My internship at AppLovin: How it prepared me for what’s next

by Justin Lee on Oct 4, 2016

I just wrapped up an iOS internship at AppLovin, and what a summer it’s been. In the last three months, I have collaborated with so many different people who have helped me to refine and advance my engineering skills, it’s hard to know where to start!

I was first introduced to AppLovin when I saw the company’s billboards on my commute from Palo Alto to San Francisco last summer, and their playful spirit caught my attention and made me want to find out more about the company. When I did some research, I found that AppLovin is a really cool company with an awesome environment, amazing people, and even an office dog. I reached out to AppLovin’s technical recruiter, Amery, and after a few months the right opportunity came up: a position as an iOS intern. After a phone interview and an onsite interview, I was offered the position. Turns out persistence pays!

I received my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC Davis in 2015, and although I learned a lot from my formal education, I didn’t get a lot of experience with iOS. So for the month before I started at AppLovin, I took an online iOS course from Stanford, which gave me a jump start with iOS engineering.

Even though I was proactive in my efforts to prepare myself for the job, it was still challenging. I worked closely with Thomas So, one of AppLovin’s software engineers (and a keen advocate of hackathons), and was tasked with building an internal application. Regular code reviews with Thomas helped to set the foundation for my architecture skills, and I quickly became proud of my work. Over the course of the next three months, Thomas helped me to gain the ability to structure my ideas into code, and to have it resemble literal architecture.

My internship with AppLovin has allowed me to be part of an actual team of engineers — not just a group of engineers, but an actual team. Experiencing the cross-channel and cross-team collaboration has been priceless. As an intern, I was given the freedom to go above and beyond my expected duties and explore different areas, which went a long way toward building both my skills and my confidence.

From now on, I will have an extremely high standard when it comes to what companies I’ll consider working for. After my experience at AppLovin, I’ll expect companies to genuinely care for their employees and to push them to do the best they can for themselves and for the company.

Thank you to everyone at AppLovin for welcoming me to the team, giving purpose to my work, and appreciating my contributions. And, if you’re just graduating with an engineering degree, check out Amery’s tips for interviewing — they’re very helpful, and I’m sure I’ll look to them as I prepare for interviews going forward!

Justin Lee is a recent graduate of the University of California, Davis.