Reflecting on an Engineering Internship at Breather

Shekhar Kumar
Sep 29, 2017 · 3 min read

What is Breather?

Breather’s mission is to make the world’s spaces connected, accessible and productive. Both a software and real-estate company, Breather is at the forefront of leading the change in our society to a demand/shared economy.

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I began the internship with my fellow interns, David, and Jasmine in a way that’s considered a rite of passage in software development: bug-fixing! We worked on addressing fairly minor bugs with the cross-functional Growth, Product, and Backend teams.

After two weeks of many console.logs, we were each assigned to a teams that we’d remain with for the next three sprints. I joined the Product team and was included in the development of an important feature. A common complaint of users was that making bookings which lasted longer than a day (such as an extended offsite or conference) required them to first be connected with a Breather representative. By implementing a self-service booking functionality, the organization aimed to capture business value and new users. Working on this feature was a phenomenal learning experience as I got to understand the intricacies of Agile/Scrum, Backbone.js, and RESTful interfaces.

Favo(u) rites ❤

Following these sprints, David, Jasmine and I reunited to work develop Favourites functionality, allowing people to save their favourite locations on the web.

What I Learned

1. Candor. Our CTO Ben Nevile would take ‘Brutal Questions’ where he would answer any of the Engineering team’s questions at our biweekly meetings. Even our CEO Julien Smith would host an AMA to answer any anonymous questions that were submitted. This openness and honesty builds a culture where people aren’t afraid of asking questions that they feel are important.

2. Service. Breather has a world class team of designers, UX researchers, and customer service representatives that work together with the engineering team. By focusing on the customer, Breather is able to deliver a great product and user experience.

3. Contribution. Breather host’s quarterly hack days where everyone is welcome to drop their regular tasks for the day and work on any interesting project. One of the projects this summer by the Insights and Data Science team was Bright Box, a Machine Learning project hosted on Github, with the aim of learning and contributing to the open source community.

Thank You

I want to thank the entire Breather family for a fantastic summer, and I’d like to give a shoutout to Phil Miller for giving us this opportunity.

Shekhar Kumar

Written by

Passionate about technology, leadership and impact.

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