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Interning at Airtime

This past Fall I worked at Airtime as a software engineering intern on the media team. Specifically, I implemented a video quality analysis framework into the media team’s testing applications. See my other article, Objective Video Quality Analysis at Airtime, to learn more about my project in detail!

As a third year University of Waterloo biomedical engineering student with a specialization in software, I was drawn to Airtime by the opportunity to experience:

  • Meaningful and impactful work
  • Cool tech stack
  • Great location
  • Nurturing environment
  • Balance
  • Fun!

Meaningful and impactful work

When interviewing for Airtime, my manager and coworker described my potential project in great detail. I learned the history of its conception and its importance to Airtime. The video quality analysis system was vital to our testing suite, providing the company with meaningful data and allowing our manual testers to focus on other tasks.

My project also had numerous extensions, eliminating the possibility of finishing the project early and twiddling my thumbs for the rest of the term.

Me at Airtime!

Cool Tech Stack

Another important part of being an intern is exposure to neat tech stacks! Airtime’s media team predominantly codes in C++, which is a foundational programming language. Yes, type casting and memory management can be a pain, but these considerations will whip you into a more thoughtful programmer and will make coding in other languages seem like a breeze.

Airtime’s code base is composed of many different applications, libraries, and frameworks that communicate with each other. Because of these dependencies, our engineers must be mindful of code compatibility, maintainability, and readability. Even though these tools are used internally, we continue to implement best practices and industry standards to ensure the highest quality and mitigate future problems.

Airtime starter pack and work station

Nurturing Environment

Airtime is an incredibly nurturing environment. Daily stand-ups allow the media team to stay connected and are a great place to ask for expert advice on road-blockers from the previous day. Weekly or bi-weekly one-on-ones are scheduled for all employees and provide an opportunity to ask questions, reflect on your performance, or chat about your weekend plans. Plus, the office is an open concept, encouraging people to consult each other throughout the work day.

Airtime is a family composed of incredibly talented and kind individuals. As a family, we celebrate company successes and reflect on recent failures through our biweekly “All-hands” meetings. Holiday and birthday parties also bring the company together for fun activities and delicious treats!

Birthday cannoli!

Great Location

Airtime has offices in Brooklyn, New York and Palo Alto, California! As a member of the Palo Alto office, I was able to experience life in the Bay Area and extensively explore downtown Palo Alto. On my one-on-ones with my manager, we’d walk through the residential areas and stop to pet curious cats. Every Friday, the office takes lunch trips to Sancho’s, our favorite local taco shop. Our office is also a short 5 minute walk to the PA Caltrain station, which is awesome for commuting from SF or from South Bay.

Sunrise at the Santa Clara Caltrain station — Note, usually I took the 8:47am train 🙂

Balance

Work-life balance is important for sustainable productivity and satisfaction. Flexible work hours allow everyone to beat Bay Area traffic. Online communication also provides the opportunity to work remotely on occasion.

Well-being is emphasized with a kitchen stocked with fresh snacks and drinks. Also, every Tuesday and Thursday, one of my mentors and I would run 8 miles to Mountain View, where we would then play basketball with other coworkers. On our runs, we chatted about my project, software topics, and history.

Sweaty with hard work after basketball (Left). Shoreline Trail run with Jenny and Matthew (Right)!

While interning, I was also able to take many weekend trips! Work-hard, play-hard. Over the course of 16 weeks, I traveled to San Francisco (NOT “San Fran”), Napa Valley, Santa Cruz, Monterey Bay, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, and Tucson, Arizona.

Weekend travels to SF, Tahoe, LA, and Arizona.

Fun!

Every day in the Airtime office was a joy. From planting plastic cockroaches on desks of unsuspecting coworkers to reviving a succulent plant with La Croix, each day was filled with fun and adventure. FIFA on Fridays fuels a friendly workplace competition.

Outside of the office, we went on numerous team bonding outings, including a hike and go-kart racing! With delicious food and company-wide competitions for best costumes and ugly sweaters, holiday parties were also a blast.

Palo Alto Halloween and Christmas Parties 2019.

Interning at Airtime was an amazing and incredibly impactful experience. I loved every day in the office and looked forward to working on my project. I will truly miss the Airtime family.

Although I had to return to school, thus ending my internship at Airtime, you can still join! Airtime is hiring: https://airtime.com/careers .

Me and my manager Jim at the holiday party!
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