July 13, 2015
Insight From The Next Generation: Five Things Every OpenX Intern Should Know
By: Jagriti Agrawal, API Intern
As a rising junior at Caltech, studying Computer Science, I was looking for an internship where I could apply what I’ve learned in the classroom and experience first-hand what it was like to work as a computer scientist in the real world. I started my internship in OpenX’s Pasadena office just over two weeks ago working on OpenX’s API team, which is responsible for creating a user-friendly API that publishers and advertisers can use to input what kind of inventory/advertisements they want to sell or buy. My experience thus far has been both unique and exhilarating, leading me to share following five insights on what it’s like to be a part of the OpenX team.
1) An Awesome Work Environment
One aspect of OpenX that stands out the most to me is the working environment. It’s just the right balance between casual and professional, fun and intellectual, easygoing and fast-paced. Everyone here, including executives, are easily accessible. Executives do not sit in a special, isolated area or in closed-door offices. Instead, the desk space is open and there is no hierarchal seating arrangement. Personally, I prefer an open working environment over one with cubicles. I feel much less hesitant approaching people on my team with questions – the open space really promotes communication and collaboration across teams.
2) What “Honeymoon Phase”?
On my first day here, all of the interns were taken on a tour of the office, attended an orientation, and immediately after that I was a part of the OpenX team, ready to begin my first project. At other companies, you may get a day or two to ‘acclimate’, in other words, find ways to busy yourself until a project is assigned. But at OpenX there is no such thing as a “honeymoon,” during which you might find yourself searching for something to do. I dove right into my first project with the API team the day after orientation. When you decide on OpenX as the place to intern, be ready to jump right in!
3) There’s No ‘I’ in Team
On day one, my manager introduced me to the people on the team – each person I met was welcoming and extremely helpful in my on boarding process. Teamwork and collaboration are huge parts of the culture at OpenX – OpenX embodies the age old cliché, “There’s No ‘I’ in Team.” Even though each person on the team has his/her own tasks to finish called “tickets” it’s very common and encouraged to collaborate with other team members to complete them.
Access to internal communication tools provide the opportunity to find the answer to anything you may need either through collaboration or on your own. Additionally, weekly meetings make it easy for each member of the team to stay up-to-date on current projects, and they also serve as an open forum to discuss any hurdles that have been faced over the past couple days. Staying apprised to what everyone is working on is a crucial part in having a productive and tight knit team and maintains that there really is “No I in Team.”
4) Come NERF Gun Ready
During my first week, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a NERF bullet fly past me. Two team members were casually shooting NERF guns at each other. On any given day you may find the Yield and Monetization teams engaging in a friendly round of darts, someone racing to a meeting on a skateboard, or a few Engineers taking a break with a game of Ping-Pong or the latest version of FIFA. It’s work hard, play hard at OpenX. Coming NERF gun ready is encouraged.
5) Get Ready for a Challenge
As far as work goes, when joining OpenX as an intern, be ready for a challenging internship. My first task is to categorize API clients by the number of requests to the API since both API and UI clients can use it. When first given this project, I felt a little nervous since I was going to be using an unfamiliar tool, called Sumo Logic. Although the learning curve was quite steep, I was excited and motivated to complete the task since I knew I was helping to create something that the company would actually use. I’m working on creating queries to get the information we want and using the database tool to visualize the data in a nice way. I’ll have more to say on my progress on this project next time, but until then, thanks for reading this first post!