My Summer with the Tribe04 Sep 2017
Heading into my first coop term, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I had heard tons of stories of interns only working on simple administrative tasks or grabbing coffee for the team. Fortunately, my experience working at TribalScale has been nothing like the stereotypical first internship experience. Whether it was working on client-facing projects, attending company events, or participating in discussions, at TribalScale, interns have an opportunity to build industry experience through a multitude of roles. Personally, I served as an Agile Software Test Engineering intern, but above all, these are my key takeaways from the experience:
Learning About Innovation
“Creativity + Iterative Development = Innovation”- James Dyson 2005
The innovations of today are helping us push boundaries and raise our expectations at an ever-increasing rate. TribalScale does an outstanding job keeping up-to-date with all the latest in tech. Each morning with the tribe (“tribe” refers to TribalScale employees) begins with a daily stand-up meeting where employees share tech news they may have come across. Whether it was the latest about Uber or a new record-breaking digital currency, I found myself more informed about the industry than ever before. Additionally, with all the discussion surrounding the latest tech news, it was quite easy to start meaningful conversations with fellow co-workers about topics that you’re passionate about.
During my time at TribalScale, I also had the opportunity to use some of the voice-based applications produced by TribalScale. Prior to coming to TribalScale, I hadn’t used either the Amazon Alexa or Google Home, and it was great getting to play around with the new technologies. Testing for these platforms required learning about a new way of thinking about user experiences and thinking about “Voice User Interfaces” (VUI), and following the path of a user interacting with voice software. With new voice technologies arising all the time, I found it useful to be able to get a glimpse into what the future holds.
Connecting with the Tribe
Getting to work with and learn from fellow members of the tribe was a phenomenal experience. Everyone was easy to approach and it was great meeting people working on development, sales, and operations. The founders are very accessible as well, making it easy to voice concerns and learn from their experiences. As an aspiring entrepreneur, it was great to hear first-hand the stories and struggles experienced by the founders of TribalScale early on, and the different strategies and tactics they employed to help them overcome challenges and grow the business.
Another benefit to the social-centric culture was the vast array of Slack channels for different interests. Whether it was music, sports, or finding the best online deals, it was easy to find other tribe members who shared the same interests as you, making it very simple to start conversations.
Along with all the fun times with fellow co-workers, I was fortunate to be able to grow professionally and learn plenty of new skills during the summer. TribalScale holds weekly lunch ‘n’ learns to help employees broaden their horizons and gain new insights into topics they otherwise might not have explored. During the summer, speakers ranged from Wealthsimple to health experts to Google, with each talk teaching us about an array of different ideas.
Paired with the learning from the lunch ‘n’ learns, it was also very easy to learn from other tribe members. With the diverse skill set of your fellow co-workers, it is difficult to find a problem that someone can’t help you with. I found my fellow colleagues extremely helpful in this regard, and it helped me learn a lot about company processes, building and maintaining client relationships, and growing in a career.
To help with personal career development, my manager would meet with me at least twice a month to discuss progress, concerns, and goals for the future. I found these meetings a great time to reflect on the last two weeks of work, and think about the different ways I could add value during the remainder of the term. During these meetings, I shared my interest in learning more about the enterprise software industry, and learned about the OpenText Future Forward event.
Seeing a Company Scale Up
During the course of the summer, it was amazing to witness the growth of the company as they added a data science lead and director of design, as well as plenty of new hires across all departments and all offices. Each new employee brought along with them a set of unique perspectives to help us work more effectively.
I had the chance to work on approximately ten different projects ranging from Alexa Skills to iOS apps. Getting the chance to work on a variety of projects was extremely valuable because each project and platform brings with it a unique set of obstacles that need to be tackled. With the fast-moving nature of the company, I also got to see projects go from a bid stage into full development.
Overall, I found my summer spent with the tribe at TribalScale extremely worthwhile. Having the opportunity to contribute directly on client-facing projects and take ownership of tasks helped me build confidence in my skills, which helped me grow professionally. Through the challenges faced, I learned plenty along the way, and hope to apply the knowledge acquired during the term for years to come.