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What I've learned as an intern at Routable

What I've learned as an intern at Routable
Alishaan Ali is currently a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. This summer, he had the experience of being Routable’s first-ever software engineering intern. He shared his experience and what he’s learned in the past few months.

Hello! My name is Alishaan Ali. I’m a sophomore at Vanderbilt University studying computer science and economics. Outside of school, I enjoy running, working out, and hanging out with friends. This summer, I had the experience of being Routable’s first intern!

In my three months at Routable, I was assigned to the Business Automation pod to work on frontend features. I was able to contribute to the development of a new feature, user roles. I’m currently contributing to rolling out support for editing existing payments in the Routable application.

Routable was one of the most complex web applications I’ve ever worked on. I was introduced to Storybook, Jest, and other technologies that I never had the opportunity to work with before. Also, this was also my first time working primarily in a frontend development role.

Everyone at Routable provided a ton of support and help throughout my entire experience. Here's what I've learned during my internship.

1. Always push out quality code

Routable has some incredibly strict code standards. While I had been used to style guides in school, Routable took it to another level. Throughout the summer, I had the opportunity to learn how to push out truly quality code. Many of Routable’s practices now extend to my own work. Establishing conventions, standardizing whitespace, and ensuring readability have been increasingly more important to me due to my experience at Routable. Not only can I push out code that works but I can also make sure that it adheres to strict standards of quality.

2. How to build a frontend experience in React

While React was something I had used personally, I had never had the opportunity to work on a professional application built in React. This was a major learning experience for me. I had previously used React to spin up simple websites. At Routable, React drives the entire frontend experience and Routable utilized far more of the React framework than I had ever dabbled in. From the containerization of components to learning Redux and other associated libraries, I had the opportunity to see the power of a full-fledged React application.

3. The importance of a great company culture

Routable has been an amazing place to work. From the first day, my team was extremely inviting. Routable values its people. Throughout the summer, I participated in a company wide “donut chat” program and met countless amazing people at Routable. The company communication channels are also full of amazing people sharing everything from their random thoughts to pictures of their puppy. I’m glad I got to be part of the Routable family.

I originally set out at Routable to learn as much as I could. I got what I bargained for and then some. Routable has been an amazing place to learn about software development. This wouldn’t be possible without some amazing people. I want to highlight some of the people that made my time at Routable even more memorable. Adam Jaffe Back would often pair program with me on tickets and answer all my questions. Linda Rendard was an amazing manager and made sure I always had anything I needed. I want to thank Tom Harel and Brian Walerius for making this possible and creating an internship role for me. I wanted to thank everyone in the Business Automation team, Ben, Jules, Taryn, John, James, Nico, Rudolf, and Leo for being amazing coworkers these last couple months.

What’s next?

I’ll be continuing part-time at Routable throughout the next semester. I’m looking forward to this new experience and joining a new team. I’ll also be continuing school at Vanderbilt studying computer science and economics. Outside of work and school, I’m going to be focusing on having as much fun as possible with friends, activities, and other hobbies (my latest obsession is rock climbing!)

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