For this weeks summer spotlight, we will be focusing on John Pham who is working at AT&T and GitHub.
My name is John Pham. I’m a 4th year computer science major. My background is in UI/UX design, web development, and data science. During this summer, I am is working with AT&T on the Advanced Analytics Team and with GitHub on the Education Team.
I applied for the position in early November online. Below is a timeline:
- Early-January: A recruiter reached out and conducted a behavioral interview over the phone
- Talk about your previous experiences
- Why did you pick your major?
- Late-January: Another recruiter reached out for another behavioral interview over the phone
- What’s your experience with big data technologies?
- Design a data system that can handle streaming data from multiple clients
- Early-February: An engineer and a data scientist (my manager) reached out for a technical interview
- What’s your technical background?
- Tell us about your experience with streaming data
- Paired programming
- Brainstorming for solutions to determine user experience on the platform
- Late-February: An offer was extended
I applied for the position in mid-August online. Below is a timeline:
- Mid-August - Late-September: Did training:
- Community management
- Public speaking
- Workshop development
- Fundraising Running an organization
- October: Had a video interview with the manager, shortly after got extended the position
AT&T had a day call “Intern Day of Impact” for interns across the world. For the El Segundo interns, we volunteered at the Los Angeles Food Shelter for a day. By the end of the day, we helped prepare 8,645 lbs of food for people with food insecurities.
GitHub supports events all across the world. One event I got to help out was Battle Snake 2018 which is an AI competition for over 450 people to build AIs for the game snake. This year’s competition was hosted in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Sponsors of the events create Challenge Snakes which then the participant’s snakes have to challenge. For GitHub, I built a snake using Python and a full-time engineer built one using Ruby. Our challenge for participants was a 2 vs 2 but it would be our 2 different snakes with different heuristics vs 2 copies of the participant’s snake.
I can’t say much about my project without revealing the secret sauce. I can say however that taking CS171 (Data Mining & Machine Learning) before my internship helped out a ton. I am working with big data systems (Apache Kafka, Apache Hive, Hadoop) and using machine learning (XGBoost, Tensorflow). This isn’t the typical “give an intern something to do” project as the direct report for it is the CTO with over 40 full time staff working on it.
AT&T is located in El Segundo, CA with housing provided in Playa Del Rey. It’s an amazing location by being a part of Los Angeles and being right at the beach. There’s tons of things to do from beach-going, hikes, and eating amazing food. The work environment is one of my favorite parts. It’s an open space layout so inter and intra-team interactions is always happening. We also have the occasional ping pong tournament happening.