A day in the life: Kevin Crane, Engineering Intern

June 13, 2011

I’m Kevin Crane, and I’m going into my senior year at USC as a computer science major, where I play water polo, jam on the guitar, and rock climb. More importantly, I’m working at LinkedIn for the summer as a software engineering intern. I got placed into the CNC (Content and Community) team here and have been hard at work learning the ropes.

The experience of working in the Engineering team of one of the largest and most reputable social networks in the world is exhilarating. It is apparent as you walk into the building that you are entering a very engineering-centric community, both in the way projects are operated and in the sights of the office. People can be seen hammering out code at their dual-monitor workstations, roaming the halls, or sitting down to meetings in amusingly named conference rooms (Candy Land, Sangria, and Devo come to mind).

I’ve only been here for two weeks, but I’ve already been accepted as a member of the team. LinkedIn believes in letting its interns complete real projects that will be eventually deployed live to the site, giving us realistic work experience along the way. Because I am treated as a regular team member, I have been welcomed into all of the same meetings as the full-time engineers. This means that I get to experience the full development process of a product, including exposure to daily meetings and new methods of project management. Every intern is assigned a mentor as well who is always open to help and even seems to go out of their ways to make sure you’re enjoying yourself and understanding the complex software systems that get thrust your way.

Despite the strenuous nature of engineering in general, LinkedIn’s employees definitely know how to keep themselves happy. Between daily free meals and snacks, a gym downstairs, discounts, and various on-campus services, the perks here easily rival any company in the valley. In addition, there are various competitions throughout the office. As a result of the Pimp My Row contest, the section I work in is decorated with Hollywood movie themes, complete with custom posters and a six-foot tall cardboard Dumbledore on my desk.

As the summer goes on, I’ll try to update this with my experiences at LinkedIn and some examples of what I’m working on.