Students + Startups in the Jungle: Meet Dane

As my freshman year at Trinity University came to a close, I was looking for a summer opportunity to expand my software development skills. I knew from experience working on large open-source projects in my spare time that there was a lot more to software development than what I had learned from classes, online tutorials, and experimentation. I figured the best way to bridge this gap in both knowledge and experience was to immerse myself over the summer in tech culture at a company that gathered a team of dedicated professionals focused on creating amazing software solutions. Luckily, I was introduced to Students + Startups (S+S) and eventually Jungle Disk.

I first learned about the S+S program while talking to one of my computer science professors. He mentioned it offhandedly as an internship that offered a unique opportunity to be involved with startup companies. After exploring the website and learning more about the program I was intrigued and applied! Going into the speed interview night, I was more than a little nervous, but also incredibly excited to talk to representatives from the companies that I had already researched online.

Fast forward a few weeks, Jungle Disk reached out and said they had seen my resume and would be interested in setting up a time to talk more. From the first interview, I was excited about their products, team, and vision for what a summer intern could learn and contribute to their company goals. I knew without a doubt that this was the opportunity I was looking for!

Today, I am writing this post after only a few days into the summer internship here at Jungle Disk, where I first felt that spark. In this first week, I have already learned more than I imagined about startup culture, effective communication, and collaboration as part of a cohesive team. The developers here, including my supervisor Wes Dunn, are my mentors but also treat me as a peer. I feel so grateful for the ease and generosity with which they share their knowledge and field my questions. I am fortunate to work alongside a community of other interns that inspire me with the drive to learn and tackle challenging problems in other areas of the company.

My primary project is to create software to monitor and enact performance improvements for the Jungle Disk backup client database. To demonstrate success in my work, I will improve the experience for not only the developers working on the database but also a large number of customers that use the software daily to provide security and storage solutions. I look forward to learning the new technologies required to make this successful and expanding my repertoire of general computer science skills along the way. I expect this project to be challenging but in the best of ways. I am looking forward to expanding my understanding of the software development lifecycle while having opportunities for meaningful professional communication and collaboration. I also look forward to working with my fellow interns and co-workers. I see my time at Jungle Disk as not only an opportunity to develop my software skills but also to build long-lasting professional relationships.

I could not be happier or more honored to have this internship opportunity at Jungle Disk to develop my skills and contribute to such a dynamic environment surrounded by a great group of mentors and peers. I look forward to giving my best and learning all I can.

Happy Summer 2019!

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