In 2016, we launched our first ever Instabug Internship Program. Since then, it has grown and evolved in ways that we never imagined. In the summer of 2016, we received 40 applications, out of which only one intern made it through. The next year, in the summer of 2017, we received 365 internship applications. This was almost 10 times more than the previous year. The same thing happened in 2018 and 2019. Four of them ended up joining our ever-growing #BugSquad and still work on a full-time basis now, over a year later.
We were very excited to go on this incredible journey once again this year with a fresh batch of interns and you can read more about the 2020 Internship program in our announcement blog. And to give you a clue into what to expect we talked to some members of the team that started as interns. You will hear about their decisions and experiences as well as what drove them to stay on full-time after completing the program.
Mohamed Essam, Infrastructure Engineer Intern 2017
As I was looking for internship opportunities, my ACM mentor recommended Instabug. I chose backend as I disliked any kind of UI development. During the interviews, I was told the internships were mainly targeted for fresh graduates, but given my fast learning rate, I could go into a 4-month internship as opposed to the initially proposed 3 months.
I favored Instabug over few other offers from different corporations because of the friendly environment I heard about from everyone. I started working on my first task, which my team leader at the time expected me to do in a week and took a vacation. I finished the task within the next day and started going into open bugs in the system. After my first month, my team lead told me “My expectations for you were really low but you exceeded them by stages, that my expectations from you now match the full-timers."
I decided I will work towards turning into a full-timer as my learning rate and development opportunities were much higher than ever. I had some of the best engineers around me which helped me grow exponentially faster than learning on my own. The environment was a large factor in my decision. It promoted learning and exploring new options, as well as being fun, friendly, and inclusive. I didn’t need the feel to change my personality to fit in, it worked!
I started as a full-time backend engineer and there were still many opportunities to learn and grow. With the scale of Instabug, backend development was a challenge that required an overview vision as well as attention to details. And I joined during a time with large migrations and changes in the backend services. This allowed me to learn many new technologies and operating major migrations on a very large scale.
Since you are currently a DevOps engineer, tell us more about this shift.
After about a year of being a backend engineer, I started taking an interest in DevOps. I discussed it with my team leader and the DevOps team leader. We decided that I would start taking minor tasks as a DevOps engineer while still mainly being a backend engineer. Over the next 3 months, I fully transitioned into the DevOps team.
What do you want to say to your fellow fresh CS students?
My advice to fresh computer science students is to focus on learning by yourselves and exploring your options. Find what you really want to work in, education will only take you so far.
Mohamed Yazan, Backend Developer Intern 2018
At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to join Instabug at that stage. I was focused on competitive programming training and I thought I could just give it a try and apply just for the sake of exploring what type of question they ask in their interviews. I applied and on the interview day, I arrived and met one of my friends there, he introduced me to the team in a space they call the cafe. I was impressed when I saw the team and sense their vibes. I found a ping pong table and someone invited me for a quick game, and I won it!
Then I met our People Partner for the HR interview and it was not a typical HR interview. She was super friendly, nice and informative, and I was impressed she has a double major. The technical interviews followed, but it felt more like a technical discussion with a friend. Which was quite interesting for me.
After the interview, I was quite impressed by the people I met and it got me excited to work with them. I felt I had so much to learn and Instabug seemed like the right place to gain the right skill set and knowledge. My plans meant I had to focus on the competitive programming training but I realized I could do both, and it’s going to be worth it.
What made you feel staying full-time was the right step to take?
I found myself working on a real-life application, a product that has an impact and I was excited to be part of it. That’s where I decided to turn into a full-timer in case I had the opportunity to. I was glad to hear that my performance qualified me to do that and I managed to pass this phase with optimum results. My backend team was super helpful and made it easy for me.
What do you want to say to your fellow/fresh CS students?
Working on a product is totally different from regular projects, you get to see the whole picture and impact. You get to learn so many soft and technical skills that will push your limits.
Ahmed Roshdy, Frontend Developer Intern 2018
I was a volunteer at RiseUp Summit 2017 and I saw Instabug’s booth. I took some time to go ask a few members of the Instabug team to tell me more about what Instabug is. I liked the discussion with the team members so I decided to apply for their next internship program. So in the next batch, I took the application for the frontend intern role and the process was really smooth. Several members from the summit that I’ve met before welcomed me through the process and by the end of the week, I got my acceptance mail.
The team chemistry that I've seen at the summit and another time at a university booth really encouraged me to join. They also had the Foosball table during the booth that I enjoy playing, and that got my attention back then.
It was a journey full of experience and ice breaking. It went from being in an internship program to become a family member where I work with a team that I love being around whether in work or play-time. It snowballed from there as I became more and more connected with the team. By the end of the internship program, I knew most of the team and had several talks with them. When my evaluation came and I had the opportunity to be full-time, I was thrilled to continue working here.
Tell us about a time when you had an adrenaline rush at instabug.
Once a friend from another team approached me and needed help from the frontend team regarding an urgent issue. I was very fresh and didn’t have much experience by then, but I was the only frontend developer available so I stepped up. It needed taking action and being in sync with other team members that were in the same room handling the changes needed. We didn’t have time to plan so we had a quick discussion and started working on it right away. It was tough, but it gave me confidence in myself. I felt that I gave myself a good understanding as to how I can help the team.
Do you have any tips for your fellow fresh CS students?
My advice would be to get your hands dirty at work as soon as possible. To try to learn anything you want by doing it by yourself and if you stopped at a challenge, then just conquer it. Whenever I wonder about how I've grown so much from the technical and communication side, I recall a few situations at the office that show me how much I’ve learned and continue to learn here at Instabug.
Hania Ghannam, Growth Marketing Intern 2019
It started when one of my friends on the sales team at Instabug called me and told me about the internship opportunity. At the time I was looking for a summer internship and I was already familiar with Instabug. I wanted to learn more about growth marketing and wanted to build upon previous summer internships and Instabug had the most prominent growth team that I knew of so I applied.
They sent me a technical task and after completing and sending it, I sat with our Growth Marketing Lead for a technical interview. It must have gone well because I got accepted into the internship program after. The whole process happened fast; it took around 10 days.
After joining and from the first day everyone was welcoming me on board and on the team. Lots of people came up to me and struck up conversations and got to know me. Everyone, and my team especially, were super helpful in helping me learn even more, despite my million questions.
My initial internship period was three months, but after that, it got extended for three more months. I felt there was a lot still to learn and Instabug was the perfect place to do so. After the internship ended I joined full-time right after graduating and I’m still learning a lot today.
Tell us about what attracted you to Instabug’s Growth Marketing in particular.
The internship was very different from other internships I've done; they were mostly theoretical but this time it was very practical. After onboarding, I went straight into the team tasks and was doing the same day to day work. Even though I was an intern and I had the same expectations as anyone else. Growth at Instabug really builds on various skills including exposure to engineering and analytical skills. And dealing with the top companies around the world you learn how to market globally.
I was lucky enough to be involved in major projects like our huge rebranding. This was a great experience for me that I didn't expect I’d be involved in while in an internship. Generally, I had space for experimentation and felt like I was really doing something important and new for the team.
What advice would you give to other students and fresh graduates?
I would advise graduates and students to work as much as possible. And finding the right internships because putting knowledge and theory into action helps with the learning process a lot and helps you grow as a person.
Instabug’s business side is as strong as the engineering side it’s known for. They help nourish a lot of skills that anyone would need in a business career especially in startups. Age and experience never felt like a factor when it came to how people dealt with each other at instabug as long as you knew what you were talking about.
We are constantly impressed with all the young passionate potential interns we meet every year, and can’t be more proud of how our hired interns grow, achieve, and impact us.
We are so excited for this year’s batch if you see yourself having what it takes to be onboard, stay tuned for our online application very soon. And we can’t wait for the summer of 2020 so that we can do it all over again and witness how the Instabug internship program continues to evolve.