Summer Spotlight - Esri

This week we are talking with Patrick, Sid, and Elijah about their experiences so far at Esri.

Esri is the global market leader in GIS (Geographic Information Systems). Esri develops ArcGIS, the most popular mapping and spatial analytics software.

Cafeteria Stairs

About

Patrick Patrick - I’m Patrick Tumbucon, and I’m an incoming senior majoring in Computer Engineering. My technical passion is front end web development, but I also enjoy back end development and web design. At Esri, I’m interning with the Search Engine Optimization team.

Sid Sid - My name is Siddharth Menon. I am a Computer Science major, entering my senior year in the fall. My interests lie in machine learning, computer vision, and computer graphics. At ESRI, I am interning with the team at the Applications Prototype Lab (APL).

Elijah - My name is Elijah Cain, and I’m pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science. I’m a capable full stack developer with emphasis on backend development. I am on the ArcGIS Enterprise software development team.

Interview Process

Patrick - I was contacted by two teams: The SEO team and the JavaScript API team. I followed through both interview processes concurrently. Each one started with a behavioral/conversational phone call, then the SEO interviewer (who is now my awesome mentor) asked a few basic technical SEO questions. I received an offer from the SEO team about a week later. I was offered an onsite interview with the JavaScript API team, but I declined due to my heavy workload at the time, among other things.

Sid - I was interviewed twice. The first time was by an HR representative. A few weeks later, I got an official phone interview with the APL team. I was asked about the projects I had worked on, my technical interests, as well as my experience using different frameworks and languages.

Elijah - I had an initial HR screen where I talked about my development interests and skills. I then had a 1-hour technical interview with my current team mentor. We used a shared online coding editor and he asked me basic data structure and algorithms questions as well as some C++ specific questions.

Work Life

Work Station Hackathon Presentation Patrick - Search engine optimization falls within marketing, so my desk was placed along with the social media team (who are all very fun and animated people!). My mentor is fully aware of my developer background, so she encourages me to work on the more technical parts of search engine optimization. For example, I’m currently spearheading a project that implements JSON-LD structured data across our thousands of web pages. This will help boost our search rankings and populate the SERP with rich search snippets.

Working in the marketing department as a developer has been more fulfilling than I ever thought it would be. Not only can I create a product, but I can polish it in such a way that makes it attractive to use. This proved to be a very useful skill for the intern hackathon, where I led my team to earn 2nd place.

The intern coordinators take their job seriously, and they have made the intern experience very enjoyable. The highlight of the intern events was 100% the intern hackathon.

Esri is a unique company in many different ways:

  • There is a very flat hierarchy in the context of leadership, and I haven’t met anyone with a sliver of an ego. I would schedule meetings with people like the head of branding, the VP of marketing, and the front end development team lead just to have casual conversations about our passions and experiences. Heck, even the CEO eats in the same cafe as every other employee.
  • Every employee gets paid hourly. This can be a good or bad thing.
  • Esri is privately owned, so the company can freely develop their products without having to listen to shareholders.

2018 Interns Sid - While I can’t speak about the details surrounding the project I’m working on, I can say that many of the skills that I have developed through hackathons and my previous courses (like CS 171/170/130/etc.) have come in handy to get things done. I have been working with machine learning/deep learning frameworks (such as Tensorflow and MxNet) and the team has been actively working with me to get the project done.

Additionally, the internship coordinators always have some fun activities planned for the interns throughout the summer. The biggest highlight so far has definitely been the intern hackathon.

Elijah - I’m doing server-side development for the ArcGIS Enterprise software platform. More specifically, I’m working on export tools that allow users to export different types of services that are supported by ArcGIS. I’m also using JUnit to write regression tests in Java to make sure my code does not disturb any of the surrounding functionality.

I participated in the Esri hackathon and was on one of the finalist teams. There are a lot of intern activities and career workshops. The work environment is very laid back and collaborative.

Location

Laptop Outside Patrick - It’s hot. It’s pretty much Riverside weather, to be honest. But there are some awesome food places in the surrounding area, such as Eureka Burger and the Gourmet Pizza Shoppe. I commute from Riverside with other interns, so it’s a bit harder to hang out with the interns who live in Redlands, but we make it work.

Sid - Downtown Redlands, a 20-minute walk from the ESRI campus, is definitely a cool place to go to with some really good food to look forward to.

Elijah - The Esri campus is very unique and Redlands has some cool spots too.

Final Remarks

Plants Patrick - Esri is the unsung hero of tech. I can’t immediately name a tech company that has such a positive, global impact on the world like Esri does. Esri powers the real-time maps of 911 first responders and continually makes breakthroughs in education, conservation, and sustainability of the environment. If you want to make a difference in the world, Esri is the place to be.

Esri looks for excited and passionate candidates who are eternal students (figuratively, not literally). If you’re interested in working here, please don’t hesitate to contact me at ptumb001@ucr.edu and I can help you out.

Sid - Being a part of the Applications Prototype Lab has allowed me to be able to play around with some cool new technologies and the overall experience so far has been great!

Elijah - Esri is a fantastic company to work for. Leadership has a great vision for the company and it trickles down to all of the employees. The developers are high caliber, but very down to earth and collaborative.