June 18, 2017 ~ 7 min read

The Rooftop Views Continue (Interning in San Francisco Week 3)


The rooftop views continue

People keep asking me, "Could you see yourself living here after you graduate?"

Before coming here, my answer would have been a pretty clear "not really". SF seemed like an exciting place to live for 10 weeks, but probably not somewhere that I would want to live.

Now, well, I still have no idea where I want to live after I graduate, but I can safely say the San Francisco has earned it's way into the mix.

Here's the highlights of the past week or so.

Co-Living is awesome

Whenever I bring a friend over to my apartment, they are so quick to judge.

"How can you possibly live with so many other people in such a small area?"

At best, they see it as a reasonable sacrifice that I make in order to save money. I get it, sharing a room with a bunch of other young interns sounds kind of crazy (it is), but the benefits extend far beyond saving a little extra cash.

I'll be honest, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into in terms of housing before I came here. Airbnb deals can be kinda sketchy. If I hadn't ended up with such a great group of people, things easily could have ended up much worse than they have.

We often joke that we're not quite sure how everything works out as well as it does, but somehow it does.

We share food, organize events as a house (steak night), and do things I never would have known about without them. As a write this, a group of us are getting ready to head to a festival in North Beach.

Street art

Street art at North Beach

There's even talk of a 4th of July weekend trip to Tahoe....we'll see if someone actually follows through on planning that one.

If you're coming to San Francisco, especially as an intern, I cannot recommend co-living enough. There's really no downside (well..except all your personal space). If you'd like more info on my particular hosts, feel free to reach out to me.


Not too much more to report here, other than our project is fully underway. Pull requests have been merged, more commits are on the way and we're starting to get into a rhythm.

I'm also really starting to enjoy TDD (Test Driven Development), something I never expected to say before coming here.

I've also started digging deeper into ruby as a language this week, and even gave a quick presentation to my team about some of the unique parts of ruby and how certain features are implemented behind the scenes.

If you're interested in learning more, this article on implementing the enumerable module was one of the best pieces a came across during my research.

I'm still not quite sure how I feel about ruby as a language, but I do appreciate the strong community that has been built around it, similar to my other favorite languages (JavaScript and Python).

Although I truly am enjoying my work so far, the one thing I do miss by working for a company at this stage in growth, is the feeling of creation.

wine on the beach

I'm still working on finding a winery to sponsor the blog....

I had an interesting discussion this week with the intern manager about how even though we're writing ruby everyday, it's easy to lose the ability to be able to hack out an idea for a website or a mobile app.

We're working inside a massive codebase on a very micro level. All of the basic architecture for the app has already been created. He's been writing code at Braintree for over two years, and has yet to create a new route.

That's not necessarily bad, but it's important to think about these things. For many of us, the ability to create new things with code is the reason we fell in love with computer science in the 1st place.

We're still writing important code and implementing new features, but it's a much different skill set then building out a personal project.

Luckily, we have Open Dev Day, and great work life balance, which allows plenty of time outside of work to play around and work on personal projects.

Whatever you do, your creativity is precious, and it's important to build some time into your week to experiment and enjoy playing around.

Outside of work

Last night, I went to a sweet event, which I found through the Real Intern SF, an organization started by a couple of engineers that now work at Facebook and Airbnb.

They were interns themselves a few summers ago, and wanted to create events that would allow interns to experience San Francisco from a more local perspective.


Saint Frank. The next on my long list of coffee shops to try.

The idea of the event was simple: Signup and pay 5 dollars to cover the cost of food, and we'll match you with a couple that lives in SF to have you over for dinner.

I didn't know quite what to expect before going, but that's part of the fun.

The couple hosting me was wonderful. They graciously shared their rooftop and life stories with me and 3 other interns.

In a world where we are surrounded by so many people that we will never get to know, there is something immensely refreshing about sharing a meal with a group of strangers.

The couple grew up in the area, and get this: they even dated in middle school! The other interns were also from California and spending their summers working at Amazon and Quora.

They kept us entertained, sharing stories about growing up in the city, their favorite coffee shop and restaurants, and lastly some It's-Its (would recommend).

Ice Cream Sandwhich

It's-It. San Francisco's Tradition since 1928

Chances are, I'll never see any of them again, but it truly was a great night.

The Real Intern is doing a few other super cool events this summer including an Intern Chinatown Tour that I'm hoping to check out as well.

This Wednesday I also have Internapalooza coming up, a massive tech recruiting event at AT&T park. The company list, as well as the speaker line up is pretty incredible.

I'm most excited to see Andrew Ng talk.

For those unfamiliar, he's the co-founder of Coursera as well as a professor at Stanford, where he taught one of the most widely respected courses on machine learning (It's free too!).

I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Interview Prep

Shoutout to my boy Yash for finally getting me going on interview prep this week. We laid out a clear plan, and so far we're executing on it.

This week was working through the first two chapters of CTCI, which focus on Arrays, Strings, and Linked Lists.

Cool street pic

To any other tech interns reading this, feel free to hit us up if you'd like to be apart of our accountability group. Essentially we just check in once a week, talk about how much we did this week, and choose the topics that we will focus on for the coming week.

It's not always easy to take free time out of your week to practice algorithm questions, but a few hours a week is a small price to pay for a chance at jobs where I can do work that I truly enjoy.

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to give this a read. Stay tuned for more updates next week!

Maxi Ferreira

Hi, I'm Taylor . I'm a software engineer/maker/amateur chef currently living in San Francisco. You can follow me on Twitter , see some of my work on GitHub , or read about my life on Substack .