My internship on Asana’s Engineering team

This post was written by Jordan Hunt during his internship before he went back to school! Hi there, I’m Jordan and I’m a rising junior at Harvey Mudd College studying computer science and mathematics. I spent this summer interning at Asana as a Product Engineer on their Pricing & Packaging team. Interning at Asana has […]

This post was written by Jordan Hunt during his internship before he went back to school!

Hi there, I’m Jordan and I’m a rising junior at Harvey Mudd College studying computer science and mathematics. I spent this summer interning at Asana as a Product Engineer on their Pricing & Packaging team. Interning at Asana has been a uniquely rewarding experience. I’m excited to share insight into my experience and what a typical day looks like as an intern to help anybody who is looking for exciting and enriching internship programs. 

What brought me to Asana

I first heard about Asana through my own research online. Asana’s internship program is constantly highlighted for providing students with impactful projects and outstanding mentorship. 

However, I didn’t do any thorough research until I got my offer. When I did my deep dive, I found that Asana offered three things that I couldn’t find anywhere else:

  1. Great engineering culture and mentorship: Great engineering culture was important to me because I wanted to be in a place where my growth as an engineer was encouraged and prioritized. This plays into mentorship because it is a critical part of a strong engineering culture.
  2. Ability to make an impact toward meaningful organizational goals on a team:  I wanted the full experience of being a software engineer, and not a dulled down experience. To me, this meant having a tangible impact on the product and contributing to a team’s long term goals.
  3. Quick development lifecycle: I wanted to have a tight feedback loop and see the changes I make rolled out quickly with the ability to constantly iterate on them.

Fortunately, Asana has delivered on these three things and more during my 16 weeks at the San Francisco office, so I couldn’t be happier about my decision. 

About the internship

I was super excited about spending my internship in Pricing & Packaging because in our mutual team-matching, I expressed interest in server-side projects and teams that had a direct impact on the company’s financial success. My team’s responsibilities include maintaining and improving the billing infrastructure, tiering of our features, and the checkout experience. 

A critical part of my internship was going through Asana’s Engineering Bootcamp, which all software engineering interns are required to complete. It gave me an introduction to the tech stack used at Asana, which is, TypeScript for front-end development, and JavaScript and Scala for backend development. During Bootcamp, I got to onboard with other full-time engineers and took on the same projects. The Engineering Bootcamp had a big impact on my internship experience because I was able to fully ramp up in TypeScript/JavaScript, with which I had no previous experience.  

In addition to Bootcamp, one unique aspect of the program that I enjoyed is participating in offsprints, which occur every 2-3 two-week sprints. During this time, engineers get to work on small projects that they don’t have time for during our team projects that we are working on. Two of my projects have been reducing our technical debt by deleting deprecated code pathways, renaming functions to make their functionality more intuitive, and writing this blog post!

A day in the life as intern at Asana

Here’s what a day in the life looks like and what you can expect as an intern at Asana:

Starting the day: Checking in with my mentor

I arrive at our San Francisco office around 9:30 am and grab breakfast from one of our micro kitchens (Asana also has engineering internships in San Francisco and Vancouver). My favorite breakfast item so far was the cinnamon rolls we had last week (super tasty!). After grabbing breakfast, I head to my desk on the third floor. Here, I check my Slack messages and Google calendar. Then, I check-in with my mentor, Cat Borsting, about my work for the day before hopping into my coding for the day.

During my time at Asana, my mentor has helped answer any questions I’ve had about my projects, big or small, and has provided me with lots of support. Additionally, I have had great mentorship from other members with my team as my projects overlapped with theirs. Together, this has helped fuel my growth as an engineer and made me feel like an integral part of Asana.

Morning: Focus Time

Now, I start working on my tasks for the day, which are conveniently in Asana. Mainly, my tasks have consisted of coding in JavaScript and Scala. In JavaScript, I have been working on the client-side code for our web app and in Scala, I have been working on our proprietary reactive data-loading framework. Both of which I had no experience with when I joined Asana. In addition to coding, I have also loved the opportunity to help scope out my tasks/projects because it gave me a full understanding of what software development looks like in industry.

Lunch

Right before lunch, my team has a quick standup. During this time, we share what we’ve been working on and our plans for the day. Following this meeting, I do the daily SET game (we have a slack channel called #set-dojo that pings us every day to complete it). Then, I either grab lunch with some of the other interns or my teammates.

Afternoon: Meetings

I schedule most of my meetings after lunch. Typically, I have some fun intern events along with meetings with other members of my team. For example, we have weekly intern 1:1s where we get to chat with a different intern every week. Some of my favorites include a tie-dye event that we had recently, and our weekly intern hangs where we chat with other interns. Outside of my meetings, I continue to get more program/coding work done until I sign off.

Closing out the day

I normally sign-off between 5 and 6. This has been great for me because it allows me to still have time after work to play basketball and hang out with friends. Asana has a great culture around work-life balance, so I almost never feel like I am overextending myself for work.

Wrapping up my internship

Overall, Asana has provided me with a great intern experience and I hope that this article has given you some insight into that. Every day during my internship, I can say that I was excited to come into work and tackle new challenges with my colleagues.

We are always on the lookout for talented people to join Asana and help our product grow. If what I’ve described about my experience excites you, we’d love for you to join us!

The post My internship on Asana’s Engineering team appeared first on The Asana Blog.

Source: Asana