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Intern Spotlight

ANB's Summer 2020 Intern: Sarah Macia

July 31, 2020

Can you brief us about your scope of work during your internship?
My main project this summer was to create an end-to-end system to collect feedback from users of ANB's products. This involved writing an API that performs CRUD operations and aggregates survey results, making UI components that allow a user to create a survey and view its results, and integrating surveys into ANB apps, help content, and emails.

What new skills, techniques and knowledge did you gain during your time with ANB?
I've only been studying computer science for one year, and had never worked with web development before this internship, so I learned a ton from this experience - JavaScript, HTML, CSS (all within Vue), how to design a REST API, database storage with MongDB, and Node.js, to start.

What are the highlights of working at what is considered a ‘smaller’ tech company?
Working at a smaller tech company has been a really satisfying experience in a couple of ways. First, nobody at the company has ever felt inaccessible or off-limits, and it's really nice to know who you work for at least a little bit. Second, it's meant that the project I'm working on has felt more meaningful, and I've gotten to see it through from start to implementation.

What are the key takeaways from your exposure to energy efficiency industry?
I came to this internship really interested in energy efficiency as a tool in tackling the climate crisis, having listened to podcasts and read articles that talk at a high level about policies that incentivize energy efficiency. This internship gave me a better idea of how those policies play out in practice in interactions between utilities and consumers. I think tech that makes those interactions smoother will be increasingly important in transitioning to a clean economy, especially as we electrify other sectors and rely more on consumer incentives to shift demand to match intermittent energy sources.

How easy/challenging is it to collaborate remotely with covid19 restrictions in place?
In my experience, it's fairly easy to communicate and collaborate remotely to get work done. However, I do miss meeting the people I'm working with and forming actual connections with them, which I feel is much harder to do online.

What are the programming languages you are working on?
I've been primarily using JavaScript this summer.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
ANB has offices in India and in the United States, so a lot of my projects had me working with full-time engineers from both sides of the world. The issue was that India is about 9 hours ahead of the United States, which means that I had to wake up really early to communicate with the India engineers at a time that was fair for both of us. I was still pretty close to missing some meetings…

Were colleagues supportive and how did you find the company culture?
Everyone was supportive and accessible, and I found it to be a good work environment.

How did the internship match your expectations?
This internship matched my expectations pretty well. I learned a lot and gained a lot of experience I might not have ever gotten otherwise.