Editor’s Note: For the past four months, Pixlee has had the pleasure of welcoming Bruce and Brianna, two co-op students from the University of Waterloo. From the company-wide kickoff in San Francisco to remote work due to COVID-1 9, their unique internship experience is one they won’t soon forget. In this co-written post from Brianna and Bruce, they shed light on life at Pixlee.
Company Kickoff: San Francisco
We had the chance to start off our internship by attending corporation commencement in San Francisco. This meant that we would be meeting Pablo, Pixlee’s Director of Engineering, for the first time at international airports. It was quite intimidating to meet 60+ people on your first few days of work, but this trip helped us immensely with getting a thorough introduction to Pixlee. Within a week, we both had a chance to learn a whole lot about the Pixlee platform and how different crews control.
In our first fulfill as employees, Kyle Wong( the CEO) explained the company objectives for 2020. One of which was to stimulate Pixlee “the best company our employees ever work for” and in our 4 months here, they did a really good job of achieving that goal. Even though we were new to the product, we were able to sit through insightful gratifies about ways to improve team processes and learn about Pixlee’s purposes and core values. We also had a chance to bond with the team through team-building activities and relaxing extend discussions between the long meets. By the end of the trip, we were closer than ever with the Toronto Pixlee team, AKA Pix6, even before we did our first JIRA ticket.
Upon returning to Toronto, one of the first issue our directors questioned us was: “what do you hope to get out of your time here? ” This was followed up throughout the term by more questions to establish our experience better and actual act on all of the goals that we set at the beginning of the term. But the people you work with are just as important as the goals you defined. The Pixlee team is filled with people who are smart, fun, enthusiastic, and will genuinely try to make your time here the best it can be.
Every Day Matters as a Software Engineering Intern
The day of a software engineering intern seemed more or less the same as that of a full-time engineer at Pixlee, which gave us a lot of room to learn. It goes something like this 😛 TAGEND
Pixlee’s engineering team is mostly in Toronto but interacts a lot with the teams from San Francisco( and to a certain extent, Korea ). To sync all the schedules, we have slightly later working hours than internships we’ve done in the past. Usually, we would arrive around 10, build myself some tea, post our daily standup on Slack, and jump-start straight into coding.
Pixlee has a lunch perk where we get $15 in Ritual credits twice a week so this usually leads to a lot of debate as to what to eat. We’ll all feed together, talk about whatever’s going on( they got me into Robo-investing this term) and it’s a good time to unwind and have some fun.
After lunch, the interns typically going to go to coding with meets sprinkled throughout. These sessions are another aspect that separates the Pixlee internship from most other ones. At the weekly all-hands, we learn about what goes on with the company and would handle things such as 😛 TAGEND
New patrons for Pixlee Feedback from existing patrons Our employees’ large-hearted instants( such as “Pixleeversaries”) The general country of the company, and activities updates.
Then we’d have gratifies with the engineering team. At sprint retro, we can give input on troubles we had with development and how to fix them. At job syncs, we discuss progress and the direction of projects. These fulfills devote us better perspectives on why we’re doing what we’re doing which assistances with to decide on things such as implementation. We likewise have weekly and monthly one-on-one gratifies where we discuss topics relating more around our personal goals and specific projects we want to work on. Then, my manager( s) will keep an eye out for upcoming work related to my interests and have it assigned to us if possible( this actually happens a lot, so take advantage of that ).
After an afternoon of coding and meets, we’d typically leave the office around 6. Sometimes we’ll organize event nighttimes like board games where everyone socializes. Although most periods follow a similar motif, Pixlee’s employees still manage to make one of our values, “everyday matters”, hold true. Every day, the operate I did was impactful. Whether it was figuring out the design of specific features, implementing it, or liberating it, our project get pushed out to millions of people around the world who treated with our products and find value in what we do.
The Unexpected: COVID-1 9 and its Significant Impact
In mid-March, Pixlee started to recommend the team to start working from residence as a good health and safety precaution. This meant that if we had the ability to work from home, it was best to do so. A few days later, the recommendation became mandatory. This was, of course, very saddening to hear that we would have to spend the rest of our internship at home. The city’s response to the pandemic highlighted the severity of the situation and showed that these were contexts outside of our restraint. The only thing we could do now is to adapt to the new conditions and construct the best of the rest of our time at Pixlee.
Over the rest of March and April, “were working” from our the house and tried our best to adjust to this new lifestyle. This experience proved the importance of ensuring that the daily gathers and interactions we have with the team in order for work to be completed in an efficient manner. In the bureau, it was very easy to get up and stroll to someone’s desk to ask for help. Remote, we would have to adapt to digitally expressing what we’re requesting and hope the message was understood. Nevertheless, we tried our best to produce the same amount of work through this unfortunate situation by continuing to keep in contact with team members through Zoom and messaging often on Slack.
Adapting for Success
Even with these unforeseen circumstances, we both cause the best of the time we had at Pixlee to learn and absorb as much as we could from everyone. We still had a chance to work on important and impactful projects that aren’t “co-op projects”. They didn’t set us off to the side to work on a project that would never be available in the Pixlee platform. Instead, we were working alongside full-timers and had a mentor-like experience from working with them.
In our opinion, we still think that we got the full “Pixlee experience” even when things happened that were out of our self-control, which is part of what attains it so great to work here. Even when unexpected situations “re coming”, the Pixlee team are rapidly adapted and still have a positive and cheerful position towards it. Everyone is still able to put out great work and continue chugging out PRs as if they were physically in the office.
Overall, we can both agree that this is one of the best corporations either one of us has interned for. There’s great people, great work, and great opportunities to learn.
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