Software Development Engineering Intern
Georgia Institute of Technology
Groupon doesn’t always have magician interns with us for the summer, but when we do, we make sure they’re secretly Engineers who create their own iPhone games at age 14.
Tell us about the team you’re interning with!
I’m working on the Platform Data Engineering team in Palo Alto. We’re focused on real-time metrics. By enabling real-time metrics for other teams as opposed to batch metrics, teams are able to reach conclusions faster. These results are what Groupon bases decisions on, so the speed of delivery and reliability of data is of paramount importance to the success of the company. I get to play a small part in that!
Describe your internship in 3 words.
Collaborative, caffeine-powered, and forward thinking.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this summer?
I built a full-stack application that makes other teams’ jobs easier! What’s better than that?
What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?
My first iPhone really changed my life. Yes, being able to browse the internet anywhere you go in order to settle all of those little debates you have with friends is really handy to win a few bets, but my iPhone was how I got interested in developing. Publishing an app in 9th grade got me hooked on the computer science track, and ultimately is how I ended up at Groupon!
“When you’re immediately working on a project on day two and can see its plan being included in quarterly planning meetings and OKRs, it really does confirm that a Groupon intern’s work makes a difference.”
OK, back up…you published an iPhone app in 9th grade?!
I made a game called Sky Climber which is pretty similar to Doodle Jump, but I thought it was the next big game. It was pretty tough to make since I didn’t know about existing frameworks or APIs that were commonly used to build games (like Cocos2D). I had to write a bunch of code to simulate several principles of physics from scratch. Forgetting the cheesy plot and annoying 30-second disco music loop, the game was actually pretty fun to play. I also changed some of the code for when you beat the game but never tested it. Only after it was released did I learn that the game crashes when you win. The funny thing is that I know no one beaten it because I never got any crash reports!
Who or what inspires you?
My parents emigrated from South Africa in their mid-20s to a country with no family or friends, shared meals to save money, and positioned themselves to provide their children with the best education possible. My mom worked while pregnant, and my dad had to redo a lot of work to carry over his medical certification. They chose to leave in order to provide my older brother and me with opportunity, and now my job is to take complete advantage of the opportunities provided to me and prove to them that their big decision paid off. I’d like to think I’m on the right track, but there is still plenty of work to be done.
Speaking of your parents, what do they think you do?
Oh, man. My mom thinks computers work like magic, so I guess that makes me a magician!
What’s your favorite restaurant in your city?
It’s super touristy, but Humphry Slocombe’s ice cream is the best I’ve ever had.
If you could do any other job for a day, what would you do and why?
I would love to play in just one pro soccer match with some of my idols (Iniesta is my #1). I wouldn’t even have to play in a match. I could just go to a practice. The team would probably (definitely) cut me before the day is up.
Can you write a Groupon haiku?
Groupon worships cats
I’m more of a dog person
I still love it here