Name: Zaynab Ghazi
Class Year: 2022
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics
Hometown: Rabat, Morocco
Internship Organization: Facebook
Job Title: FBU Engineering Intern, Android Track
Location: Menlo Park (remote from Philadelphia)
Last week marked the end of my internship as a Facebook University Engineering (FBU) intern. As I reflect on the past two months, I am filled with wondrous disbelief and immense gratitude. This experience has been my first dive into the software industry, and has fortunately provided me with the conviction that software engineering is the vocation I would like to pursue full-time upon graduating.
While my plan to spend the summer in Menlo Park, Calif., has been interrupted by the current pandemic, that did not alleviate the thrill of working at Facebook. The FB team in charge of designing the program efficiently compensated for the remote aspect by encouraging us to invest the connections we have built with other members of the community in getting the best out of the time we had together.
Since FBU’s finality is the development of a mobile application, the first three weeks constituted an accelerated bootcamp of android and iOS development, throughout which we have learned the fundamentals of application development and created multiple projects that were a delight to see alive on our devices. While I have taken multiple computer science courses, seeing my code alive on a black console cannot compare to seeing it breathing through its own user interface. In that sense, this internship has provided me with what I have been longing for the most throughout my two years of college, which is a practical investment of my programming skills.
Teamwork has been the learning catalyzer all along, as I was placed in a pod with three other interns. From debugging each other’s code to playing online games, we spent the entirety of the time together and relied on each other’s feedback in order to grow as engineers and optimize our experience. After all, one of the company’s internal mantras is “feedback is a gift.” Likewise, the feedback I have received from my manager during the internship helped me shift my focus from obsessing over depth-first learning to a more breadth-focused approach that embodies one of FB’s core values: “move fast.”
The last five weeks of the internship were for each one of us to work on their individual project. My project was building a social scheduling android application that I named meeTTime. Its ultimate purpose is encouraging people to connect with each other by automating the coordination of availability. Its social platform allows for a dichotomy of user stories: launching and joining meetings. Users can then like and comment on the corresponding user posts, and upon joining a meeting, an algorithm finds the user the best hour to join based on their availability and that of the other users who have already joined. It also incorporates basic app functionalities like profile editing, searching, and some camera-related features.
Committing to one project and building an application from scratch have definitely developed my resilience and confidence as a software engineer, and I would advise any of my peers to attempt building a product of their own. I am confident they will be astonished by the breadth of technical skills they will have acquired along the way.
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.