I’ve been a Developer Intern at TINT for the past 4 months. As my time as an intern here at TINT is coming to a close, I decided to write a blog post about my experience here and give some pointers to future interns (okay, TINTerns).
1. TINTroduce yourself to the office dogs
One of the nicest surprises I got when I moved to San Francisco was the abundance of dog-lovers and dogs. Dog people will feel right at home in the TINT office — we have two office dogs, sometimes three. I found that playing with the office dogs was a great way to relax and relieve stress whenever my code was misbehaving. Successful interns will play fetch with Rambo on a daily basis.
2. Take risks and don’t be TINTimidated by failure
Interns at TINT are given the opportunity to take on plenty of responsibility, and that means taking risks. I had my fair share of oopsies while contributing to TINT’s product. Instead of backlash and finger-wagging, however, my coworkers told me that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes, and to not feel bad about making them. As an intern, you should challenge yourself and allow yourself the freedom to grow and make mistakes.
3. Think TINTernationally
Stu and Oli visit our US office from the UK.
TINT was my first time working at a truly international company with people on several continents. I was lucky enough to meet all of the international team members during my time at TINT, and had some great conversations during their visits. Interns should think outside of the continent and learn as much as they can from TINT’s global perspective.
4. Have TINTerests outside of work
Me with my improv class.
Work life balance is important to people who work at TINT, so be sure to take the time to explore San Francisco while you are here. I ended up taking an introductory improv class at BATS, going to events, working on side projects, and exploring San Francisco. My colleagues tended to have plenty of hobbies, projects, and interests outside of work, and as an intern you should focus on striking a similar work-life balance.
5. Get social, both on the TINTernet and in person
TINT being used at the massive iHeartRadio festival.
TINT’s product is very social, and so are its people. The product will get you interacting with social media on a regular basis. For example, I recently worked on fixing a bug where emojis weren’t appearing correctly on certain TINT feeds. Your internship will feel like a warm hug-emoji — frequent team lunches, a culture buddy to chat with and help get you adjusted, and plenty of opportunities to hang out with your coworkers outside of work. From gourmet meal events to local art shows, the TINT crew has a way of getting you outside. Interns who are more reserved should still make an effort to step out of their shell. The team will welcome you with open arms.
6. Be a TINTrovert when you need to
The option to work from home or a coffee shop was novel to me as an intern, and led to many days of increased productivity and introversion whenever I was craving a change of scenery. Learning how to stay productive outside of the office was a challenge at first. Working remotely may not be for you if you have difficulty staying on-task on your own. If it makes you more productive to work from a quiet space once in a while, be sure to take full advantage of this flexibility, and figure out what works for you.
7. Prepare for a thorough TINTerview
TINT is one of those companies that takes hiring good people seriously, so expect a thorough set of interviews. I had three. The first interview was a standard meet-and-greet to discuss my reasons for applying. The next one was a straightforward technical interview that covered some relevant real-world web development concepts, such as how to improve the loading time of a web page. The third interview was a cultural interview with our CEO Tim. Tim asked me a handful of down-to-earth questions like, “What are some deeply-held values of yours that may be unpopular?” and “How would a close friend describe you?” Be humble, be yourself, know your stuff, and you will do fine.
8. TINTernalize the company’s values
Transparency, inclusivity, and mutual respect aren’t buzzwords here at TINT, they are values that we hold each other to every day. Even as an intern, I was empowered to ask questions, give my input on decisions that affected the whole company, and have my suggestions taken seriously. For the first time in my life, I was pleasantly surprised to be working at a company where I wasn’t the only person who cared about social issues. Our cofounders discuss mental health regularly, and diversity is often brought up when making hiring decisions. Ryo, one of our technical cofounders, even built a side project dedicated to detecting unconscious biases. These are just some examples Read through the company’s values and strive to portray them if you want to succeed as an intern at TINT.
I hope these tips have given you a glimpse of what it’s like to intern here, and how to succeed if you follow in my footsteps. If you are thinking about interning at TINT or have any more questions about my experience, feel free to connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.