Day 1 of Summer Internship Hackathon by Jenny Zhang

Hi there,

Quick introduction: I’m Jenny Zhang, and I’m a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson. I’ll be working on the Traction Team this summer.

I enjoy coding, and I’m looking to venture into the tech industry by gaining some real-world work experience, and to get a feel for which area I want to go into. To me, this is the perfect opportunity.

As I begin this new adventure, I’d like to paint a before picture: Right now I consider myself to be an amateur full-stack developer and graphic designer, having toyed with both website layout design and (somewhat) complex back-end algorithms. I feel that I’m loaded with potential – I have a number of tools in my toolbox, but I’m not quite sure how to use them. I hope that when I look back on this in 6 weeks, I’ll see how far I’ve come.

Today we received an overview of our plans and goals for the upcoming weeks, and a review of Agile and Scrum. The Agile methodology, a process of incremental, iterative work cadences, seems incredibly efficient and makes me wonder why the Waterfall tactic is still in use. Overall, it was a lot of information hurtling towards us, so I’m glad Blake was gracious enough to give us each a notebook to jot down everything we wanted to remember, as well as a kitchen well-stocked with food. I feel that Blake is someone who cares not only that tasks get done, but also how they get done – every last bit of the process. I appreciate Blake and our other mentors – Luis, Andres, and Jenny (hope that doesn’t get too confusing); what amazes me is not only their experience and expertise in the field, but also their willingness and enthusiasm to mentor us, and help us grow as a team.

Our day today has only made me more excited about the weeks to come. I could be interning at a typical company where my daily tasks consist of doing busywork and making a fresh pot of coffee, but I think I’d rather be here. I look forward to working with my team, participating in discussions, and really making a contribution to something amazing.



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