Blueprint Member Spotlights

Blueprint is a community at UC Berkeley that builds software solutions (web and mobile applications) for local nonprofits pro bono. We also host events to discuss the intersection between technology and social good.

As our projects for the fall begin to take off, our members are looking back on how working for nonprofits has impacted their college trajectories. Read on to learn more about the experiences two of our members gained during their time in Blueprint!

Jonathan Chu

“Hi, my name is Jonathan Chu, and I am currently a 3rd year majoring in EECS at Berkeley. I joined Blueprint 1 year ago as a project developer. This year I will be a project leader leading a development team for one of our new nonprofit partners. Over this past summer, I also had the amazing opportunity to intern at Google as a Software Engineering Intern at their Seattle offices.

The most important thing I learned from Blueprint was how to work on a project team. There are a lot of subtle aspects on working on real-world projects, such as developing good team dynamics and scoping features under a limited timeline. Working on projects with Blueprint allowed me to experience a fast-paced development cycle focused on producing the best features for our users. It also vastly improved my web-development expertise.

Much like in the real world industry, Blueprint’s project teams have a manager-like figure, the project leader, whose main responsibility is to code review and provide feedback to the project developers. Having experienced this relationship between manager and developer in Blueprint definitely helped me prepare for my internship.”

For anyone interested in Blueprint:

“A lot of times engineering majors, especially those in computer science, become siloed into one career path: get an education, get a job, make lots of money. Within the technology field, it can become very easy to fall into an endless cycle of privilege that involves working at great exciting companies and making a high salary.

However, there’s a lot more to what an engineer can contribute to in our communities than what our school teaches us. The projects you work on in Blueprint will give you perspective. They may not be flashy or involve the newest technological tools, but they are projects that are necessary in helping to create a better community. If you join Blueprint, you will see just how much small projects can impact nonprofits and the world.”

Sonia Yang

“Hi guys! I joined Blueprint last fall during my sophomore year, and I was a project developer for the last two semesters. I’m super excited to be a project leader this semester, and I can’t wait to build something amazing. Previously, I worked at a startup called Sauce Labs (we actually made software, not food!), and this summer I had pleasure of being a pintern at Pinterest!

Besides gaining insight on how to be a good developer and team player, I think the most important thing I gained from Blueprint was a close group of friends that are all supportive and genuine. I know I can count on all of them, even the people who I’m not best friends with, to help me or give me advice on anything. Additionally, everyone in Blueprint is willing to talk and give advice on internships and career choices, so I went into my internship at Pinterest this past summer knowing exactly what to expect and how to succeed there.”

For anyone interested in Blueprint:

“Blueprint is a great place to learn and grow. By learning new technology stacks for Blueprint, it became a lot easier for me to pick up new stacks in general. This helped me a lot as a pintern — even though I hadn’t ever touched the stack that my team was using, I picked it up really quickly and was able to push out code on my first day at work.

If you’re at all interested, please please come check us out and apply for Blueprint!”

Thanks for reading!

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