Being a Code Nation Intern at LaunchDarkly

By Kailin Ke   •   July 25, 2019

Hello everyone, my name is Kailin Ke. I just graduated from Balboa High School and plan to attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, as a major in Computer Science in the fall. This summer I got the opportunity from Code Nation to intern at LaunchDarkly. For five weeks from June to July, I worked with the Engineering team. It has been an awesome experience to work here at LaunchDarkly in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, where everyone is helpful and supports you.

I joined Code Nation in my sophomore year of high school, and that was the first time I was exposed to coding. Code Nation is a non-profit organization that guides and exposes students in low-resource high schools to the technological field of computer science. In Code Nation, I attend classes like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, taught by volunteers from the tech field. I got to build interactive websites for the first time in my life. After finishing the foundation and advance class, I realized how much I liked coding and decided to continue to explore this field in college.

This summer I was placed at LaunchDarkly with another student, Titan, for a five week internship. In the first week we immediately learned React and finished our first project. The problem we were asked to solve was to create a landing page for Storybook, LaunchDarkly's stylesheet that designers and engineers follow, so that users would be clear on how to get started.

After we finished our first project, we worked on Vitalstatistix, an internal customer account information management page. Titan and I added sections to the page to make it easier for users to pull up customer accounts. Before we added the recently reviewed and bookmark sections, people had to search through a long list of accounts to find the right one again and again.

Some challenges I encountered included learning new libraries and tools like React, Redux, and TypeScript. The structure and syntax is different from what we learned in class. The learning process is a bit hard at first, but my manager and co-workers were extremely helpful in clarifying my questions.

Besides coding, I also learned many other skills. I got to brush up on my communication and presentation skills for meetings. I enjoyed that people working at LaunchDarkly would sit with you during lunch and share their experiences with you. There is a feeling of being accepted and welcomed into the workplace.

I also really like the company's values, one of which is that ‘work is not life'. This was my first time hearing this phrase from a company and it really amazed me. I feel many companies out there want to get the most from you and squeeze the last drop of juice out of you. But LaunchDarkly didn't feel like that; there is a large emphasis on life outside of work.

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