In this next installment of our “Meet the Splunktern'' series, we are featuring Trevor Kollins, one of our Software Engineer interns on the Continuous Integration (CI) Platforms team. Recently, Trevor was named Splunktern of the Month! Keep on reading to learn about Trevor’s experience as a Splunktern.
How is your internship going?
My internship is going great! Working at Splunk has been such a fantastic and rewarding experience, with so many interesting people to meet and rewarding projects to work on. From day one, Splunk allowed me to take control of my work, and have my voice heard. Furthermore, my team is always willing to take some time to answer my questions and in general make my internship experience a fantastic one.
There’s so many other things to say here, but most of them will get touched upon in the below questions. So please, read on!
What does an average week look like for you?
Monday: On the CI Platforms team, the week starts out with the lightest day of the week. Ramping up from the weekend, I begin by working on my tickets from the current sprint. Monday’s are a great day for grinding big chunks of work out, since I only have two quick 15-minute scrums for my project and team.
Tuesday: Tuesdays can vary for me depending on the week! However, the highlights are definitely the 1 to 1 meetings with my manager, and the Developer Platforms team sprint review. In my 1 to 1, me and my manager get to talk about all kinds of things, casual or work related. In this session, I get to clear my thoughts, and mention anything that's going well or can be improved in my internship. I also get to receive feedback on how I’m doing, and know where to strive to do better.
In the sprint review, I get to hear about what everyone on the Developer Platforms team has been working on for the previous 2 weeks, and view their demos. The Developer Platforms team is so diverse, working on many different projects at once, so it's interesting to see the wins of others at Splunk during this portion!
Wednesday: Wednesday is the big meeting day. At the sprint end every 2 weeks, my team wraps up and prepares for the next one. Most of this day is taken up with sprint planning, sprint retro, and potentially some knowledge sharing to top it off. Typically, I use the Eastern Time zone advantage I have to wake up before everyone else on my Pacific Time team on Wednesday. This lets me have some alone time to wrap up any loose ends before the big meeting block in the afternoon!
Thursday: Thursday is another lighter day of the week. If the sprint just started, I typically use my Thursdays to get familiar and start working out one of my newer tickets. At the end of the day (every 2 weeks), the Developer Platforms team has bi-weekly OKR reviews to track the progress on our quarterly goals.
Friday: Friday is definitely my favorite day of the week, and not just because it's almost the weekend! Aside from the usual ticket grinding, Splunkterns often have events and workshops on Friday. Honestly, I never know what to expect going into them, aside from the fact that it will probably be interesting. So far, we have had painting classes, personal finance talks, trivia nights, pottery classes, general happy hours, and more! It’s definitely often the highlight of the week.
How does Splunk differ from other companies you’ve interned for?
One thing that struck me as particularly different at Splunk is how often I get to meet and talk to people outside of my own team. This is mostly through the intern coffee chats, but it's great getting to know people that I don’t work directly with. Another thing that struck me as different between Splunk and previous internships is how much Splunk is open to change. The CI Platforms team is always iterating on and questioning our current processes, trying to figure out how we work best, and how we can use our time most effectively. It’s refreshing to be on a team that isn’t afraid to try new things.
What is one quote that motivates you?
Good question! I think I would have to go with a line from my favorite anime, A Place Further Than the Universe. “When you hit the point of no return, that’s the moment it truly becomes a journey. If you can still turn back, it’s not really a journey.” In general, A Place Further Than the Universe speaks a lot on turning your fleeting dreams into reality, that “one day I’ll do this” into “today”. To me, this quote is a subtle reminder that sometimes, to achieve what you want, you’re going to have to take some leaps of faith into the unknown, and that's okay.
Is your internship what you expected?
Yes and no. Going into this internship, I had a feeling that I was going to enjoy it. I knew that most likely, I would be given interesting projects to work on with interesting problems to solve, and indeed, that’s exactly what I got! Additionally, the workday in itself does not differ much from other internships I’ve experienced. However, what I did not expect was all the highlights that this internship has given me, which is conveniently the next question!
What's your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
Ah! There's so much, this is hard to answer! It feels like a very basic answer, but I think when it comes down to it, it would have to be playing games. There’s always something new around the corner that hooks me in hard, whether it be the brilliant world building and story telling of JRPGs like “Trails in the Sky,” the technical challenge of precise platformers like “Celeste,” or even my most recent obsession of hanging out with friends in the MMORPG “Final Fantasy XIV”. Like any good book or movie, I often find myself so invested, it's difficult to stop thinking about!
What are some highlights of your internship?
Personally, I love all of the intern events. Did I expect that I would be doing a painting class going into this internship? No, not really. Was it a fantastic experience? For sure. However, the biggest highlight of all for me is definitely the people. Between weekly coffee chats with coworkers, intern events, and just the general workday, I didn’t expect to meet this many other people during my internship. I loved all the chances I got to hear their stories, talking about everything from Splunk, to boardgames, to even the engineering which goes into racecars! I will definitely be looking to keep some of the friendships I made here after my internship is done.