I started off my fifth week by meeting the new engineering interns, Stephanie (Denver) and Andrew (SF). New faces are always a welcome surprise!
With the start of this week, we officially have all the interns for the summer! This also means we'll start having weekly events to hang out and get to know each other.
Vivek came to the office throughout the week. I set him up with his own monitor so he could pass the time - he was doing coding problems in Python so I guess the startup life must have inspired him.
In the afternoon on Monday, my team, EEL, had a retrospective. It was my first retro at Gusto so it was really insightful. We discussed as a team what we wanted to keep, watch, and change in the future. The general structure was as follows:
- Everyone individually comes up with keep/watch/change action items
- We spend some time voting for which items we want to see discussed
- We discuss the top 3 items and then propose steps to make the change happen
I really liked Julianna's idea of whiteboard and marker sessions where people can give us a glimpse of their life stories!
This week, Drake - our intern coordinator who sits in Denver and is basically our intern dad - was in SF. On Tuesday, I sat down with him for an informal chat about my time at Gusto so far.
Later that evening, I went to my first KP Fellows event of the summer: a fireside chat between Dylan Field (Figma CEO) and Mamoon Hamid (KP General Partner)! The event was hosted at Figma's office in FiDi and started off with a mixer. This was the first time all the KP Fellows were officially together so we took some time to mingle. After light snacks and introductions, we gathered around for the fireside chat.
Dylan was so cool - he was relatable, down-to-earth, and genuine. He's the type of person I would love to grab coffee with. I feel like I'd learn a lot. Now that I think about it, why not? I'm going to see if he's free anytime before the end of the summer.
Dylan dropped out from Brown and cofounded Figma with his friend, Evan.
After the fireside chat, a lot of us stuck around and continued mingling. Everyone was so cool and interesting. We chilled on Figma's open terrace, with spectacular views of the city.
Apparently, some of Figma's onsite interviews are conducted on the terrace, which is unique.
On Thursday morning, I attended a Rice @ Coinbase event. I saw Luay and some other Rice folks there and Achal, who I know from back at Rice, presented. I'm continuing my mission of visiting tech offices in the city.
My team works from home on Thursdays so I worked out of Atlassian's office in FiDi.
Vivek had been hanging with a friend first in the San Jose area and then in SF, but in the afternoon on Thursday, he was free again. So, Vivek and I grabbed lunch with Patrick. The Indian food was so good. After lunch, we played some pool and a couple round of Smash.
The 13th floor of the Atlassian office is dedicated solely to games and food. The interior design is so beautiful and the view from the windows is even better. Also, Patrick explained that each floor is themed after a place in SF. When Patrick went back to work, I spent a good amount of time on the balcony, taking in the view. It was sunny but breezy which for me is perfect weather.
In the evening, Patrick and I headed to the FiDi Rice CS Alumni meet-up at the Hyatt. It was an opportunity to see Rice alumni, including people who had recently graduated. The Bay is indeed a small place. I even saw Luay again – twice in one day!
After the meetup, Patrick and I headed home. It was my first time taking the BART - which is basically the metro/subway line through SF and the upper Bay.
On Friday, we had another happy hour to welcome the new interns. As always, there were drinks, snacks, and boba! Vivek came for a bit and got to socialize with the interns along with some people on my team. I spent the evening in Chinatown with a friend, before returning home to chill with Vivek. We watched the first episode of Black Mirror which was solid, though Vivek slept pretty soon after it started.
On Saturday, Vivek left to the San Ramone area to visit a friend. Alvin came over from Menlo Park and we spent the afternoon together. Before leaving for the Pier 39 area, Alvin ate some cereal at our house.
Alvin along with Jarrod and Patrick agreed it's okay to throw away cereal milk after eating all the cereal – I think that's a travesty. No wasting food!
We headed to a farmer's market at the Ferry Building. The samples were so good and my favorite was this one stand with all types of peaches, plums, and dried fruit. One guy even gave us huge pieces of nougat for free. Once the farmer's market closed down, we walked from pier to pier talking, until we made it to Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 39.
At this point, our feet were dead. We roamed around for a bit, watched an amateur magician do some tricks, and then looked at the sea lions. It was really unfortunate when the magician did a floating-card trick and we could see the string. As for the sea lions, though they were pretty derpy, they were also very stinky.
Alvin and I sat down and gazed at the water, with Alcatraz in the distance. We saw a few sailing boats pass by before heading out. Alvin really wanted boba so we got some before walking towards the BART station. From there Alvin headed to a movie and I headed to San Ramone to meet up with my brother - we were going to eat dinner with a really good family friend.
Though the family knew I was coming, they had no idea Vivek would be there, so we surprised them! They barely recognized us. It had been at least 5 years since we last saw them and now I had long hair and Vivek was so much taller.
We all ate Indian food and exchanged stories and caught up before Vivek and I headed home. The BART took 1.5 hrs but we eventually made it back and crashed.
On Sunday, we recharged and had a lazy day. In the evening, I went for a run and Vivek went shopping for food. He made himself some pizza and I cooked shrimp to eat with salad. I'm so happy Vivek was here last week - I had a blast showing him around and spending time with him before he starts college. Cheers!