Intern Spotlight: Russell Kaplan
August 6, 2014 | Updated: May 22, 2015
This year, MongoDB welcomed 33 university students to our intern program in Engineering, Marketing and Education. In this series, we'll introduce you to the talented students who are helping us transform development and operations for how we run applications today.
We had the chance to sit down with intern Russell Kaplan, who is working on the C++ Driver team.
Where do you go to school, what is your major, and what year are you in? I go to Stanford, where I am a computer science major and a rising sophomore.
What is your role at MongoDB? I work on the C++ driver team, building a geospatial API.
How did you find out about the internship program at MongoDB? Why did you choose to come to MongoDB?
I met MongoDB at PennApps. The App I made there won the prize for best use in the MongoDB category. It was called screenshades, and was a chrome extension that figured out what TV shows you watch and hides spoilers for them from your twitter stream. It worked with machine learning, so we needed a lot of training data, which we scraped from Twitter and Reddit for spoiler hashtags and built a dataset off of. We then used that as a classifier.
I chose to come to MongoDB because I already had a lot of experience with front-end development and building web-apps and wanted to learn more about the back-end of development.
What’s your hometown?
My hometown is NYC. Best city in the world!
Did you have previous experience using MongoDB before you arrived? If so, how are things different now that you work at MongoDB? If not, how did you learn MongoDB and how was the education process?
I used it at hackathons before. But I only really used its basic features. I learned a lot more about it after getting here. It’s really simple to use for quickly getting started with web applications.
Bike or public transportation to work?
What’s a typical day (or week) for you?
I get into the office by 10am. Eat some breakfast in the café, catch up on emails for a bit and then get to coding. I code until lunch, have some seamless, play a game of ping pong and then code for the rest of the day.
What do you love most about MongoDB?
I love the people I get to work with. It’s a lot of really smart high-energy people that I have so much to learn from.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
Because it’s a database and an open source company, the code really has to be production quality in a way that class work doesn’t. It’s a much more rigorous standard of development. That’s something that’s really cool to learn but challenging at times.
What do you hope to accomplish while you’re here?
I hope to have my code integrated into the rest of the MongoDB code base. I hope that the people who use the C++ driver appreciate the work I’ve done.
What’s your favorite Seamless lunch order?
Chop’t steak salad.
Name one secret skill you have, unrelated to work.
I can beat box. A little bit, I’m an amateur.
Whose your favorite tennis player?
Djokovic, he’s incredible. He also has a hilarious sense of humor and isn’t afraid to make jokes about himself and other players.
Kindle or book? What’s your favorite book?
Books. I’m old school. My favorite book is probably 1984.
Describe your perfect weekend.
Oh man. Sleep in late Saturday morning and then go play some tennis with some friends. Discover some obscure yet delicious restaurant for dinner, and then go see a Death Cab for Cutie concert. All while getting to hang-out with friends and family.
Want to help build the next revolution in database technology? MongoDB offers summer internships and new graduate opportunities to foster computer science talent across the country. Learn more about the MongoDB University Relations program.