Summer Sprint: Q&A with Ro Engineering Fellows of 2021

Ro
Ro
Aug 25 · 4 min read

Ro’s Engineering Fellowship Program offers rising seniors and post-graduate students an opportunity to become full-fledged members of our engineering squads. From day one and throughout their 12 weeks at Ro, fellows contribute to meaningful product development and work shoulder-to-shoulder with cross-functional teammates to solve complex, mission-critical problems within the business.

Earlier this summer, seven Summer Fellows joined our Tech Org for twelve weeks of on the ground experience at a fast-paced startup. To develop their professional skills and network, fellows were seen as equal contributors at Ro and exposed to Ro’s codebase and developer workflows. Before the final day of their fellowship where they presented their cumulative work from the summer, we asked them to share highlights and learnings from their time at Ro.

How would you describe your fellowship at Ro?

Abideen Kareem: Hectic in a good way. I worked on many meaningful tasks and projects, and learned how to work on new platforms such as Asana, Notion, Figma, Datadog, Mixpanel, Storybook, and TypeScript.

Nisha Chandra: Exciting and fast-paced. Everyday I faced new challenges that come with building systems that care providers use and heard interesting perspectives from the engineering, product, and design on how to best tackle it.

What was something you were not expecting from your fellowship at Ro?

Jack Joliet: At some companies, interns are secluded from the greater organization. I was not expecting to be given so much freedom to work and produce code. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to work at my own pace and tackle additional tasks as I finished others. The work I was assigned was interesting, challenging, and had a material impact on Ro’s product.

Vincent Schaffer: In a remote setting, I was unsure if I’d get to experience Ro’s culture in a meaningful way. But, I was wrong. The 1:1 meetings, inter-squad demos, and company-wide talks ended up being not only fantastic opportunities to engage with the team, but the highlights of my experience at Ro.

Nisha Chandra: It’s not common for engineers to be able to receive such instant feedback from the users of the features they built. After helping to build a system, it was incredible to receive direct feedback from the providers using it.

Can you share a key learning experience from your fellowship?

Anna Flores: Document your work! With the help of my team, I realized how important it is to have a plan before coding — especially when building the first iteration of a project.

Nicky Valdecanas: I used to be afraid of asking for guidance and, during my fellowship with Ro, I learned when to seek help from others. At first, I assumed that the work I’d be doing would have to be done by myself so I’d spend a lot of time trying to unblock myself before asking for help. But at Ro I was able to be comfortable and provide the right context when getting help from someone, and in general it made me feel like a better teammate and engineer.

Vincent Schaffer: A key concept I learned within the tech org was “measure twice, cut once.” Meaning it’s not about building fast, but building effectively. In my time at Ro, this looked like asking my manager for extra feedback, getting an extra pair of eyes on my pull request, and returning to the drawing board every once in a while.

How did your personal or professional interests change?

Nisha Chandra: I previously thought that I wanted to be a backend engineer, but after receiving exposure to the world of front-end and UX design, I’ve decided that being a full-stack engineer appeals to me. Front-end work gives me the opportunity to work closely with designers, which I really enjoy.

Abideen Kareem: A personal change for me was understanding the importance of self care in a professional environment. Between Ro’fresh days (company-wide days off over the summer) and Ro’s unlimited PTO policy, the company understands its employees will be more productive if they are well rested and not exhausted.

Jack Joliet: I am interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial career. After working at Ro for the summer, I realize I still have a lot to learn to be able to effectively lead an organization, especially in the field of technology. I’m glad I was able to observe and contribute to a startup as it will provide the context and experience I need to pursue my long-term career interests.

To learn about opportunities to join Ro go to ro.co/careers. If you are interested in applying for Ro’s annual Engineering Fellowship, stay tuned on Ro’s Careers Page.

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