Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Developing Startups and my Internship

It has been five months since Clint and I joined Symph as their newest Creative Interns and I have to say, it's been one hell of a ride. As I'm writing this, my time with Symph as their newest intern is ending. And in this post, I'd like the future me to know that whatever might happen, after I graduate university or when I seriously pursue my career, that my experience here in Symph had been a great one.

My story with them started two years ago in my first ever Startup Weekend Cebu. Dave, one of the Symph founders, approached me after my team mate, Lawrence (who ended up being my co-intern two years later), presented on Sunday Night. I vaguely remember Dave asking me if I did the graphics for our team and if I was still a student or not. Ever since, I've kept in contact with Dave and Albert and some of the Symph team members in some way and, if they ever knew it or not, they've continuously given me a source of motivation and inspiration to keep on doing what I was doing and to strive for the best.

ashley uy
Team Symph on their way to Team Lunch

Getting accepted into Symph the day we applied was like dream come true to me (statement justified by my reaction) and it's hard to believe it's been five months since then. I can justify that the time we spent with them weren't all fun and games though. On the first day we officially entered the then old Escario office, we were tasked to help with data entry in one of the Wordpress sites the company was developing at the time. I was already familiar with it's interface, being in charge of media during Startup Weekend Bohol, so I was pretty ok with the task, as opposed to my friend who had looked at the dashboard for the first time.

ashley uy
Francis and Kai shenanigans

The following days were Albert, one of Symph's founders, getting us to learn Git, Python and Google App Engine and how it all plays out together in development. Clint opted out of the program and decided to focus on his design, working with Dan, the company's Chief Design Officer. A lot came out of that study for me. I learned how to apply what I learned in a working environment and I got to understand what it takes to be a developer in a startup (at least a taste of it). Albert assigned to me one of the old startups the company used to work on as my project for this internship. Askbuildshare is basically a list of problems and possible solutions that the public can access and validate or possibly help solve.

It started out that way at first but then, after a long talk, pivoted to a tool to help manage thesis projects for teachers and then pivoted again after testing to the original idea. The direction we wanted to take was that the higher ups in the academe would approve of the system so students can use it as inspiration for their thesis works. I went through the whole process myself from the development to the testing, leading up to the launch.

A lot happened in those months from staring at code for a whole weekend, trying to fathom where that id led to, to ending up deleting two months worth of code only to go back to phase one. The lessons I learned in that process were immeasurable though and I wouldn't change any of the challenges I faced then even if I could.

ashley uy
We are OKr

Of course, the fun part about working with a startup is the ability to see it grow and work on other projects that could possibly make the company big. Clint and I witnessed one of the company's milestones when we upgraded from the Escario office to the The TIDE, we've seen co-workers and friends come and go in the past few months and more importantly, we've got down and dirty with Symph's most recent startup, Outdoin.

We've obviously upgraded ourselves, practiced, watched tutorials, lazed around by ourselves or with other co-workers and just generally bonded with the team. I learnt so much in my stay with them and only hope to extend my experience with the company once I've graduated. A lot can happen in one semester and I can only hope Symph will miss me as much as I'll miss them. Thanks, guys v(=∩_∩=)フ


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