InternHacks Intern Handbook

Welcome to InternHacks, a virtual internship program! Explore our guides and examples on how to make the most of InternHacks.

Welcome to InternHacks, a virtual internship/hackathon program! Explore this guide on how to make the most of InternHacks.

Please post your questions in the #interns channel in Slack and tag @Mallory.

Getting Started

Onboarding Presentation

Quick Links

InternHacks calendar:

  • See an overview of our planned events and programming.
  • You can join events which don’t require registration directly from here. 

Slack channel:

  • Introduce yourself in the #welcome channel!
  • Announcements will be made in #interns. That is where you should post any program/logistical questions as well. 
  • #program-resources houses all of the important links.
  • Explore the channels and turn notifications on/off as you wish! This is where you will communicate with other interns and the mentors.
  • Channels that you are automatically added to:
    • #ama – Ask Me Anything (AMA) events on the calendar take place in this channel
    • #calendar – tells you which events are coming up
    • #casual-conversation – off-topic chit-chat
    • #interns – This is where important announcements are made and where you should post questions about the program
    • #mobile-development – Ask questions and/or share resources related to mobile development. Interns and mentors can reply to help out.
    • #product-management – Ask questions and/or share resources related to PM. Interns and mentors can reply to help out.
    • #program-resources – houses all the important program links
    • #project-ideas – Interns can brainstorm project ideas and get feedback from other teams and mentors
    • #rsvp-events – events that are posted here have limited capacity. RSVP by commenting on the post
    • #ui-ux-design – Ask questions and/or share resources related to UI/UX design. Interns and mentors can reply to help out.
    • #web-development – Ask questions and/or share resources related to web development. Interns and mentors can reply to help out.
    • #welcome – Intern and mentor introductions. Feel free to interact with people on their intro posts!
  • Affinity group channels that you may choose to join:
    • #api-in-tech – those who identify as Asian Pacific Islander
    • #black-in-tech – those who identify as Black / part of the African Diaspora
    • #latinx-in-tech – those who identify as Latinx, Afro-Latinx, and Hispanic
    • #pride-in-tech – those who identify as LGBTQIA+
    • #women-in-tech – those who identify as women
  • Let us know if you would like us to create additional channels!

Project update form:

  • With your team, submit your status reports for your projects here at the end of each sprint. 1 submission per team each sprint. 

InternHacks Sections

Your InternHacks experience will consist of three main sections: Build, Network, and Learn

You’ll get to participate in experiences which help you in all three areas, and we’re designing our programming as such. You can choose which ones feel most useful to you, and have the flexibility to design your own experience to an extent by participating in the events which interest you most.  🙂

Build

A core aspect of InternHacks is the project that you design and build with your team. We’ll assign you to a team of students largely based on your demonstrated engineering / product management / design experience. You’ll also have access to a variety of dedicated mentors. They are excited to help you learn and grow technically! Check out their profiles at the bottom of the page linked here

Since InternHacks is a remote program, you have a lot of flexibility in how/when your team works. We strongly recommend you follow our Project Template to get started. We have scheduled project updates over the summer to help make sure your project stays on track, and that you get the support you need from us. These structured/required updates are bold in the outline below. In addition to this, we encourage you to take ownership of your team’s schedule and collaboration style and learn from each other.

Here’s a high level outline of the project development process and milestones to help you plan and stay on track.

Outline:

Sprint

Milestones/Goals

Sprint 1: Get started

– Get to know your team!

– Set up channels of communication with your team, and pick a regular time to meet as a group. Figure out how best you can all work together. 

– Brainstorm and finalize on an idea you want to work on as a group, and reach out to mentors for guidance on scoping your project. 

– Submit your team’s Sprint 1 project update for the InternHacks blog! 

Sprint 2: Design

– Start designing and delegating responsibilities to your team members.

– Think carefully about your architecture. What tech stack do you want to use? Do you need to do any user research before you start to build? Can you make a prototype to test with anyone?

– What’s your long term project plan for the next 4-5 weeks of InternHacks? Create a schedule for your team. 

– Prepare and present your design for Design Day. Consider attending an office hour and/or reaching out to mentors to get feedback on it. 

– Submit your team’s Sprint 2 project update for the InternHacks blog!

Sprints 3-5: Build

– Keep building and iterating as per your team’s schedule. 

– Attend office hours and use the Slack community to get feedback and help on your project. 

– Submit your team’s project update at the end of each sprint for the InternHacks blog!

Sprint 6: Celebrate!

– Keep building and iterating as per your team’s schedule. 

– Get ready for Demo Day!

– Write your team’s final project update for the InternHacks blog!

 

Getting Project Support

We want to help make the building process as easy as possible! Here’s a list of places to get help (after you’ve done a bit of debugging yourself of course) on your projects. 

  • Posting questions on Slack

Post your questions in the relevant Slack channels (for example, #product-management, #ui-ux-design, #web-development, etc). We have dedicated mentors who are ready to answer your questions on Slack, and you have a community of 150+ interns who also might know the answer! Interns are highly encouraged to answer peers’ questions – the InternHacks community is helping each other out, even if you’re on different teams!

  • Office hours with subject experts

On the Google Calendar, you’ll be able to see office hours that different members of our community are offering. Your team can attend them to practice your demo in front of someone, or get a design review. No registration required, first come first served in the virtual meeting link. 

 

Build: Design Day 

On Design day, you’ll be presenting your problem statement and design (technical architecture, UX screenshots if appropriate) to judges. This day is about making sure that your designs and project ideas are well thought through before you start implementing, and so you can get feedback from other teams and see what other people are doing. 

What will happen on Design day?

Teams will be grouped based on project themes, and put into virtual breakout rooms. You’ll be judged in these groups. Judges will take into consideration the tech experience of each group when awarding prizes – effort is what counts here.

Each group/breakout room will have 3 prizes available:

  • Best overall: the most thorough presentation, addresses all the sections of the project template carefully and in detail. 
  • Best architectural design: the most detailed and comprehensive technical architecture, with justifications for why specific technology was chosen, and considerations about scaling and system maintenance
  • Most convincing problem statement: this team has taken a lot of effort to validate or think through their problem statement. The user is clearly defined, the team may have gone above and beyond and done user research to validate their problem and get user input. 

How do I present?

Each team will have a 10 minute slot to explain their problem and project idea to judges, we’re expecting a 7 minute presentation with extra time for Q+A. It can be helpful to use a slideshow to convey your ideas. If one member of your team is most comfortable speaking, that’s fine, you don’t all have to speak equally. 

Any tips to do well at this?

  • Address all parts of the Project Template (maybe a slide per section?)! This is what our judges will be looking for in the presentations. 
  • Provide as much detail as you can, to show us you’ve been thinking in depth about the project. 
  • Have fun! You’ll be presenting to a handful of other teams in addition to the judges, so support each other and give good feedback! We know you’ve only had 2 weeks to work on this, so we’re expecting thought and care but know that some things may still be in draft form. 

Network

We want you to use InternHacks and our community to grow your network and meet people. Here are some of the ways we hope you do this. Check the InternHacks calendar for the full list of timings and events which you can register to participate in. 

How to engage

Time commitment

Description

Participating on Slack

Whenever you have time 🙂

Use the Slack channels to get to know your peers! Some good places to start are #welcome and #interns!

Sign up for virtual coffee chats with a recruiter or mentor on Slack #rsvp-events

40 minutes

This is an informal session, where you’ll sign up with 2-4 other students for virtual coffee with a recruiter. Come with some questions, but don’t stress too much, this is meant to be a casual chat. 

Ask a mentor to get virtual coffee

30-40 minutes

All of our mentors have the word “Mentor” in their Slack name, they all have an interest in helping you! Read through their intros, and if there’s anyone you want to get to know, ask if they’d be available for a quick chat. 

Ask another intern to get virtual coffee

30-40 minutes

Get to know other interns outside of your team! Check out the Community page on this wiki, read your peers’ intros in #welcome, and message people you want to chat with!

 

Learn

We’ve developed a variety of virtual learning opportunities, with differing time commitments so it’s easy to get engaged and grow a new skill, get inspired, or expose yourself to a new topic. 

How to engage

Time commitment

Description

Comment or read an AMA on Slack!

Whenever you have time 🙂

Read or comment on an “Ask Me Anything” to ask questions of recruiters, mentors, and more!

Attend a Tech Talk on the Google Calendar

60 minutes

Attend and ask questions at a virtual talk! Details about speakers and topics on the Calendar. No registration required. 

Career Workshop Wednesdays 

60 minutes

Attend and participate in Career Workshop Wednesday events! Register using the links on the Calendar.

Post cool articles or things you learn on Slack

Whenever you have time 🙂

The best way to learn is to teach! Post on Slack and start discussions with your peers 🙂

Code of Conduct

  • Please review the Code of Conduct
  • If something goes wrong, or you notice someone violating the code of conduct, message @Mallory on Slack and I’ll help!

 

Still have questions? Post them in the #interns channel in Slack and tag @Mallory!

 

InternHacks Intern Handbook