Lucas Morales and Matthew Chiaravalloti are two of this years #MongoDBSummer17 interns, working on our newly released Backend as a Service (BaaS), MongoDB Stitch. They joined the team prior to the announcement which was made at MongoDB World in Chicago, and were able to work on Stitch before its beta release.
They are both working towards their Masters in Computer Science this year, Matthew at The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and Lucas at MIT, and listed the BaaS team as one of their top choices to work with throughout the summer.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Matthew and Lucas to discuss their experience as interns at MongoDB during our most recent product release.
Andrea Dooley: What interested you about BaaS (MongoDB Stitch) team?
Matthew Chiaravalloti: When the Campus Team sent us the list of teams and projects, we were asked to rank our choices and explain why we were were interested. BaaS seemed really cool because it is geared towards developers who don’t particularly want to write backend code, but who instead want to focus on the frontend - like myself - so it was kind of a personal reason.
Lucas Morales: It seemed like a fun new project that I would have a lot of impact on.
AD: How did you first hear about the MongoDB?
MC: My freshman year at a UPenn Hackathon. One of the students had given a talk on how to integrate MongoDB into a web app. It sparked my interest, and that’s where I learned the name, and then I started seeing the t-shirts all over campus.
LM: I also got introduced to the database at a few hackathons because it is the easiest to use.
AD: What was the interview process like for the internship program?
MC: The questions weren't overly abstract or mathematical. They were focused on more practical topics – programming and software design.
LM: This is actually my second year interning at MongoDB. The process was really informative, it covered a lot of ground. The conversations were challenging, and not particularly just for the technical things. We talked about how the Internet works, how to handle a failure in production, and of course some algorithmic stuff.
AD: Why did you decide to take the opportunity at MongoDB?
MC: Honestly, the recruiting was so good. Everyone was very responsive and the process overall was better than any other company I had interviewed with.
LM: The first summer I did have an offer from another company, but I felt much more satisfied by the MongoDB interview.
AD: How has the program evolved since last year?
LM: It’s much larger this year. We were a team of 40 last summer, this year we are 57. It’s a really solid program and we do things that matter.
AD: What was it like to work on MongoDB Stitch prior to the release?
MC: Since Stitch is such an exciting new area for the company and for developers, the team has grown really quickly since I joined. There is a great start-up feel, the process isn’t super formal. You grab a ticket and you work on it. Obviously we were super-busy before the release, but I was never made to feel pressured.
LM: Prior to the beta I was working on integrating read rules into the MongoDB aggregation pipeline — before they were being implemented the Stitch server. Creating declarative access controls is a major feature of MongoDB Stitch – it allows a developer to define which fields a user can read or write to by defining simple JSON rules, so they can maintain data privacy.. It was great to work on something that is so important to the value Stitch brings.
AD: Has anything changed since the announcement was made at MongoDB World?
MC: Two days post announcement there were over 600 apps created using MongoDB Stitch. The development team continues to grow, and more apps are onboarded every day, we are working on optimizing the developer experience.
AD: What’s it like to work together?
MC: It’s a good balance. I work more on the front-end and Lucas is more focused on the backend. We’re both really hands on and have a lot of say.
AD: What’s your favorite part of the MongoDB office?
MC: The ping pong table.
LM: Also the ping pong table.
AD: What has been your favorite intern event so far?
MC: “The Ride” through NYC, which is an interactive ride through NYC on a giant bus that has stadium like seating that face the windows inside.
LM: The pizza tour where we got to learn about, make, and most importantly eat all kinds of pizza.
AD: What’s the dynamic of the intern team?
MC: We are a 57 person squad. We’re super close because most of us are living in the NYU dorms, but even the ones who aren’t, we still see almost every weekend.
LM: We’re a good group and we have a lot of fun together.
AD: What would you say to a future potential intern who might be interested in MongoDB?
MC: The people at MongoDB are really great and it’s awesome that we get to produce things for people who also have technical experience, so there is a level of understanding between us because we are creating the tools.
LM: You can expect to have a great experience and a lot of fun — and do things that matter!
Interested in learning more about the MongoDB Internship Program? Click here.