Culture

Spotlight: Meet 5 Product Interns and Agents of Transformation

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Summary
Before the end of summer 2018, we got a chance to interview 5 Agents of Transformation at AppDynamics. They shared their experiences, including their successes, challenges, and advice to others. Read more about these exceptional interns and their summer at AppD.

Welcome to the final installment of the 2018 Intern Spotlight Series. This summer, AppDynamics had the pleasure of bringing together an amazing group of interns and providing them with the tools to become Agents of Transformation. They excelled in building out key components within the AppD product line and also creating extraordinary relationships throughout the organization.

AppDynamics’ fall university recruiting season is coming in again at full speed, and we’re already looking forward to welcoming the next batch of interns for summer 2019. Check out our new graduate and internship openings here.

5 Interns Share Their Experiences After A Summer At AppDynamics

Before the end of summer 2018, we got a chance to interview 5 Agents of Transformation at AppDynamics. They shared their experiences, including their successes, challenges, and advice to others. Read more about these exceptional interns and their summer at AppD.

Agent of SWE Analytics: Shiva Suri

“I feel that I’ve grown as a thought leader and collaborator — it was awesome driving a large-scale, high-need project that’s going into production.” — Shiva

When did you become an Agent of Transformation?
May 29th, 2018.

Where did you learn your agent skills?
UPenn, Computer Engineering.

Fun fact:
I am a pretty big drummer! I have been drumming since kindergarten (against my parents’ will). I also started my drumline in high school, which was awesome!

What made you want to take the leap to AppDynamics?
It’s a hot software company! I am working on a really impactful team at a company that is doing a lot. I am really interested in working with data. Working on the analytics team, I am in the middle of engineering and real-time data querying. Plus, we are in the heart of San Francisco, so it has been a great summer!

What is the coolest project you’ve worked on this summer?
My project is geared on scalability – my entire internship spans one project, a query management project (Elasticsearch).

Let me practice my pitch: “Vehicles are fine, but customers don’t know how to use them. We have customers not writing the best queries, so I am monitoring them and canceling the ones that are long-running.”

What has been the most challenging part of your summer mission?
Onboarding is tough in general. There is a massive codebase and getting style conventions to match along with the nitty-gritty can be challenging. Plus, we have a very complex backend infrastructure.

What did you enjoy most about your summer internship?
Whiteboarding — the part before the code is the most fun! You and someone else are in a meeting room, markers in hand, and just strategizing. You are usually having logical arguments on which code should be used or where it should be deployed. Basically, just like arguing on a whiteboard, which is super fun. And also the free avocados!

What makes AppD special?
When you are trying to be agile and to be the industry leader, it’s easy to lose work-life balance. That being said, I feel that given our goals, I have been able to still enjoy life while also working towards my own goals. We are able to work from home as interns — which is crazy!

Also, I have people on my team reaching out to me and being actively engaged with my project. I am actually writing code that is going straight into production, which is REALLY exciting. I feel like I am an actual software engineer and not just working on a school project.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
I have learned a lot during this internship, so I guess I would say being ambitious is good, but being patient is key. I saw others already coding early on when I hadn’t even started my project. That really got me angsty and ready to start myself. That being said, you need a holistic understanding before you can jump into something. There is value in preparation.

Agent of SWE Platform, Data Ingestion: Katie Scholl

When did you become an Agent of Transformation?
Early June, 2018.

Where did you learn your agent skills?
Brown University, Computer Science.

Fun fact:
Throughout high school, I volunteered at the local aquarium, so I know a ton about LA sea life — hit me up if you want to learn more about sea stars.

What made you want to take the leap to AppDynamics?
I had a really positive interview experience, starting with a really fun phone call with my current manager. When I was doing my coding challenge, I had a blast “nerding out” with the interviewer. It was great! Plus, Michele (UR Recruiter) was great throughout the process.

What is the coolest project you’ve worked on this summer?
I have been working on a low generator on snapshots. It was awesome being able to hook it up with the UI.

What has been the most challenging part of your summer mission?
Definitely learning the codebase. I was at a startup last year that didn’t have established code, so it was a learning curve. It was tough, but cool because you got to see the work the other engineers put in.

What did you enjoy most this summer?
The feeling of satisfaction when you figure out exactly what needs to be changed in order get something done! The people are also really amazing! I got to spend a ton of time with great folks inside and out of the office.

What makes AppD special?
The complexity of the problems we get to work on. There are lots of parts that are shared with all companies. It feels like there are a lot of technical issues that you get to work on and learn from here.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people! Everyone is open and excited about what they do.

Agent of Software Engineering, Java Platform: Julian Levy-Myers

When did you become an Agent of Transformation?
June, 2018.

Where did you learn your agent skills?
Brown, Computer Science.

Fun fact:
I am an EMT at Brown!

What made you want to take the leap to AppDynamics?
AppDynamics hired me onto a team that really laid out the role during the interview. It seemed like a very thought-out program.

What is the coolest project you’ve worked on this summer?

I’ve been working on an event-based cache service for agent configuration information. It’s been a cool project because I’ve gotten the opportunity to collaborate with my team and learn new technologies and software architectures.

What has been the most challenging part of your summer mission?
I am being asked to solve open-ended problems — so, doing the investigation, collaboration, and learning. I’ve been given less guidance when trying to find my answers, but that gives me more room to grow and learn.

What did you enjoy most this summer?
The people. It’s a great team and AppD has a great environment.

What makes AppD special?
The people again and also the fact that it seems like they care. Everyone seems to be on the same page and works hard. Plus, everyone is really interested in their work.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
I would say collaborate and learn more. I have been able to learn a lot through my peers and reaching out for their insight. Also, it was a great way to make friends!

Agent of Site Reliability: Vijayalakshmi Siddappa

When did you become an Agent of Transformation?
May, 2018.

Where did you learn your agent skills?
Grad school at Northeastern, Computer Systems Networking.

Fun fact:
I love Bollywood! I organize a bunch of Bollywood dance events.

What made you want to take the leap to AppDynamics?
I did my research and it seemed like such a cool type of work. I got to play around with cloud development.

What is the coolest project you have worked on so far?
A bunch of automation projects in the pipeline. Audit automation involved doing the health check for our SaaS controllers. These were done manually before and took up to two hours. Now, it’ll only take one click and three minutes.

What has been the most challenging part of your summer mission?
I didn’t have a cloud technology background, so learning all the new cloud technology and operations material. Ramping up was tough.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Learning new modules of Python and integrating various Amazon services into our SaaS services.

What makes AppD special?
The fact that people are so passionate about the work they do! People don’t work here because it pays the rent. Everyone is passionate about what they do and that passion is infectious. It makes me excited to come back to work the next day!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
I would advise myself to not look for a job for the job, it should also be about the people involved and the people you will be working with. If the job is really good and you love what you do, and if people are interested in their work, it will rub off on you and impact your work. It will add to your desire to do something new!

Agent of Security Engineering: Shannon Chee

When did you become an Agent of Transformation?
July, 2018.

Where did you learn your agent skills?
I’m currently studying Computer Science at the University of California, Davis.

Fun fact:
I’m a classically trained pianist and, someday, I’d love to travel the world and learn the art of astrophotography.

What made you want to take the leap to AppDynamics?
I heard about the position when Michele, an AppD recruiter, reached out to me on LinkedIn. She’s really nice and facilitated my interview process smoothly, during which I had a really positive experience with all of the AppD employees. Patrick, Gavin, and Shiv are all really intelligent, nice, and seemed to really love what they are doing. I heard very positive things about the team and the manager (Patrick) from both interviewers separately. Throughout the whole process, I felt like I could fit in with the work culture and learn a lot from the team, so I knew this was a great place for my professional growth.

What is the coolest project you have worked on so far?
I appreciate how all my projects were important and not just busy work, but my favorite was developing a system to auto-remediate misconfigured security groups. I gained experience with the AWS suite, Python/Boto3, and implemented security policies in the real world.

What’s challenging about your job?
Being okay with failure is always a hard thing. I never wanted to fail because I didn’t want my team to think I couldn’t do the job, but it’s better to screw up and learn from it — everyone makes mistakes.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Working with SecEng to solve problems and improve the security of AppDynamics is always fun because they’re all very intelligent, but they’re also great people.

What are great skills and traits to have as a software engineer at AppDynamics?
A willingness to learn, being okay with the fact that you’re not the smartest person in the room (and learning from the people who are!), and the ability to work both in a team and independently.

What’s your favorite unexpected perk?
Making friends with my team and other AppD employees and getting great advice about how to break into the industry and mistakes to learn from was extremely valuable.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Try harder to find a place to live in SF. The commute from Davis — 5 to 6 hours round trip — was really tiring and some days I wouldn’t be able to give 110%. Also, it meant that I couldn’t spend as much time networking with coworkers after work.

Anything else?
Thank you for this opportunity!

Learn From Other AppDynamics Interns

Check out some of our recent intern and Agent of Transformation spotlights from the summer of 2018: Connor Thompson (Partnership Marketing), Vishaka Sekar (Customer Engineering), Cheyenne Biolsi (Software Engineering), and Aditya Chidurala. Also, be sure to check out our new grad and internship opportunities here to see how you could become an Agent of Transformation.