This summer I interned at Tint as a software engineer. While many of my friends interned at large tech companies, I wanted an experience that would allow me to contribute directly to the product and the code base, and create immediate and direct impact. I wanted in on the design decisions being made for the user, and to learn the best practices for creating modular and scalable web applications. Looking back, my computer science internship at Tint has exceeded all of what I wanted out of this summer, and more. I can certainly say that I’ve learned ten times more than what I knew before this internship, in every aspect.

Building our Analytics Dashboard

The primary feature I worked on at Tint was a new analytics dashboard, to be released in just a few weeks. It uses Backbone.js for the primary front-end framework, d3.js to visualize data, and a few other tools such as moment.js to calculate time ranges and to measure engagement analytics. It was very challenging diving straight into Backbone and d3, let alone native JavaScript, when I barely had had any experience with it before, but I was excited and hungry to learn. The project was a mix of design, data, and engineering – three things I love.

Here are a few pictures of sketches and mockups made during the ideation and implementation process:


A typical view and its model:

Aside from code, I have also gained a lot of insight into how a very early-stage startup functions. Allowing me to pick my own project was one of these things. I feel blessed to have had the experience of working with such an early-stage startup because I had so much freedom to take on what really interested me. My coworkers cared about what I wanted to learn, and treated me like a full-time engineer, which motivated me to improve the product. I learned that, many times, finding the right team of people who are open-minded, willing to listen to each other’s opinions, and who can communicate effectively, matters more than the idea itself.

Immediate Feedback

Another great aspect I enjoyed while working at Tint was that I got immediate feedback. There was always someone sitting within five feet from me that I could turn to whenever I was too lazy to fix a bug (just kidding). But actually, I could always turn to my coworkers if I wanted more insight as to whether or not what I was coding up was the best, most modular, and most cost-efficient way of doing it.


A Business Trip to New York!

Startups work fast. One day, the happiness team was going to New York on a business trip. The next day, it was decided that all of us would be going to NYC two weeks later! It was actually the first time I had ever been in New York. New York bagels are really tasty – a bit too heavy on the cream cheese, though. And people actually dress up for work. What the heck?


Closing the Chapter

This summer was easily the most rewarding summer I have ever had. As a female student at Berkeley studying Computer Science, I have at times been intimidated in some form in my classes, and a lot of times I have worked with students who are more concerned about how much they know as programmers than how willing they are to help out a classmate. This past school year I felt like I was constantly in a state of playing catch-up to others who had seemingly better grades and seemingly more skill. Working at a startup with teammates who believed in me, and always encouraged me, served as a reminder for me to keep learning, keep shipping code, and keep thinking design. Working at Tint gave me confidence in my ability to deliver quality code, and to become a software engineer.

Thank you so much to everyone on the engineering team, and on the happiness team, for bringing me on as a Tintern. I’ll definitely come visit you guys whenever I’m in the city!

Jessica Chang

2014 Software Engineering Tintern


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