A New Beginning
Welcome to the next chapter of intern.club
We apologize for the three month absence but it has been a very busy time for us here at intern.club. After a jam-packed summer where we were putting on multiple events per week, not to mention a huge conference, a break was well deserved.
Where we are today
Over the summer we had a kickass team of admins who came together and through a combination of magic and duct tape held the community together. They have since gone their separate ways, doing awesome things in their own right.
Brandon is taking a gap semester and working at ZebraIQ
Bobby just moved to LA and is starting a new product studio called Ampersand
Julia is always on the move according to her Snapchat and just received an offer to be a PM at Microsoft
Grace is continuing her work at EA and taking her own community Design Buddies to new heights
Bani started a new company called Waitlist which is currently in the Envision Accelerator
Anant recently started as Chief of Staff @ Soma Capital, a seed-stage VC out of SF which has kept me more occupied than I previously thought possible. You can follow me on Medium or Twitter for some of my musings on starting in venture as well as some of the spaces I'm looking at. If you're working on a new company or want to learn more about VC, feel free to drop me a DM.
Where we are going
At the end of the summer, we were debating how to continue intern.club forward with a lot fewer people involved. We also realized that students would be way too distracted by zoom university and a tough job climate to pay much attention to it.
Job hunting is probably the #1 concern for students right now but we didn't want to be another newsletter with links to jobs when there are plenty of good ones like Accelerated.
Instead, we want to create a place where we could write about the experiences associated with starting your career and become a platform for others to do so as well. Given the explosion in the amount of content around getting a job, there still isn't a good place for people to go to when they have one.
Hence, going forward, we will have a weekly newsletter that contains
Some original and existing content around early careers
Interviews with amazing companies that are hiring interns and new grads
Guest pieces from people in our community
We will reopen the intern.club Slack group next summer when it is needed most
What if I'm no longer an intern?
I get this question a lot. Finally, I have an answer. We thought this week would be the perfect opportunity to launch something entirely new, the first ever community for new grads, unimaginatively named newgrad.community (website under construction)
newgrad will be a place for those who are in their last year of college, have dropped out, or are upto 2 years out of school. We realized that especially with remote work likely extending into summer 2021, new grads will be particularly hard hit. They also have separate needs as compared to interns, focusing more on socializing and less on job hunting. We will be hosting learning seminars, networking sessions and Among Us jams and some socially distanced meetups.
If you'd like to be part of the inaugural class of newgrad.communty, hit that big yellow button and we'll back to you shortly.
Club Highlight - Fig (Building a better Terminal for all)
For the first Club Highlight, we had Brendan of Fig, which was part of the last Y-Combinator batch come and talk to us about why he's so excited about changing the lowly Terminal and hiring their first interns. Apply for their internship here and tell them you came from intern.club
Can you tell us about yourself and your founding story?
Fig is a developer tool, we make the terminal more accessible for beginners and more productive for advanced engineers. The first product we are working on with Fig is autocomplete. It's sort of shocking that pretty much everything in your daily life has autocomplete like your IDE, Google, email but terminal which has 10s of millions of users every day has a very bare bones autocomplete. We want to grow it into a suite of tools that make terminal workflows just much more accessible, discoverable, and faster.
So what you're saying that the Terminal has not received the love that it probably deserves and you're out to fix that
What you have on your computer is actually a terminal emulator, which emulates the terminals which were used in the very, very early years of computing like the 60s and 70s. What's somewhat crazy is that everything on your terminal today is backward compatible with those old machines. It's sort of astounding that this tool used by so many people has not been updated since the 70s, with the last major standard called the VT-100.
What brought you here? Did one day you just get fed up with your terminal and that's where the journey started.
I think every developer at some point in their life went like "Oh man, I wish the terminal was easier". We are hobbyist coders and didn't actually study programming at Harvard. We have been building for a while and the fun bit of it is not just seeing it run on the local machine but doing the DevOps and hosting it, which was always done through the terminal. The terminal is just this archaic, panful, unforgiving place. I wouldn't go like "Oh I'm excited to use the terminal to do this". So we thought how can we make the terminal easier for ourselves and for specific workflows. That’s how we started.
I also know that you guys went through the last Y-Combinator batch. How was that experience like for you, given it was remote?
So we actually applied in October 2019, with a totally different idea under the Deferred Batch program where you can defer to the summer cohort. Our partner Dalton Caldwell told us that our initial idea which was in the entertainment creative space was really hot but no great companies had come out of it and recommended that we work on a problem that was more personal to us.
We didn't get to meet other people in the batch as much but at the same time, we were just forced to work, which is the idea of YC. Three months of straight work, just doing YC and not much else. The good companies are the ones who are working really hard during YC, you really only get to know the others in your batch after it is over. No one knew the Airbnb or Rippling guys while they were in the program.
Now that we have a bit background on Fig, let's talk about the interns you are looking to bring on.
We raised after YC from investors I can’t disclose just yet. What we did not want to do is go out there and say that since we have raised money, we have product-market fit. What we do want to do is make sure that people are loving the product, referring their friends, hitting revenue numbers and goals. Having a big team at this stage can be a distraction as you need to be really nimble.
The interesting thing about hiring an intern is that they will be very fresh, very ambitious and it sounds strange but they don't know what is and what isn't possible. The way we work is very hacky, sort of like Plaid worked. Most people have no idea how it would function. But an intern has no idea and yet thinks it is possible. They can be scrappy, innately curious, and want to learn vs a full-time engineer who is more concerned with a 9-5. Someone who really wants to learn about this stuff and is fascinated by what can be done.
What kind of skills are you looking for in people you want to bring on?
The main skillset would be around bash, shell, and maybe even deeper into the system. We are defining a standard for how autocomplete should exist in the Terminal. One of the hard things is that we need that standard to work with pretty much every CLI tool out there. We want someone who knows enough CLI tools that they can recognize when this standard doesn't work with this tool and help build out the completion specs. We are indexing every CLI tool out there and you can actually do that very programmatically, which is much cooler than it sounds.
Other thing that are really important is SQL since we are big on analytics and track if users are using autocomplete in the way we want them to.
Lastly, what is the process like?
We are looking to turn around on this pretty quickly. We will be doing a quick phone screen, then select a few people to do a take-home project most likely in the shell. We are planning to hire 1 intern but if you're good we can take up to 3.
We are very flexible on timing so if you say that "I'm only available till February" or "I can only start in January", we are more than happy to accommodate you. If you're good we will try our hardest to make sure you stay.
You can learn more about Brendan ( Twitter | Linkedin ) and Matt ( Twitter | Linkedin)
We’ll be back next week, with some fresh take on the changing landscape of internships as well as a check-in with one of my favorite Canadian startups. Drop a comment if there’s something specific you want to write about or know a company that is hiring interns and new grads.
Written by human, not GPT-3