It all began in November 2014 when I got to know about the openings for internships at SocialCops. I was initially hesitant about applying, given my college was still running. But, after exploring their work, the hard problems they’re looking to solve using technology and their super awesome work culture, I was sure I wanted to see myself here this winter.
I applied and I can safely conclude that it was the best decision I made in my life. Let me tell you why.
The first week
The first week of the internship was the scariest part, I was really blown away when I saw some of the cool things they built internally and the very first thought that came to my mind was “Would I be able to live up to the expectations?” On the first day, my very first task was this cryptographic puzzle which leads you to the WIFI password. It’s a ritual now.
Working environment and culture
I don’t think an office can be more open and transparent in terms of work culture. Everybody is treated equally irrespective of their role. There are no unnecessary rules like dress code, office timings, etc. In fact, there are no rules. Except for one — care about your work and nothing else. And in case you get bored you can always turn on the Xbox. (Yes, they have a Xbox in the office!)
You can never be hungry here
In case the breakfast and lunch din’t fill you up, there will be a regular supply of samosas, jalebi, chili potato and a lot of other dilli food. (The perks of having an office at an arm’s length from a bustling market.)
People at SocialCops
Trust me when I say this, you are going to meet a bunch of freaking awesome people who are exceptional at what they do. They will always inspire you to learn and grow. Some of them will mesmerize you to such an extent that you would end up calling them magicians (you will get it when you join them). Working with such a team in itself is a huge motivation, since every other person around you is building something so awesome that you would want to join their league.
They will make you responsible
I was assigned the task of building a real-time dashboard that could revolutionize the internal client support processes by tracking who is using the product and how. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands, despite having no prior experience of the technologies they used (Backbone.js). I gradually started giving shape to my dashboard and realized how beneficial this place can be for a beginner like me. You are told to build something while having complete autonomy to incorporate your ideas and creativity in it. The best part is that you are surrounded by people who are ever ready to help. Just keep moving in the right direction and you will have all the guidance you need.
So finally, the dashboard was ready for use, equipped with all the functionality needed to track end users — location tracking, real-time activity tracking, device tracking etc. And with that, I joined the league too 😉
The amount of responsibility you will have here is unmatched. There will be no one except you who would be deciding your targets and even the deadlines to achieve them. You will get a chance to work on the actual product and your contribution will actually get shipped.
Friday, the D-Day
Friday is the most awaited day of the week. They call it “Demo Day”. Everybody has to give a presentation on their updates from the week. It would be fair to call it a “Clash of the Titans” as the different teams compete for the showdown spot. The team with the coolest features steals the show. We also use this day to sit together and give feedback and suggestions across teams which forms the backbone of SocialCops culture. It really brings a positive competition between the teams motivating everyone to strive really hard, make something kickass, and end the week on a high.
The Friday demo day was also the reason behind my “first week horrors”. On my first D-day I saw for the first time the products they were building and the only thing that came to my mind was “Holy shit! This is some seriously awesome stuff! There’s no way I am going to fit in here”. To top that moment of self-doubt, the co-founder- Varun (the angry young man, who never gets angry :P) told me that I need to double my efforts.
Some of the things I saw that day that left me stunned:
I let out a sigh of relief when I did double my efforts and built what I wanted to build, all because of that one honest feedback. After that, there were no more scary weeks.
The learning curve
You are going to learn a lot, more than you can imagine. I joined their Web Development team. I not only learnt about technology, but also various aspects of business. Whether it’s dealing with the clients, solving their queries, you will have a say in everything. You will be a part of the entire process right from building the product to selling it. It’s nearly impossible to get such an exposure and experience in the corporate world. Now you know why I called it the best decision of my life.
You will miss the office
It might sound flippant, but you will really hate going back to college after spending your time here. You will realize and understand how things work in the real world and how your learning in college is far from it. You will go back with a ton of stories to tell and, most importantly, you will have the satisfaction of impacting lives.
Update: We are excited to share that Vipul joined our team full-time as a software engineer in 2016!