Intern Tips for a Virtual Databricks Internship

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

At Databricks, we host interns year-round, and we love sharing their experiences working on impactful projects that help data teams solve the world’s toughest challenges.

This summer’s intern program will be entirely virtual, with interns working on our Engineering team from all over the world. It’s a huge shift so we’re lucky to have our outgoing winter intern class share their thoughts on moving from working in our San Francisco office to a virtual experience, where our interns returned home to finish their internships remotely.

Read on to hear more about their Databricks experiences and how to get the most out of your virtual internship.

Brandon — Clusters Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
My team gives me work and lets me go off to work on it on my own, trusting that I’ll get it done. They rely on the work I do and trust that even as an intern I’ll be able to get it done.

How can other interns get the most out of their internship experience?
Read the Databricks Technical Blogs. I was able to get a sense of what types of projects were being asked of previous interns. Additionally, take time to hop on a call with your manager and/or mentor before you start to set up a positive relationship with them early on!

Sarth — ML Core Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

If you could describe your time at Databricks in 1 word, what would it be?
Learning: I’ve done eight internships previously, and I’ve learned more at Databricks so far than any of my previous ones. I couldn’t have even imagined getting to work on the projects I’m working on here — things like contributing open-source to Apache Spark™.

What has been your favorite memory or experience so far?
It’s actually been really fun during this abnormal COVID-19 time. My team used to have really fun social hours, and once we all started working from home, we just pivoted to virtual social hours and they’re great! We play games and get a chance to hang out with each other during these times.

Carl — Observability Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

What has been surprising about your experience so far?
Definitely the transparency across the company and visibility of engineering efforts across different teams and organizations.

How can other interns get the most out of their internship at Databricks?
Work to drive your own project by participating fully in team stand-ups and planning meetings. As my internship progressed, I made an effort to do more of this and I had good outcomes from it. The teams were really receptive to my feedback and input.

Melanie — Growth Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

What skills have you learned or improved?
So many things! I learned everything from creating a design doc and holding a design review, to shipping a feature to production. Since I was working on a user-facing feature, I also learned a lot about all the different teams and workflows that are involved in the rollout process. The WFH situation also taught me a lot of soft skills, such as about how to communicate better, as well as how to utilize tooling to be productive in my day-to-day

How have you stayed connected with your team through the WFH period?
Our team has been doing weekly hangout calls where we play board games, and we also have a dedicated slack channel for random things, such as pictures of the food we’re eating, as well as tips on how to take care of our dogs! Recently, we also had a little competition on who was the best home cook!

Jon — Delta Pipelines Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

What has been surprising about your experience at Databricks?
Truly how much trust and confidence the team has in interns. Interns are given real, big projects to work on throughout their time; we’re given the freedom and flexibility to find solutions on our own or the support and assistance when needed.

What tips and tricks can you share about interning from home?
Work with your manager to find the best schedule for you. I have found time to make sure I get a chance to work out or cook throughout the day by splitting my days into two or three chunks!

Dhruv — Data Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
I’ve taken time to set up meetings with all sorts of people to learn more about Databricks. I started within engineering, setting up coffee chats to get more acquainted with other team members and parts of the product. Through this process, I’ve gotten insights about other parts of the company as well.

What has been your favorite memory or experience so far?
All the different board game nights. Board game nights are a chance to get to hang out with co-workers (including full-time engineers and other interns) and socialize. They’re now virtual but still provide fun opportunities!

Andrew — Cloud Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

What has mentorship been like for you?
From Day One, I had a mentor assigned to me. This mentor helped me onboard and had daily syncs to go through trivial things. My mentor also gave me career advice and pre-quarantine travel advice.

I found that my other team members were also more than happy to help out. They are willing to drop what they’re working on for a moment to help you out if you’re stuck on something.

If you could describe your time at Databricks in one word, what would it be?
Ownership: you really are the owner of your project. I had full control over the project and was able to change the direction slightly as it made sense. You’re really trusted to do that!

Shubhra — Workspace Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

What has mentorship been like for you?
Great! I have the freedom to make design choices, but when I make mistakes there’s support for me to learn from them. Everybody is super helpful and patient.

What has been surprising about your experience at Databricks?
The overall scale and scope of my project; I expected an “intern” project, however it’s much bigger than that. I get to work on some core functionality and code that was written a super long time ago. As an intern, it has been an amazing opportunity to be able to contribute to such important pieces of our product.

Scott — Dev Tools Team

Databricks Winter 2020 Interns at our Spark Social S’mores Event

What skills have you learned or improved?
This was my first infrastructure role so I really learned all about deployment systems and build systems — everything from github webhooks to kubernetes.

What tips and tricks can you share about interning from home?
Make sure to not stay inside all day! I take any opportunity to go outside — walking my dog several times a day, doing exercises, and stretching.

Interested in joining our next class of interns? Check out our Careers Page.

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