Learning From Those Who Really Know

If I have to summarize my apprenticeship in one phrase, I would say that I spent three very productive months learning from a team of programmers who were not only incredibly talented, but also very giving.

I learned a ton really fast and that would not have been possible without a supportive team determined to help. INN's senior director of product and technology, Adam Schweigert, has written a post on apprenticeships. The INN tech team stays true to Adam’s vision. I have paired up with colleagues numerous times and have never had to worry about getting help.

In terms of projects, I spent most of my apprenticeship working on One-liner, a prototype funded by the Knight Foundation. One-liner is a web-based application that will deliver a single line of code responsible for loading specified third-party analytics services. Here’s a detailed description of what One-liner aims to do.

I researched third-party analytics services like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixels (Custom audience tool), Chartbeat etc. and studied their privacy implications, performance and prices. The idea is to provide information and suggest which services are best fits with the organization. We reached out to organizations to verify our research and also designed a survey to gather more information to be able to make suggestions.

We then created user flows, storyboards and mockups to prepare for the next step of building an app. We decided to build the app using Django as the web application framework and JavaScript for the front-end.

I benefitted from being part of the entire project from start to finish. I learned about what the entire process is for executing a web application like this is. Plus, I learned Django and worked with a great team!

But my learning was not just limited to picking up technical skills. I learned to be disciplined with my work schedule to enable working with a remote team. I learned how to communicate using Slack, Screenhero and other tools to make up for not having as much face time. I learned to manage time differences as most of my team was based out of different parts of the United States.

In addition to all this, I really enjoyed conducting the monthly book club and enjoyed an invigorating conversation about what the Internet is doing to our cognitive capabilities.

All in all, it was three great months, a ton of learning and fun!