Facebook – Week 4

Posted on 19th March 2014

As I get further in to the internship, the weeks seem to go faster and faster.

Today’s rehearsal in and amongst all the coding was quite satisfying, and knowing the regulars was definitely making me feel more at home. We tried out two pieces to determine the better fit for us and eventually selected the more difficult of the two, but also the more enjoyable to sing. The crowd was also larger than we’ve had before, with around twenty people in the room!

Monday evening that I discovered the ‘mysterious source of the ticking noise’ and the constant ringing in my apartment. It was not in fact a neighbor’s phone but my cable box, attached to the tv and almost right next to my head as I sleep. Needless to say, since I discovered this it has remained unplugged. I’m not a big tv watcher and this gave me the excuse I needed to turn it off once and for all.

Tuesday’s recreation was ‘band practice’ in the evening, with a couple of the other interns. The music may not have been my first pick, but we did a decent job of it. I was on keys and backup vocals, which suited me well, especially as I didn’t really know the songs right off the bat. Also of note was the return of Pieter. It was great to have a bit of activity next to me in the corner of the room, but now I didn’t need his support quite as much as I did during the first week.

Wednesday was quite momentous for me, for reasons I’m not yet prepared to reveal, but needless to say after reading my emails in the morning there were a few tears in my eyes. More on that later.

The rest of the day was a blur. I was hardly able to focus and thankfully I had a few meetings to save me a little. This made me very determined to work harder and so I decided to stay and work up until the last shuttle. Unfortunately I wasn’t on the ball enough and ended up staying past the last shuttle. This meant a rather inconvenient trip to the CaltTrain station to wait for the next train home, before a walk back to the apartment, landing me home at 11 rather than at 9.10 as planned.

As a result, I slept in to the second shuttle on Thursday and missed gym. Not ideal but definitely needed. However by Thursday it was noticeable that my level and quality of output was improving. Compared to the first week, I had gained so many skills and a lot of knowledge. The difference between academia and engineering was larger than I thought. Thursday was also a nice day in the sun and I took some time to work outside. Our weekly meeting was cancelled so I hacked away until rehearsal time. Special about rehearsal today was that we had a ‘baritone sectional’ where I and the other baritone Brian spent a half hour with Bear focusing in on our part. We made a lot of good progress and it was also nice to have a little more focused contact with a smaller group.

Friday was the first day I really tried to make an effort to start working with other engineers. Having not worked in anything other than a small focused group, this required a bit of a shift in mentality. Rather than having my manager look at everything, it was time to really interact with the other people working on my product feature. The guy opposite me in the room, Zejia, was responsible for a lot of the current functionality changes and so I started having him review my work and talking to him about ideas. I managed to get a heap done in the earlier half of the day until lunch at which point I had a performance for the Vocal Network to get to!

Jordan, a kid with a disease, was touring Facebook as part of his wish for the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ and it was arranged that we would surprise him with a ‘Disney flash mob’ of Facebook employees, all dressed up in costume. Additionally, the acapella group was to sing “Kiss the Girl” from the Little Mermaid. This was highly enjoyable and really made everyone’s day, along with brightening up this kid’s day.

After lunch things were not quite as excellent as I started feeling unwell. By the time Mark’s Q&A came around, I was definitely out of it and raced home as soon as I could, plonking straight into bed and falling fast asleep.

The next day was spent pretty much entirely in bed, not feeling too great, drinking lots of water and reading a book borrowed from the Facebook lending library. Luckily the weather was nice so I could open the window a little and get some fresh air and light in.

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