Lukas Klein | 23rd January 2013
Lukas Klein describes the time he recently spent in August and September as a intern in the Development group at DataSift.
The last month has been really exciting for me. Me, that is 19-year-old student Lukas from Germany. I decided to work for DataSift as an intern before university, and it really paid out. Before, I have been working for either small one-man businesses or big players like SAP but never in such a fast growing startup. Even though I've never been to the valley before, I think working for DataSift is much like working for a San Francisco-based startup, except it's in the center of Europe.
The company is very engineering-driven, so the decisions are taken by people who really know how the technology works, which is a huge benefit if you're a developer. When I came into the office, which is located in the Enterprise Center of the University of Reading, for the first time, everyone welcomed me warmly (until the first Nerf gun battle started, but that's another story) and showed me around.
When you work at DataSift, nobody tells you what you have to use, you can choose whatever tools you want, whether it be a Mac or a PC running Linux (if you're using Windows, DataSift is not the right place for you, I guess), vim or Sublime Text, Coke or Pepsi (the fridge is always full!). All the people in the office are highly skilled and there's an expert for everything, whatever question you have. (I'm sure there's even someone who can help you with building a nuclear Nerf gun that can shoot Curiosity off Mars).
I used my time at DataSift to dive into new technology I've had little time to use before, such as node.js, Backbone or redis. Working with the DataSift API is really straightforward and at the end of my first day I had a visualization up and running that showed the current trending articles on bbc.co.uk in growing bubbles.
The great thing at DataSift is that you can turn almost any idea into a real product. One morning when I was working on my CSDL (DataSift's own curation language) I thought it would be nice if I could do this in my favorite editor, Sublime Text. So I simply wrote a plugin for Sublime Text, put it on GitHub, and minutes later Stuart forked it and helped me to extend it. Here in the office everyone is helping each other and if you're stuck at a problem, it can only be a matter of minutes until someone comes up with a great solution.
I've really enjoyed my time in the UK and I can only advise every student who's into cutting edge technology to check them out. Conclusion: If you don't mind getting hit by several foam bullets a day and know how to assemble IKEA furniture (you have to build your own desk), you should definitely come to DataSift!
We're always looking for good people. If you have what it takes, if you're looking for an internship or a placement year, or if you're a recent graduate, you can reach us at [email protected] Please ensure that you are eligible to work in the United Kingdom and that you approach us directly, not through a recruitment agency.