Ready, Set, Learn

Before arriving in San Jose, Apigee asked me what exactly I wanted to get out of my internship. My answer was simple- I told them I wanted to learn as much as possible. Turns out they took that pretty literally.

Soon after, I received a document explaining what I would be spending my internship at Apigee building. The project details were filled with words that frightened me. “Highly distributed”, “open source”, “clustering”, “CAP theorem”, “containerization”- the list went on and on. Terrified and excited, I quickly started educating myself on these topics I knew nothing about.

These buzzwords aside, my project was to enable an open source time series database called InfluxDB to run in a distributed environment- that is, one database running on several servers. Pretty cool, huh?

Flash forward a few months to my first day of work. My partner and I were awkwardly making small talk over breakfast.

“So… have you ever programmed in Go?”

“Nope.”

“Do you have any experience with distributed systems?”

“Nope.”

We both started chuckling.

“This is going to be quite the experience.”

Before I go on, a huge shout out to my awesome team- my coaches Yegor and Shalin, and my partner Ali. These guys helped facilitate the best learning environment I’ve ever experienced, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I could go on and on about the things I’ve learned- all the way from distributed systems to unit testing, but by far the most critical lessons I’ve taken away are the importance of continual learning, and to always clean out the espresso machine (seriously y’all, c’mon now).

I’m now going to try to explain something that is difficult for me to put into words, mainly because I’ve never seen anything like it before. At Apigee, the notion of jumping into something completely new and foreign is not only okay, it’s taken with exceptional gratitude and excitement. It first dawned on me when I had my first meeting with my coaches. They were genuinely excited about doing this project with us, even though our experience on the subject matter was minimal. Rather than looking at our project as this daunting task filled with (many) unknowns, they taught me to look at it as a learning opportunity that would better me as an engineer. By the way, this is a mindset I’ve found to be common amongst all apigeeks.

Whenever explaining my project to other apigeeks, responses would be full enthusiasm and encouragement. The phrase that I became most accustomed to hearing was “wow, you must be learning so much, that’s awesome”. This is the phrase I associate with my summer at Apigee.

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