, client, infra, UX, platform etc. Directi was incubating it so they had enough resources in spite of being a startup. Directi’s tagline resonated perfectly with every single individual in the team, “Intelligent people, uncommon ideas”. Every one was self motivated and very excited about the work we were doing. Even the other teams in Directi didn’t have a clue about what we were building. Intense discussions, priority log meetings, daily standups and weekly team updates were a part of the work schedule.
As a intern I was grateful to have a awesome mentor and great team. My mentor made sure that i got work that would be learn new things and not repetitively picking up similar tasks. We had weekly one on one interactions in which he discussed how I could utilize the coming weeks in a better way. For most part of the internship I didn’t know who was my official mentor as I could go and get help from anyone. I was amazed to see that terms we came across in our Software Engineering books were actually being used/implemented here. Another good thing about this internship was that I was not assigned a side project which had no impact on the main project. I was able to contribute to the main project from Day 2 itself. Infact my contribution was over 60% in a team of 4 to the windows-client codebase during those two months. 😀
It was literally a life changing experience for me as one day I was packing my bags to return home and on the next day i was flying to Bangalore to work in a ‘stealth mode startup’. I got an opportunity to work in one of the best teams with a great mentor and arguably the best stipend that any company that visits our campus offers(except Codenation but it didn’t select anyone). It got a lot sweeter when they offered me a pre-placement offer about a month before my internship ended.
The farewell couldn’t have been better with a team lunch(with funny farewell speeches) and an awesome gift from the whole client side team :D. They kept bugging me to stay and complete my BTech later :D. I realized that they were serious when Ramki actually asked me to explain why do I need to complete my BTech :P.