Hello there! My name is Sam and this summer I’ve been an intern at Sumo Logic. In this post I’ll share my experience working on the web UI engineering team and what I learned from it.
A year ago I started my Master of Computer Science degree at Vanderbilt University and since the program is only two years long, there’s only one internship slot before graduation. So I needed to find a good one.
Like other students, I wanted the internship to prepare me for my future career by teaching me about work beyond just programming skills while also adding a reputable line to my resume. So after months of researching, applying, preparing and interviewing, I officially joined the Sumo Logic team in May.
The Onboarding Experience
The first day was primarily meeting a lot of new people, filling out paperwork, setting up my laptop and learning which snacks are best at the office (roasted almonds take the win). The first couple of weeks were a heads-down learning period. I was learning about the Sumo Logic machine data analytics platform — everything from why it is used and how it works to what it is built on.
We also had meetings with team members who explained the technologies involved in the Sumo Logic application. In general, though, the onboarding process was fairly flexible and open ended, with a ton of opportunities to ask questions and learn.
Specifically, I enjoyed watching React Courses as a part of my on boarding. In school I pay to learn this, but here I am the one being paid 🙂
Culture and Work Environment
The culture and work environment are super nice and relaxed. The developers are given a lot of freedom in how and what they are working on, and the internship program is very adaptable. I was able to shape my role throughout the internship to focus on tasks and projects that were interesting to me. Of course, the team was very helpful in providing direction and answering my questions, but it was mostly up to me to decide what I would like to do.
The phrase that I remember best was from my manager. On my second week at Sumo Logic he said: “You don’t have to contribute anything — the most important thing is for you to learn.”
The thing that surprised me the most at Sumo Logic is how nice everyone is. This is probably the highest “niceness per person” ratio I’ve ever experienced in my life. Almost every single person I’ve met here is super friendly, humble, open minded and smart. These aspects of the culture helped me greatly.
Summer Outside Sumo Logic
One of the important factors in choosing a company for me was its location. I am from Moscow, Russia, and am currently living in Nashville while I attend Vanderbilt, but I knew that this summer I definitely wanted to find an internship in the heart of the tech industry — Silicon Valley.
Lucky for me, Sumo Logic is conveniently located right in the middle of it in Redwood City. I also enjoyed going to San Francisco on weekends to explore the city, skateboarding to Stanford from my home and visiting my friend at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose.
I liked the SF Bay Area so much that I don’t want to work anywhere else in the foreseeable future!
Actual Projects: What Did I Work On?
The main project that I work on is a UI component library. As the company quickly grows, we strive to make the UI components more consistent — visually and written — in standard and the code more maintainable. We also want to simplify the communication about the UI between the Dev and Design teams.
I was very excited about the future impact and benefit of this project for the company, and had asked the team join this effort.
A cool thing about this library is that it is a collection of fresh and independent React components that will be then used by developers in creation of all parts of the Sumo Logic app. It is a pleasure to learn the best practices while working with cutting edge libraries like React.
If that sounds interesting to you, check out this blog from one of my Sumo Logic colleagues on how to evaluate and implement react table alternatives into your project.
Things I Learned That I Didn’t Know Before
- How professional development processes are structured
- How companies work, grow and evolve
- How large projects are organized and maintained
- How to communicate and work on a team
- What a web-scale application looks from the inside
- And, finally, how to develop high quality React components
Overall, I feel like spending three months at Sumo Logic was one of the most valuable and educational experiences I’ve ever had. I received a huge return on investment of time and moved much closer to my future goals of gaining relevant software development knowledge and skills to set me up for a successful career post-graduation.