August 11, 2016
Happy almost weekend everyone!
Today will be my second to last day at CodeHS! I’m sad to go, yet also super excited to go back to WashU. Today is hackathon day of the month, so I’ll be spending most of my time working on finishing up my hackathon project from last month: the project displays school data for the sales team to easily grab data on school data in specific states. I’m also finishing up one of my main projects that I’ve been working on for the past two weeks; it’s live at the moment, so I’ll simply be making sure to fix some bugs that will inevitably pop up.
Yesterday, I went to an intern event at Nylas, which was only a block up from my office. It’s a startup that is building a platform for email-powered apps, and they were hosting an event for interns to gather at their office and chat with each other. I thought that the food was a bit sparse (they had chicken wings, ice cream, and lemonade), but the office was very swanky. I saw some friends that I’ve met from previous intern events, so I got to chat with them instead of standing awkwardly in a corner. I find these sort of events to be nice, as you can meet people from similar backgrounds, and I do wish that I had spent a bit more time at such events this summer. It’s very nice to check out other startups in the area and see what other companies are working on.
Afterwards, my friends and I went to Ocean Beach and had a bonfire! It’s nice to see how I’ve made some very close friends in San Francisco, which was something that I wasn’t truly anticipating. I knew that I would have a great experience at work, but I wasn’t expecting to make some new best friends. I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to keep in touch with them all if I return here for good next year!
Since my friend from WashU was visiting me, we decided to get dinner at 9:30 at AL’s Place. The food is absolutely amazing, but be prepared for the prices! I still think that this is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to my life, and if I had more money I would’ve went across the street from my apartment every day to dine there.
I’ll be writing my last blog post this weekend, and I’m sad that this signifies the true end of my summer at San Francisco. The experience has truly taught me a great deal on what I value in a company, in a city, and in myself. I’m hoping that someday I’ll come back and continue to explore this area that I now identify as one of my homes, as three months truly isn’t enough!
August 7, 2016
So this weekend, my friends from WashU came to visit me! I met up with them after work, where I gave them a brief tour of my office before heading off to the piers and the Ferry Building. We took the Bart to Embarcadero and walked all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. This time, I got to see the sea lions on Pier 39, something that I missed the last time I went to the Wharf. It feels great to be able to show some of my friends what my life is like here, as I am unable to describe it as well with words. We spent a good evening out by wandering around some of the more popular and touristy areas, but I think I was able to give them a relatively good idea of the city.
My main event this weekend though, was going hiking at Yosemite National Park. My friend and I left early to drive the four hours to Yosemite: there was massive traffic due to everybody trying to get into the park and find parking, so we unfortunately started our hike a lot later than anticipated. We decided on hiking the Glacier Point Trail, as it was about 4 miles. We didn’t think that 4 miles would be too bad. The viewpoints that you hit on the trail are in the following order: Union Point, Glacier Point, and Sentinel Dome. We thought that we would be able to get up to Glacier Point; however, the trail we decided to hike on was extremely steep! For those of you who are not accustomed to hiking, I recommend starting with some of the easier trails, as I felt like I had thrown myself into the climb a bit unprepared fitness level-wise. My friend and I decided to tackle one of the hardest trails in the park, and the whole way up was a lot of huffing and puffing for me. Nonetheless, we managed to get an amazingly beautiful view of the park once we arrived at Union Point. It only took us about an hour to go downhill, which shows how steep the climb was!
The next morning, my friend and I decided to go for another hike: we went to Mirror Lake, an easy hike that would supposedly lead us to a beautiful lake that was supposed to show a reflection of Half Dome. It was quite a disappointment though when we arrived, as the entire lake had dried up! So instead of finishing the hike as we originally planned, we decided to head back to the car and try driving to some of the viewpoints instead. I’m glad that I got to spend a weekend at one of the most famous parks in the state though: this is definitely a trip that I recommend for other interns who decide on spending their summers in San Francisco. I am extremely exhausted and sore at the moment, but I think it was one of the best weekends I’ve had so far!
I’m approaching my last week here, so I’ll only have a few more posts left. I’m going to try my best doing as much as possible and I’ll make sure to update you all as I approach my last few days!
August 4, 2016
I am finishing up my second to last week at CodeHS! Currently, I’m working on a project where teachers can create problems easily and store them in a ‘playlist’: a playlist is similar to creating a course, but it is simply a way of storing multiple created problems. I’m working with a framework called AngularJS, and it is definitely more difficult in my opinion to work with in comparison to Django, which is what I’ve been primarily working with the entire summer.
Today, all of the interns had their intern presentations where they recap what they’ve worked on and learned during the summer. Although I’m not yet finished up with my internship, there are a few others who are. JP, who is leaving to go teach in a few weeks, had his last day today. My friend Elysa, who I’ve gotten to know well and also is a software engineering intern, has her last day tomorrow. It’s crazy to think that I’ll be leaving in less than a week as well!
This internship has definitely been one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. Coming to San Francisco for the summer has been an amazing opportunity. However, the best part about this summer though has been finding a company that I love: I love the people who are on the team; I prefer the smaller size of the team; I love how I’m eager to go into work every day; I enjoy the fast-paced environment; and I just enjoy the overall company culture. I hope that I will come back again next year, although it is quite expensive to live in the city. An average one-bedroom apartment in the city is around $3,800 a month, and taxes take about 35% of your salary! So if you decide to come to the city, make sure that you get paid well as most of the money will simply go to just basic needs.
It’s crazy to see how much I’ve improved in a short three months. My first project, jitterbunk, was nothing in comparison to the features I’ve added to the CodeHS site. I wish that I could stay for the rest of the year, as I think that working around 9 hours every day coding has definitely taught me much more than the amount of coding I’ve been doing at school. I know that once I get back, I’ll definitely be working on a few small projects here and there so that I can improve every day.
Some of my friends from WashU are going to visit me this weekend, and I will be going all the way to Yosemite Park to go hiking! I’ll make sure to take plenty of pictures while there, as I’m sure it’ll be gorgeous. I’ll finally be going a bit out of the city (Yosemite is a 4 hour drive from San Francisco), so it’ll be a nice breath of fresh air.
July 31, 2016
This weekend, I spent most of my day on Saturday hiking Muir Woods. It’s located north of San Francisco, and to get there my friends and I went by ferry and then shuttle.
We first arrived at the Ferry Building to catch the ferry to Sausalito. The nice thing about having a clipper card is that you can go on practically any sort of public transportation, so we simply used our clippers to get on. Sausalito is a very cute, quaint town north of San Francisco; it’s a bit of a tourist destination and has quite expensive food. My friends and I went to Bridgeway Cafe, where I spent a whopping $16 on a shrimp and avocado omelette. It was pretty good food, however I did find the prices to be a bit ridiculous.
After eating, we went to catch the Muir Woods shuttle. The shuttle comes every hour and costs $5 round trip. Initially, I was told by the lady at the information desk that you needed cash to board the bus, but I later found out that you could pay for your fare using your card at the Muir Woods visitor center! I was scrambling to figure out how to get a $5 from a $20, and then later realized that I didn’t need to worry at all.
When we arrived at the woods, we noticed that it was very crowded. I personally don’t enjoy hiking much with a ton of other people around, so my friends and I went on a separate, more secluded trail where we went up the mountain and then back down. It’s been awhile since I’ve gone hiking and brings up childhood memories: whenever my family and I vacationed, we would always visit national parks and go hiking together.
We spent around 2 hours hiking, and then got tired so we decided to head back towards the shuttle. For those of you who come here, if you want to make the shuttle at your planned time, make sure you show up an hour early for the line! Since the shuttle only has 37 seats and comes on the hour, you may not make the shuttle that you planned on taking. My friends and I went to the bus stop at around 4, and couldn’t get onto the bus until 5:30! We wanted to get back in time for the 6:00 PM ferry, but unfortunately missed it. So instead, we decided to take bus 30 back into San Francisco and then the 49 back to the Mission District.
I am pretty tired from the hiking this weekend, so I spent most of Sunday simply relaxing. I would recommend anyone who comes here for a summer to go hiking at Muir Woods, but I would suggest that you rent a car as public transportation is quite stressful. Going to start my second to last week, so I’ll be updating you all on all the things that I’m going to cram in during these last two weeks!
July 27, 2016
What’s up everyone!
I am quite exhausted today; I woke up at 4:45 AM in hopes of catching a glimpse of the sunrise at Twin Peaks. I guess we forgot about how large Karl the Fog was though, and the moment we stepped out of the lyft I knew that we were probably not going to be able to see much. We could barely even see a few feet in front of us! We decided to walk around and climb to what I believe is one of the more famous points of Twin Peaks; my ears hurt from the pressure, my hair was soaking wet, and my glasses were completely fogged up. However, I was glad to have gone to such a famous part of San Francisco despite the lack of a nice view of the sunrise. Afterwards, we got some pretty strong coffee from CoffeeShop and had breakfast together at Blue Fig on Valencia. I can definitely see the appeal of being a morning bird: I got to do so much before work and even got into the office earlier than usual!
By the way everybody, here’s a link to my blog post on CodeHS’s medium account: https://medium.com/codehs-product-updates/award-your-own-badges-on-codehs-c072e502865b. I managed to finish this project early this week, but there are always random unexpected bugs popping up everywhere, so I had to make some fixes today as well. Today was our July hackathon, and I spent the day coding up a small feature for the sales team. I worked with Max, one of the main sales team member, where we created a page where users can click on a state in the US and have CodeHS statistics and schools easily listed. I got to work with Google’s Geochart, which is honestly an amazing feature for anyone looking to create some interactive maps. I’m hoping to make more improvements to this feature during my next hackathon so that it’ll be able to go live!
I also want to mention about my morning trip to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens with my friend: just letting you all know, the Gardens are free every day from 7:30-9 AM. Definitely worth waking up early if you don’t want to spend $8! It was very foggy that morning as well–honestly, I’m starting to wonder if there are any places here that aren’t foggy.
It’s crazy to think that I only have about two more weeks of work left and about that much more time in the city! I’ve been trying to do something new every day to make up for it. I’ll be biking to Muir Woods this weekend, so you’ll be sure to see a post on that soon!
July 26, 2016
I had a wonderful day yesterday! I had just recently finished my second version of the project that I’ve been working on, which is allowing teachers to create custom badges and award them to students. I’ll be writing a blog post for my company actually on their medium account, so I’ll have a link to that in my next post!
Yesterday, I didn’t actually spend all that much time coding. We had our weekly engineering presentation where all the engineers meet and go over what each person is working on and what has been completed during the previous week as well as other small logistics. I spent a few minutes demoing my project to the sales team, as this is a feature that they will introducing and explaining to teachers on CodeHS. Most of the day however, was occupied by our intern activity! My bosses took all of the interns to the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre near the Golden Gate Bridge where we got to play an escape room game! We went to the Great Houdini Escape Room, where we were locked in a room for 80 minutes and had to figure out how to get out. The CodeHS team actually took 83 minutes to get out, which is better than the average time of about 94 minutes. However, we didn’t exactly win because we did go a bit over time, although we did manage to escape. Apparently, only 12% of teams are actually able to escape the room. I highly suggest going here if you’re with a big group of friends and enjoy riddles; I personally love playing escape room games online but I find doing it in real life to be just as or even more fun!
I was also glad that the escape room took place at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre; I’ve seen it in passing while on a bus and knew that I wanted to go back and explore it further at some point. It was nice to take a break there in the middle of the day and to bond with all the other interns and our bosses.
After coming back from the event, I made some last-minute changes to my code and then headed off to do yoga at the Grace Cathedral. My friend has been pestering me to do yoga with him for awhile, and the event was free, so I decided why not. The cathedral is on a massive hill, so if you plan on ever walking to this church be prepared for some sore legs.
It was quite a crowded event, but I thought that doing yoga inside of a church to be a very nice experience. There was a musician who sang traditional songs and played music while we practiced yoga. My friend and I got to feel like locals who were actually part of the city (it’s almost like we live here or something).
Tomorrow is the monthly hackathon that our company hosts, so I’m excited to see what sort of stuff I’ll be working on. Attached to this post is a picture of the Halo Halo that I got from Mitchell’s, just so you guys can be jealous and see all of the amazing stuff that I’m eating here (just kidding, sort of…). Only one more month here, but I’ll be making the most of my experience during these last 3 weeks and I’ll be sure to document all of my last few journeys!
July 23, 2016
Happy weekend everyone!
CodeHS has recently acquired a couple of new hires on the sales team, so on Thursday, the whole company went out to Urban Putt in the Mission District on 22nd and Folsom for some mini-golfing! It’s a really cool place, and I recommend that if you’re here for the summer and looking to bond with some new friends that this would be a good place to go. There were 15 holes in total and each one was very unique: the coolest one in my opinion was the one that was called the video reality hole. It’s almost like you’re playing some sort of Wii golf game except with an actual ball and club. You can only play with four in a team, and I was with two of the new hires and another member of the sales team who now works remotely but was in town for the week.
I definitely thought that hanging out with the team outside of work was a great experience! Some of the other interns didn’t join us for that night, but I recommend to those who are hoping to intern here next year during the summer to always go out for team events. I was debating going initially as I wanted to catch up on some sleep, but I decided against it.
I’m including a picture of the amazing ramen I had this week as well at Nojo. Most ramen is pork-based, but Nojo is famous for their chicken ramen. If you’re in Hayes Valley, make sure to come to this spot! This weekend is still unplanned, but I’m sure that there
will be a large number of events occurring. I’ll keep you all updated on what happens during these next two days!
July 17, 2016
Sorry for the late post! This weekend has been pretty busy; I actually got to spend some time in St. Louis and see some friends! Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to go visit STS though.
I want to talk today about my experience at Palo Alto and Stanford! I went with my roommate after work; we took the Caltrain from 4th Street to the Palo Alto station, which was probably only about a 45-minute ride in total. Although it isn’t too far from the city, Palo Alto is significantly warmer than San Francisco. Advice that I have for you all though if you decide to take the Caltrain: make sure that you tap your clipper card once you get off at the station or else it will charge you for the whole fare (from San Francisco to San Jose). It’s quite expensive if you don’t remember to tap off.
Once we got off at the Palo Alto station, it was another half hour walk to get to the Stanford campus. The campus was quite luxurious: there were fountains everywhere, gorgeous tan buildings with red roofs, and land that seemed to stretch on for miles. I tried getting some nice pictures, but to be honest I am not the greatest photographer so all my pictures of the campus are quite amateur. There were lots of pre-college high-school students on that day, as summer programs are quite prevalent at most colleges. I think it would’ve been nice to have explored an empty Stanford campus, but I didn’t mind seeing all the students as it reminds me of my time at Brown University during my post-sophomore summer.
After walking around the campus, my friends and I walked back towards the Palo Alto downtown. I was quite exhausted from all of the walking: I can only assume that all of the students at Stanford are really healthy from studying there. We ended up at a restaurant known as Rangoon Ruby Burmese Cuisine, where I ordered their famous tea leaf salad: I usually tend away from salads but decided to give it a try as I have not had such a meal before. The first half of the salad was absolutely delicious, but towards the end I felt like it was a bit too strong for me. Nonetheless, I encourage everyone to try it because it really was a delicious dish.
I’m happy that I got to get out of San Francisco and explore the surrounding areas! It is much warmer in Palo Alto as it isn’t surrounded by the ocean, which was a nice change from the chilly San Francisco weather. I’m hoping at some point to visit Mountain View next. I’m still unsure about my plans for the weekend, but I’ll be updating more frequently this week to make up for the short hiatus I had!
July 10, 2016
I am exhausted from all of the things that I’ve done this weekend!
On Saturday, I went to Lands End, an area for hiking in the northwest section of San Francisco right above ocean beach and west of Golden Gate Bridge. Lands End has a great deal of ocean views since it’s at the border of San Francisco. We got to see ruins of the Sutro Baths, pretty flowers along the paths, and a few stone structures on the beach known as Inukshuk, or Inuit stone structures. I met up with a group of interns I met in the Slack channel for Bay Area interns (many of them plan events and are looking for people to hang out with), and we spent approximately 2 hours hiking around the area and taking in the views.
We even made our own Inukshuk, as you can see in the picture. I spent more time watching the structure be built than building it, but I’d like to say that I was providing moral support for the engineers.
Lands End probably isn’t the best place to go hiking if you’re looking for a quiet hike: it was very busy on the day we went and you were always surrounded by other people. I haven’t really hiked yet this summer though, so I was still happy to be exploring some new areas. I’m hoping to go hiking at more areas like Yosemite and Muir Woods, but I’ll still have to figure out the difficulties with transportation. After the hike, we walked to New Oyaji restaurant in Outer Richmond where I had some pretty good sashimi. I’ve been at this restaurant previously for ramen, but I decided that I needed to change it up a bit because I’ve been eating a lot of ramen lately.
The next day, a group of us planned on going to Napa Valley. We wanted to make the 10:00AM ferry, but my roommate and I were late so we went on the next ferry. Unfortunately, the ferry only comes once an hour, so we spent the time in between getting coffee and breakfast. The trip there was quite long: we took one hour on the ferry and then another hour on the bus. Napa downtown was quaint, but the area was a lot drier than I expected. We wandered around the vineyards, but I couldn’t help but compare the scenery with the vineyards in Italy; it is much greener there than in California. Some of the best scenery I saw was on the ferry actually; we headed back right when the sun was setting, so we were able to see the city from the ocean and also see the sun setting behind the mountains while on the boat.
After a weekend full of hiking and exploring, I’m back at work. I’ve had one cup of coffee so far but feel like I might have another one soon. I’m finding it a bit difficult to balance exploration and work, but I only have about a month left so I’m trying to make the most of it! Tonight, I’ll be attending an event called Internapalooza, so keep on the lookout for a post on that this week.
July 7, 2016
It’s great to have a four day weekday! It’s a little bit strange because this week feels very short although it’s only one less day of work, but I’m definitely not complaining. This week, I’m working on a large number of projects! It is definitely significantly busier than last week, as we have a deadline approaching tomorrow in terms of implementing the new grading system for the site. I’m still fixing up the project that I’ve been working on the past two weeks, although it was supposed to be due awhile ago. Even if you think you’re done, code review will always find something else for you to fix or clarify. I’m kind of sick of this project and can’t wait until it’s finally live on the site.
One very important thing I learned this week is to make sure that you’re careful when writing code: I feel like if I wasn’t as sick and was more observant when programming that I wouldn’t have needed so many code reviews. Code reviews come sparingly as well because there are many other pull requests (other people’s code that they would like to put live on the site or get reviewed) for the programmers to look over as well. I’ve been taking more time in clarifying my comments and in testing my code: as a result, I feel like I’ve been making less mistakes and getting less comments which is great. Quality is in this case better than speed.
Besides work however, I’ve gotten the pleasure of exploring some new restaurants and attending an Improv Show! On Tuesday, a few fellow interns and I went to Endgames Improv and watched two shows for $5. I initially wanted to only stay for one show, but the first one was so funny that I decided to stay for both. Definitely worth a visit if you’d like some good quality improv.
Yesterday, I also got to try some more ramen. One of my goals for the summer is to go to every single top-rated ramen shop in the city, so I’ve been spending a good chunk of my money on that. I went to Orenchi Beyond located on Valencia and had an amazing bowl of ramen. They were sparing with the toppings: one piece of meat, an egg, seaweed, and a few bamboo pieces and woodear. However, that piece of pork was the best piece of pork I think I’ve ever had: I always thought that people were exaggerating when they talk about pork melting in your mouth, but I now finally understand that expression. I highly recommend this restaurant: I’ve been to four other places for ramen and this is definitely the top in my opinion. I also went to Bi-Rite Creamery, one of the best place for ice cream here, and got a delicious Honey Lavender scoop. I’m hoping to explore Golden Gate Park a bit more this weekend and see what else I may be missing out on. Stay in tune for some more SF adventures!
July 3, 2016
Boy am I stuffed! I just got some amazing beignets and fried chicken and waffles from this restaurant called Front Porch near my apartment. If any of you are in the northern Bernal Heights area, I’d recommend this place for brunch for sure. It was a bit strange though because while I was seated outside where it was nice and sunny, it was entirely pitch black on the inside which I don’t think is very reflective of a lazy Sunday brunch vibe but that’s my own opinion.
Yesterday, I went to the Golden Gate Bridge! It was quite foggy, so I wasn’t able to see the bridge in its entirety but I managed to get a pretty decent picture with it nonetheless. Apparently, the locals here call the fog Karl so I managed to get a nice picture with Karl and Golden Gate. If you’re here, make sure to bring a jacket as it is extremely windy and felt 10 degrees colder than being in the city. My friends and I walked onto the bridge as well, and we were able to get a beautiful view of the city from afar. Alcatraz was visible too.
After wandering around the very busy area near Golden Gate Bridge, my friends and I decided to go to Ghirardelli Square and try some of those famous sundaes. The bus we went on was packed; slowly but surely though, we were able to make our way there. The square was smaller than I expected; I guess I expected a huge plaza with many Ghirardelli shops, but there was really only one. I ordered one of their world famous sundaes for a whopping $13. It’s good, but definitely not $13 worth of goodness. I’d much rather get a malt from Crown Candy Kitchen that has like 5 times more ice cream than this decent but not amazing sundae.
Near the square is a very popular area called Fisherman’s Wharf. That’s where all of the touristy San Francisco shops are as well as where many seafood restaurants and stands are. There’s an In N’ Out there but I unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity to try this West Coast fast food chain. It was a lot of fun to explore this touristy attraction, although I’m not a big fan of shopping at tourist shops. I’ll probably come back here for their famous chowders, oysters, and seafood when it isn’t July 4th weekend.
I’m very happy that I finally got a chance to do a lot of the touristy things in San Francisco! It was a bit bad timing wise since this is the weekend was when all the other tourists would also be visiting these areas, but I’ll definitely go back another time when it’s less crowded. My goal by the end of the summer is to definitely try In N’ out and see what all the hype is about. Looking forward to my free day tomorrow and hope you all have some amazing 4th plans!
July 1, 2016
It was definitely nice to take a break from my usual work, but I also think that sticking with programming may be best for me. It’s pretty stressful to try coming up with activities that are both interesting yet informative. It reminded me of last summer where I would have to come up with programming activities for my high school students; I never knew if the activity would be fun or challenging for them. After a couple of tries, I think I got the hang of creating some fun exercises for my web development class, but basic python is very different from HTML/CSS and PHP.
A lot of members of the team created some really cool projects! One of the other interns created a program that allowed students to pair program so that they could both work on one project. The sales team got to work through the curriculum and learn some programming of their own as well! I’ll be going to Golden Gate, Ghiradelli Square, and many other touristy areas the next few days so I’ll make sure to blog all about it this weekend. Looking forward to a nice break!
June 27, 2016
I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for awhile! This weekend, I got to go to Corgicon at Ocean Beach and witness the Pride Parade firsthand! I’ve also met a lot of new friends! A bunch of us met up because we all wanted to go to Corgicon together. We all met up at Market St, a bit south of downtown San Francisco, and took the subway/tram to to Ocean Beach. There were so many corgis on the beach! Many of them were splashing in puddles and some of them had on costumes. I got to witness a bit of the corgi races (with a track that was approximately the size of a large room), and they were definitely not what I was expecting.
I was assuming the races would be more formal, but it was more like the owners yelling for their dogs to come over to them. Many corgis would crash into each other, stop in the middle of running, or turn and run back around. Watching them run was like watching a bunch of toasted marshmallows scampering past each other. The event wasn’t particularly long (many of the corgis seemed pretty pooped), so I spent most of the day getting to be acquainted with my new friends.
Since it was pride weekend, there were many people celebrating in a few popular spots like Dolores Park in Mission. My friends and I went there to find a couple of other people, but it was packed. Rainbows were everywhere: there were rainbow flags, hats, makeup, bags, etc. There was hardly a spot to sit in this decently large park. Everybody seemed really happy and friendly, and I loved the spirit one gets from experiencing Pride in San Francisco. I also had the pleasure of going to the parade the next day and seeing a large number of floats and organizations passing by. The parade was definitely my favorite part of the day. My least favorite part was waiting for about an hour to get into the civic center — due to events like the Orlando shooting incident, every person had to be searched before entering. Once we went in, we were quite disappointed with the lack of things happening. We didn’t think it was fun at all! But maybe we were just tired from standing in line for so long. I’m very happy to have experienced such an amazing weekend in San Francisco; everybody was in good spirits, people were speaking about all of the love they have for one another, and I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw all the people dancing and high-fiving each other.
I’m not sure if it was the smartest decision for me to have gone out both days when I was still recovering from my cold, but I don’t regret it (yet). Hopefully tomorrow morning I won’t wake up with another stuffy nose and worse-off throat, but we’ll see. Next weekend will be fourth of July, so I’ll be sure to write about more SanFran festivities!
June 23, 2016
Hope you all had a good week so far!
I think I’m coming down with a bit of a cold unfortunately; it’s definitely harder to focus on work when you’re struggling with sickness. As an intern, you only get 10 weeks so even missing one day is a lot! I’m going to go to bed early tonight and hope that in the morning it’ll be all better.
I just finished my first project and it’s finally live on the site! I finished the bulk of it last week, but it took a couple of code reviews and tweaks here and there before it got pushed up to the live site. Currently, I am working on a project that gives the teacher the ability to reset a problem, lesson, or module. The way that the system works is that there are many problems in a lesson and multiple lessons in a module. Apparently, many students cheat and copy/paste code!! This feature will at least allow teachers to completely clear a student’s code so that they can ensure that the student will produce their own and actually learn the material.
Today, I’ll talk a bit about the sort of activities that our team at CodeHS do. Every Wednesday, we participate in a 30-minute activity called recess. Essentially, this period allows us to take a break from our projects and bond as a team. So far, we’ve played Scattegories and gone to the farmer’s market. This week, we decided to go to a free –do such things exist in San Francisco?– art museum a few blocks away from our office. It’s called the International Art Museum of America, and we got to see a couple of cool things in the 10 minutes we were there. I found it a bit ironic how the only artwork I s
aw in an Art Museum of America were Chinese paintings, but granted I didn’t have much time to see anything else. 10 minutes in my opinion, is barely enough time to look at anything, but we had to adhere to the 30-minute rule, although I broke it a bit by going next door and getting a chai latte at Chai Bar.
Today, we also got to participate in a read-in: during this hour, you’re allowed to take a break from work and read a book. Many members of the team however, did not take advantage of this break and continued to code. These read-ins only happen once every month, so I definitely was going to read!
That’s all for this week, but look forward to my post this weekend because I’m going to be going to the Pride Parade!! There’s also a corgi con (where there will be corgi costume contests and races) happening before it, but I’ll have to see how much energy I have. Looking forward to the next time I post!
June 19, 2016
What’s up everyone,
Happy Father’s Day! Make sure to call your parents especially when you’re all the way across the country from them.
Today though, my post will be focusing on housing. If you guys don’t already know, it is notoriously difficult to find reasonable housing in the city. Studios are an average of around $2000/month here, which is the same amount as my 3-bedroom apartment in St. Louis!
How does one find housing that they don’t have to spend their entire paycheck on? Well, you should probably first find a roommate because the likelihood of you being able to cheaply spend a summer here alone is quite unlikely in my opinion. You could live in a startup house, but that’s more like a dorm where I feel like you have even less privacy. I found my roommate on the 2016 Bay Area Interns Housing Page on Facebook: someone had made a google document so that you could put down some information about yourself and the sort of housing you’re looking for. The bay area interns group consists of interns in Mountain View and San Jose as well, so if you’re working in the city you probably won’t want to be living too far from your office (San Jose is a good hour south of San Francisco).
My roommate and I started looking for housing in March. Our go-to was the San Francisco Craigslist subletting page. I encountered many scammers while trying to find housing: you can spot them when they ask you for a $2000 security deposit right off the bat and/or say that they cannot show you the apartment if you ask. My best advice for those of you who don’t have any friends or family in the area is to ask someone from your company to take a look at the apartment. I had someone on my team visit the place where I’m living in now, and that was how I knew that it was legitimate. A lot of housing posts pop up during late April and May on Facebook, so if you’re looking for more cheaper options and willing to wait awhile, I recommend that route as well. We got our apartment pretty early, but I don’t regret settling in this place at all. It’s a very spacious apartment and located well within the city. I live in the Mission District, which is considered to be the Latin American district of San Francisco. It’s a great neighborhood,and I especially appreciate the amazing Mexican food that I’ve been indulging in lately.
That’s all I have at the top of my head about housing, but I can always tell those who are interested about my experience with apartment hunting. If anyone has any questions about finding housing in the bay area, you’re always welcome to stop by STS and chat with me!
June 15, 2016
This weekend, my roommate and I decided to go to the Westfield San Francisco Centre and the area around Mid-Market to purchase some pants and jackets. It is actually quite cold in San Francisco, averaging at about 60-70 degrees–very brisk for summer weather in my opinion. If you’re going to intern in San Francisco, don’t be bringing shorts and t-shirts. Make sure to bring lots of pants and light jackets, because you’ll definitely be needing them.
Afterwards, we went into Chinatown to find some dim sum and good Chinese food. We went to a place called Good Mong Kok Bakery: you can get three shrimp dumplings for a measly $2.10; I bought 9 pieces of dim sum for around $7 total! Unfortunately, they were all out of vegetarian options–my roommate is vegetarian– so my roommate and I ended up going to a vegetarian restaurant called Lucky Creation. I got a vegetable clay pot and I must say that the food here is delicious! The bubble tea I got has smaller boba and is much better than the kind that I get in St. Louis. St. Louis has great food, but I must admit that the bubble tea is lacking a bit to be honest.
Half of the week has gone by in a flash; I’m looking forward to the weekend and seeing what else there is to do in the city. I’m going to be putting the final touches to my work, and then I’ll be finished with my first project! Super excited to see what else the team will have planned for me.
June 12, 2016 – Day one as a CodeHS intern
Sorry for the late update! It’s been a hectic first week so far; from now on, I’ll be updating more regularly about my work and my experience every Wednesday and every Saturday.
Nonetheless, I started work on Monday, which has been great so far. I wake up each morning at 8AM and then take a 20 minute bus commute to my office in South of Market (or commonly known as SoMa).
On the first day, I wandered in and one of the programmers –a WashU alum!– immediately took me upstairs to my station where my desk was set up. I was provided with my own work laptop (a MacBook Pro, which I’m still trying to figure out as I’m a Windows person), a CodeHS t-shirt, a card, and a couple of raffle tickets which were my stupid questions tickets. They give the interns these tickets to encourage us to ask questions since we’ll have plenty of them this summer. Once both of the CodeHS CEOs were done taking care of things for the morning, they immediately took me into an office room and gave me a brief presentation on the company.
I felt very comfortable working at this startup since everybody is around my age (late 20s-early 30s max), and the team comprised of around 15 people total. We would regularly go out and grab some coffee together and bond over activities like weekly recess: every Wednesday we would pick a random activity, and this week we played Scattergories.
One of my coworkers also hosted a women of color in tech meetup so I got to meet a lot of women and learn about their experiences as a woman of color in this city. It was very eye-opening to hear about their thoughts, and I had a lot of people give me advice about what to do after college and the places I should go to in the city. I really love working here and am excited to see what else I’ll be experiencing and working on during the summer!
June 4, 2016 – Sunday
I’m here woohoo! I arrived in San Francisco Thursday afternoon and was extremely tired due to the early wake up and 3-hour time difference. To keep myself from falling asleep the instant I arrived, I decided to check out CoffeeShop, which was a 5-minute walk away from my apartment. It’s easy to miss: there’s no sign and the tiny shop could probably fit 4 people inside max. If I didn’t see the bright green paint of the building I would’ve completely walked by it. I decided to order the Sherpa, and it was definitely the right choice. A third of a cup felt like an entire can of Monster!
While trying to walk off the immense buzz, I decided to head to La Taqueria, one of the supposed best taquerias in the Mission District. It definitely lived up to its hype, as I had the most delicious carne asada taco in my entire life. I also had their famous burrito the next day, and oh boy, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat at Chipotle again after this summer. A little tip: make sure to bring cash to La Taqueria as they don’t accept card.
My roommate had to attend the work, so I was left alone to explore. I decided to go to Brenda’s Soul Food, which is known for its renowned beignets. I had three crawfish beignets, which were filled with delicious crawfish and cheddar cheese. If you’re spending a summer in San Francisco, you have to come here at some point. Maybe come alone though, as I got to avoid a good half hour wait by going solo.
As much as I’d like to eat my way through the city, my stomach and wallet can’t really handle that type of endeavor. So afterwards, I headed off to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Maybe not the best idea, as it was abnormally warm and over an hour walk. I also managed to get lost, as my path was blocked by that team known as the Golden State Warriors getting onto their bus. Eventually, I did manage to find and enter the museum (for a whopping $19 compared to the free admission at the SLAM), seeing pieces by artists like Andy Warhol and Ellsworth Kelly. If you’re into modern art, I would definitely recommend stopping by and taking a look at the galleries.
If you’re the kind of person who always needs to be doing (or eating) something interesting, San Francisco is definitely the place to be. Public transportation here is pretty great –the Muni goes late and to a lot of neighborhoods– so you always have something to do. As a software engineer intern, I definitely see why the area is such an appealing place for the summer. But as much as I’d love to document solely about all the food I’ll be eating, I’ll be starting work on Monday, so keep on the lookout for a post on my first day at CodeHS!
May 29, 2016 – Sunday
My name is Grace and I am currently a rising senior majoring in computer science. At WUSTL, you may recognize me in the KWUR studio, at STS, or in the LNYF and Spirit of Korea Samulnori performances! In this blog, I will be documenting my experience in San Francisco for the very first time.
As a computer science student, I can’t help but be intrigued by the San Francisco area: it’s the city where all the big corporations (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and upcoming startups reside in. I’ve spent all previous summers in Boston, my hometown, but have always longed to explore the major tech-city on the West Coast. This summer, I’ll be a software engineering intern at CodeHS, a startup that aims to help high schools across the nation teach computer science to their students. My main responsibilities will be working on improving the website and helping out with grading and tutoring students on site. I’ll be starting in about a week and a half!
Although the majority of my time will be working, I’ll be documenting my time exploring and living in the city as well. I hope to give those who are interested in interning in San Francisco themselves the perspective of a newcomer to the city. Hopefully my experience will inspire you to come out and spend a summer of your own at the city by the bay!