Intern Spotlight: Avery Chan, Engineering Intern

In this Intern Spotlight Series, Avery Chan shares his experience with Amplitude’s Software Engineering team.

Inside Amplitude
October 4, 2022
Image of Janaki Vivrekar
Janaki Vivrekar
Software Engineer, Amplitude
Avery Chan Intern Spotlight

Amplitude’s University Recruiting team strives to inspire early-career talent to build better products through internships and learning opportunities. Our mission is to nurture talent through measurable projects and developmental experiences that ultimately impact Amplitude’s product and culture.

To celebrate the achievements of our interns, we’ve launched an Intern Spotlight to amplify the meaningful work accomplished within the internship program.

Next up in the series: Avery Chan, Software Engineer Intern, Analytics interviewed by Janaki Vivrekar, Software Engineer, Collaboration

Janaki: To start off, I would love to know a little about you and your background before you came to Amplitude.

Avery: My background is that I was a college student. I was studying computer science and data science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I started programming near the end of high school, just messing around on my computer, so I wasn’t that great at it. But that’s how I chose Computer Science when I came to college. I joined a few clubs to write apps, like web apps for social good. I was coding a ton on little projects and just going through my classes and enjoying them. That was my experience before I joined Amplitude.

Janaki: So cool! It seems like you started off with self-learning, and finding resources to further develop into the engineer you are today, which is excellent.

I am excited to hear what you did during your internship at Amplitude.

Avery: I was on the Analytics team. I was building out the core analytics product. I was building the experience for the power user. Or that’s what my team was doing. Then, I started ramping up by doing little copy changes and fixing bugs. There was a big GA release coming up so I was able to contribute to that. Near the end of my internship, I was assigned a project and I worked on remaking a part of our product with a library, one of our main features.

Janaki: Wow, it sounds like you made a significant impact during your internship!

What is the most impactful project that you worked on during your internship?

Avery: It was the data tables release, which is the new part of our analytics product. It’s a new chart type and the first thing that I worked on was the ability to duplicate a column. And I’m not exactly sure how that fell into my lap but I’m pretty sure that either my manager or my mentor had identified that as an excellent test to teach me about the dataset, which is what the data table displays.

I think that one pattern here that was interesting is something that is telling. I heard once that a good manager should help you by first doing it for you, then doing it with you, and then letting you do it. So, I heard this originally in the context of teaching someone how to scope out a project. A good manager will first say “let’s look at your task first.” Next time, they’ll come up and say “why don’t you break it down?” or, “let’s break it down together.” Then the next time, they’ll say, “why don’t you break it down?” I think that people here at Amplitude did that really well. They were expecting me to identify a task that would be very insightful for me to do. Then they would help me in various ways like that. First, I got a lot of hand holding, which I needed, helping me work much faster. Then they let me do it with them. Finally, they let me do it on my own, so that was amazing.

Janaki: That’s such a wonderful experience—to have people who are there to support you as you’re picking up new skills in a new working environment. Doing things you’ve never done before and building the confidence to do them on your own is great.

What was your favorite thing about your time as an intern here at Amplitude?

Avery: My favorite thing was interacting with the people at Amplitude. That was awesome. It felt good to meet friendly people and get things accomplished.

Janaki: Last question, just to switch it up a little bit. Something essential that we like to know from all of our interns!

If you were a potato, how would you like to be prepared?

Avery: I don’t like the idea of being eaten. I would be a potato at a Farmer’s Market competition, and I would be the biggest potato in the world. No one would want to eat me!

Janaki: Thank you so much, Avery. This was really enlightening. It’s refreshing to hear your perspective as an Amplitude intern. Thank you so much for your time at Amplitude. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with you!

Excited by Avery’s Amplitude experience? Check out our internship opportunities to see how you can become a fellow Datamonster.

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About the Author
Image of Janaki Vivrekar
Janaki Vivrekar
Software Engineer, Amplitude
Janaki Vivrekar is a Software Engineer at Amplitude where she builds tools for Amplitude users to collaborate and share insights. She is a UC Berkeley graduate with degrees in Computer Science, Applied Math, and Human-Computer Interaction, with a background in new media and education. When not at work, Janaki enjoys inventing vegan recipes and hand-drawing mandala art!