Late Post : My Internship Experience in GDP Labs


I’m Gabriel Bentara Raphael, a third year student at ITB. I have taken internships twice, GDP included. In this post, I just want to share how is GDP Labs right from the application process — until done.

Reason

So the reason why I applied at GDP Labs is because I want to work at a company whose product I use regularly. GDP Labs was the one who made olympia, an online autograder platform. I use that particular platform at least weekly during my time in ITB. I thought it was interesting to see the making process behind it.

Application

I applied on March 29th. It was pretty late since my friends have applied even since last year for the summer internship. But still, I just want to give it a try even though people are saying that the screening process is quite tough. Well people could be lucky right?

A few days after I applied, an email came through and told me to do the coding test. However, my schedule is quite packed for that week (I was expecting like 2 weeks before they reply). So I asked for time extension and told them my reasons. Andddd they grant it! Phew, saved.

Coding Test

I can only answer 2 out of 3. I have given up hope at that point because my friends achieved similar score and they are not even called for the interview. “Well, I have tried”, this was my thought at that time.

Invitation

One day, an email popped in. I was invited for interview! My confidence was boosted. Coding test is the worst part since I’m not suited to code something quickly & under pressure. If I can nail this interview, maybe I have a chance.

Interview

My interviewer were kak Sahat & Steven Gunawan. I was really nervous, but I tried my best to keep calm. I don’t want to ruin this chance like I did with the coding test. The questions were pretty common, tell me about yourself, projects, organization, etc. And then there was a quite nerve wrecking part.

Interviewer : “Alright, so it’s time for a coding test”

Me : …… okay

Interviewer : “Code a prime number generator … “

Me : *exclaiming yes silently*

Interviewer : “… with JAVA. You’re new in it right?”

Me : *ouch, JAVA. I totally forgot the syntax.*

But still it’s better than most of my friends story. I heard they were asked 4–5 questions in a row, while mine was only one and took only a couple minutes.

After I finished the code test, the interview came to end.

Acceptance

Yeah, I got accepted (hooray!). It’s utterly unexpected and I was very happy that I got accepted (what did I say about people being lucky :D ). I told my parents about it almost immediately. I also canceled all of my ongoing internship applications.

Onboard!

So I was assigned at GDP Labs Bandung. It’s great because I don’t need to spend more on living cost. I was told to come at 9 am to the office which is located at Jl. Otten No 10. I don’t really have any first impression of the office, it seemed like a regular (big) house. But when I entered the building (which I thought was just a big house), it’s indeed very spacious.

I was welcomed by Kak Dennis, which act as my manager (HR). He explained the vision, mission, and background of GDP Labs. It’s quite fascinating as I never heard most of them before. Right after the explanation, we setup the account for my WiFi access since it’s tied with our device’s mac address.

The Team!

Time to meet with my seniors at GDP Labs Bandung. There are around 15 when I came in (9.30 am) . There are Kak Fakhri (mentor), Kak Khandar (my friend’s {Faiz} mentor), Kak Jansen (my other friend’s {Wildan} mentor), Mas Hakim, Kak Rian, Kak Vian, Mas Doni, Kak Beni , Kak Tama, Kak Petrus, Kak Muchtar , Kak David, Kak Stella, Kak Jo, Kak Linda, and Kak Inov (finally I remembered everyone’s name). I was assigned with Kak Fakhri as my mentor for the project Kaskus TV.

~~ GDPLabs Bandung Team ~~

The Task

So I was assigned with a research task to find the optimal settings for video streaming. It was a field that I don’t really know. But with my mentor guidance, a lot of reading articles and documentation, I was able to do it. In the end I gained a lot of knowledge on video delivery, the protocols, how it’s implemented, and a surprising fact on how much a video streaming platform costs. At one point, I even tried to make a custom HLS video player right from it’s manifest file.

In the end of my task, I have done :

  • 2 dashboards for measuring the video streaming performance
  • 1 micro service for transcoding & live stream
  • A couple presentations
  • 3 documentations
  • 3 version of internship story
  • 4 finished books (Clean Code, The Clean Coder, Python Tricks, Head First : OOA&D)
  • A custom video progress bar with nyan cat on it!!! (+ niconico style text overlay)
nyan cat ftw

Learn, learn, learn!

So GDP Labs culture is quite unique. In order to keep the employees updated with the latest technologies, there are some benefits that they give.

  1. Weekly Sharing Session
  2. Brownbag (another sharing session)
  3. Learning is counted as working
  4. Books to borrow

Yep, if you have some free time in the working hours, you can learn something new and it will be counted as working (as long as your primary work is done ofc).

EAT!

FREE LUNCH FOR ALL ~(*w*~) (~*w*)~. Every day has a different menu (it’s balanced & healthy). More money to save on things that I’m dying for :D.

Not only that, we have a monthly group lunch where everyone has XXXk rupiah budget each. We (Me, Faiz, Wildan) had it 4 times during our internship in GDP Labs. All of them were nice, but the most satisfying was Shabu Kojo. Basically an all you can eat, japanese style buffet. I gained 1.1 kilogram right after that.

Weight gain is guaranteed

Lesson Learnt

  1. Eventually you will fail. You just have to learn from it and fix it.
  2. Clean code for the win. Rotten code can lead to destruction~
  3. Stay humble. I never got an act of discrimination from my seniors just because of my status (intern). Instead, they helped me a lot and tried to answer every question that I had.
  4. Life is all about learning. Day by day, we learn more. Just don’t forget to stay humble.
  5. Sharing is caring.

Thank You!

I want to thank my recruiter for letting me join this wonderful company.

Special thanks to kak Fakhri for being my mentor (sorry if I troubled you as well hehe)

Another thanks for my seniors in Bandung, you guys helped me a lot.

Overall, thank you for this opportunity & experience. I can’t express my gratitude enough through words.

Men in black