From Students to Engineers: Meeting the AppDynamics Interns (Part 1)

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Textbooks have been abandoned and summer is in full force. School is out, and that means we’re welcoming new faces as part of our summer internship program! AppDynamics is growing, and we’re always searching for the brightest to help us build great products! Our top priority is to provide direction for each of our student engineers by giving them a focused project to work on as they progress through summer. Interns are paired with engineering mentors who support them on a regular basis with feedback, best practices, and act as experts on the technologies each intern is working with to guide them through the 12-week program.

Just like any member of our team, interns are given the same standards and deadlines to uphold. They’re responsible for the ownership of their project, the quality of their code, and guess what? Their final creations become actual features and products that we ship because it’s important to AppDynamics that the work our interns do have a lasting impact even after the summer is over. It’s more than just a “real world work experience.” It’s about learning what it means to be an engineer. As we continue to build and grow talent, follow along our interns’ journey this summer through our intern summer series.

Alana Anderson

School: Claremont Colleges

Major: Management Engineering

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

Originally pre-med, I fell in love with computing and technology when I moved to the Bay Area two years ago. I became fascinated with the ability of a few lines of code to perform incredible tasks.

What projects are you currently working on, and what is the most challenging part?

[I’m currently working on] upcoming product releases that involve self-service so users have multiple ways to interact with our product. My role within this project is to build a Java/Node/Database application that users can pull from GitHub, or build with Docker. As a Product Manager Intern, I’m lucky to be able to work cross-functionally with design, documentation, marketing, sales, engineering, and customer success to ensure a positive experience end-to-end.

What skills do you want to gain from your internship and why?

My goal is to understand product management and learn what skills, intuition, and qualities make an effective Product Manager.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

AppDynamics has the unique quality of feeling like a startup, but operating and executing like an established tech giant–this initially drew me to applying for an internship. After speaking with my managers Mark Prichard and Jennifer Li and recruiter, Heidi Newiger, I immediately knew that AppDynamics would be the right fit.

Haojun Li

School: University of California, Berkeley

Major: Computer Science and Statistics

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I picked CS+STAT because I found my passion in gaining knowledge, and both majors are the perfect combination that enables me to do so. Sometimes on a Friday night, I’ll pick a widely debated issue and find data to do some analysis. Knowing both CS and statistics allows me to quickly analyze the data and sometimes even come up with my own predictions. This not only adds factual evidences to the debated issue at hand, but also helps me understand social issues better.

What projects are you currently working on, and what is the most challenging part?

I’m currently working on injecting byte code into the middle of a method so the agent can get a snapshot of all the local variables and the state of all the variables left on the stack. This is a potential place for a data collector, or at least it would be a useful tool for developers to support new frameworks.

What skills do you want to gain from your internship and why?

I want to know how back-end frameworks are structured, and how AppDynamics is able to quickly support a new or updated framework. I would also like to learn how to code smart and the rationales behind code design decisions.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

I wanted to learn more about apps, whether they are mobile or web-based, and I wanted to get a wider and deeper understanding on frameworks used. AppDynamics’ APM team supports so many frameworks, and since I need to understand the structures and sometimes even byte codes to support these structures, it encourages me to understand the frameworks on a deeper level.

Nicholas Turley

School: Brown University

Major: Computer Science and Philosophy

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I came into college thinking I might study philosophy, not knowing much about computer science. After taking Intro to Object-Oriented-Programming and Computer Science during my freshman year, I was hooked. I found that both computer science and philosophy helped me attack hard problems in a precise, structured way – in one case through code, in the other case through language.

What projects are you currently working on, and what is the most challenging part?

So far, I have been working on improving the way crash reporting works for mobile applications. I had little prior experience with mobile development, so getting up to speed quickly was a fun challenge.

What skills/knowledge do you want to gain from your internship and why?

On a technical level, I look forward to gaining real world software engineering experience, and learning how some of the technologies and languages I have been using work “under the hood.” On a more general level, I am excited to learn about the technologies and organizational mechanisms that have allowed the engineering team to simultaneously sustain high quality and growth.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

I knew I wanted to intern at an energetic, high-growth startup. The environment at AppDynamics offers unlimited learning opportunities and the chance to work on cutting edge engineering problems. I was also drawn to AppDynamics because it has a really cool mission to help businesses transform digitally, by giving them visibility into their applications. It is incredibly exciting to be a part of that as an intern.

Follow our interns through their summer with AppDynamics by tuning into our Intern blog series! 

Nadeen Hui

Nadeen Hui

Nadeen is the Social Media Coordinator at AppDynamics. A San Francisco native and UC Berkeley graduate, she joined the AppDynamics team in June 2015. Offline, catch her reading Science Fiction, exploring the city's hidden gems, and laughing at her own jokes!