As my first internship this has definitely been preciously helpful in getting a sense of what it's like to work at a software company. My courses at Brown have of course been necessary to get where I am now, but it's refreshing to work on a real product as opposed to the sometimes pedantic projects on which I've worked alone.
At least a few people I've met who are in-the-know of tech industry have asked me: Does Chartbeat really have a puppytorium?! The answer is yes, but really, the whole office is free range to (well-behaved) furry critters. At 15 I started working for a veterinary hospital back in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona and my own house is filled with cats, puppies, and turtles. College living doesn't permit pets so I'm happy that even while I've been away this summer, home has been brought that much closer.
At Chartbeat, six-week cycles are followed up by a refreshing sabbatical Hack Week. That's right. Not Hack Day. Not Hack Weekend. Hack Week.I decided to extend my wings to frontend development by building something fun and useful: a real-time Gaussian heatmap. For the uber geek this could be considered a visual kernel density estimation showing the probability distribution of users' geographical locations across a website. I had already been working on a project related to geographical information for some up-and-coming Chartbeat features, so I thought this Hack Week endeavor would be a nice transition. Check it out on the Labs page, and let me know what y'all think!
At the end of the day, Chartbeat makes good products, if I say so myself. Despite the smallish size of our company, Chartbeat is trying to solve some huge – and hugely complicated challenges. That's probably my bias though. Nonetheless, online publishers are facing major obstacles and are going to have to look for increasingly innovative and technology-driven methods to produce high quality content. Although they have that difficult burden placed on them, I think Chartbeat and companies like it will help them make that happen.
The people make Chartbeat what it is and I've been very impressed by the diversity of my coworkers. There is an infectious and almost parental love that the Chartteam holds for the company and product that spreads from developer to marketer alike.And people are so damn friendly as well. I was also much relieved to see that perhaps unlike other companies there is a considerable amount of mingling amongst the technical and non-technical folks. I love programming as much as the next hacker but variety is the spice of life, after all. I hope my reasons are enough to encourage you to look into working or interning with Chartbeat – it's been an incredibly rewarding summer and a great introduction to the world of startups. Interested in working at Chartbeat? Check current openings here.