My Internship Experience

This summer, I interned at this YC funded startup called MakeSchool (during the summer after 8th grade) up near San Francisco, California. This was my first time interning at a company, and I have never learned so much in 6 weeks! I got to work with two awesome founders, Ashu and Jeremy. MakeSchool is a company that teaches high school (and middle school) kids how to build iOS Games. They have tutorials on Objective-C and how to build and market games on their website, and it was a prerequisite to complete them. Their goal is to streamline the process of the fine-tuning things (like game art, music/sounds, and marketing the game) so that we, as developers, only have one focus and it is to code the app.

On my first day, when I was dropped off at the house (yes, the internship was in a house, because that was where the MakeGamesWithUs people lived), I was so nervous. There were people coding everywhere. I didn’t expect even close to as many people as there were, and all of them had their laptops out and were all coding their games. It was like heaven. Then Ashu took all the new interns (I came on week two of the internship so there were people that had already started on their games) out to the backyard and introduced the MS crew to us. They asked us all if we had completed their online tutorials, which we were all required to do before the internship.

For the rest of the internship, I had a great experience working with MS and other interns. On my first day, I discussed my ideas with the MS team and selected a project worth working on for the rest of the summer. And from there, I just dove right in. I worked on my game every single day for 7-11 hours a day, with only one goal in mind: to get a game published.

Objective-C was kind of new for me at the time, and I didn’t have much experience with it. Yes I built an iOS App, but come on, it was like the most simple app ever… and to make the jump from a very basic “Hello World” application to a real game, was kind of hard, especially with a complex object-oriented language like Objective-C. The tutorials definitely helped, but I had to read a book (that I rented from the library) because the tutorials are more aimed towards people with experience in an object-oriented programming language. I had none, so the tutorials were kind of hard for me. But the people at MS were really helpful and assisted with any bugs or code errors that I just didn’t know how to fix.

And not only that, but almost every week, MS invited startup founders and game developers to give talks. In fact, the MS team somehow even got Reddit founder, Alexis Ohanian, to come and give a talk, which by the way, was very inspiring and gave me a whole new perspective on the tech world.

Even the friends I made while there, were people with similar interests as me. I would just like to thank MakeSchool for actually having an internship because it gave me an opportunity to actually explore the real world, instead of just sitting in my bedroom programming in isolation.

Thanks MS, because now, I want to do an internship every summer that I can. (Maybe not sophomore summer because I need to study for the SAT).

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Shalin Shah

Shalin Shah I'm a high school junior living in California. I enjoy building iOS and Web apps. Besides coding, I like running, travelling, and listening to good music.